Object: Wedding dress
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Carosa (fashion designer), circa 1950, Italy
Caracciolo Ginetti, Giovanna (fashion designer), circa 1950, Italy
|Medium summary||Wool gaberdine lined with wool hopsack; with cord work embroidery executed on raw silk panels|
|Technique||machine sewing, embroidering|
x 1495mm (Length)
Centre Back: x 1720mm (Length)
Other: x 790mm (Length)
Other: x 457mm (Length)
|Credit line||Gift of Mary-Annette Hay, 2007|
This stunning medieval-style gown was designed by Italian high fashion house Carosa. Carosa was a major influence on Italian fashion in the 1950s when the country’s fashion industry was emerging on the international stage. Highly decorated Italian gowns became particularly popular with American film stars and, as a result, had a major influence on American designers for Hollywood.
The luxurious woollen fabric and the gown’s exquisite cord-work embroidery were trademarks of Italian-designed garments after World War II. Embroidery, in particular, had long been an Italian craft, and was practised with great skill at this time.
How the bride found her dress
Mary-Annette Burgess wore this dress for her marriage to Donald Hay in 1953. She had joined the New Zealand Wool Board as Promotions Officer in 1948 and made it her mission to ‘take the wonder of wool to the nation’. She became familiar with every aspect of the wool industry, both in New Zealand and internationally, and gained the confidence of farmers, fashion designers, and retailers alike.
Dramatic fashion shows became her trademark, and her productions were sell-out attractions across the country. But her passion for wool wasn’t confined to the public arena. She wore designer wool garments at every opportunity, even to her own wedding.
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