Stories Organisations Projects About Login

Brighton Historical Society Brighton, Victoria

Brighton Historical Society was founded in March, 1963 for the purposes of forming a historical society in the Melbourne suburb of Brighton. Today the Society has about 200 members.

Contact Information

location
PO Box 266 Brighton Victoria 3186 (map)
phone
+61 03 9553 8650

Contact

Opening Hours

The rooms are open to visitors & researchers on Thursdays, from 12 noon to 5:00 pm

Entry Fee

Entry is free. We undertake email and written research requests for a fee of $20 per hour which includes photocopying and postage

Location

First Floor Brighton Arts and Cultural Centre (Old Brighton Town Hall) Corner Carpenter and Wilson Streets Brighton Victoria

View on Google Maps

The Bayside community is fortunate to have an extensive collection of costume, representing social life and fashions in our local area from early settlement through to the modern day. Our costume collection is of State significance and is the most comprehensive collection of costume in any historical society or small museum in Victoria. 

The collection includes children’s wear, evening gowns, dresses, hats, gloves, shawls, nightgowns, underwear, menswear, fans, shoes, swimwear and handbags. 

The Brighton Historical Society will loan costume to recognised organisations that use current conservation techniques. We have previously loaned items to the Bayside Council for an exhibition at the Bayside Arts and Cultural Centre and to the National Trust for exhibitions at Rippon Lea and Como House. 

We welcome donations to our costume collection. Items are assessed and accepted on the basis of their relevance to the ongoing history of the area, their connection to Brighton or their rarity.

History
Costume has been donated since the Society began in 1963. Some was even purchased in the days when Victorian items were still to be found on sale in local op shops. The origins and size of the collection are attributable to the foresight of the founder of the BHS, Mrs Rosalind Landells OAM. 

In the early days little was known of conservation techniques but as time progressed and we became aware of the treasures held, methods were implemented by volunteers to care for the costumes in the best way possible using available funds. 

Four conservation friendly wardrobes were purchased from the Performing Arts Museum to house the collection and later a Bayside Council Grant enabled us to have six more wardrobes built. Volunteers triple washed unbleached calico in pure Lux soap flakes before sewing covers for costumes and for coat hangers. Some acid free boxes were purchased from Zetta Florence to store our most important items. 

Thanks to a 2017 Local History Grant from the Public Record Office Victoria, we have been able to further improve our collection storage and records, and share more of our fascinating costume with the public. Items are continually being added to Victorian Collections, and a community workshop is being planned.

There are no comments yet.

Leave a comment

111 items

close
Show All Items Items with Images (109) Items with Audio Items with Video Items with Documents
View As Grid List

111 items

Dress - Evening dress

Key words

ward cole
brighton
st ninian's
1860s
evening dress

A hand sewn, brown silk, evening dress, circa 1860, consisting of a bodice and skirt. The bodice features an off the shoulder neckline edged with cream lace. A chevron design of black velvet trim, passes from the shoulders to the centre front waist, then hangs loosely to the hip line. The black velvet trim on the sleeves and the skirt is edged with a black fringe. The bodice base is finished in a v-shaped front at the natural waistline. There are short puffed sleeves also feature the black velvet fringed trim and lace at the edge along with three epaulette style strips, which pass from the shoulder seam to the edge of the sleeve. Each strip finishes with a decorative bobble. The bodice lining is cream glazed silk with steel boning, cotton tabs sewn into both sides have four eyelets for lacing. The dress has a full, floor length unlined skirt which is slightly longer at the back creating a modest train. The skirt has horizontal bands of the velvet trim and finishes with a box pleated trim of the dress fabric. The dress is fastened at the back using two connecting rows of black velvet covered buttons.

Historical information

A dress belonging to the family of George Ward Cole in the late 1800s; possibly his wife Thomas Anne Ward Cole or one of his daughters, Margaret or Agnes. George Ward Cole was an early member of the Victorian Parliament and the family featured prominently in Melbourne Society in their time. They established a substantial home known as “St Ninians” at 10 Miller Street in 1841. The family reportedly entertained Melbourne’s first Royal visitor The Duke Of Edinburgh, Queen Victoria’s second son at St Ninians in 1867. In later years St Ninians was subsequently subdivided and later demolished.

