Historical information

This item is part of the Di Reidie collection. Diane Reidie was a much loved volunteer and President of Brighton Historical Society from 1999 until 2016. Originally from New Zealand, Di and her family lived in Male Street, Brighton for many years. A vibrant and energetic person with a zest for life and a gift for bringing people together, Di was a friend to many in the Bayside community and active in local community organisations. Her tireless work as President of BHS saw her named Bayside Citizen of the Year in 2008. As a seller and collector of vintage clothing, she was passionate about fashion history; one of her many enduring contributions to BHS was her extensive work in preserving, developing and promoting the Society's costume collection.

In 2018-19, Di donated more than one hundred items from her personal vintage clothing collection to the Society. The collection, which includes clothing, hats, handbags and shoes from local and international designers, is representative of Di's wide-ranging interests, colourful personality, creativity, humour and love of fashion and travel.

Of all the items Di donated to the Society, this four-piece Easton Pearson outfit was her favourite. When she bought it around 1997-98, it was the first time she had spent a large amount of money on clothing, and she thought it only fitting to throw a suitably elegant party at which to wear it. James Cameron's hit movie 'Titanic' had just been released, and upon discovering the recipe book 'Last Dinner On the Titanic: Menus and Recipes from the Great Liner', Di was inspired to host a Titanic-themed party for her friends. Held at her home in Brighton in 1998, the event included a string quartet, an eleven-course meal prepared entirely by Di, and a life boat in the backyard swimming pool.

Physical description

A four piece outfit consisting of a blouse/cardigan, camisole, skirt and wrap.

Double-layered silk wrap with an outer layer of silk chiffon. Both ends feature and embroidered band of brown and black cotton, copper wire, and copper glass beads. Camisole of black and copper shot polyester rayon with wide shoulder straps and small shoulder pads. Blouse of brown silk chiffon, with a v-neck and eleven silk-covered buttons and loops at centre front. Patch pockets over front hip and full length sleeves. The neckline and sleeve edges are trimmed with copper-coloured glass beads. Full-length double-layered straight skirt with black and copper shot polyester rayon lining and silk chiffon overskirt. The skirt secures centre back with a nylon zip and botton closure. The skirt features a centre front embroidered panel of brown and black cotton leaf and flower motifs, with copper wire and copper glass beads.

Inscriptions & markings

manufacturer's label: "Oh! Easton Pearson", "Pure Silk", "Polyester Rayon", Care label, "M"