Three women seated in a living room that is decorated in very lush floral wallpaper and carpet. Two more women stand in the background next to a table of cakes.
https://www.nfsa.gov.au/sites/default/files/collection/hero_image04-2019/costumes-cc_hero-image.jpg

Film Costumes

Film Costumes from 90 Years of Australian Movies

Worn by Ned Kelly, Muriel, Miranda and more

We look inside the wardrobe of Australian film costumes and find stylish satins and silks, sparkling sequins and plenty of pom poms.

'What we wear tells the story of who we are', according to UK fashion doyenne Frances Corner. This is especially true of film costumes, where clothes are crucial in helping the actor become the character. 

This collection features memorable and award-winning looks from The Dressmaker (2015); The Sapphires (2012); Ned Kelly (2003); Moulin Rouge! (2001); Muriel's Wedding (1994); The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert (1994); Starstruck (1982); My Brilliant Career (1979); The Getting of Wisdom (1978); Picnic at Hanging Rock (1975); Wake in Fright (1971); and The Cheaters (1929).

 

Hugo Weaving on the Role of Film Costumes
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Year

In an exclusive interview with the NFSA, actor Hugo Weaving talks about the importance of costume design in the making of a film and the development of a character.  

The Dressmaker Costumes: 'Works of Art, Not Just Clothes'
NFSA-ID:
NFSA ID
1441672
Year:
Year

This short featurette, filmed behind-the-scenes of The Dressmaker (2015), features interviews with cast and crew about the the importance of the costumes in the film and the process of creating and sourcing pieces for each character.

Interviewed are actors Kate Winslet, Sarah Snook, Liam Hemsworth and Hugo Weaving, along with director Jocelyn Moorehouse, producer Sue Maslin, and costume designers Marion Boyce and Margot Wilson.

The Dressmaker's Marion Boyce on Transforming Gertrude
NFSA-ID:
NFSA ID
1441672
Year:
Year

In this behind-the-scenes interview, costume designer Marion Boyce explains why Gertrude (played by Sarah Snook) was her favourite character to dress in the film The Dressmaker (2015). 

Jocelyn Moorhouse on Costuming for 'The Dressmaker'
NFSA-ID:
NFSA ID
1469807
Year:
Year

In this excerpt from an oral history interview with director Jocelyn Moorhouse, she talks about her hands-on involvement in the research for, and creation of the look and style of, the costumes in the film The Dressmaker (2015).

Lorna Lesley interviewed Jocelyn Moorhouse for the NFSA Oral History program in 2016.

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Satine's red dress from Moulin Rouge!
NFSA-ID:
NFSA ID
1448192
Year:
Year

‘Red Satin’ is the gown worn by Nicole Kidman as Satine in the elephant love medley scene early in Moulin Rouge! (Baz Luhrmann, Australia, 2001). 

The outfit is made of a red silk satin bodice and matching red satin skirt, lined with black polyester. 

Moulin Rouge! is a glorious mix of historical detail and fictional extravagance. Costume designers Catherine Martin and Angus Strathie had to create over 400 costumes that evoke the voluptuous heady world of nineteenth century Paris.

Click 'View More' below to see a 360-degree view of the costume.

Moulin Rouge!: Love
NFSA-ID:
NFSA ID
639675
Year:
Year

Satine (Nicole Kidman) tells Christian (Ewan McGregor) she cannot afford to fall in love. Christian believes that love is everything.

Moulin Rouge! uses songs from many different eras to convey its messages about love and give the film a timeless quality. This scene perfectly encapsulates the film's central dramatic conflict and illustrates Luhrmann's unique use of popular music to propel the story. When the two lead characters exchange snippets of lyrics to argue the case for their meaning of 'love', it compels audiences to suspend reality in what is a fantasy love story.

The scene incorporates lines from (or adaptations of) 'Love is Like Oxygen’ (1978) by 70s glam rockers Sweet, 'Love is a Many-Splendored Thing’ (1955), 'Up Where We Belong’ (from An Officer and a Gentleman, 1982), 'All You Need is Love’ (1967) by The Beatles, 'I Was Made For Lovin’ You’ (1979) by Kiss, 'One More Night’ (1985) by Phil Collins, U2’s 'Pride (In the Name of Love)’ (1984) and 'Don’t Leave Me This Way’ (1975). Ewan McGregor and Nicole Kidman performed their own singing in Moulin Rouge.

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The Sapphires blue-sequinned dress
NFSA-ID:
NFSA ID
1530322
Year:
Year

A long blue-sequinned dress worn by Julie (played by Jessica Mauboy) in The Sapphires (Wayne Blair, Australia, 2012).

The 360-degree view gives us a good opportunity to see the entirety of this costume designed by Tess Schofield. She undertook significant research to capture the fashion of the late 1960s.

This glamorous dress became an icon of the film and appeared on versions of the film's poster. The result is a stunning, figure-hugging design that is both tasteful and alluring.

Schofield won the 2012 AACTA Award for designing the film's costumes.

Click 'View More' below to see a 360-degree view of the costume.

