Australian Made: 100 years of fashion [exhibition]

On Sunday, we went to see a great new exhibition on Australian fashion from 1850 to 1960. In particular, there are some extraordinarily well preserved Victorian and Edwardian gowns, some of which have labels from Australian fashion houses or dressmakers – this is quite remarkable: I’ve studied thousands of locally made garments, so can attest to the rarity of labels in clothing made prior to WW2, and especially prior to 1920.

From the website:
Drawing on the NGV Collection of Australian fashion and textiles, this exhibition examines the rise of fashion in Australia from the 1850s to 1950s, while speculating on the fashionable trends and development of an Australian style of fashion. The exhibition will include rare early examples of labelled garments from the mid nineteenth century and a range of dresses, tailored items and accessories that were made and retailed in Australia.

What: Australian Made: 100 years of fashion
Where: National Gallery of Victorian: the Ian Potter Centre, Federation Square
When: May 28th to January 23rd, 10am to 5pm (closed Tuesdays)
Cost: free


  1. Dear Nicole
    I am going to this exhibition very soon had to postpone tomorrow’s visit, I have a dress just like the one from the exhibition featured on your page, the top is the same but the skirt is different. It appears to be exactly the same materials, silk and hand made lily of the valley which have been hand stitched to the gown. There is no label on the dress. Can you tell me anything about this and whether it is valuable/rare. Cheers

  2. Hi Barbara, from memory I think the Lily of the valley is actually an embroidered fabric: but I guess that amounts to the same thing. I do know it’s a popular local label, I’ve had frocks from the same designer but the name escapes me currently.

    At the exhibition will be all the information, or you could contact the NGV directly. Sadly, the website doesn’t contain it.

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