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Groundbreaking Fashion: 100 Iconic Moments

Groundbreaking Fashion

100 iconic moments in fashion – punk icons, pop stars and fashion trail blazers.

From Chanel’s little black dress to Jean Paul Gaultier’s cone bra for Madonna, ground-breaking fashion moments have two main ingredients, the designer who created it and the personality who wore it. The result? Cultural or social shifts, outrage, fame and most likely a new fashion trend.

Melbourne fashion and music journalist, and woman with drive contributor Jane Rocca teamed up with Melbourne based illustrator and fashion designer Juliet Sulejmani to capture the 100 most iconic fashion moments of modern history.

woman with drive caught up with Jane to find out what inspired her to curate this great collection.


Madonna Cone Bra

What inspired you to curate 100 iconic moments in fashion, and what lead you in deciding what makes the top 100?


My book Groundbreaking is inspired by fashion history, current trends and iconic figures from fashion designers to trail blazing pop and rock icons as well as screen sirens.

All of the moments featured in the book have an historical link, have inspired women in the generations that have followed and changed the way we view and interact with clothes. Of the more contemporary fashion moments [like Clare Danes wearing a Zac Posen gown] the iconic moment needed to be groundbreaking, be packed with sartorial wow and a game-changer in the process.

From Audrey Hepburn rocking a Givenchy gown in Breakfast at Tiffany’s to YSL’s Le Smoking Suit, these moments in time are fashion’s strongest points.


Out of the 100 moments, what are your top 3 and why?


There are many, it’s hard to pick three. Let’s go with my musical mood today.

Debbie Harry – because there has never been another Deborah Harry. When she emerged as a the front woman of NYC’s Blondie it wasn’t just her music that wooed us. She had amazing style – a melding of a post-punk New York dawning mixed with new wave that has been mimicked and replicated ever since. She originally created her look by buying vintage, then forged a friendship with the late stylist Stephen Sprouse who helped curate her look. She’s a music icon and cultural phenomenon.

Courtney Love – she emerged as a musician around the time I was writing my journalism thesis with a focus on ‘women in rock’ in the early 90s. Love played a huge part in my music mind – both from a feminist point of view and her cool punk styling. She was punk, potty-mouthed and still articulate – yes she’s controversial you can’t deny that – but Courtney Love was the original 90s grunge goddess who gave us baby doll lace dress which we forever see on the high street now.

The Band T-shirt – this is a topic very close to my heart because my background is music journalism. Never has a fashion item become more discussed and hyped than the band T-shirt. When brands like Gucci and R13 start putting original rock and punk T-shirts on the runway that then go on to sell on luxury brand sites, you do have to wonder whether the humble band t-shirt has been exploited.

It’s an iconic moment in history because when fashion got hold of the T-shirt it pushed it away from the gig and onto the runway. We can thank Vivienne Westwood and Malcolm McLaren for being the first to push a DIY tee into the fashion space in the 70s.



You teamed up with Melbourne illustrator Juliet Sulejmani as opposed to curating a collection of photos, how come?


I first noticed The Juliet Report via instagram and approached her. I liked her cool yet different fashion illustrations. I’m done with the fancy pretty brushstrokes we see in illos – she brings grunt, originality and a kooky twist to the fashion scene.

Audrey Hepburn



What outfits should we have at the ready this Autumn/Winter?


A biker leather jacket, a velvet clutch, leopard print ankle boots, a Bianca Spender ruffle dress and anything by Wheels and Dollbaby.



Given the book celebrates all moments that were ahead just a stitch of their time, is there a particular outfit, shape or piece today that you can see become an all-time iconic fashion item?


I would say keep your eyes on Saint Laurent’s new creative director Anthony Vaccarello. He’s bringing a concert-ready attire to the fashion runway– further proof that rock’n’roll continues to inspire couture – think Bowie glitter, ruffled gowns with 80s excess, chunky rose chokers and knee high boots. It’s feminine, tough and very now. He is writing history as I type.


Groundbreaking Fashion COVER‘Groundbreaking Fashion: 100 Iconic Moments

by Jane Rocca and illustrated by Juliet Sulejmani.

Published by Smith Street Books, RRP $29.99′. Buy it here.


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