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Object: ’Vita’ dress

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Title ’Vita’ dress
Production Sainty, Marilyn (fashion designer), 2000, Auckland
Cochran, Vita (decorative artist), 2000, Dunedin
Materials wool, nylon, cotton
Classification dresses
Technique machine sewing, hand sewing
Dimensions Centre Back: x 1105mm (Length)
Width Across Shoulders: x 370mm (Width/Depth)
Credit line Purchased 2001
Registration number GH009560

The 'Vita' dress is one of the more unusual examples of contemporary clothing in Te Papa's textile collection. It is a fine example of fashion as art rather than being typical of contemporary New Zealand fashion.

The dress is a result of a collaboration between Auckland fashion designer Marilyn Sainty and Dunedin-based craft artist Vita Cochran and reflects a marriage of their techniques. Sainty is well known for her elegant, spare style, shown in the simple cut of the shift dress. Cochran is admired for her work that recalls the tradition and skill of women's handcrafts. With this dress she has embellished the garment with lush, three-dimensional floral work.

The makers
Marilyn Sainty has been designing women's fashion for nearly forty years and is self- taught. She started making clothes at sixteen and designing seriously at eighteen. In recent years she has collaborated with various artists and designers, creating works that can be artistically as well as commercially successful.

Vita Cochran is known for her original handmade work that draws on women's domestic textile crafts that were popular before World War II.

Related information

Disclaimer: This information was created from historic documentation, and may not necessarily reflect the best available knowledge about the item. Some collection images are created for identification purposes only and may not be of reproduction quality. Some images are not available due to copyright restrictions. If you have information or questions about objects in the collection, contact us using our enquiry form. You can also find out more about Collections Online.