Brighton Historical Society, Brighton

Evening dress and bag

Key words

evening dress
croyde
melbourne fashion

Black silk satin sleeveless full-length evening dress. The attached bodice floats over the top of the under-dress. Asymmetrical opening on bodice which features five large flat self-covered buttons. The black suede bag has chrome fittings and buttery cream coloured satin interior.

Historical information

The dress was worn by Mrs Dot Paroissien in the 1950s. She remembers wearing it to a ball at the Royal Exhibition Buildings for Wesley College. The black suede bag was bought in London for her by her husband David. Dot wore suede shoes with a medium heel with straps across the instep and long white kid gloves. She wore a baguette chocker and drop earrings.

Inscriptions & Markings

.1 dress - Label, woven black on white acetate centre back: CROYDE / MELBOURNE .2 - bag - Label, printed, black on cream acetate, interior pocket: Susan / HANDBAGS / LONDON; Label, printed, copper on black metal, interior pocket: MADE IN ITALY / FOR SUSAN

Brighton Historical Society, Brighton

Dress - Wedding dress

Key words

wedding dress
1870s fashion

Cream silk princess line wedding dress with scalloped neck edge, ruched front bodice panel and ruched and gathered panels on skirt. Three-quarter length sleeves with slashed sleeve details. Centre back opening fastened with silk thread covered buttons.

Brighton Historical Society, Brighton

Garters - Wedding garters

Key words

wedding garter
cora doris wrigley
stanley halkyard
barone
seaview
brighton

A pale blue wedding garter featuring a pale pink bow and cream lace edging. Date unknown.

Historical information

This item is from the "Barone" Collection. The garters come from the wedding trosseau of Cora Doris Halkyard, nee Wrigley, who married Arthur John Stanley Halkyard in 1912. The couple lived at Barone, a stately house at 9 Moule Avenue, from around 1951 until 1970. Barone was demolished in 1986. Owners of “Barone” Circa 1840’s. Certainly built prior to 1859 – owners unknown. 1859 – 1872 Edward Elgin Browne (first Melboune tea merchant) 1872 – 1874 Ralph Gore Brien (Occupier 1873 The Reverand Henry G. Brien) 1874 – 1879 Edward (or Edmund) Johnson (possibly a retired military man.) 1880 – 1885 Archibald Black, formerly an Army captain from Scotland. 1886 – 1915 Isabella M. Black widow of above. 1916 – 1951 Amy Elsie (nee Black) Chalk 1951 – 1970 Cora Doris Halkyard, niece of the above and grand-daughter of Archibald and Isabella Black. Described as the last owner of Barone on donation slip. 1970 – 1986 Mrs B Brandt – unconfirmed.

Significance

“Barone” (previously “Seaview”) was one of Brighton’s finest colonial homes. It’s neighbors included “St Ninians” owned by the Ward- Cole family, “Seacombe” owned by the Moule family, and the home of James Grahame and his family.

Brighton Historical Society, Brighton

Dress - Visiting dress

Key words

st ninians
george ward cole
visiting gown
brighton
miss margaret morison ward cole
miss agnes bruce ward cole
late 1800s
1880s

A black and mint green wool velvet lace and silk dress from circa 1882. The bodice features a wired, standing collar, finishing just under the chin and open at the front of the throat. On either side at the front of the throat it features long black lace ties with black jet bead fringe. The centre front of the dress from the neckline to the base of the skirt features an insert panel of mint green corded silk. The silk is gathered and the neckline and waist and overlaid a panel of gathered lacy net. Inserted into the seam at either side of this panel at the waist are two velvet ties. The dress secures closed with eight black buttons and one hook and eye down the right side of the mint panel to mid thigh. The edges of the collar and black front panels are finished with a looped ribbon trim. The remainder of the dress is made of a black wool fabric woven a checkered pattern of larger and looser threads and smaller and tighter threads creating a seersucker like pattern. The bodice features a natural shoulder line and an Amadis sleeve of full cut gathered to the bodice at the shoulder and finishing at the elbow with a large black lace flounce. The front panels of the dress are flat and shaped neatly to the body from neck to hip line and gently out to create the Victorian silhouette. On the back of each shoulder the dress features a leaf like, small jet beaded embellishment with multiple long loops of jet beads falling down the back to the waist. Underneath this embellishment is a pleated black ribbon that runs from the shoulder to the back of the pelvis. Over the pelvis are another two jet beaded embellishments of a floral design with two tassels. The skirt is full and pleated in under this embellishment and fulls to the floor with a small train. The base of the dress is finished with a ruched band of the main dress fabric.

