Historical information

R&M Dower was a major millinery partnership located at 146 High Street, Kew in the 1940s and 1950s. Examples of this millinery firm's hats are in other major public collections, including the National Gallery of Victoria.


The Kew Historical Society’s fashion and design collection is comprised of costumes, hats, shoes and personal accessories. Many of these items were purchased or handmade in Victoria; some locally in Kew. The extensive hat collection comprises items dating from the 1860s to the 1970s. While most of the hats in the collection were created by milliners for women, there are a number of early and important men’s hats in the collection. The headwear collection is particularly significant in that it includes the work of notable Australian and international milliners.

Physical description

Small brimless woman’s hat retailed by R & M Dower of High Street, Kew. The structure of the hat is made of stiffened net, covered with multicoloured flowers, leaves and a purple ribbon.

Inscriptions & markings

Label: R & M Dower, 146 High St., Kew. Phone WM 8527.