Carabost Cup dance costume worn by Pauline Kenyon

Contributed by: Museum of the Riverina

Pauline Kenyon - Carabost Cup dress Carabost Cup dress Skirt detail Bodice detail Pauline Kenyon, glamour shot, 1942
  • Australian dress register ID:

    47
  • Owner:

    Museum of the Riverina
  • Owner registration number:

    BGS2005.34 a-e
  • Date range:

    1944 - 1946
  • Place of origin:

    Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
  • Gender:

    Female
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Object information

Significance statement

Historic significance

The Pauline Harvey (nee Peggy Kenyon) collection is considerable, and comprises certificates, trophies, programs, photographs, dance costumes (c. 1940s-80s) and domestic costume (including Pauline's two wedding gowns).

All the objects in this collection are of historic significance as they relate to Pauline's lifelong involvement with dance (both locally and nationally), and are evidence of her involvement in this profession as both an amateur and professional. The certificates, trophies and programs also relate to the City of Wagga Wagga Eisteddfod, particularly during the World War II era.

One costume in this collection was worn by Paul Boyd, a Wagga dancer who went on to dance on the international stage during the 1970s and 1980s. This piece, designed and made by Pauline, tells her story in the role of teacher, mentor and costume designer.

The costumes which date to World War II (excluding the Carabost Cup tap dance costume) were made by Pauline's mother, Mrs Kenyon. The making and trimming of these costumes during the war presented Pauline's mother with problems in regards to the rationing restrictions placed on the acquisition of luxury fabric and trims. Several 'under the counter' deals were apparently made to secure the sequins for one costume, whilst others incorporated pieces of household linen into their fabric. Some of the costumes needed to be resized and adapted over time due to such shortages.

The Pauline Harvey collection provides a rare glimpse into the world of amateur performance in Wagga Wagga during World War II, and has strong interpretative potential for telling the stories of entertainment, costume design, wartime rationing and the role of entertainment in regional centres during World War II.

Author: Michelle Maddison, .

Description

Tap dance costume worn by Pauline Kenyon, comprising:

a. Dress

Tutu-style costume, with gathered, layered skirt and sleeveless, fitted bodice. Black satin and tulle, with gold metallic braid and silver sequin trim. Centre back opening, hook and eye fastenings.

b-c. Fingerless gloves (x2)

Black satin and tulle, with tulle ruffle and applied sequins.

d-e. Size 5 gold tap shoes (x2)

History and Provenance

Births, deaths, marriages, children or family information

Pauline Kenyon (Harvey) began her dancing career in Wagga Wagga at five years of age. Ballet, tap, clog, national, demi-character, song and dance, Irish and Highland dancing and acrobatics were all taught to Pauline at the dance studio of Miss Madge Wallace. Along with the studio's annual concert, Pauline also performed in the City of Wagga Wagga Eisteddfod.

In 1945, Pauline successfully auditioned as a dancer at the Tivoli Theatre in Sydney.

Pauline's professional career began in 1946, and she went on to perform in stage productions in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide, Hobart and New Zealand.

Pauline returned permanently to Wagga Wagga in 1954, and began a new career as a dance teacher. Today, Pauline still performs in the chorus of the Timeless Tappers, a group of women aged between 40 and 80 who perform at nursing homes and concerts throughout Wagga Wagga.

Do you have any stories or community information associated with this?

This tap dancing costume was made especially for Pauline in Sydney (most probably ordered by her dance teacher, Miss Wallace). It was worn by Pauline for three consecutive years, when she competed in the Wagga Wagga Eisteddfod Carabost Cup. Pauline won the cup in 1945, and came in Second place in 1944 and 1946.

How does this garment relate to the wider historical context?

This costume is a good example of the type of costumes worn by competitors in the Wagga Wagga Eisteddfod during the 1940s.

  1. Place of origin:

    Sydney, New South Wales, Australia

  2. Owned by:

    Pauline Kenyon, 1944-46

  3. Worn by:

    Pauline Kenyon

  4. Occasion(s):

    Wagga Wagga Eisteddfod - Carabost Cup competition, 1944-46

  5. Made for:

    Pauline Kenyon

Trimmings / Decoration

Silver sequin trim and applied sequin decoration

Ribbon

Black velvet ribbon shoulder straps

Braiding

Gold metallic braid

Fibre / Weave

Black tulle tutu-style dance costume with gold metallic braid and silver sequins.

  1. Natural dye
  2. Synthetic dye

Manufacture

Alterations

The costume was let-out as Pauline matured - a black cotton panel was been sewn onto the back of the bodice between where the original hooks and eyes attached. Black velvet ribbon straps replaced the original tulle ones.

  1. Hand sewn
  2. Machine sewn
  3. Knitted
  4. Other

Cut

  1. Bias
  2. Straight

Fastenings

  1. Hook and eye
  2. Lacing
  3. Buttons
  4. Zip
  5. Drawstring

Dress Themes

Performance costume - Carabost Cup tap dance, Wagga Wagga Eisteddfod.

Additional material

Other related objects

Pauline Harvey collection. This substantial collection includes trophies, paper based material, ledgers from local business the Oxford Furnishing Company, dance costumes (tap, jazz, ballroom), wedding dresses and children's clothes - many handmade by Pauline herself. The collection also includes Pauline's original make-up box, handmade by her grandfather for her when she became a Tivoli dancer. The Carabost Cup trophy awarded to Pauline in 1945 is also in the collection.

Wagga Wagga Eisteddfod Society (WWES) collection. Comprising a large number of WWES trophies and programmes.

Condition

The tulle is very fragile and brittle. The bottom hem of the costume is frayed and uneven.

State

  1. Excellent
  2. Good
  3. Fair
  4. Poor

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