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98/35/1 Evening dress, worn by Gladys Moncrieff, cotton/glass/diamantes, made by Lucéle, worn in New Zealand/Australia, 1961. Click to enlarge.

Evening dress worn by Gladys Moncrieff

Made by Lucele in Australia, Oceania, 1961.

Gladys Moncrieff was one of the great stars of the Australian musical stage for more than 35 years. The theatrical impresario J C Williamson described her as ‘Australia’s Queen of Musical Comedy’. To her fellow Australians she was affectionately known as ‘our Glad’.

Although most remembered as a performer, she was also a recording artist, cutting 84 titles for the Columbia Gramophone Co at Homebush in Sydney. Moncrieff had a rich soprano voice and her recordings of musical comedy favourites sol...


Object No.


Object Statement

Evening dress, worn by Gladys Moncrieff, cotton/glass/diamantes, made by Lucéle, worn in New Zealand/Australia, 1961

Physical Description

Evening dress, worn by Gladys Moncrieff, cotton/glass/diamantes, made by Lucéle, worn in New Zealand/Australia, 1961.
Fitted evening dress made of cream cotton, sleeveless with large floppy bows at each shoulder creating small cap-like sleves, the bows are trimmed with a fringe of clear glass beads. Low scoop neckline with draped effect at back, there is a weight attached to centre back to accentuate the draping. Straight skirt with slit at centre front to about knee height and short train at the back. The dress is heavily decorated in silver and clear glass beads, diamantes and fake peals in a pattern of leaves and flowers. The front of the skirt is decorated with a zig zag of glass beads and diamantes. The skirt is fully lined with cream rayon and bodice is partially lined with cream silk chiffon. Proper left side seam opening fastens with a metal zipper and small metal hook and thread loop. Fastens also at proper left shoulder seam with two metal hooks and eyes. Machine and hand sewn.


White fabric label inside centre front: `Lucele/REG'D'.



510 mm



This evening dress has a 'Lucéle' label attached. It was probably made in Australia.

Moncrieff's farewell performance started in Sydney and ended in New Zealand two years later.


Lucele 1961



This dress was worn by Gladys Moncrieff (1892-1976) for the last performance of her stage career in Hamilton, New Zealand, in 1961.

Born in Queensland, her mother was a soprano who had sung professionally as Ada Lambell and her father was an early motion picture presenter in outback Queensland. After an early career as a child performer, Gladys and her mother moved to Sydney where she was taken on by J C Williamson in 1911. Her starring role was as the lead in 'Maid of the Mountains' which opened in Melbourne in 1921, a role she performed for the next 30 years. Gladys Moncrieff was described by J C Williamson's as 'Australia's Queen of Musical Comedy as well as a truly great Australian'. This dress was worn on her farewell tour('Many Happy Returns') which began in Sydney on 28 January 1959 and closed in Hamilton, New Zealand in 1961. A contemporary review in a New Zealand newspaper referred to it as 'one of the brightest variety shows in thirty years ... There are few who can sing as well the songs from down the lanes of memory as Gladys Moncrieff'. The final song in her performance was 'Love will find a way'. Moncrieff wrote in her memoirs, 'It was rather sad that I finished my career in variety rather than in my first love, musical comedy, but in the theatre you take what comes and view these things philosophically.'
Donated to the Sydney Opera House Trust by Gladys Moncrieff.


Sydney Opera House


Moncrieff, Gladys 1961


Credit Line

Gift of Sydney Opera House Trust, 1998

Acquisition Date

10 March 1998

Cite this Object


Evening dress worn by Gladys Moncrieff 2018, Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences, accessed 21 January 2019, <>


{{cite web |url= |title=Evening dress worn by Gladys Moncrieff |author=Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences |access-date=21 January 2019 |publisher=Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences, Australia}}

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