Historical information

This gown, one of two similar items in the collection, belonged to one of the daughters of George Ward Cole, Miss Margaret Morison Ward Cole or Miss Agnes Bruce Ward Cole. George Ward Cole was an early member of the Victorian Parliament and the family featured prominently in Melbourne Society in their time. They established a substantial home known as “St Ninians” at 10 Miller Street in 1841. The family reportedly entertained Melbourne’s first Royal visitor The Duke Of Edinburgh, Queen Victoria’s second son, at St Ninians in 1867. In later years St Ninians was subsequently subdivided and later demolished.

Brighton Historical Society, Brighton

Jodhpurs - Jodphurs

Key words

barone
riding habit
seaview
jodhpurs
brighton

A pair of black wool twill women's jodhpurs from late 1800’s to early 1900’s. The jodhpurs feature a flat flap-front that buttons on either hip with four buttons on either side. The cut of the leg is full tapering through shaped panels to a slim fit over the calf. At the centre front of the leg at the shin, the pant leg is laced closed and finished with brown binding. From the back, the pant hangs loose and full over the bottom, tapering to a slim fit over the calf. Note: These jodhpurs are not a matching piece of the riding habit T0002.1. However, it appears that the same person wore them at the same time, as an outfit.

Historical information

This item is from the "Barone" Collection. “Barone” was a stately Brighton home demolished in 1986. One of the former owners, presumably either Mrs Cora Doris Halkyard or Mrs B Brandt, donated the various goods in the “Barone” collection. Owners of “Barone” Circa 1840’s. Certainly built prior to 1859 – owners unknown. 1859 – 1872 Edward Elgin Browne (first Melboune tea merchant) 1872 – 1874 Ralph Gore Brien (Occupier 1873 The Reverand Henry G. Brien) 1874 – 1879 Edward (or Edmund) Johnson (possibly a retired military man.) 1880 – 1885 Archibald Black, formerly an Army captain from Scotland. 1886 – 1915 Isabella M. Black widow of above. 1916 – 1951 Amy Elsie (nee Black) Chalk 1951 – 1970 Cora Doris Halkyard, niece of the above and grand-daughter of Archibald and Isabella Black. 1970 – 1986 Mrs B Brandt – unconfirmed.

Significance

“Barone” (previously “Seaview”) was one of Brighton’s finest colonial homes. It’s neighbors included “St Ninians” owned by the Ward Cole family, “Seacombe” owned by the Moule family, and the home of James Grahame and his family.

Brighton Historical Society, Brighton

Dress

Key words

1970s fashion
maxi dress

White cotton high-waisted maxi dress printed with black spots and trimmed with red ric-rac. Elbow length sleeves. Fastens with centre back zip.

Historical information

Overend collection. The Overend family lived at the heritage listed 'Chevy Chase', 203 Were Street, Brighton, built in 1881.

Inscriptions & Markings

Label, printed black on white acetate, centre back: JILLIAN / OF / MELBOURNE

Brighton Historical Society, Brighton

Smock

Key words

smock
rural dress
linen
hand stiching

Agricultural worker's hand-loomed linen smock, dyed brown. Fully hand-stictched with smocking details on front and back and sleeves. Opening at front and back neck area fastened with now missing buttons.

Brighton Historical Society, Brighton

Waistcoat

Key words

greece
emigration

Black velvet waistcoat part of Greek national costume, decorated with silver cornelli work. Pale blue cotton lining. Fastens with hooks and eyes.

Historical information

Olga's family were Greek immigrants to Australia. Olga was born in Melbourne in 1930. This waistcoat is part of Greek national costume.

Brighton Historical Society, Brighton

Dress - Wedding dress

Key words

wedding dress
1892
geelong

Two-piece wedding dress comprising separate bodice and skirt made of figured coffee-coloured silk woven with large sprays of foliage and berries. The front of the bodice is decorated with a cream-coloured hand-made lace. The bodice is cut asymmetrically, with the front panel wrapping over to the left proper side seam. The fitted sleeves are cut with fullness in the head and narrowing at the elbow and wrist in a leg-of-mutton style. The bodice is backed with a dark brown glazed cotton and has 13 bones. The skirt is backed with a coffee-coloured cotton.

