Dress - Day dress
From the Collection of Brighton Historical Society First Floor Brighton Arts and Cultural Centre (Old Brighton Town Hall) Corner Carpenter and Wilson Streets Brighton Victoria
- This c1872 grey and white silk pin stripe dress features a high round neckline with eleven decorative blue silk buttons and secured by a concealed line of fifteen hook and eyelet closure. The bodice has decorative blue and green braid over the shoulder and bust and across the base of the bodice. The dress features three darts shaping the dress to the body. The sleeve is cut high but relatively full and tapers to the elbow then flares again in Pagoda like style but ends at the wrist or hand. The skirt opens over the left hip and features a pocket over the right hip. The skirt at the front finishes at the ankle or just above the ground. At the back the bodice features panels shaping the dress into the body and pleated and flared from the waist. At the small of the back is a decorative bow with pinked edges and decorative braid. The skirt at the back is uncommon in shape most likely as the result of modification. It appears to have had panels removed reducing its original fullness. It has a tape inside the back of the skirt that would draw the skirt in creating a bustle like shape . It would appear that the dress had been modified in order to create a more fashionable silhouette most probably in circa 1872. There are three separate pieces of fabric. One is made up into a semi-circular over-skirt trimmed with blue braid and fringing. Two pieces are unpicked skirt gores, one still has its cotton lining attached.
- This dress was donated as having belonged to Annie Elizabeth McLean born in Argyllshire, Scotland in 1853. This dress appears to have been originally made in c1855 and then modified in c1872. This indicates that the dress would most probably have been originally made for someone else and acquired by Annie Elizabeth McLean. In 1855 Annie was 2 whereas in 1870 she was 19 years old.
- Annie Elizabeth McClean arrived in the Colony of Victoria from Argyllshire Scotland with her aunts and cousins in 1867 aged thirteen and a half. She had been educated in Scotland and eventually became a personal maid and then companion to the Renwick girl, daughters of Samuel Renwick of Brighton, Australia. She returned to England, Scotland and again to Victoria in the service of the Renwick family. She left the Renwick family upon the marriage of the youngest Renwick daughter. She then went to the household of Sir William and Lady McCullough until she left to be married in 1878.
- 9 Oct 2018 at 1:52PM