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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

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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.

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116 items

Parasol

Key words

parasol
melbourne cup
1940s
verona cresswell

Coral pink silk parasol with black lace overlay. A lace design is painted in black on the end of the polished wooden handle.

Historical information

The donor, Mrs Verona Cresswell, was given the parasol in 1941 by a friend, Mrs Teppa, who had purchased in many years earlier in Paris. It was part as an outfit worn to the Melbourne Cup in the 1940s.

Brighton Historical Society, Brighton

Dress - Day dress

Key words

georgiana elizabeth moore
elizabeth moore
amelia henrietta fraser

A one piece princess line dress c1878-1882 of deep royal blue silk featuring Chinese inspired self pattern. The neckline features a standing collar and is secured through the centre front from neck to floor with self covered buttons. At the front knee the fabric has been gathered and drawn to the back into a tiered fish-tail swag and trimmed with a matching blue knotted fringe. The swagging is created by interior tapes. The dress is backed with cream cotton.

Historical information

The donation records details that this dress was worn by Georgiana Elizabeth Moore (c14 Feb 1886 - 1975) who lived in the Diamond Creek area between 1920 and 1974, possibly at 40 Cochrane Street. Georgiana is recorded as having been "tall with red hair". Since the dress is of an earlier date, It is likely that it belonged to Georgiana's mother Elizabeth Moore. BHS also holds a c1880 night dress believed to have also been worn by Georgiana's mother Elizabeth Moore, a c1910 night dress believed to have been worn by Amelia Henrietta Fraser (née Moore) whilst boarding at Merton Hall. This nightdress does also show a laundry mark of G.E. Moore and so may have been worn by both women. This BHS also holds a 1930's ruched black velvet evening cape possibly worn by Amelia Henrietta (née Moore). This collection was donated by Amelia's daughter Jeannette Fraser.

Significance

A good example of a princess line dress of this period in good condition and with provenance.

Brighton Historical Society, Brighton

Bag - Bag

Oval shaped bag made from armadillo leather with head and feet attached. Leather straps may be a recent addition. Metal clasp. Mirror on inside of lid. Interior lined with blue silk.

Brighton Historical Society, Brighton

Jacket

Key words

jacket
1940s fashion

Dior-inspired suit jacket. Unlined. Six cloth buttons with bound button holes. Inside hip pads.

Inscriptions & Markings

Label, woven brown on cream acetate, centre back neck: Ponce De Leon. Handwritten on label in black pen:43 LANDELS

Brighton Historical Society, Brighton

Coat

Key words

coat
brocade
c.1970

Maxi coat in cream, yellow and metallic gold ogival patterned brocade. Fastens with five large metallic gold corded domed buttons. Lined with ivory silk taffeta.

Inscriptions & Markings

Label, woven black on white acetate, centre back neck: jot / TOORAK

Brighton Historical Society, Brighton

Suit

Key words

vija vetra
1940s fashion
refugees
dancers
migration
brighton

Two-piece women's suit made of maroon corded silk; comprising fitted jacket and straight skirt. Jacket fastens with one large black faceted glass button. Jacket lined with pink satin; skirt unlined.

Historical information

The suit was tailor-made for the dancer Vija Vetra who lived at the Old Hall (now nos. 93-95) Bay Street, Brighton. Vetra arrived in Australia as a refugee in the late 1940s. She was a teacher of Indian and Spanish dancing. In late 1965 Vetra went to America intending to return, but crossed to Europe and never returned to Australia. Vetra was Latvian by birth. She ran a dance academy at 97 Bay Street, Brighton.

Brighton Historical Society, Brighton

Sash

Key words

miss young liberal
sash

Cream coloured Miss Young Liberal sash printed in metallic gold and with gold-coloured fringing at either end.

Historical information

Donated by Brighton resident and journalist Janifer Price.