Historical information

Worn by Matilda Kinross Herd when she married George William Mitchell McDonald in Geelong in 1892.

Brighton Historical Society, Brighton

Dress

Key words

1920s dress
metallic fabric
embroidery
beading

Long-sleeved ivory-coloured silk chiffon and gold metallic fabric dress decorated with silk and metallic thread emroidery and (gelatine?) beading.

Brighton Historical Society, Brighton

Sash

Key words

barone
brighton
seaview
sash

Woven dark red sash with tassel.

Historical information

This item is from the "Barone" Collection. “Barone” was a stately Brighton home demolished in 1986. One of the former owners, presumably either Mrs Cora Doris Halkyard or Mrs B Brandt, donated the various goods in the “Barone” collection. Owners of “Barone” Circa 1840’s. Certainly built prior to 1859 – owners unknown. 1859 – 1872 Edward Elgin Browne (first Melboune tea merchant) 1872 – 1874 Ralph Gore Brien (Occupier 1873 The Reverand Henry G. Brien) 1874 – 1879 Edward (or Edmund) Johnson (possibly a retired military man.) 1880 – 1885 Archibald Black, formerly an Army captain from Scotland. 1886 – 1915 Isabella M. Black widow of above. 1916 – 1951 Amy Elsie (nee Black) Chalk 1951 – 1970 Cora Doris Halkyard, niece of the above and grand-daughter of Archibald and Isabella Black. 1970 – 1986 Mrs B Brandt – unconfirmed.

Significance

“Barone” (previously “Seaview”) was one of Brighton’s finest colonial homes. It’s neighbors included “St Ninians” owned by the Ward Cole family, “Seacombe” owned by the Moule family, and the home of James Grahame and his family.

Inscriptions & Markings

"Barone" a modern inscription, appears to be in ball point pen.

Brighton Historical Society, Brighton

Hot pants outfit

Key words

hot pants
1970s fashion
going away outfit

Two-piece hot pants outfit made from cream synthetic 'Estacel' (Courtaulds acetate fibre) and rayon with red dots and plain red synthetic fabric. .1 - Blouse: fastens centre front with five red plastic buttons. .2 - Hot pants: fastens centre back with zip.

Historical information

Shaw family collection. This outfit was Mrs Shaw's 'Going away' outfit for her wedding in 1972.

Inscriptions & Markings

Label woven, metallic gold on white acetate, centre back blouse and shorts: ricki reed / ALL RAYON Label printed, black on beige acetate, centre back blouse and shorts: Estacel and / RAYON / COURTAULDS ACETATE FIBRE

Brighton Historical Society, Brighton

Dressing gown

Key words

clara miller
mr james bell
woolbrook
teesdale
septimus miller
henry 'money' miller
findon
cantala
gwendoline miller
ronald miller
circa 1894

A hand stitched purple pink silk quilted dressing gown with pale pink embroidery from circa 1894. The dressing gown is embroidered from the collar and shoulders though the centre front body to just above the hemline, on the cuffs and remaining pocket in a pale pink Perle thread embroidery featuring leaves and flowers. The entire gown is hand quilted with vertical parallel lines. The gown neckline features a flat collar and the sleeve head fits on the neat shoulder line. The sleeve head is gathered and full tapering to a loose flat cuff at the wrist. The front of the garment is currently secured by fourteen decorative frogs of two different styles, none of which appear to be original. There is also evidence of a fifteenth toggle that has been removed from the base. The gown's original left hand pocket has been removed and attached to an area around the right breast presumably to patch a hole or obscure some damage. It is unknown when these modifications have been made. The back of the gown features a gathered pink and black concertina pleated silk insert panel from the neck through to the base of the garment. The garment is lined with a very fine pale pink silk over the woolen batting.

