On the back of the success of Jocelyn Moorhouse’s cinematic adaptation of The Dressmaker, dear husband and I ventured off this past weekend to see the National Trust of Victoria’s tribute exhibition to the film at Winchelsea’s Barwon Park Mansion.
I had never visited Barwon Park Mansion before and I must say it was the ideal location to host the exhibition. Situated in the rural surrounds of Winchelsea it perfectly evoked the atmosphere of Rosalie Ham’s ‘Dungatar’ as featured in the novel and film and consequently was the perfect back drop to tell the story of local girl turned couturier, Tilly Dunnage … played in the film to perfection by the wonderful Kate Winslet.
Inside the stately homestead, littered throughout every room, garments and accessories harking back to the 1950s was like music to my ears. Vintage at its finest, with cinched and polished creations, everywhere you looked it was a visual treat highlighting the power of the ‘makeover’, a common theme in the story.
To add to the wonder of the exhibition, an in conversation event was also unfolding featuring the author herself and the amazingly talented Marion Boyce, costumer designer extraordinaire who is also responsible for all of the divine costumes of Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries fame. While dear husband and I did not get a chance to listen in on the discussion, I did however by sheer chance bump into Marion Boyce whilst waiting for access to the ladies and offered a few words of praise to her. A lovely surprise indeed, she was ever so gracious towards me in our interaction and it was a moment that made my trip to Barwon Park and the exhibition that much more special.