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. Most of the hats in the collection were created by milliners for women. There are however 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

A circular black velvet brimless woman’s hat with a ribbed grosgrain strap at the back. The hat includes a small label identifying the maker as R&M Dower of 146 High Street, Kew.

Inscriptions & markings

Label: "Phone WM8527 / R&M Dower. 146 High Street Kew"