Historical information

Clara Miller nee Bell (1867 - 1910) was the only daughter of Mr James Bell a local shire Councillor and prominent family of Woolbrook, Teesdale, near Geelong. Clara was also the first wife of prominent businessman, racehorse owner, racing identity and pastoralist Septimus Miller (1854 - 1925). Septimus Miller was the sixth child of seven children to Henry 'Money' Miller and Eliza Miller nee Mattinson. 'Money' Miller was a well known financier and politician and reputedly one of Australia's wealthiest people, the family home was Findon . Clara and Septimus married in 1888, and one daughter Gwendoline (1889 - 1902) who died at a young age of Diabetes. In 1889 the family moved to their new house 'Cantala' in Dandenong Rd Caulfield. Clara died in 1910 and Septimus remarried, Helen nee Henderson, and had a son Ronald (1915 - 1990). Upon Clara's death some of her clothes and those of Gwendoline were passed to members of Clara's family.

Significance

This dressing gown is believed to have been worn by Clara Miller in circa 1894

Brighton Historical Society, Brighton

Dress - Day dress

Key words

reverend john hamilton mclachlan
st cuthberts presbyterian church brighton
elizabeth mclachlan
elizabeth mclachlan, reverend john hamilton mclachlan, st cuthberts presbyterian church brighton,
amherst cemetery

This c1849 silk blue grey window pane check dress features a high round neck and pleats on either shoulder extending over the natural shoulder line. The dress shows evidence of nine ornamental buttons down the centre front with only four blue silk buttons currently still attached. The dress fastens with thirteen concealed hook and eye closures to the waist. The Pagoda sleeves inset into the bodice in a small high armhole flaring out and finishing just below the elbow. A pale blue silk ribbon with a diagonal drawn stitch design decorates the front of the sleeve in a simple geometric design. The Pagoda sleeve is lined in a matching pale blue silk. The full skirt is pleated into the waistband and finishes just above the floor at the front. At the back the bodice features a squared off design to the princess panels shaping the dress into the body. The skirt is heavily pleated at the centre back into the waistline and finishes slightly longer at the back than the front. The skirt features two very small pockets on either side of the dress, just inside the hips.

Historical information

This dress was made for and belonged to Mrs. Elizabeth McLachlan (nee Duncan), wife of Reverend John Hamilton McLachlan.

Significance

Reverend John Hamilton McLachlan was a Minister of St Cuthberts Presbyterian Church Brighton Elizabeth and John were married at the Free Church of Ayr at Lindsaystonn, Parish of Kirkmickach, Ayrshire, Scotland on 15th October 1849. At this time his occupation was listed as Minister of Presbyterian Church and hers as Governess. They left Australia on the 1st of November 1849 and arrived in Australia 6 months later. Apparently John's hair had turned snow white during the journey due to his seasickness! John McLachlan was born in 1813 at Mayball, Scotland and Elizabeth Duncan was born in 1820. The McLachlan's first went to Geelong upon their arrival in 1850, then to the Western District, Brighton then Talbot - at the height of the gold mining era. The McLachlan's had seven children: John Campbell Duncan McLachlan, Geelong, October 1850 Mary McLachlan, Geelong, November 1851 Agnes McLachlan, Hopkins River near Wickliff, May 1853 Elizabeth and Walter (twins) McLachlan, June 1854 Elizabeth McLachlan, Hesham, June 1855 Margaret McLachlan, Brighton 1857 Elizabeth McLachlan (mother) died in 1904, Mr. McLachlan died approximately five years later and they are both buried in Amherst Cemetery.

Brighton Historical Society, Brighton

Skirt

Key words

skirt
linen
hand woven
embroidery
ithaca

Ankle-length full cream linen skirt with multi-coloured cross stitch embroidery featuring mountains, birds and trees. Fullness is pleated into wide waist band. Left side opening. The fabric widths have been whipped together by hand probably at the time the cloth was woven in the late-nineteenth century. The skirt is machine stitched.

Historical information

Cream linen woven by donor Olga Black's great-grandmother Efstathia from flax grown on the island of Ithaca. The fabric was later made into skirt and hand embroidered by Olga in the 1950s. Olga was born in Melbourne in 1930.

Brighton Historical Society, Brighton

Parasol

Key words

victorian goldfields
c.1878
parasol

A c1878 eau de nil (green) silk parasol. The parasol canopy features a decorative gathered frill, a pale green silk lining and a scalloped edge. The wooden handle is painted pale beige with a bone ferrule.

Historical information

This parasol is believed to have been used on the Goldfields of Victoria. The discovery of gold in Victoria ranged between 1851-1879. May have been worn with T0011.1.1-2, Afternoon dress.

