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Fashion in the Age of Elegance 1840-1900

May 6, 2023 @ 10:00 am - 3:00 pm


In a foreign climate and environment, how did European women adapt to living in rural Victoria and the emerging suburbs of Melbourne? Explore and delight in the opulent tastes and styles adopted by women through nineteenth century gowns from the fashion and design collection of the Kew Historical Society.

Mary Ann Henty came with her husband, Francis Henty to the Port Phillip District immediately after their marriage in Launceston in 1842. The gown she wore at the ceremony is the centrepiece of a large collection of gowns owned and worn by pioneering Victorian families. A number of our newly acquired costumes in the Henty Collection will join other historic costumes donated by descendants of the Coombs and Weir families.

The exhibition includes silken gowns worn for special events such as weddings and balls as well as examples of day dresses used for entertaining at home and when visiting. It will allow you to view evolving styles of outerwear and undergarments, which only occasionally responded to a new climate and environment.

The exhibition runs for three weekends and will be supplemented by a series of midweek lectures on the activities and tastes of women in colonial Victoria. The formal rooms of the Villa Alba Museum , 44 Walmer Street, Kew, 3101, will form a vivid background to the items exhibited.


Open Saturdays & Sundays 22 April – 7 May, 10am-12pm, 1pm–3pm. Tickets range from $20-$25

Bookings at:  https://www.eventbrite.com.au/e/fashion-in-the-age-of-elegance-tickets-560162139037


May 6, 2023
10:00 am - 3:00 pm
Event Category:


Kew Historical Society Inc
9278 4770


Villa Alba
44 Walmer St
Kew, VIC 3101 Australia
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