The Dressmaker – A costume exhibition
Last week I attended the opening of “The Dressmaker’ costume exhibition hosted by the National Trust of Victoria at the opulent and befitting Ripponlea Estate.
Author Rosalie Ham was the first of two key speakers. Her novel of love, hate and haute couture was inspired by a small country town, her mother’s sewing machine and a greater understanding of human nature and its connection with fashion and clothing.
You’ll thank me for the refresher basically alleged murderess Tilly Dunnage played by Kate Winslet returns to her childhood country town as a stylish couturier to care for her estranged mother (Judy Davis). Putting her skills to good use she transforms the frumpy locals but not without entwining her own revenge.
In the fictional town of Dungatar the penetrating outback sun beams over the dusty landscape, it’s just as important as the iconic football matches and the seamlessly vintage detail that was adopted by award winning costume designer Marion Boyce in creating artful and luxurious Parisian inspired costumes.
The exhibition was officially opened by Boyce who said she initially found it challenging to work with the outback setting until “All of a sudden these birds started flying into this landscape and I thought, oh, that’s perfect, the women are preening themselves, they’re peacocks and so a lot of the designs use elements of birds and that iconography.”
Those same preening peacocks are part of fifty costumes now on display shining beautifully against the backdrop of the searing Australian heat.
Movie lovers and fashionistas have until July 31 to view this iconic collection at Ripponlea House and Gardens. For more information visit The Dressmaker Costume Exhibition website.