Significance

This parasol is believed to have been used on the Goldfields of Victoria. The discovery of gold in Victoria ranged between 1851-1879. There are few remaining examples of similar items used on the Victorian goldfields.

Brighton Historical Society, Brighton

Dress - Evening dress

Key words

1920s fashion
evening dress
beading

Long sleeveless beaded evening dress with V front and back neckline. Black tulle base embellished with black, grey and purple beads and sequins with a design of a purple sunburst radiating from the right proper hip and mirrored on the back. Bodice sides split to waist and skirt sides split to hip.

Brighton Historical Society, Brighton

Head dress

Key words

st ninians
george ward cole
headwear
late 1800s
brighton
margaret morrison ward cole

A hand sewn cream lace cap from late 1800s. A silk satin ribbon that encircles the back of the crown of the head, creates the structure of this cap. Towards the front it also has a net and wire-reinforced peak. Over the top of this support is a central diamond shaped lace piece of seven and a half centimeters diameter to which is attached a fine lace net that is gathered and stitched around the edge of the central lace. Two decorative bows of the same silk satin fabric are positioned on the support over the top of the lace at either temple of the wearer.

Historical information

A lace head dress belonging to the women of the family of George Ward Cole’s in the late 1800s. George Ward Cole was an early member of the Victorian Parliament and the family featured prominently in Melbourne Society in their time. They established a substantial home known as “St Ninians” at 10 Miller Street in 1841. The family reportedly entertained Melbourne’s first Royal visitor The Duke Of Edinburgh, Queen Victoria’s second son, at St Ninians in 1867. In later years St Ninians was subsequently subdivided and later demolished.

Inscriptions & Markings

W-COLE hand stitched on inside of band. It is unknown when and by whom this inscription was made.

Brighton Historical Society, Brighton

Parasol

Key words

clara miller
mr james bell
woolbrook
morongo
septimus miller
henry 'money' miller
gwendoline miller
findon
cantala
circa 1900

A black silk, wood and ivory handled parasol from circa 1900. The black silk of the parasol body has been treated with a decorative hemstitch towards the lower edge. The handle and frame are made of wood, metal and either ivory or an early plastic designed to mimic ivory. The ivory section is carved with a design reminiscent of a palm tree trunk and finished with a ball. The handle also features a leather looped strap that the hand would pass through to aid holding the parasol.

Historical information

Clara Miller nee Bell (1867 - 1910) was the only daughter of Mr James Bell a local shire Councillor and prominent family of Woolbrook, Teesdale, near Geelong. Clara was also the first wife of prominent businessman, racehorse owner, racing identity and pastoralist Septimus Miller (1854 - 1925). Septimus Miller was the sixth child of seven children to Henry 'Money' Miller and Eliza Miller nee Mattinson. 'Money' Miller was a well known financier and politician and reputedly one of Australia's wealthiest people, the family home was Findon . Clara and Septimus married in 1888, and one daughter Gwendoline (1889 - 1902) who died at a young age of Diabetes. In 1889 the family moved to their new house 'Cantala' in Dandenong Rd Caulfield. Clara died in 1910 and Septimus remarried, Helen nee Henderson, and had a son Ronald (1915 - 1990). Upon Clara's death some of her clothes and those of Gwendoline were passed to members of Clara's family.

Inscriptions & Markings

The handle bears an engraved inscription that appears to be VML in a highly florid script. The frame bears the name 'Hartnells'.

Brighton Historical Society, Brighton

Dress - Visiting dress

Key words

st ninians
george ward cole
visiting gown
late 1800’s
brighton
miss margaret morison ward cole
miss agnes bruce ward cole.

A black and yellow velvet, wool, lace and silk dress from circa 1882. The bodice features a yellow silk, black lace and black velvet collar finishing high on the neck just below the chin finished with a black lace ruffle. The collar has a flap across the front of the throat that attaches at the side with a v shaped baseline that contributes to concealing the fastenings of the bodice. The dress features a gathered central panel of black lace covered lemon silk, which falls from the neckline to the floor. At either side of this panel are matching panels of black velvet. The remainder of the dress and sleeves are made of black wool featuring a self-striped and spotted pattern. The dress fastens down the centre front with concealed black buttons hidden underneath the right velvet panel. The head of the Amadis sleeve sits on the natural shoulder line and finishes tightly at the elbow. The volume of the sleeve is created by ten pleats at the head of the shoulder, sewn to the bodice and is gathered at the elbow. The sleeve is finished with a black velvet ribbon with a bow and a black lace frill. The base of the dress is finished with a ruffle of the black dress wool. The dress features a small train. The dress is boned at the back waist and features an inset panel just below the waist of gathered fabric which forms the train.

