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  1. Sisters of Mercy Reception Dress
    1934 - 1935

    Mercy Heritage Centre

    This dress is very significant as it is the only original Reception dress held in the collection of the Mercy Heritage Centre in Brisbane. A Reception dress is important to the Postulant and is worn at a discreet religious ceremony to signify her transition to Novice Sister.    As part of religious training a female enters the Sisters of Mercy as a Postulant –this is a female who aspires to the religious life but who has not yet been admitted into ... more

  2. Queensland Policewoman's Winter Uniform 1965 - 1970
    1965 - 1970

    Queensland Police Museum

    This complete uniform is a significant piece in the Queensland Police Museum collection as there were only five female sergeants between 1965 and 1970. Additionally, the uniform represents an important period in the history of the Queensland Police Force. Female officers were only first sworn into the Force in 1965. This was the first step towards equality in the Queensland Police Force.  The long-sleeve blouse, tunic, skirt and hat are all in either excellent or good condition. There is ... more

  3. 1930s Gertrude Mary Vile 'make-do-and-mend' dress
    1920 - 1930

    The Australian Museum of Clothing and Textiles

    The Gertrude Mary Vile Depression-era dress is a cream Fuji silk dress, with an Eton collar, a patch pocket and buttons down front, from the 1920s though patched into the 30s. Gertrude, who lived at Gosforth, a rural community about fourteen kilometres from Maitland, patched and darned what was initially a best dress into a house dress, and it survives Gertrude as a statement on the hardship the people of Maitland and Australia at large experienced during the Great Depression ... more

  4. 1870s House of Worth evening dress
    1870 - 1879

    Grossmann House - National Trust of NSW

    This alleged House of Worth evening dress, an aqua taffeta dress, heavily hand-embroidered in cream and multi-coloured medallions and pearl-trimmed, and owned and worn by Anna Maria Eales, is a historically significant item of clothing. Whilst it is not well provenanced (the dress’ origin is indeterminate), and whilst it is in poor condition, it’s the subject of an interesting narrative, and characteristic of the profusely and exaggeratedly decorated House of Worth dresses of its time. Historically, the dress is an ... more

  5. 1910s Emily McDonald net dress
    1910 - 1915

    The Australian Museum of Clothing and Textiles

    This well provenanced, historically and aesthetically significant full-length white bobbinet dress is a rare example of a wartime special occasion dress. Entirely handmade with cotton bobbinet and cotton organdy, it is a fine demonstration of John Heathcote's bobbinet machine, patented in 1809, which enabled fine net to be easily produced in wide widths for dresses, which could be hand-embroidered to achieve individual and attractive effects. Net dresses were worn with underdresses of plain silk in white or in a ... more

  6. Margaret Ewin's wedding dress
    1904

    Millthorpe Golden Memories Museum

    This bridal gown was worn for a society wedding which brought together two pioneering families, the Ewins and the Kinghams, from the Millthorpe district. Margaret Ewin was 27 when she married James Kingham on July 27, 1904. They were married by Archdeacon W. King-Howell at St Matthews Anglican Church, Greghamstown. The winter wedding in this region required a warmer fabric, hence the wool challis which would have been expensive. It is stylishly decorated with lace and silk ribbon, with a ... more

  7. 1880 Ada Petherbridge (nee Bonarius) wedding dress
    1880

    Grossmann House - National Trust of NSW

    The Ada Petherbridge (nee Bonarius) wedding dress, a commendably provenanced cream taffeta dress, trimmed with blonde lace pleated trim and wax orange blossoms, worn on the 19th of October 1880, is a historically and aesthetically significant item of clothing of local Maitland derivation. Historically it is an archetypal example of the white wedding dress, popularised by Queen Victoria. Both Queen Victoria and Ada had orange blossoms, a symbol of fertility, trimming their dresses (Queen Victoria had blossoms trimming her wreath ... more

  8. Prue Acton Ski Suit for Australian Team at Innsbruck Winter Olympics
    1975

    Thredbo Historical Society and Ski Museum

    “Australia’s ‘golden girl of fashion’ Prue Acton became famous because her bold designs reflected the moods of her times, the 1960s to 1980s.  Amongst Ms Acton’s many achievements was the design of uniforms for every Australian Summer and Winter Olympic contingent between 1976 and 1988 – for which she won international accolades.  Ms Acton sought to divert attention from green towards gold (with black or navy blue) as the recommended national palette, but the attempt finally failed with ... more

  9. Lilac Edwardian silk gown
    1900 - 1904

    Boorowa And District Historical Society

    The Hume family of Tarengo although not descendants, were directly related to Hamilton Hume the explorer and were an affluent grazier family living in New South Wales at the turn of the century. The gowns were probably worn by Amelia Hume Amelia Hume (Huon) (1856-1905) who was married to Frederick William Hume (1845-1904) the nephew of Hamilton Hume. The dresses are excellent examples of Edwardian fashion and were probably the last gowns Amelia owned before her death in 1905. They demonstrate ... more

  10. Queensland Policewoman's Summer Uniform 1965 - 1970
    1965 - 1970

    Queensland Police Museum

    Females officially entering into the Queensland Police Force is not only a significant story in the gender history of Queensland, but represents the social and historical progression of the Queensland Police. The Queensland Policewoman's summer uniform was the first uniform to be assigned to women in Queensland. The short, drab olive green dress came with a belt to gather the waist and add a more feminine flair. It is not a decorative piece, its main function was to act ... more

  11. Estonian child's National Costume
    1939 - 1945

    The Oaks Historical Society

    This costume is representative of a traditional Estonian folk dress from Tallinn. It is particularly significant though as it was re-created under extraordinary circumstances: during the second world war by an Estonian inmate of a displaced persons camp in Geislingen, Germany. The intricate method of reconstructing the skirt by sewing repurposed threads onto a backing made out of linen flour bags, as well as using leftover flour bags to alter the shirt, demonstrates how the mentality of 'making do' pervaded ... more

  12. Child's 1885 silk dress
    1885

    Albury Library Museum

    This child's purple/blue silk dress features in a photograph of 4 year old Pauline Ries in 1940. The dress was donated to the Albury City Collection by Sister Clare Ries, among several other objects. It is not known who owned or wore this dress, possibly a member of the Ries and Dallinger families of Albury. Both of these families came to Albury with several other German families in the late 1850s. It has been suggested that it is ... more