Lee Duffield

Edited by Lee Duffield
Freedom and Truth

Exhibition showcases Brisbane’s fashion journey


Each of the 35 garments tells a story about a special event.

The Museum of Brisbane is hosting the exhibition In Fashion, a ‘mode’ exposition showing some of the best pieces from women and designer’s private collections.

Retracing the city’s history, each of the 35 garments opens a window into a story about getting dressed for a special event – from vintage pieces to contemporary ones.

Brisbane Councillor Geraldine Knapp says in a review the exhibition is a must for anyone who likes to dress up for an occasion.

“In Fashion is an exhibition of Brisbane’s different eras through fashion,” Cr Knapp said.

“From ballgowns and bustles, to exquisite wedding dresses and runway couture, visitors will get an insight into Brisbane’s fashionable precincts, events and memorable moments.”

Historical creations

The exhibition displays a collection of historical, hand-made dresses from the late 1800s.

The outfits feature embroidery and corsetry, made by dressmakers for women with tiny, waspish waists.

“As a woman I know how much we love our fashion, meaning that across Brisbane we have many cherished memories, treasures and stories contained within our wardrobes.” Cr Knapp said  in a review.

Dean Brough, fashion coordinator, lecturer and designer at the Queensland University of Technology in Brisbane,  says  fashion is hard to describe but clothing is a way of embellishing life.

“History is so important – a garment without history loses its beauty,” he said.

Wedding gowns

The exhibition also showcases a selection of wedding gowns and historical photographs.

Each garment includes a small story explaining who made it and who wore the gown and the occasion it was created.

Information is also available to help understand the fabrics, the designs or the specificity of a wedding gown.

Exhibition visitor Michelle was amazed.

“The Bora dress worn by Jennifer Hawkins when she was crowned Miss Universe is stunning,” she said.

“The 1980s still appear as a less-glamorous blip on the fashion timeline when sequins, metallic fabrics and garish dyed creations were in.”


Mr Brough said the exhibition was innovative and well created.

He says the only negative point is the absence of menswear.

Mr Brough will also give more  insights into the grind and glamour of fashion design at an event at the exhibition on October 1st, 2009.

The In Fashion: Dressing Up Brisbane exhibition is part of Brisbane 150 celebrations until November 29, 2009.