Inscriptions & Markings

Printed, metallic gold on white acetate: Miss / YOUNG LIBERAL / 1966

Brighton Historical Society, Brighton

Pelerine

Key words

pelerine
brighton
cora doris halkyard
barone
seaview

Black silk satin, lace and beaded pelerine from c.1890. The pelerine features a silk high stand collar covered in black lace. It secures around the neck and down the centre front to the waist by seven hook and eye closures. A black lace frill extends down the centre front from the throat to the centre front tip of the garment. The shoulders feature a heavy, intricately beaded floral design open sleeve through which the arm would be visible. The sleeve finishes around the elbow in a point, however the beading hangs down to below the hip in a loose fringe. At the back of the garment from below the shoulder the garment shapes in to finish in a tapered v – shape over the wearers coccyx.

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

This item is from the estate of Mrs Cora Doris Halkyard. “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

There is a hand stitched M in white thread on the inside lining of the pelerine near the neck.

Brighton Historical Society, Brighton

Dressing gown

Key words

dressing gown
patchwork
embroidery
hand painted

Crazy patchwork dressing gown made from a patchwork beadspread. Made from irregular pieces of silk, satin, velvet and brocades and embellished with embroidered and painted motifs. Fully lined with maroon silk. Neckline trimmed with thick silk cord. Right over left fastening with two large metal press studs. One of the pieces on the back has an inscription dated 11/7/94 (1894).

Historical information

Made by the family, friends, relatives and guests of William and Polly Hodgens, owners of the Adelphi Hotel near Montague Station, South Melbourne. Later demolished by Victorian Railways.

Brighton Historical Society, Brighton

Evening outfit - Evening dress and bag

Key words

1940s fashion
evening dress
sequins

Black full-length crepe evening dress with bronse-coloured sequins on bodice; asymmetric neckline and draping. Matching black reticule with sequins.

Brighton Historical Society, Brighton

Dress

Sheer black silk chiffon dress with black beaded front detail and pin tucked front skirt. Long pointed beaded collar. Long sleeves with nine rows of horizontal pin tucking on lower edge.

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

no image

Vest

Key words

vest
hand-knit
fairisle

Fairisle patterned hand-knitted vest in beige, brown, yellow, green and red.

Historical information

Knitted by the donor's great grandmother, Elsie Hone. Knitted using bicycle spokes as knitting needles. Elsie Hone (nee Stone) was born in 1890 and died in 1987. She had six children and she apparently knitted this vest for her second son (fifth child), Albert George Hone (b.1914) for his 18th birthday. Albert and his wife Grace had four daughters between 1942 and 1951. The donor's mother, Ina Harriet Nilsson, was born in 1925 (fourth daughter, sixth child of Elsie) and as she had a son, the donor's uncle George (Albert?) passed it on to her. Both the donor's elder brothers wore and out-grew the vest and eventually it was passed on to the donor, Ray Nilsson. The vest was worn for many years while the donor worked at VACC Insurance Co Ltd in St Kilda Road, Melbourne and in the North Sydney, Canberra and Dandenong offices and it was a talking point as he recalled the story. (Information provided by the donor)

Brighton Historical Society, Brighton

Dress - Evening dress

Key words

margaret law (nee bartholomew)
james nicol law
james 'lin' lindsey gordon law
pelaco shirt manufacturers
'blairgowrie'
306 st kilda street
brighton
pauline margaret law
elsie russell

An orange pink (salmon) with cream spot, very fine silk organza dress from circa 1840. The dress features a wide scooped neckline, almost to the shoulder. The sleeves are set low with a gathered head to the sleeve and finished with a flounce, dropping to just above the elbow. The bodice is shaped and fitted to the body and features a centre front detail of the bodice fabric that is gathered, ruched and tapers in a v to the waist. The waistline of the dress sits on the true waist at the sides and tapers to a v at the centre front and centre back. The full skirt is gathered to the piped waistline and falls to the floor. The skirt features three horizontal pleats in the skirt fabric in between four bands of cream floral self embroidered detail. The dress is open at the back where it is boned and features lacing holes. The lacing is missing from the item. The bodice of the dress is lined with a very fine cotton lawn and boned.

