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  1. Dress made by Finney Isles & Co. Limited
    1905 - 1915

    Port Macquarie Historical Society

    This elegant dress with its elaborately decorated bodice and stylish skirt trim was made by Queensland department store, Finney Isles & Co Limited. The store became a limited company in February 1905 which helps to date this garment by its maker's label. The dress was worn by Martha Alice Gilmore (nee Stephen) [d1934]. Martha's husband Thomas Ferdinand Gilmore [1862-1913] was the Manager of Finney Isles Murwillumbah store from its opening in 1904 until his death by self administered poison in 1913. Their daughter Maud Mary [1886-1967] also worked at the store until her marriage to Edward Uptin in 1911. The Murwillumbah store was burnt down during a large fire in the town in 1907 but rebuilt and reopened in 1908. Perhaps this dress was worn at a celebratory function or ball to mark the town's rebuilding. The dress has many features of late Victorian dress, including its corseting and complex hook and eye fastenings to the bodice. The bodice is beautifully decorated with a combination of lace, net, braid, ribbon, tassels and embroidered buttons. These trims are used again on the skirt. The dress has been expertly sewn. All seams are cleanly finished, all linings intact and nothing out of place. This is consistent with a newspaper article describing the Finney Isles women's work room in 1882; "...where numerous girls were sitting at their sewing machines, working swiftly, deftly and noiselessly, except for the click of the needles as the fabrics sped beneath them...". The silk satin fabric used is starting to show signs of wear but is still in good condition evidencing the quality of the fabric which was something the company advertised. This dress ... more

  2. 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

  3. Anna King's Evening dress
    1805

    National Trust of Australia (NSW)

    This simply cut evening dress consists of short sleeves, a very high waist, sitting under the bust with a A-line skirt. Sleeves have a drawstring at the base, which creates a gathered, look when worn. The hem of the dress has a scalloped edge. The front of the skirt is slightly shorter than the back, which has a train. The whole dress is embroidered with silver 'plate' embroidery in flowered sprigs and a running floral border at the base. This ... more

  4. Tapestry woven waistcoat worn by Dugald Thomson.
    1830 - 1850

    Stanton Library

    This waistcoat is a provenanced item of men's clothing held in the North Sydney Heritage Centre costume and object collection. It is an example of clothing that was brought to Australia by settlers from Great Britain in the mid 19th century. Such items were treasured links to the family's heritage. According to the donor (and a note attached to waistcoat) the waistcoat is dated from 1800 and belonged to the Rt Hon Dugald Thomson [1849-1922] whose ancestors (the ... more

  5. Dugald Thomson's blue and cream checked waistcoat
    1830 - 1850

    Stanton Library

    This waistcoat is a provenanced item of men's clothing held by the North Sydney Heritage Centre in its costume and object collection. It is a good example of men's costume. Waistcoats were an integral part of a gentleman's outfit in the Victorian and Edwardian eras. The waistcoat belonged to Dugald Thomson, a wealthy merchant and politician. He was a member of the Free Trade party and held the seat of Warringah in the Legislative Assembly seat of ... more

  6. 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

  7. Twenties Formal Evening Dress
    1920 - 1930

    Private collectors

    Historic and aesthetic. It is a lovely example of a formal garment worn in the 1920's, requiring considerable dressmaking skills to design and complete. It is a very good example of a roaring twenties dress, few of which survive because of the sheerness of the fabric used and the heavy weights of the beads. more

  8. Grey silk and lace ankle length walking frock
    1912

    Richmond River Historical Society Inc.

    It is an example of the needlework of a young woman who was born in the last year of the nineteenth century and who loved fine clothing despite the humble life her parents lived. It helps to show the aspirations of the family and their determination to educate their daughter in dressmaking. This was considered to be a worthy attainment for a young woman who would marry and have children of her own to dress creditably. Frances' sister Jessie was ... more

  9. Silk bodice worn by Hannah Henderson
    1910

    Newcastle Museum

    Hannah Henderson's bodice, worn as part of her bridal ensemble, is a good example of late Edwardian wedding fashions. It is beautifully made, and incorporates many elements which were popular in this period into its design. These include the high neck with lace edged hem, the puffy sleeves which taper into a fitted cuff at bottom, and a rising waistline. The pleats and tucks on the front (bretelles), embroidered flowers on the front panel and also French knot decoration ... more

  10. Cotton flag dress made by Miss Amelia Ellis
    1918 - 1919

    Tinonee Historical Society

    This interesting dress was made for the Victory Parade celebrations held on Australia Day 1919 in the small town of Tinonee on the Mid North Coast of New South Wales. Communities across Australia celebrated the end of the First World War in a number of ways. Tinonee's Victory Parade included the Town Band, Boy Scouts, school children and citizens dressed in patriotic costumes such as this one made and worn by local dressmaker Miss Amelia Ellis. Australia's participation ... more

  11. Paula Stafford Bikini
    1950 - 1960

    Manly Art Gallery & Museum

    Australian designer, Paula Stafford, has been credited with introducing the bikini to Queensland in 1952. This two-piece swimsuit designed by Stafford is significant in its reflection of developments in Australian as well as international swimwear design that conflicted with traditional cultural practice. The success of Stafford's collections can be attributed to her utilisation of the media who were in frenzy over innovative beachwear design that contested conservative social morality standards. After a controversial appearance in a sarong style Stafford ... more

  12. Violet Armstrong's Life Saving Club Swimsuit
    1930 - 1945

    Manly Art Gallery & Museum

    This one piece costume belonged to Violet Smith (nee Armstrong) who during the 1920s and 1930s established herself as a champion athlete in swimming, hockey, golf, tennis, athletics and riding in Sydney. During her life Violet had a lifelong association with the Manly area and in particular the Manly Life Saving Club, where this swimsuit originates. This swimming costume is an original Manly Life Saving Club silk racing swimsuit from the 1930s. Manly Life Saving Club was established after a ... more