Historical information

At 5pm on 2 May 1975 at Christ Church, Hawthorn, the wedding took place between Kathryn Gwynn Marx of Mason Street, Hawthorn, and William Peter Reeve of Mountain Grove, Kew. The bride's dress was purchased from the 'House of Franke, Stuart', 612 Glenferrie Road, Hawthorn, a very popular place in the 1970s for brides. Kathryn was educated at Ruyton Girls' School with Margaret Franke so it was a nice connection. Margaret's family business had been in operation since 1926. I loved my wedding dress. It was soft and comfortable to wear and kept me warm on the May evening. It was elegant and I knew I would never get the chance to wear something with a long train again. Walking down the staircase at the Windsor Hotel in Melbourne felt very grand; a memory I still hold today. (Kate Reeve, 2022) [Note: Two photos and a newspaper article which are viewable in the image carousel are held in the donation file]


Strong local provenance to Hawthorn, Kew and Boroondara due to owner and retailer. It is a representative example of wedding dresses sold in the 1970s.

Physical description

The wedding dress is made of fine soft white jersey with guipure lace around the neckline, wrists and bodice. The long train has three small discreet loops along the hemline which can be slipped onto a finger for a draped effect giving ease of movement for dancing etc. A satin trimmed veil covered the length of the train and was secured on the head with a satin coronet. White leather shoes were worn. The bouquet Phalaenopsis orchids. (Note: the veil and shoes were not part of the donation)

Inscriptions & markings

Label: Franke Stuart / Hawthorn