Historical information

This gown, one of two similar items in the collection belonged to one of the Ward Cole sisters, Miss Margaret Morison Ward Cole or Miss Agnes Bruce Ward Cole, daughters of George Ward Cole.

Significance

George Ward Cole was an early member of the Victorian Parliament and the family featured prominently in Melbourne Society in their time. They established a substantial home known as “St Ninians” at 10 Miller Street in 1841. The family reportedly entertained Melbourne’s first Royal visitor The Duke Of Edinburgh, Queen Victoria’s second son at St Ninians in 1867. In later years St Ninians was subsequently sub divided and later demolished.

Brighton Historical Society, Brighton

Dress - Fancy dress

Key words

dolly varden
ida burn
marjorie wallace
barnaby rudge
charles dickens

A dress consisting of bodice and skirt. The bodice is made from beige silk with sprays of red and blue flowers and originally laced down the centre front with pink ribbon. The lower part of the bodice is modelled on a late 18th century polonaise design. The bodice is boned and features waist tapes. The elbow length sleeves are finished with beige hand made Maltese lace featuring Maltese crosses. The mid calf length skirt is made from pale pink silk which has been quilted and lined to create a stiffened form. There is a piece of scrap floral fabric that is the same as the bodice fabric.

Historical information

This dress is a 'Dolly Varden' or 'shepherdess" style costume worn by Ida Burn (1890 - 1976) on a sea voyage to China accompanying her parents in 1911. The BHS has a photo of Ida wearing this dress when she was a guest at a dance for young people given by the Lord Mayor of Melbourne (possibly T.J. Davey). This party may have been held on the ship or it may have been a seperate event. This style dress was a popular choice for fancy dress in the late 1890's and early 1900's. Family information states that the silk for this dress was purchased by Ida and Marjorie's grandfather's sister (great aunt) in England in c1840. The dress was donated by Marjorie Wallace (née Burn) (1901 - 1999), Ida's sister. Marjorie did not accompany the family to China but stayed home with a Governess. Marjorie lived in Brighton between 1923 and c1950 and attended Firbank Church of england Girls grammar School. These records are from a conversation between a B.H.S representative and Marjorie Wallace in Aug 2002.

Significance

This style of costume is named after the character Dolly Varden in Charles Dickens, 'Barnaby Rudge' 1841. In c1872 Dolly Varden inspired costumes and paraphernalia were very popular craze.

Brighton Historical Society, Brighton

Dress - Wedding dress

Key words

wedding dress
wwii
lace
wartime bride

Wedding dress of white lace. V-neckline, long fitted sleeves and train. Large bow at back.

Historical information

Wedding dress worn by May Dunne who was married on 11 April 1942 at the Newtown Methodist Church in Aberdeen Street, Geelong. The lace was purchased with war-time coupons. The couple lived in Brighton and May was a member of the Brighton Historical Society when she donated the dress.

Brighton Historical Society, Brighton

Calash

Key words

calash
headwear

Black taffeta calash with ribs made of baleen.

Brighton Historical Society, Brighton

Dress

Key words

di lopez
dress
chamois
mayor
brighton mayoral ball
costume
brighton
brighton council
brighton technical school

Three quarter length chamois dress circa 1974. Machine stitched with a v-neck and full length sleeves and an uneven raw hem, the dress is decorated with narrow thongs of chamois embellished with red beads and blue feathers. The open-fronted bodice is laced with red ribbon and the skirt is decorated with a large blue wool cross stitch and a combination of blue wool and purple ribbon cross stitch. Made in the style of an Indian 'Wild West Dress'.

Historical information

Worn by Councillor Di Lopez when she was Mayor of Brighton to the Mayoral Ball held at Brighton Technical School c.1976.

