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27 Vulcan Lane

Joan Talbot worked in the fashion industry as a model, book keeper, designer and sales assistant before she bought the Vulcan Lane business, Tarantella, in 1960.

Joan continued the Tarantella label, as well as introducing a new label for her own designs, Caprice. She sold her designs in the Tarantella store and, by the mid 1960s, she was designing two ranges a year for the wholesale market.

Joan won the 1964 Golden Shears Awards with a wool evening gown and cape with plisse pleats. The gown was later worn by Jan Furness (nee Barkley) in the Miss New Zealand contest. Jan was 18 years old when she won the Miss Taranaki contest and went to Tarantella in Auckland to select an evening gown to wear in the contest. The event was sponsored by the Wool Board so the gown had to be made from wool.

Tarantella was located to the left of the entrance on the ground floor in the Gifford’s Building and the John Greer shoe shop was on the right. Joan had her workroom and salon on the 3rd floor of the building.

Joan was also president of the Vulcan Lane Association and worked tirelessly to promote it as ‘Auckland’s Petite Paris’ and advocated for the pedestrianisation of the lane. In 1968 Vulcan Lane was closed to traffic and re-developed as a shopping precinct. Because of this, the lane has escaped capture on Google maps.

Read more at www.nzfashionmuseum.org.nz/joan-talbot-tarantella/

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