Author Meg Stewart tells the story of a dress worn by Isabel McDonagh in the classic Australian film The Cheaters (1929). She donated the dress, originally owned by her great-aunt Kathleen Coen, to the NFSA in 2015.
The Cheaters was one of the earliest Australian films made by a team of female filmmakers. The McDonagh sisters - Paulette (director), Phyllis (art director) and actress Isabel (billed as Marie Lorraine) - made the film as a silent movie in 1929. It arrived in cinemas after the release of the first talking pictures and the McDonagh sisters converted it to a part-talkie and later to a full-talkie film in 1931.