This overcoat was designed and tailored by Dominex, a company that sold clothing in high end department stores such as Myer and David Jones in the 1940s through to the 2000s. As pictured in the accompanying advertising, Dominex looked to produce clothes for women to “casually, confidently wear … the exquisite styling and superb tailoring of… Dominex Coats”.
This sentiment was carried by the company for more than 60 years. Amanda Morgan, a director of the Dominex fashion label in an interview from 2003 said “Not everybody wants sass, or sex, or high fashion for that matter. Au contraire. Our customers will be stylish, sophisticated and womanly, but we don’t do shoestring straps or asymmetrical lines." Dominex was a label specialising in exceptional quality "traditional" dressing for corporate wear. Their clothes looked to provide women with a return to the tried and true values of elegant, unpretentious, classic dressing.
"Our look is European-influenced," Morgan explained further. "Inspired by Armani, Valentino, Chanel and Escada. Suits have been specially dyed in France to ensure the perfect shade of ice blue, lemon, grey, or slate. Fabrics are natural, silk and linen. Shapes are stylish, with an almost 1930s feel; classic pants, silk shirts, structured overcoats with elegant-length”
Returning to this overcoat, it has a label on the inside which reads “Pure Wool Material by Godfrey Hirst of Geelong”. Nowadays Godfrey Hirst produce flooring products and are the largest manufacturer and exporter of residential and commercial carpets in Australasia. They have expanded into hard flooring and left their fashion days behind. This overcoat serves as a useful example of a different time for the company; before they made the change to concentrating exclusively on flooring, when they produced fabrics to be tailored for the height of Australian fashion.
This overcoat was purchased and worn by Joan Waller, aunty of the donor, Kim Rosenow. Kim said her aunty was from Ballarat but frequently shopped in Melbourne to keep up with the latest trends. Her aunty Joan fitted the target demographic of Dominex well, as she needed to look sophisticated and elegant at social events and work. Kim donated the overcoat to the National Wool Museum in 2021.
Green singled breasted overcoat with a narrow overlap and one column of buttons for fastening.
The overcoat features notched lapels of a medium width and two large buttons of a green & dark green marble.
The overcoat has two semi-visible jetted pockets at the hips.
Internally, the overcoat features a black silk lining for comfort. It also features a stitched patch on the left side of the opening which reads “Pure Wool Material by Godfrey Hirst of Geelong”. At the collar, another patch reads “Dominex REGD”.
At the cuffs, the overcoat finishes in a type of gauntlet cuff which stretches back over 200mm. The decorative finish utilises no buttons and has thick piping to accentuate this design feature.
The overcoat finishes with a simple invisible hem at the bottom.
Inscriptions & markings
Wording, gold. Patch stitched at collar:
Wording, black. Patch stitched at left off opening:
“PURE WOOL MATERIAL BY /
Godfrey Hirst /