Inside the Collection

The Australian Dress Register launch: collecting Australian costume

The Museum has been working with regional organsiations and communities to create the Australian Dress Register, a collaborative, online project about dress in New South Wales pre 1945. This includes men’s, women’s and children’s clothing ranging from the special occasion to the everyday. Museums and private collectors are encouraged to research their garments and share the stories and photographs while the information is still available and within living memory.

Rebecca Evans, Rosie Cullen, Sarah Pointon, Lindie Ward, Dawn Casey and Rebecca Pinchin standing with a couple of mannequins from the exhibition
Dress Register launch at the Museum of the Riverina with from left to right: Rebecca Evans, Rosie Cullen, Sarah Pointon, Lindie Ward, Dawn Casey and Rebecca Pinchin

The Australian Dress Register was officially launched at the Museum of the Riverina in Wagga Wagga on Tuesday 16 August by Daryl Maguire MP, the local Member of Parliament and Government Whip. The Powerhouse Director, Dawn Casey and staff involved in the project gathered with regional curators from Broken Hill, Griffith and, of course, Wagga Wagga, joined by an audience of family members linked to the entries and interested local residents, to celebrate this important occasion. They had plenty to discuss.

A fascinating display of garments from regional galleries, that have already been entered on the register, was put on display and Luke Dearnley showcased the site online for the audience and explained how it functions. This sophisticated website is a leader in its field. There are many diverse entries from public and private collections that capture intriguing stories about community history across NSW.

These entries will increase as more regions contribute their dress stories and the register will go Australia wide in the near future.

Norman Myott grandson of Hilda Smith whose black dress (1908-1912) is on display behind the boys outfit 'Boys black velveteen dress, Griffith Pioneer Museum
Norman Myott, grandson of Hilda Smith whose black dress (1908-1912) is on display behind the boys outfit ‘Boys black velveteen dress, Griffith Pioneer Museum

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