Historical information

Margaret Law (nee Bartholomew) was born on 3rd December 1837 in Stirling, Scotland. She emigrated to Australia with her family aboard the Ticonderoga arriving in Melbourne on 22nd December 1852. 100 passengers died during the journey and approximately a further 70 after arrival of typhus. Two of Margaret's siblings were among the casualties. The Bartholomew family settled in Ballarat. In circa 1861 Margaret married James Nicol Law in Ballarat. They had several children, the youngest of which was James (Lin) Lindsay Gordon Law 21st Jan 1881. James Nicol Law was killed in a train accident in Fingal Tasmania in July 1886. Lin Law married Elsie Russell in January 1915. They had four children. The eldest of these children was Pauline Margaret Law, born 15th December 1915.

Significance

Lin and business partner Jim Pearson established Pelaco, the shirt manufacturing company in 1906. The Law family moved to 'Blairgowrie', 306 St Kilda Street Brighton in 1920. Pauline and her husband Hugh McLean purchased "Blairgowrie" from the Law family in 1956 and lived there until 1965 when the house was demolished.

Brighton Historical Society, Brighton

Dress and shoes

Key words

1950s fashion
printed fabric
miss summer festival

Floral cotton dress with matching belt and shoes. Sleeveless polished cotton cream dress with large red, pink and brown rose print. Heavily ruched front. The skirt has an in-built crinoline structure made with thick Vielene lining and corded hoops. Separate belt with bow at centre front. Shoes made to match by 'Suzette' in their original box. .1- dress .2 - belt .3 a-b - pair of shoes .4 a-b - shoe box and lid

Historical information

The dress was made for the Miss Summer Festival competition fundraiser. The idea for the dress came from a photograph in the Womens' Weekly. A professional dressmaker cut and made the dress. It has an 18" waist.There is a black and white photocopy on file of the dress being worn at the time.

Inscriptions & Markings

Shoes - Label, printed in gold on white leather in sock: Suzette / Styled in / NEW YORK-PARIS-ST. LOUIS

Brighton Historical Society, Brighton

Parasol

Key words

parasol
1920s
egyptomania

Parasol with a cotton canopy printed with an Egyptian-inspired design of the Sphinx, camels, palm trees and water carriers. Painted handle with plaited cotton tassel with pink wooden bead.

Brighton Historical Society, Brighton

Cloak

Key words

1920s
cloak
cape

Orange bouclé wool coat woven with velvet stripes; brown fur collar and deep hem.

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

Tile - Ceramic tile from Norwood (house)

A square Wedgwood ceramic tile which is multi-coloured. The colours are brown, green, pink and orange. The tile is embossed with vines and flowers. The centre square features the head and shoulders image of a man. Norwood, the house where the tile was used was built around 1890.

Historical information

The tile was from the Norwood, the house which stood at 100 The Esplanade,, Brighton. The house was built around 1890 and demolished in 1955. Before the house was demolished many of the items were sold by auction.

Inscriptions & Markings

On back of tile "n 118 / Josiah Wedgwood & Sons / Etruria / Patent / Impressed tile"

Brighton Historical Society, Brighton

Dress - Wedding dress

Key words

julia benjamin
abraham smith
wedding gown
joseph benjamin
hannah soloman
1868
melbourne hebrew congregation

One piece floor length dress of (originally) lavender, watered (moiré) silk taffeta with short sleeves and train that is controlled by interior tapes to create bustle effect. The bodice fastens down the centre front to the waist where the opening below the waist is concealed by side pleats. The bodice appears to have originally featured a piece of lace at the neckline and a textile ruched belt. The dress is backed with a cream cotton.

Historical information

This dress was worn by Julia Benjamin (1850 - 1927) for her marriage to Abraham Smith (of Polish descent) at the Melbourne Hebrew Congregation in Bourke Street, Melbourne on September 5th 1868. Julia was the daughter of Joseph Benjamin and Hannah Soloman. Records suggest it may have been converted into her 'calling' gown for the three month 'bridal' period following her marriage. The gown would have been worn with accompanying accessories of a cape, gloves.

Significance

An early example of a wedding dress of the Melbourne Jewish community.

