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Monday, 6 June 2016

Back in time to the 1950s . . .

A few weeks ago I attended The Dressmaker film's costume exhibition at Rippon Lea House and Gardens. Unfortunately the leading stars in the film, Kate Winslet nor Chris Hemsworth, were there but it still was an amazing night!

Rippon Lea, completed in 1867, is located in Elsternick, Melbourne and is a heritage listed home that I have visited numerous times for I love the history and the beauty of it. A grand, sweeping driveway leads up to the mansion that's shrouded by tall trees and lamposts. Surrounding the house are vast, green gardens, a greenhouse, pool and lake, which alongside the house, is open to the public to tour or hire as a venue.

When I heard that a 1950s theme pop-up bar would be held there in addition to a viewing of the costumes seen in The Dressmaker, I just had to go. The event requested to dress up in 1950s attire, so I went for a black and white polka dot dress with little kitten heels and the famous 50s red lip and wing liner.

Arriving at the mansion, it was already night time and so walking through the long, winding driveway that was lit by glowing amber lamp posts felt really magical. Arriving at the house, they had two 1950s style cars with the sign 'Dungatar,' at the front, the town in The Dressmaker. People, especially the women, were all dressed up themselves in beautiful vintage dresses and furs, walking amongst them I felt as though I was really back in time at a party in a Downton Abbey-like place (my dream! Yes, I am an old soul . . .).

The house was completely removed of its furniture and replaced with mannequins dressed in a variety of elaborate and beautiful costumes in front of backdrops portraying the barren bushlands where the novel/film takes place.  

I love the stark contrast between the setting and the costumes.

I loved these two dresses below, they were my favourite.

Costumes as worn by Chris Hemsworth and Kate Winslet
 I also loved how within certain areas they set up mini sets. This one is of Tilly Dunnage's (Kate Winslet) dressmaking station.

Alongside the display of the Parisian-couture inspired costumes, designed by award-winning costume designer Marion Boyce, there was also a display of beautiful hats and hair pieces.

After touring the house and ooing and ahhing at the beautiful costumes, we then set off to a  swinging 1950s style party in the mansions ballroom, whose large terrace doors were thrown open and overlooking the gorgeous view of the pool area that was lit with fairy lights. I was too shy to get up and have a boogie because some of the dancers were amazing, but I was happy just sipping on my lemonade and pretending that I was a lady from the 50s at a real-life fancy 50s party . . . I didn't want it to end!

I hope you enjoyed the photos! What do you think of the film? Have you been to any 50s themed parties?

Kristina xx


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