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  1. Annette Kellerman costume
    1914 - 1920

    Museum of Applied Arts and Sciences

    This two-piece costume belonged to the famous Australian, Annette Kellerman, whose childhood love of swimming not only saw her overcome Rickets, but become a world champion swimmer and famous star of stage and screen. As a swimmer, Annette began setting new sprint and distance records when she was sixteen, and in 1905 she became the first woman to attempt the English Channel. Her talent for diving and dancing (particularly ballet) became the basis of an underwater mermaid act which she ... more

  2. Evening dress made by David Jones Limited
    1920 - 1926

    Museum of Applied Arts and Sciences

    Born in Noumea, New Caledonia, in 1900, May Camille Dezarnaulds migrated to Sydney with her family in 1912 and lived in the harbour-side suburb of Double Bay until 1923 when she married the Hon. G.R.W. McDonald, local member for Bungara New South Wales. She purchased this custom-made dress from David Jones, probably to wear as her 'going-away' outfit when departing for her honeymoon. The garment would have been selected from a David Jones catalogue featuring a list and ... more

  3. National costume, Czechoslavakia
    1940

    Museum of Applied Arts and Sciences

    This women's Hanacky Kroj dating from 1940 is a well provenenced example of traditional dress from the Hana region of Moravia in Czechoslavakia. Worn and partly made by Olga Kupkova the dress includes twelve components, intricately constructed and embroidered by specialist seamstresses and needleworkers, reflecting the time, expense and variety of skills that go into creating Hanacky Kroj. The style and design reflect the importance placed on communicating and celebrating regional identity through dress. In addition its elaborate composition ... more

  4. Boys dress worn by John Marsden
    1802 - 1803

    Museum of Applied Arts and Sciences

    This dress was worn by John Marsden (1801 - 1803), the fourth of Reverend Samuel and Elizabeth Marsden's eight children. Reverend Samuel Marsden was an important figure in colonial Australia.  As the chaplain to New South Wales, Marsden endeavoured, with some success, to improve the standard of morals and manners.  This dress is a rare example of children's everyday wear from the early 1800s. Such an unassuming garment would not normally survive, but two-year-old John was wearing ... more

  5. Ball gown possibly worn by Ann Marsden
    1822

    Museum of Applied Arts and Sciences

    This 'Empire' style muslin gown and petticoat is one of a number of costumes in the Museum's collection that were worn by the Marsden family, and is believed to have been worn by Ann Marsden (1794 - 1885) to the Government House Ball in 1822. Ann was the daughter of Elizabeth Marsden and Reverend Samuel Marsden, a prominent figure in colonial New South Wales. On 1 January 1793, Marsden accepted the appointment as assistant to the chaplain of New South ... more

  6. Day dress made by David Jones Limited
    1890 - 1900

    Museum of Applied Arts and Sciences

    This dress is significant as the earliest labelled David Jones outfit in the Powerhouse Museum's collection. It was made by David Jones in Sydney about 1895. Established in 1838, David Jones is the oldest department store in the world still trading today. By 1880, fashionable ready-made clothing could be bought from city department stores like David Jones and Anthony Horderns. Alternatively, a length of fabric could be bought and made up into an outfit like this one for the ... more

  7. Mourning dress probably worn by Amelia Hackney
    1852 - 1862

    Museum of Applied Arts and Sciences

    This dress is significant because of its connection to the Hackney family, who became important members of the rural communities in the area south of Bathurst through their operation of general stores. General stores were an important economic and cultural resource for rural communities, providing not only goods, but also a link to metropolitan centres and the large department stores, as well as overseas trade. The Wongs also offered interest-free credit and free delivery. This dress is also significant because ... more

  8. 1860s Purple Grey Silk Women's Possible Half Mourning Dress
    1863 - 1865

    National Institute of Dramatic Art

    This purple grey day dress is estimated to originate from approximately 1863-65. It is the only possible half mourning dress in the NIDA Costume Research Collection and it was purchased from the Banana Room in Adelaide 1999. This garment is significant as it is an excellent example of possible mourning dress that is in good condition, and demonstrates good craftsmanship as the garment is sewn completely by hand. This dress has led to several points of research, which gave insight into ... more

  9. Ted Docker's Wool Suit and Scarf
    1930 - 1940

    Museum of Applied Arts and Sciences

    Ted Docker's suit is a fine example of Australian menswear from the 1930s. Ted Docker was a founding member of the Communist Party of Australia, formed in 1920. The suit is said to have been made by the Communist Party of Australia's own tailor, Tim Stillman, a suggestion supported by the fact that the suit is professionally made, yet has no label. The suit was donated to the Powerhouse Museum collections by Ted's son John Docker in ... more

  10. Berlei remedial corset reference sample
    1932 - 1934

    Museum of Applied Arts and Sciences

    This corset is part of the much larger Berlei Collection, which contains underwear and corsetry from 1869 to 1980s. Most of the underwear in the collection was designed and made by Berlei in either Australia or England, while pieces that predate the company were part of Berlei's own collection of historical undergarments. The Berlei Collection reflects the changing nature of women's fashion in Australia, and represents the history of a highly successful Australian company and all its achievements ... more

  11. Berlei historic corset
    1885 - 1890

    Museum of Applied Arts and Sciences

    This corset is part of the much larger Berlei Collection, which contains underwear and corsetry from 1869 to 1980s. Most of the underwear in the collection was designed and made by Berlei in either Australia or England. This corset predates the company and is thought to have been part of Berlei's own collection of historical undergarments. The Berlei Collection reflects the changing nature of women's fashion in Australia, and represents the history of a highly successful Australian company ... more

  12. Berlei promotional daisy bra and panties
    1970

    Museum of Applied Arts and Sciences

    This bikini is part of the much larger Berlei Collection, which contains underwear and corsetry from 1869 to 1980s. Most of the underwear in the collection was designed and made by Berlei in either Australia or England, while pieces that predate the company were part of Berlei's own collection of historical undergarments. The Berlei Collection reflects the changing nature of women's fashion in Australia, and represents the history of a highly successful Australian company and all its achievements ... more