Historical information

This dress belonged to Brighton local Paula Folks, who wore it to her niece's wedding at St John's, Toorak in 1970. It also bears a second connection to Brighton through the label, Elegance, a Flinders Lane fashion house co-owned by Rudy Brill and Brighton resident Robert Salter.

Paula was a longtime manager and owner of Pearl's Boutique, a well-known local fashion boutique established by Elsebe Wilhelmine Wills and Pearl Murray in 1965. The two friends had grown up together in Horsham, and decided to go into business together after reading in Fashionweek that women in their thirties, forties, fifties and older had trouble finding young-looking styles. Setting out to fill this gap in the market, they established a store at 240 St Kilda Street, near the Brighton Yacht Club, with Elsebe handled the buying while Pearl fronted the shop. They moved to 40 Church Street, Brighton in 1967.

Paula joined the business as a manager in 1968, became a partner in 1971 and took over from the original owners in 1988. When she closed the boutique in 2005, she donated a number of garments to Brighton Historical Society. Reflecting fondly on her 38 years at Pearls, she told The Age, "I have enjoyed all my days here because people are special to me. I love fashion. It's been a pleasure to dress people, to make them look good and feel pleased with themselves."

Physical description

Cream terylene chiffon dress with all-over daisy appliqués. High band collar with v-shaped scoop at back. Sheer long sleeves with gathered cuffs.

Inscriptions & markings

Label: "miss Elegance / TERYLENE".