Brighton Historical Society, Brighton

Cushion

Key words

"barone" 9 moule avenue brighton
cushion

A hand painted and hand embroidered cream silk cushion. Date and use unknown. This cushion features a delicate hand painted floral design, enhanced with highlight embroidery. It also features a silk rope binding around its edges and a cream silk bow. It appears to have enclosed something as it has a button and loop to secure it in half.

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

1920s fashion
dame marie breen

Sleeveless black cotton voile dress printed with large cream and apricot coloured roses. Dropped waist; bias-cut triangular draping applied to front neck; two horizontal bands of black voile inserted into skirt.

Historical information

Worn by Dame Marie Breen DBE OBE, Federal Senator for Victoria and Brighton resident. Marie Freda Breen (nee Chamberlin) was born on 3 November 1902, died 17 June 1993. Marie became the first female senator for Victoria in 1962. In 1959 she was appointed an Officer of the British Empire for her work in the role of State President of the National Council of Women (Victoria) and in 1979 she was appointed Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire.

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

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

Shoes - Children's shoes

Key words

children's shoe
barone
seaview
brighton
1860s

Leather, wood and metal ankle boots c.1860. Dark brown leather upper constructed of two pieces, the foot secures with a metal clasp at the centre front ankle. The upper is adhered to the wooden sole with metal nails. The sole of the forefoot has been reinforced with a metal horseshoe around the edge.

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

On one shoe a modern inscription (ball point pen) : From "Barone" 9 Moule Ave Brighton. Sept 1970 On other shoe typewritten on paper: From "Barone", 9 Moule Ave., Brighton Pres. Aug 1970

Brighton Historical Society, Brighton

Crinoline skirt - Crinoline

Key words

st ninians
george ward cole
bridesmaid crinoline skirt
mid 1800’s
brighton
miss margaret morison ward cole
miss barkly
sir henry barkly.

A cream paper silk taffeta crinoline skirt c.1862. This skirt features a flat front across the front waistband but a gathered across the back. At the front it is floor length whilst at the back it features a small train. Presumably the skirt was concealed at the sides and back at the front features decorations that do not continue around the back. The front decoration consists of three tiers of pleated pale violet to pale pink silk ribbon with a deep drop of cream lace. The final lace tier is gracing the floor.

Historical information

This skirt belonged to Miss Margaret Morison Ward Cole and was worn for her role as bridesmaid for the marriage of Miss Barkly, daughter of Sir Henry Barkly.

Significance

George Ward Cole, father of Miss Margaret Morison 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. Sir Henry Barkly was the second Governor of Victoria.

Brighton Historical Society, Brighton

Calash

Key words

calash
headwear

Black taffeta calash with ribs made of baleen.

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

Dress - Evening dress

Key words

mr james bell
woolbrook
teesdale
septimus miller
cantala
henry 'money' miller
helen miller nee henderson
gwendoline miller
ronald miller
findon
clara miller
c1909

A yellow and lime green silk and net evening dress from c.1909. The bodice is constructed of a golden silk satin with an over bodice of a very soft gold net with soft gold and lime green embroidery decorated with flower and bow motif's. The neckline is bateau like in shape with the edge following the flowers of the lace design. The bodice is sleeveless with a loose detached cap that hangs down over the top of the arm with a lace covering. The under fabric of the bodice is shaped and lightly boned but the over lace is looser, nipping in at the waist where it joins the skirt. At the back, the bodice neckline scoops lower than the front with the lace overlay creating a v shape at the centre back. The bodice is secured with hooks and eyes and waist tapes. The skirt is flat fronted and floor length consisting of the same golden yellow silk with soft gold and lime green embroidered net over skirt. The lace net over skirt features larger motifs and greater embellishment towards the bottom of the skirt. The lace over lay also has an edge that follows the design of the lace rather than a straight edge. At the back the underskirt is flat and shaped but the over skirt is lightly gathered and loose hanging. The skirt finishes in a full skirt and a rounded, small train.

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 pastorialist 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 evening dress was owned and worn by Clara Miller nee Bell in Melbourne in c.1909.

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