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  1. Annette Kellerman brand one piece swimming tights and silk overdress
    1910 - 1920

    Australian National Maritime Museum

    These black Annette Kellerman brand one piece swimming tights and silk overdress are significant because they are representative of the transition from restrictive to modern swimwear. The overdress still features a skirt to preserve modesty in public when out of the water, but the design allows for much greater freedom of movement than previous styles. Well into the 1890s, women were sewing weights into the hems of their smock-like bathing gowns to prevent the garment from floating up and revealing ... more

  2. Full length Top Coat
    1942 - 1943

    Private collectors

    This coat and hat were worn by Nydia Ede, campaigner, volunteer and local politician in Broken Hill. Nydia formed the Women’s Auxiliary Branch of the ALP in Broken Hill and served as its Secretary, Treasurer and President, in which capacity she campaigned for women’s rights, particularly the issue of equal pay for equal work. Her political efforts culminated in her election to the Broken Hill City Council in 1962. In the tightly union controlled mining industry this was an important ... more

  3. Ada Cummings' Lace Blouse
    1900 - 1908

    Private collectors

    This white lace and net blouse was made and worn by Ada Cummings, nee Owen. Ada was born in 1882, the second daughter of Stanley and Catherine Owen of Indigo, Victoria. She was born during the gold mining era and her father was the owner of the local store, hotel and post office on the diggings at Indigo. Ada's mother, Catherine, taught her to sew at a young age. This blouse is a fine example of lace, detailed design ... more

  4. Australian Army Medical Women's Service (AAMWS) jacket worn by Jean Kennedy
    1942

    Port Macquarie Historical Society

    This women’s army jacket was worn by Port Macquarie woman Jean Kennedy who enlisted in the Australian Army Medical Women’s Service in 1943. Jean worked in the local chemist shop before enlisting and was one of thirty women residing locally to enlist in the women’s services. A number of local women living outside the Hastings area also enlisted. Like many young women Jean wanted to contribute to the war effort and joined the Port Macquarie Voluntary Aid Detachment to gain ... more

  5. 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

  6. Wedding dress worn by Lena Campbell, nee Nicholls
    1908 - 1909

    Port Macquarie Historical Society

    This is a historically and socially significant and highly valued garment within the Port Macquarie Historical Society's extensive costume collection. It was made by a local woman Maude Keena (nee Cleaver) and worn by Lena (Selina) Nicholls [1889-1973] at her marriage to Joe Campbell [1874-1959] on 10 February 1909, Lena's 20th birthday at the Nicholls family home, 'Carlton', Hamilton (later known as Hibbard), Port Macquarie. The maker of the dress and the costs of the fabric used were ... more

  7. Ecclesiastical vestment
    1930 - 1940

    The Australian Museum of Clothing and Textiles

    Little is know of the provenance of this particular garment other than where it was found after the 1955 Maitland Flood, once of the worst natural disasters in Australia in the 20th Century. The object itself shows some signs that it may have been made during a time of want by resourceful local women who sewed for the church. Traditionally eccesiastical dress would be made by an specialist Eccesiastical tailor  most probably in a major city. It is difficult to ... more

  8. Mina Wylie's Swimming Costume
    1910 - 1912

    Randwick District and Historical Society

    This navy silk swimming costume was worn by Wilhemina (Mina) Wylie. One of the earliest Australian female swimmers to compete at an international level, notably winning a Silver Medal at the 1912 Stockhholm Olympic Games (100m Freestyle) in addition to winning 115 State and National Swimming Titles and holding world records in freestyle, breaststroke and backstroke. Though often overshadowed by fellow swimmer Fanny Durack, Wylie was nevertheless a successful sportswoman in her own right. Wylie and Durack's representation of ... more

  9. 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

  10. Mina Wylie's Olympic Blazer
    1912

    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

  11. Maternity dress
    1820 - 1830

    Riversdale National Trust

    It is a rare example of early nineteenth century dress. The cotton print is vibrant and in very good condition and has been very carefully placed to match on seams and sleeve bands. It is entirely hand stitched. The day dress with its fall front would have facilitated maternity and breast feeding as women were frequently pregant and had many children. This style of dress was very practical and probably the norm rather than the exception at this time. Its ... more

  12. Possum skin cloak
    1839 - 1840

    Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History

    This cloak is extremely significant, as it is an extremely rare historical example of an element of the clothing of Indigenous people in South Eastern Australia that has continued importance today. There are many reasons why the majority of skin cloaks did not survive to the present day. One of these reasons was because when a person died all their belongings were disposed of, also some people were wrapped in their skin cloaks after their death. During the early colonial ... more