Inside the Collection

Category: Fashion, Costume and Dress

Sailor suits and the Sydney Naval Review

October 9, 2013

Margaret Simpson
With thousands of sailors in Sydney this week for the International Fleet Review, celebrating 100 years since the Australian Navy sailed into Sydney Harbour in 1913, I thought I'd write about children's sailor suits.

Mauve, an unexpected discovery

October 2, 2013

Anni Turnbull
Mauveine, the first synthetic organic chemical dye, was discovered serendipitously by William Perkin in 1856. Perkin was 18 and working with Professor August Wilhelm von Hofmann, attempting to synthesise the anti-malaria drug quinine.

Esther Williams- Neptune’s other daughter

June 19, 2013

Einar Docker
Despite being a huge star for MGM in the 1940s and 50s, Esther Williams’ most famous connection to Australia is arguably her role in the film Million Dollar Mermaid where she portrayed the early life of Annette Kellerman.

Making it: 20 years of Student Fashion

March 13, 2013

Melanie Pitkin
2013 is an important year for the Museum. Not only are we celebrating our 25th birthday, but we’re also celebrating 20 years of Student Fashion. The Student Fashion display has been held annually at the Powerhouse Museum since 1993.

The Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras 35 years on

March 2, 2013

Anni Turnbull
As Sydney throw itself into another round of Mardi Gras celebrations, it is 35 years since the initial march. Attitudes have shifted since 1978 when the first march, which was more of a political protest, attracted the wrath of the police and condemnation from certain parts of society and the media.

Flappers, Frocks and Fashioning the Modern Woman, Tales from the Australian Dress Register

February 27, 2013

Anni Turnbull
The end of the First World War saw a tremendous change in society and the horrors of war prompted people to question the rigorous social and moral values of the preceding Edwardian Era. As with any time in fashion history, contemporary concerns and thought affected fashion and so, the nineteen twenties came to symbolise in dress everything that the end of the First World War had brought about –relaxed social attitudes, greater freedoms for women, an economic and creative boom, and most importantly the turn towards ‘modernity’.

Memento Mori- Mourning dress in Australia

December 10, 2012

Anni Turnbull
Victorian mourning tradition included from commissioning clothing, jewellery and accessories, to the more unusual traditions like post mortem photography. I was interested in taking a closer look at this forgotten practice of excess in the Australian tradition, uncovering the extensive practices of widows in the Victorian era.

History Week 2012 Threads – Ted Docker – Enemy of the State?

September 13, 2012

Einar Docker
One of the more recent entries to the Australian Dress Register website has been a typical 1930’s mans’ suit from the Powerhouse Museums’ own collection. The suit belonged to Ted Docker and was acquired in 1994 by donation from his son John Docker.

History Week 2012 Threads – what Mawson wore in Antarctica

September 8, 2012

Margaret Simpson
In earlier blogs I have written with great enthusiasm about the sledges and food taken on Dr Douglas Mawson's 1911-1914 Australasian Antarctic Expedition (AAE). Now I find myself similarly excited about some of the clothing from this expedition in our collection.

Gulgong Pioneers Museum Blog

June 27, 2012

Kate Chidlow
I was contacted late last year by Marie Gorie from the Gulgong Pioneers Museum about a project she was about to undertake. She wanted to re-order the textile store. Maintaining a collection store takes a lot of time and resources and obviously, as the collection grew, some of the maintenance had slipped.