Historical information

Established by local designer Ralph Samuel, Hartnell of Melbourne was one of the leading high-end Flinders Lane fashion houses of the 1950s and 1960s. This dress still has its original store tag attached, which tells us that it cost 39 pounds, 19 shillings and sixpence - a large amount of money to spend on a dress in 1952. Adjusted for inflation, this price tag equates to approximately $1,480 in today's money.

Physical description

Mauve tucked and folded cocktail dress with twin shoulder straps, ruched bodice and gathered skirt. Rose detail on each hip. Tulle underskirt. Swing tag still attached to back zip.

Inscriptions & markings

Label, white with blue text: "Exclusively yours, / Hartnell / REGD / MELBOURNE" Swing tag: "THIS GARMENT is made from finest material and designed for the fashion conscious woman / NO. 3633/332 / SIZE SSW / PRICE 39"19"6 / Hartnell of Melbourne Pty. Ltd. / Almond Pink"