Green wedding dresses and 100-year-old clothing among items on show at Greenough fashion exhibition

Phoebe PinGeraldton Guardian
Museum curator Gary Martin with a 1960s lounge suit worn by Jo Bunker's mother Audrey.
Camera IconMuseum curator Gary Martin with a 1960s lounge suit worn by Jo Bunker's mother Audrey. Credit: Geoff Vivian

A lime-green wedding dress, clothing passed down through the generations, and pieces more than 100 years old will be on display in a new exhibition in Greenough this weekend.

To curate the Treasures from my Wardrobe exhibition, the Greenough Museum asked locals to dig out the oldest pieces of clothing they owned and share the stories of why they could never part with the item.

About 40 pieces from as far back as the early 1900s have been loaned for the showcase, which is part of a project to host a community exhibition once every two years.

Despite more businesses offering professional organisation and decluttering services, exhibition curator Gary Martin said almost everyone had something in their wardrobe of sentimental value.

“I think we have gone through a culture of reducing clutter in our lives and we’ve been told it is healthy to discard things we don’t need,” he said. “But you will find just about everybody has something in their wardrobe they are reluctant to discard for whatever reason.”

Mr Martin said the meaning attached to each item of clothing made the garments invaluable to their owners. “We have a fabulous lime-green mini wedding dress from the 60s because the bride was pregnant and she wasn’t allowed to wear white,” he said.

“As a challenge, she bought this fabulous outfit because it was the height of the mini being fashionable.”

Geraldton resident Roxanne Grant loaned the dress she bought with her first pay cheque from a summer job she had in 1979 when she was just 14.

Ms Grant — who still fits into the dress — said she wanted to do something memorable.

“Everyone advised me that with your first pay you should frame your first dollar or do something to celebrate it ... I decided to buy this dress,” she said.

“It was quite expensive at the time, not exactly familiar with what I paid but I do remember that first pay being $73,” she said.

The exhibition will run at the Greenough Museum from tomorrow until July 1.

Roxanne Grant wearing the dress she got with her first pay check in 1979.
Camera IconRoxanne Grant wearing the dress she got with her first pay check in 1979. Credit: Picture: Bernadette Anderson

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