Historical information

Purchased from an opportunity shop, this dress is a stage costume bearing the label of Bonn & Mackenzie, a prominent UK costume designer from the 1950s to the 1970s. The dress appears to have been worn by June Bronhill (1929-2005), a prominent Australian opera singer and actress, whose name is handwritten on the label.

Born June Mary Gough, she began using the stage name of Bronhill in 1952 in honour of her NSW home town of Broken Hill as a form of thanks to the local community who had helped raise money to send her overseas for professional training as a singer. Bronhill trained in London and gained early exposure with the English National Opera. She went on to star in many theatrical productions in Australia and the UK. She moved back to Australia permanently in 1976, and in 1980 was cast in her first television role as Mrs Crawford in the Australian version of 'Are You Being Served?'.

Physical description

Full-length short-sleeved dress of white cotton, lace and nylon, featuring elaborately ruffled sleeves and vertical stripes of lace on the skirt and bodice. The dress is open at the back, fastening with hooks and cotton ties to facilitate quick costume changes.

Inscriptions & markings

Label, white cotton with red text: "BONN & MACKENZIE LTD. / TEMPLE BAR 1393". Handwritten underneath in black pen: "JUNE BRONHILL".