Featuring a very slender silhouette with an elaborate skirt pulled back and draped over a back bustle, this dress provides valuable insight into 1880s Australian designed and made fashion. The dress is significant for its connection to one of Sydney's most prominent and leading business houses. Established in 1839, Farmers & Co remained an innovative and influential commercial and social institution in Sydney through to the 1980s.
By the 19th century weddings became increasingly more elaborate with the inclusion of festive food, special clothing and gift giving. Featuring cream silk brocade fabric, this wedding ensemble including dress, cape and train reflect the investment in the appearance of a bride to signify wealth and status. The bride may have selected the fabric and style of the dress and attended several fittings to achieve the perfect fit for this hourglass shaped dress. The bride's ensemble reflected her dreams for a happy, romance filled marriage while also embodying a public statement of the family's wealth and status as well as the customs, traditions and superstitions associated with the marriage rites of the predominant social order.
Rebecca Evans, November, 2014