This mid 1930s evening gown is made from a synthetic ivory lace, with darker champagne tulle under the lace, which is gathered to form the puff sleeves. The dress is full-length and designed to emphasise the tall slender profile of its wearer. The neck drapes into a cowl, emphasised by a small metal weight sewn into the seam. The skirt has two layers, the first full-length and with godet panels at each side, while the second falls from the waistline as a large peplum, ending with a scalloped hem just below the knees. The overall effect is easy and graceful, complimenting the body’s natural proportions.

This dress belonged to Sheila MacPherson. Her maternal grandfather had arrived in Otago on the Magnet in 1840 while her father, John MacPherson, was manager of Totara Estate, the historic property near Oamaru where the first shipment of frozen meat was prepared in 1882. Sheila was born there in 1899 and grew up in comfortable circumstances. Except for a brief period in Wellington, she lived her whole life in the Oamaru area. Sheila never married and died in 1990.
Production Date
Mid 1930s
1,450 (h) x 600 (w) x 440 (d) mm (on mannequin)