A Bit of Love in Every Stitch

This elaborately embroidered coat was once worn by Gustav (Gus) Friedrich Wagner (1881–1950) and is thought to have been made by his mother, Johanna Hermine (Mina) (1857–1921) in the nineteenth century German style. The coat is made from black cotton velvet with white embroidery and lace trim and bone false buttons. The side view of […]

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Black Gold and White Satin

Detail shot of the belt of a country performer's outfit; belt buckle is metal and rectangular with a floral design

Shown below is a 1980s stage outfit worn by Kamilaroi performer Col Hardy (1940-). You could say its style is ‘a little bit country’ and ‘a little rock ’n’ roll’.  Homemade, the plain white satin shirt is embellished with crystal beads, diamantes, and pearl buttons. The matching polyester trousers are belted, and the sparkly decorative […]

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Star Powered

You see some of them get up there now and they’ve got holes in their jeans! Argh. —Zeta Burns For this yodelling cowgirl, it’s no secret that looking her best on stage is almost as important as sounding good. Zeta recalls a teacher’s advice to, “Always dress the part, always dress nicely. Even if you get […]

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Dressed to Thrill

By the age of ten Rocky Cameron (1944-2016) was already an experienced performer. He had ‘cut his teeth’ on the greater-Sydney radio circuit – 2UW, 2KY, 2GB & 2KA – but even with those successes he still felt his nerves swell. Following the introduction of television to Australia, Rocky made it to the stage of […]

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Well Kept

When 20-year-old Lincolnshire born woman Sarah Ingall (1829-1902) married at Morpeth in 1849, she probably accepted, as did most brides of her era, that motherhood would be her natural occupation. During her life Sarah gave birth to nine children, spending over twenty-five years pregnant, breast-feeding babies and raising children. This fancy day cap, with its […]

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Mask Up

Remember the first time you wore a face mask in public? Did it take you some time for the self-conscious awkwardness to disappear? Over a hundred years ago when Australia faced the 1918-1919 influenza pandemic, mask wearing and vaccinations were seen as the pathway out. Intense interstate rivalries over case numbers and widespread complaints about […]

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