Story: Fashion and textile design

VIRUS sperm print dress

VIRUS sperm print dress

Mike Brookfield and Rick Read started the fashion label VIRUS in 1986. Brookfield was a textile designer and his garments were walking canvases. By the end of the 1980s VIRUS clothes were stocked in prestigious American department stores and worn by rock stars like Madonna.

The sperm print was one of the label's best-known designs. Steve Nixon, who collaborated with Brookfield as part of the Fetus Productions art collective, designed the first incarnation of the sperm print in 1984. Brookfield produced the version that was made up into this dress by his wife Sabrina at VIRUS's factory in Karangahape Road, Auckland, in 1987. 

About this item

Private collection, Fran McGowan

This item has been provided for private study purposes (such as school projects, family and local history research) and any published reproduction (print or electronic) may infringe copyright law. It is the responsibility of the user of any material to obtain clearance from the copyright holder.

Courtesy of VIRUS

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How to cite this page:

Kerryn Pollock, 'Fashion and textile design - Creative freedom, 1970s and 1980s', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, http://www.TeAra.govt.nz/en/photograph/44300/virus-sperm-print-dress (accessed 29 April 2017)

Story by Kerryn Pollock, published 22 Oct 2014