Last year Ayers House hosted the very successfully Miss Fisher's costume exhibition and I was thrilled to see that this year, the costumes from the Dressmaker were to be exhibited.
The movie The Dressmaker starred Kate Winslet and is set in the 1950s, in rural Australia. Kate Winslet's character of Tilly Dunnage returns to the small town she grew up in, in the intervening years she had worked in the Paris fashion industry. (I won't give any more away about the movie, it's great though! The movie is based on the book The Dressmaker by Rosalie Ham) The costumes are a vital part of the story. This exhibition has various costumes that the characters wear, designed by Marion Boyce and 'Tilly Dunnage' designs by Margot Wilson.
One of the 'Tilly Dunnage' designs which I loved. I called it the 'winged dress' as the cape to me looks like bird's wings, the pleats being the feathers. I think the official description lists it as 'fanned'.
The formal dining room is the first room that you enter and has the largest collection of costumes. Each display has explanations of the costumes and the materials used to create them.
This 'Tilly Dunnage' design is the first spectacular dress Tilly makes for another character. Unfortunately the photo doesn't catch the sparkles from the crystals in the netting of the dress.
Another favourite of mine, a Tilly Dunnage day dress, which is also being used on the poster of the exhibition.
The 'hideous' wedding dress made by a rival designer. A parody I thought on Lady Di's wedding dress, complete with enormous puffy sleeves, lace inserts large bow on the bodice and huge bow at the back of the dress!
The mannequins all have knitted booties on which made me laugh!
A Tilly Dunnage creation at the front as well as 2 plainer outfits worn by the townsfolk.
Tilly makes costumes for an amateur dramatics society, this is "Three Little Maids from School" from the Mikado. Beautifully done, if not totally authentic (the obi (belts) were too small!) kimonos.
A wedding party, the blue dress is the 'Mother of the Bride' outfit.
The exhibition was lovely and Ayers House is the perfect setting to display the costumes. Having just recently visited Ayers House I was really impressed at how much effort went into creating the display. The various rooms had to be emptied of the furniture and other artefacts that make up the displays. All would need to be carefully packed away and stored. Then the actual exhibition situated around the rooms, the hallway was used as well as the upstairs landing. A truly lovely exhibition in a delightful setting. It runs through until December 11th, I'm looking forward to what next year's exhibition will be!
Here's last year's exhibition of the costumes from Miss Fisher investigates.
Miss Fisher Exhibition