‘Dressing Australia - Museum of Costume’ is a privately funded museum that endeavors through its exhibitions to tell the story of clothes in a unique way.  Every piece of clothing tells a story.  Whether it was purchased for everyday use in the workplace or for a significant event in the wearer’s  life. 

‘Dressing Australia - Museum of Costume’ is not in a static location in a capital city or country town, but is a  ‘pop up museum’ that uses a variety of spaces in venues ranging from major international museums and galleries to small halls in country towns and at pavilions at Royal Agricultural Shows.  ‘Dressing Australia - Museum of Costume‘  launched their unique costume exhibitions in 2011 with ‘Dressed for the Voyage’ the ‘Titanic’ exhibition for the centenary years of the launch in 1911 and the sinking of the ‘Titanic’ in 1912.  Using some fifty original dresses from the period the lives of many of the passengers aboard the ship were brought to life for the thousands of people who attended the exhibition in Sydney, Melbourne, Canberra, Adelaide, Hobart and Brisbane.

The biggest exhibition to date for was launched in 2015 - ‘Women of Empire 1914-1918’ which was the only exhibition in the world telling the stories of the women of the First World War over the four year centenary.  The exhibition toured Australia and New Zealand extensively and an estimated half-a-million people found out that not all heroes in the First World War wore khaki.......  Using over 100 original costumes from the First World War the lives of some seventy Australian and New Zealand women were brought to life.  From the nurses who served on the front line to the mothers who waited at home for the telegram or visit from the minister.

in May 2018 the sequel to ‘women of empire 1914-1918’ was launched.  ‘Women of Empire - The Homecoming’ tells the stories of the women at the end of the Great War.   The war bride, the bereaved wife and mother, the soldier settler, the socialite who’d found a new path, the wife whose husband was ‘never the same’, the nurse determined to make her mark, the campaigner who had to find a new campaign…..

The response from the public as well as museums, libraries and galleries that have staged ‘Women of Empire 1914-1918’ was such that ‘Dressing Australia - Museum of Costume’ was approached to provide other new and exciting costume exhibitions to their clients.......

Launched in April 2017 to coincide with the Jane Austen bicentenary ‘Be Persuaded’ uses original fashion, fashion accessories, water colours of period fashion and documents of the era to bring to life Jane Austen and some of the characters from her works.  This exhibition is travelling Australia and New Zealand  with bookings until 2021.    An exhibition that descendants of Jane Austen have indicated they would like to see in the UK at Jane Austen’s birthplace......

2020 is the 150th Anniversary of the passing of Charles Dickens whose novels feature over four hundred women and to coincide with this we have ‘The Best of Times, the Worst of Times - A Woman’s Lot in Charles Dickens’.   An exhibition that includes favorites from his novels such as Betsy Trotswood, Estella, Amy Dorit and Madame Defarge as well as the women from Dicken’s life.

Another anniversary in 2020 is the seventy fifth anniversary of the end of World War Two.  Keeping the Spirit of 1945 Alive - ‘Fashion on the Ration’ is the title of a new exhibition that pays tribute to the women of Australia and New Zealand (there are separate exhibitions for the two countries) at the end of the Second World War.  The exhibition uses original costume from the era, fashion accessories, artwork, photographs, document s and ephemera from the time.  Stories of the women who worked with the Land Army, the ‘Jam Busters’ of the CWA and Women’s Institute, the women who knitted tens of thousands of garments and partnered ‘unknown warriors’ at dances.  The women who were swept off their feet by the ‘American Invasion’.  Those who donned uniforms and those without a uniform who worked in factories producing everything from munitions to army blankets.

A smaller travelling exhibition ‘Breeches and Backaches’ tells the story in Australia of the Mable, Joyce, Portia, Peggy and Winifred who answered the call to replace the men who had enlisted by joining the Australian Women’s Land Army.  From eating raw potatoes to having to bathe in milk sterilisers they were the ‘Cinderella Service’ of the Second World War.

And as ‘everyone loves a nice dress’ our ‘Brideswear Revisited’ exhibition features two hundred years of original wedding dresses including the major collection of wedding gowns from castle howard in the uk.


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