The Power of Transformation: The Dressmaker Costume Exhibition

The Dressmaker Rebecca Gibney as Muriel PrattThe power of transformation through fashion will transcend the silver screen to the National Trust’s Rippon Lea Estate, as costumes from the box office hit film, The Dressmaker are displayed in an exclusive exhibition.

Based on the best-selling novel by Rosalie Ham, The Dressmaker is a bittersweet, comedy-drama set in early 1950s Australia. Tilly Dunnage (Kate Winslet), a beautiful and talented misfit, after many years working as a dressmaker in exclusive Parisian fashion houses, returns home to the tiny middle-of-nowhere town of Dungatar to right past wrongs.

Not only does she reconcile with her ailing, eccentric mother Molly (Judy Davis) and unexpectedly fall in love with the pure-hearted Teddy (Liam Hemsworth), but armed with her sewing machine and an incredible sense of style, Tilly transforms the women of the town and in doing so, gets sweet revenge on those who did her wrong.

Developed by The National Trust Victoria, in partnership with Marion Boyce and Film Art Media, The Dressmaker Exhibition takes you into the inner world of the costume department with footage of the costumes being created and stories behind the corsetry and art finishing.

Actor Sarah Snook, who plays Gertrude ‘Trudy’ Pratt in the film said that costumes are vital for actors when inhabiting a new character as it allows them to believe the imagination.

“Pretending to be someone else wearing your own clothes is very difficult, but when you have an artist who has designed, curated and collected outfits to express an idea, it helps an actor to embody the emotions and transformations of their character,” said Snook.

Featuring feature 50 designs by Marion Boyce as well as Tilly Dunnage’s costumes designed by Margot Wilson, the exhibition will allow visitors a rare glimpse into how whimsy, glamour and humour are used in the creation of these stunning costumes.

“We are thrilled at the reception the film has received and we’re very excited to be able to showcase the beautiful costumes created by Marion Boyce and Margot Wilson, enabling admirers to appreciate the stunning wardrobe first hand,” said Sue Maslin of Film Art Media, producer of The Dressmaker.

The Dressmaker Costume Exhibition
Rippon Lea House and Gardens, 192 Hotham Street, Elsternwick
Exhibition continues to 31 July 2016
Admission fees apply

For more information, visit: for details.

Image: Rebecca Gibney as Muriel Pratt in The Dressmaker (supplied)