Why Julie Bishop sparked outrage addressing an iconic London fashion event in a hot pink leather dress
- Julie Bishop wore a striking hot pink leather mini dress at London fashion event
- She was a keynote speaker at the event promoting Australian designers
- Ms Bishop claimed she was told to wear a cardigan instead of being fashionable
Julie Bishop has divided opinion after she appeared in a striking hot pink leather dress at a fashion event in London to give a speech about clothing and feminism.
The former federal foreign minister, 66, turned heads in an eye-catching buttoned mini dress and sparkly heels as she took to the stage to speak at the Sherman Centre for Cultural Ideas Fashion Hub event at London’s Design Museum on Saturday.
However, some attendees were said to be ‘privately furious’ she was named as a speaker at the prestigious event, because she once rejected being called a ‘feminist’ altogether, according to Nine newspapers’ CBD column.
Julie Bishop has divided opinions appearing in a striking hot pink leather dress at a fashion event in London
The former foreign minister, 66, spoke on fashion diplomacy and claimed her cabinet colleagues disapproved of her fashion sense and wanted her to wear a cardigan instead
During the speech, Ms Bishop talked up her contribution to equality and talked about how she was looked down upon by some colleagues for being more fashionable than other ministers.
But during her time in Parliament, Ms Bishop said: ‘I don’t find the need to self-describe in that way [as a feminist]’ and said she did not find the term useful.
Respected Australian activist and photographer Juno Gemes reportedly noted Ms Bishop was ‘a strange choice’.
Ms Bishop reportedly told the crowd her cabinet colleagues had disapproved of her fashion sense during her time in parliament and revealed she was told to wear ‘more cardigans’ when she was appointed aged care minister – an anecdote she has regularly told since leaving politics.
Ms Bishop also spoke about the power of fashion in diplomacy, noting that she learned to wear colours to reflect the place she was dealing with. That meant white in The White House, red for China.
Ms Bishop spoke on the politics of dress and talked about how she was looked down on for being fashionable by other ministers and told to wear more conservative clothing
The Sherman Centre for Culture and Ideas promoted Ms Bishop’s keynote speech with photos of her in a two-toned pink dress – but some were not happy at her involvement
The centre promoted the event with more photos of Ms Bishop in another pink dress, this time an extraordinary two-toned ruffled gown.
One of the images had Ms Bishop standing next to a giant mining dump truck.
‘The intriguing intersection of politics and fashion – delighted to speak at the Sherman Centre for Culture and Ideas in London,’ Ms Bishop wrote in an Instagram post after her speech.
She also thanked Bradley Lauten, David Jones’ personal styling suite manager, in a social media post featuring photos of herself in the dress. Designed by Leo Lin, it retails for $899 at David Jones.
Leo Lin said it designs for ‘the new era of femininity is laced with strength, fearlessness, and confidence’.
Ms Bishop retired from Australian politics in 2019, recently splitting with her long-term boyfriend, David Panton.
David Panton and Julie Bishop at the 2021 AFL Brownlow Medal at Crown Perth in September, 2021
In August, Ms Bishop said she was the ‘last person to give advice’ to anybody about breakups but that she was ‘content’ and ‘fulfilled’ with her life in Perth.
‘My life post politics has been very fulfilling,’ she said.
Ms Bishop has been keeping distracted from the recent breakup by chairing several charities and speaking at engagements around Australia.