Wednesday, August 24, 2011

The Costume Collection

Last week we had an excursion to the Costume Collection in Bulleen.  It was amazing!! And huge.

I had heard of it through an article in the Age recently but had not organised a visit, it requires an appointment and I rarely manage to get myself into gear for those places.

The collection is a private one, run by Loel Thomson.  She spoke to us about her collection, that dates from 1788, and her interest in the less 'special' clothes that she likes. She talked about the way underwear shaped the body differently at different stages of history and how it is difficult to wear old fashions now because our current underwear does not shape our bodies appropriately, even if we could find clothes to fit our larger bodies.

Loel showed us a pair of underpants that especially interested her, they were probably made from an old sheet and were not well sewn, they indicated frugality and necessity.

There are 10,000 items in the collection - amazing, considering it is a private collection.  It is housed in rooms that do not have windows and has climate control.

The displays were organised into various periods and included not just clothes but jewellery and other accessories that would have gone with the fashions.  Even the hairdos of the mannequins were done to reflect the fashions of the time.


therigatha said...

Thanks for the memories Mary. This collection is one of the most comprehensive of Australian textile across the era of our period of settlement here. Fantastic site to visit and Loel is a very knowledgable guide to boot.

Mary said...

Thanks therigatha, I have since been to an antique shop and have looked at the items there with different eyes.