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Dress Recalls Memories Of Department Stores

By Karen Hughes

Fashion aficionados are set to be thrilled by the display of a dress from the late twentieth century when Whanganui Regional Museum presents the next Ko te Kākahu o te Marama - Outfit of the Month.

The outfit for April is a summery navy-blue and white polka dot sleeveless dress, made from jersey knit fabric. The very short skirt of the dress has accordion pleats which lend it a delightful movement and a chic fabric belt accentuates the waistline.

The dress was purchased from a leading Whanganui department store in 1970 and it was worn right up until 1989. The owner of the dress, Mrs Lila Campbell, donated the dress to Whanganui Regional Museum in 1997.

The Outfit of the Month series invites fashion enthusiasts to indulge in the fabulous style of past eras and explore the roots of many modern-day garments.

Pou Ārahi/Director, Dr Bronwyn Labrum, will present and discuss the dress with an informal public talk. Members of the public are invited to hear her presentation in the Museum at 12.15 on Friday 5th April.

‘Mid-season fashion sale’ in the haberdashery department at McGruer’s Wanganui department store, late 1960s.

Photo credit: WRM B-BS-193

Entry to the event is free. Koha for the Museum is always appreciated. No booking is required, all are welcome. The dress will be on display in the Museum throughout April.

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Founded in 1892, the Whanganui Regional Museum is internationally renowned for its Taonga Māori Collection. Located in Pukenamu Queen’s Park, visitors can view the exceptional creations of tupuna (ancestors) of Whanganui tangata whenua (indigenous people) alongside a changing exhibition programme encompassing a world-class collection of natural and human history, with a regional emphasis. The ground level boutique museum store sells a range of local and Māori jewellery, books, cards, art, and other New Zealand-made gift items.

The Whanganui Regional Museum Trust is an independent legal entity that owns the collection and governs the development of the Museum on behalf of the Whanganui community.

Open to visitors daily from 10.00am to 4.30pm (except Christmas Day and Good Friday), entry to Whanganui Regional Museum is free. Connect with Whanganui Regional Museum at or on Facebook, and Instagram.


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