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  1. Bodice and bolero jacket over-bodice
    1880 - 1900

    Stanton Library

    The bodice and bolero jacket over-bodice are of rare, interpretative historic and social significance. These well-tailored garments made in Australia hold historic significance as evidence of the dressmaking skills accessible in the colony during the second half of the nineteenth century and the importance placed on clothing in a society where the social position of women was judged by their dress, personal behaviour and language. As bespoke mourning apparel made from silk, they are examples of the importance of appearance ... more

  2. Cape belonging to Riverina midwife, Nurse Catherine Burke.
    1920 - 1940

    Museum of the Riverina

    As part of the Nurse Burke Collection, this garment holds historic and aesthetic significance. The long, navy blue cape, Gladstone bag and navy felt hat were powerful symbols of a profession that carried the tools to save the lives of both mother and child. Midwives were well known and respected members of the community, and with their large bag and distinctive uniform, they were instantly recognisable. Nurse Burke's cape, along with its associated collection, enables the museum to explore ... more

  3. Young Girl's Black Dress
    1855 - 1865

    Dorothy Nicol Historical Fashion Collection

    Although very little provenance information regarding this garment has survived it is, nevertheless, a very well preserved example of children's clothing in mid-nineteenth century Australia. This little girl's dress is made from black silk taffeta and is dated to the period 1855-1865. Entirely hand sewn throughout, the dress is decorated with glass buttons, black velvet ribbons, black silk-rouleaux with jet bugle beads, as well as white cotton machine-made lace and blue silk-taffeta edging.  What makes this garment ... more

  4. The Press dress worn by Mrs Matilda Butters
    1866 - 1867

    State Library of Victoria

    This dress belonged to Mrs Matilda Butters, second wife of colourful Melbourne politician and businessman James Stewart Butters. It was first worn at the mayor's fancy dress ball in September 1866, held to celebrate the arrival of the new governor of Victoria, Sir J Manners-Sutton. The dress was constructed from panels of silk printed with the front pages of Melbourne newspapers. The panels were sewn together to form a bodice, sash and full-length crinoline skirt with train. The skirt ... more

  5. Protective clothing worn on Mawson's Australasian Antarctic Expedition, 1911-1913, by Charles Francis Laseron
    1911 - 1913

    Museum of Applied Arts and Sciences

    These items of protective clothing were worn by Charles Francis Laseron who worked as a taxidermist, biological collector and Mawson's general scientific assistant on Australasian Antarctic Expedition (AAE) between 1912 and 1913. They are part of a collection of protective clothing worn by Laseron on the AA expedition and are indicative of some of the equipment necessary to survive and work in the harsh conditions of Antarctica. Along with related items in the collection, they signify Australia's immense contribution ... more

  6. Topaz Silk Brocade Dress
    1845 - 1850

    Walcha and District Historical Society

    It is not possible to find the original wearer or wearers of this dress. It is significant both because of the exceptional quality of the fabric, and its excellent condition despite being at least 150 years old. It is also an example of the large 'bell-shaped' skirts fashionable from 1840-1865. After Miss Jean Crawford died (1892-1978), this garment was donated to the Walcha Historical Society by her niece in Armidale, NSW, in 1979. Jean was born at "Yarooga", Walcha Road, NSW and ... more

  7. Black silk evening dress
    1920 - 1929

    Private collectors

    This sleeveless, black silk sheath evening gown, with asymmetrical beading, flared skirt and scalloped hem belonged to Wendy Hucker (nee O’Donnell)’s mother Hylda Maria Sophia Australia Adelskold, and was presumably worn in the 1920s or early 30s. Hylda, born Melbourne, Victoria, 1887, one of seven children. She married Charles Joseph O’Donnell, a farmer, and bore nine children- Gustaf, Joan, Claes, John, Charles, Esther, Peter, Paul and Wendy. “Hylda and Charlie [as he was affectionately known] were real people, of ... more

  8. 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

  9. Mina Wylie's Olympic Blazer

    Randwick District and Historical Society

    Blazer worn by Wilhemina (Mina) Wylie, as a member of the Australiasia Team to the 1912 Olympic Games in Stockholm. This was the first Olympics where women were permitted to compete in swimming events, and Wylie herself won the Silver Medal in the 100m Freestyle (Fanny Durack won Gold). Given the blazer's association with both a prominent Australian sportswoman and a significant milestone in Olympic history, this garment can be confidently considered as historically signficant. The blazer also illustrated ... more

  10. Wylie's Baths Swimming Costume
    1900 - 1910

    Randwick District and Historical Society

    Standard issue, one-size-fits-all bathing suit hired out to patrons of Wylie's Baths; a garment which demonstrates considerable historical signficance because of its unusual design. In an era when the construction and style of bathing suits was strongly distinguished between men and women, this garment appears to be unisex, with the only part which adjusts according to the shape of the wearer is the drawstring around the neck. The garment nevertheless reflects contemporary concerns with maintaining modesty over mobility whilst ... more

  11. 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

  12. Onslow Madras Cavalry Officer's Uniform

    Camden Historical Society

    It is rare to find a superbly provenanced uniform from the 19th century in such good condition. The uniform is of great significance, being connected to an influential colonial family from the Camden region of New South Wales. The Onslow uniform dates from 1882 and was owned and worn by Francis Montgomery Onslow who was born in India in 1843. In the Madras Cavalry Onslow took part in the Abyssinian war in 1867-68 with the Land Transport Train and was awarded a ... more