As the country’s best-known performance poet, Sam Hunt's visual image is cemented in popular imagination by his tousled hair and iconic clothing – straight-legged, skinny black trousers named Foxton Straights and an open-necked shirt, with a loose open waistcoat. Oliver Stead has described his art practice: "A bard in the truest sense of the itinerant minstrel, Hunt’s turangawaewae [place to stand] is the public bar. Touring the pubs with bands of musos and poets, he is himself one of the national icons." In keeping with the on-the-road performance lifestyle of a troubadour, Sam himself named the trousers 'Foxton Straights', after the long straight stretch of State Highway 1 near Foxton. He has had them custom-made ever since store fashions shifted to a wider-legged cut for men’s trousers. Until the 2011 earthquakes in Christchurch devastated her Lyttleton premises, Caro Allison made these trousers for him. Caro is the great-granddaughter of Kate Patterson whose mother of the bride dress features in the Black in Fashion exhibition. Read more about wearing the colour black in the New Zealand Fashion Museum publication Black: The history of black in fashion, society and culture in New Zealand.
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