For some time the work of Ken Done has remained trapped in a time capsule of scrunchies, zinc and a little too much fluro. During the 1980s Ken Done transformed art to enterprise. What began as printed t-shirts given to journalists as a souvenirs of his exhibitions soon evolved into a multi-million dollar business, ‘Done Art and Design’, selling everything from printed doona covers to pencil sharpeners. Alongside the likes of Jenny Kee and Linda Jackson, Ken Done contributed to an era of fashion, art and design that was unabashedly Australian and wholly dependent on a climate of sunny optimism and a (perhaps, misguided) confidence in the workings of a modern economy.
For their spring/summer 2012 collection titled ‘Submerged’, Something Else looked to the sea, envisioning the explorations of a mythic marine girl in the magical depths of the ocean. Seeking to capture the joyful energy of Australian summers the label could not look past the colourful vibrancy and postitive energy of the work of Ken Done. Something Else art director George Barnes was given access to the artist’s archives from 1978-1990 from which he selected twenty works to be recreated into six prints digitally printed onto nylon lycra, silk satin and silk crepe de chine for their black label collection. The collection was exhibited at the Ken Done gallery in the Rocks as a part of Rosemount Australia Fashion Week–a proudly Australian collection, designed and printed in Australia.