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When Haute Couture is not Haute Couture

December 11, 2009

Melanie Pitkin
  Which French fashion house refused to join the Chambre Syndicale de la Haute Couture Parisienne and still does not belong today (which technically means that this fashion house is not even recognised as Haute Couture in the legal sense!)?

First Powered Flight in Australia- Episode 4

December 9, 2009

Ian Debenham
Image courtesy of John Scott, 2009 Today marks the Centenary of Colin Defries's historic flight in his Wright Model A 'The Stella' at Victoria Park Racecourse on 9th December 1909. To recognise this, here is my fourth and final instalment of the saga...

Of Copenhagen, cute toys and carbon sinks

December 7, 2009

Debbie Rudder
Thinking about the UN Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen, it struck me as fitting that we have two cute Copenhagen-made wooden toys in our carbon sinks showcase in the exhibition Ecologic: creating a sustainable future.

International Day of Disability

December 4, 2009

Anni Turnbull
  Attitudes to people with a disability have shifted for the better in the last fifty years as have available technologies. I decided to research these glass eyes from our collection to link them to the exhibition ‘Living in a sensory world’ currently on in the Museum.

First Powered Flight in Australia- Episode 3

December 2, 2009

Ian Debenham
Harry Houdini, Fred Custance and the "Aviation History Wars" Aviation journalist, Jack Percival, wrote in The Sydney Morning Herald of August 7th, 1960: No special celebration is planned to mark the 50th anniversary of the first flight in a powered aeroplane in Australia...the experts can't agree to whom the honour should be given for the first true flight.

Scopitone: the iPod macro

November 30, 2009

Damian McDonald
  Video killed the radio star. Television killed the coffee bar. Or at least fatally wounded it in the 1960s. In post WWII Western Europe, the US and Australia, people were staying home to watch the telly; and milk bars, cafes, arcades and nigh clubs began to suffer.

Dior Couture Inside Out

November 27, 2009

Melanie Pitkin
To fully appreciate Haute Couture and the workmanship involved, you need to look beyond the exterior at the cut, stitching and underpinning. So, we’ve decided to turn one of our Dior garments inside out, the one we believe belonged to Mrs Elizabeth Parke Firestone (or her daughter, also called Elizabeth - thanks Bob!), which I blogged about earlier!

First Powered Flight in Australia- Episode 2

November 25, 2009

Ian Debenham
Colin Defries and the first powered flight in Australia Just four days after George made the first free heavier-than-air flight in the glider at Narrabeen, a young Englishman, Colin Defries left the ground in a Wright Model A, that he had named The Stella after his new wife, at Victoria Park race course south of Sydney.

A. A. Stewart model engines

November 23, 2009

Debbie Rudder
  Model steam engines can be very engaging, especially those carefully engineered to run on steam or, less authentically but more conveniently, on compressed air. The hobby of making model engines has long supported clubs, magazines, suppliers and competitions, and lately it has spawned dedicated websites offering kits, tools, projects and tips.

Who wore this Dior?

November 20, 2009

Melanie Pitkin
Haute Couture (or “High Fashion”), as the name suggests, is not for just anyone. It is the pinnacle of fashion, made specifically to the exact dimensions of the wearer, in high quality, luxurious fabrics, virtually all by hand (the seams are machine sewn), and a single garment can take up to 4 months to make.

Old things in new ways…

November 18, 2009

Rebecca Evans
Looking at old things in new ways is one of the Museum’s best talents. Recently while Conservation Photographer, Kate Pollard and I were photographing this beautiful Doulton vase from 1882 we quickly realised that it had a fantastic painting of Farm Cove and the Garden Palace from the same period.

First Powered Flight in Australia- Episode 1

November 16, 2009

Ian Debenham
George and Florence Taylor, the first untethered heavier-than-air flights On December 5, 1909 George Augustine Taylor became the first man in Australia to fly an untethered heavier-than-air craft.