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Open Right

Nicole Jenkins


Nicole is a fashion historian: an award-winning writer, educator and retailer, the author of two books and curator of perhaps the largest collection of Australian fashion in the world.

She has presented talks and workshops around Australia.

What other jobs have you had?

I started work early, cooking and waitressing in my mum’s restaurant when I was fourteen – since then I’ve had more than a hundred jobs including check out chick, housekeeper, inventory manager, medieval castle tour guide, software analyst, costume designer, retailer, administrator, project manager and art director.

In 2004 I opened Circa Vintage Clothing, my specialist vintage and antique fashion shop, curating and restoring a vast collection for sale and hire.

I also provide professional historian and textile restoration services.

What themes are recurring in your work?

Sharing knowledge, culture and history. Oh, and frocks. I really like frocks.

What have been the highlights of your career?

Receiving an international award for my first book “Love Vintage”. I discovered the news via google and thought it must be a mistake or perhaps a joke? It was wonderful to discover that my publisher had quietly entered my book and it had been successful.

Meeting and dressing some of the most interesting people in the performing world – including Dita von Teese, Tara Moss, Florence Welch and Nick Cave.

Presenting a talk about ‘50s menswear to 200 people at the National Gallery of Victoria. Thankfully I had stylish assistance from Gregory Peck, Cary Grant and Marlon Brando. They didn’t say much but they certainly looked good up there on the screen.

Where have your works been published?

In addition to my two books (which were published in Melbourne by MUP and Carter’s), my articles have been published by the Guardian newspaper online, the National Gallery of Victoria and the Art Deco and Modernism Society. There’s also over six hundred blog posts at, my award-winning blog.

What are you passionate about?

Fashion: we all wear clothes so why not make them work for you? They should suit your personality and lifestyle but your choices also affect the future of our planet so I encourage you to consider ethical and sustainable practices like reusing, repairing and recycling. Seek out and support like-minded businesses too.

Fashion is also creative, so enjoy it and make it yours.

Haven’t I seen you before?

Most likely! I’m an expert in my field and often recognised from my TV, newspaper and radio appearances. Well, that and my brightly coloured hair.

Anything else you’d like to share with us?

I’m currently renovating my Art Deco home and live with my poet husband and two cats.

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