Significance

The dress is significant because it was worn by the Mayor, Di Lopez, to the Brighton Mayoral Ball. In wearing such a radical dress Di Lopez was making a public statement, breaking away from the tradition of wearing stuffy, formal gowns and bringing the Mayor's office into the 1970s.

Inscriptions & Markings

None

Brighton Historical Society, Brighton

Dress - Day dress

Key words

marion jeanne stokes
marion wooling
clive devlin

A grey green c1878 dress comprising of matching jacket and skirt. The jacket features a standing collar that gathers to a low point at the throat. This point is concealed behind a bow with raw edges which may not be original. The centre front of the jacket has been secured with nineteen concealed metal hook and button holes. The centre front features fifteen sets of single fabric covered glass buttons secured in a diagonal pattern and appearing as double headed buttons. From the shoulder through the body the jacket is shaped with decorative panels with grey silk detail. Beside these panels shaping into the waist and under the arm are a further two pleats. On the left side waist is a small pocket with decorative flap, grey silk trim and button. The base line of the jacket features a decorative horizontal panel that wraps around the jacket. The sleeve head is small and sits on the natural shoulder line with a slim fitting, curved, full length sleeve. At the base of the sleeve, there is a decorative panel reminiscent of a formal cuff, with a decorative turn back and two buttons. Secured underneath this turn back is a bow like decoration. From the back the jacket features a V shaped decoration, an extension of the front two decorative panels. From the shoulders the jacket is shaped by four panels curving tight into the waist and flaring out again to fullness of the bustle. These seams are also finished with decorative binding.This peplum like shape features two decorative flaps and six covered buttons. The skirt is shaped to the waist with pleats and secures on the front left hand side, the original waistband and fastenings have been replaced. The skirt front features a large decorative panel of the same fabric that curves from the front at approximately shin length, upwards towards the back securing underneath the bustle decoration. A second panel, plus a pleated panel finish the hem of the skirt continuing around to the back. At the back the skirt features two deep pleats with a large decorative bow that would sit out over the bustle. The skirt is long featuring a small train at the back. The dress is lined in a brown waxed cotton.

Historical information

Our records indicate that this dress was owned by Marion Jeanne Stokes (1877 - 1936) nee Wooling from Gisborne. Marion was married to Clive Devlin.

Significance

This dress is believed to have been worn on the Bendigo goldfields in c1878. This dress may have been worn as a wedding dress.

Inscriptions & Markings

n/a

Brighton Historical Society, Brighton

Pant suit

Key words

pant suit
1970s fashion
chevy chase
overend family

Pant suit comprising tunic and flared pants made from cream, yellow and gold lurex woven in a floral pattern. Tunic has a pair of non-functional pocket flaps at breast and two finctional pockets at front hip area. Tunic fastens with a centre back zip. Tunic lined with shell pink poyester satin; pants unlined.

Historical information

Overend collection. The Overend family lived at the heritage listed 'Chevy Chase', 203 Were Street, Brighton, built in 1881.

Inscriptions & Markings

Label woven white on black acetate centre back tunic: Stell-Ricks / OF MELBOURNE / SUITS TOPCOATS

Brighton Historical Society, Brighton

Dress - Wedding dress

Key words

wedding dress
1920s fashion
silk

Wedding dress made from cream silk purchased in China. The bodice is made of fine silk embroidered tulle with a vest of cream silk that floats over the top. The skirt has been permanently pleated, has has floating side panels of tulle and features a large butterfly-shaped bow at the back.

Historical information

Worn by Elizabeth Goodwin of Liverpool, England, who married Horace Book at St Andrew's Church, Brighton. The fabric was purchased by her father, who was a ship's captain when he was in China. The bride had her dress made in Liverpool and made to a Butterick's pattern. Elizabeth was very active in public life and a well-known member of the Book family.

Brighton Historical Society, Brighton

Shawl

Key words

shawl
metal embroidery
egyptomania
1920s fashion

Cream-coloured cotton bobbinet ground, hand-embroidered with flattened metal strips.

Historical information

Often referred to as Assiut shawls, where they were made.

Brighton Historical Society, Brighton

Romper suit

Two piece boy's romper suit. Short-sleeved beige shirt with smocking on front is buttoned to mid-brown short pants with large mother-of-pearl buttons. Cream coloured contrast top stitching.

Brighton Historical Society, Brighton