The four women who play The Sapphires in the feature film in blue dresses with arms crossed over their chests
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The Sapphires perform

Still from the feature film of The Sapphires (Wayne Blair, Australia, 2012). L-R: Deborah Mailman, Shari Sebbens, Jessica Mauboy and Miranda Tapsell.

Tess Schofield won the 2012 AACTA Award for designing the film's costumes.

WARNING: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander viewers are advised that the following program may contain images and/or audio of deceased persons
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Hugo Weaving wearing The Thong Dress

Mitzi Del Bra (Hugo Weaving) turns heads when she struts her stuff in the Thong Dress on the main street of Broken Hill in full regalia. 

A scene from The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert featuring the costume designed by Tim Chappel and Lizzy Gardiner. 

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The Thong Dress and Handbag
NFSA-ID:
NFSA ID
607043
Courtesy:
Tim Chappel and Rebel Penfold-Russell
Year:
Year

'The Thong Dress' was one of the most memorable costumes from The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert. The pink, orange and black mini-dress is made of rubber thongs (flip-flops), and was worn by Hugo Weaving (Anthony 'Tick' Belrose, AKA Mitzi Del Bra). 

This mod-inspired costume consists of an arrangement of thongs and clever colour choice, and features Chanel gold-linked chain detailing. Due to a tight budget, costume designer Tim Chappel called on his mother’s staff discount at Target to buy the materials for a total sum of $7.00!

This item includes the dress, a matching pair of platform thongs and a matching handbag with gold chain.

Click 'View More' below to see a 360-degree view of the costume.

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Hugo Weaving wearing The Green Sequined Dress

When director Stephan Elliott approached Tim Chappel about creating a salsa-inspired dress, he collaborated with co-designer Lizzy Gardiner to use recycled materials for the sequined corset and fluorescent green lycra skirt. At the time no one could predict that the image of Hugo Weaving as Mitzi Del Bra, with her green skirts blowing in the wind, would ultimately capture the film's glamour and become a key visual motif.

In this scene from The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert, Mitzi dons a green sequined dress and dances in the desert after the beloved 'Priscilla' bus breaks down.

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The Green Dress
NFSA-ID:
NFSA ID
607048
Courtesy:
Tim Chappel and Rebel Penfold-Russell
Year:
Year

This costume from The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert, includes a lime green sequined body suit with matching wrap-around skirt worn by Hugo Weaving (as Anthony 'Tick' Belrose AKA Mitzi Del Bra).

Images of Hugo Weaving in this costume - designed by Lizzy Gardiner and Tim Chappel - were used in all promotional material for the film.

It comprises a lime-green sequined body suit, with black brocade strips along boning and cups and black fringe at the base. Above the bra cups sit silver iridescent sequined frill and shoulder straps. A lime-green lycra flamenco skirt with iridescent sequined frills completes the costume.

Click 'View More' below to see a 360-degree view of the costume.

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The Wattle Dress
NFSA-ID:
NFSA ID
606783
Courtesy:
Tim Chappel and Rebel Penfold-Russell
Year:
Year

'The Wattle Dress' is a costume worn by Guy Pearce (AKA Adam Whitely / Felicia JollyGoodFellow) in The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert

The unique costume comprises a lined golden G-string leotard, covered with plastic green foliage and tulle yellow and gold pom poms to replicate wattle. It was designed by Tim Chappel and Lizzy Gardiner.

The yellow pompoms on the costume were produced by inmates of the Long Bay Correctional Complex.

Click 'View More' below to see a 360-degree view of the costume.

https://www.nfsa.gov.au/sites/default/files/image/image10-2016/wattle_5.jpg
Guy Pearce wearing The Wattle Dress

The Wattle Dress is only on screen in The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert for a few seconds, but it iconically represents Australian flora.

In this scene Felicia Jollygoodfellow (Guy Pearce) glides smoothly down a high-heel shaped slide, but in reality the 'ride' proved painful and bloody for the bare-cheeked actor.

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My Brilliant Career: Sybylla's dress
NFSA-ID:
NFSA ID
360619
Year:
Year

Original costume from My Brilliant Career, worn by Judy Davis as Sybylla in the boating scene with Sam Neill. The rip in the hem occurred while shooting the film.

Sybylla’s white dress, designed by Anna Senior, epitomises the role of costume in helping to create and define a capricious film character. The garment’s fabric was selected because of the way the lighting highlights its lustre in the settings in which it features. It is comprised of two pieces, a bodice and skirt, and appears both in a fire-lit drawing room scene – featuring Sybylla and Uncle Julius (Peter Whitford) – and the boating scene in which Sybylla, Harry and the dress are soaked.

In each scene, the lighting creates a new look for the dress. When we first see it, the cream fabric absorbs the warmth of the drawing room firelight to create an intimate atmosphere, with Sybylla appearing vulnerable as she seeks advice from her uncle.

In the barge on the billabong, however, the intense daylight accentuates the lace detail of the dress which, framed by her striking red parasol, equips Sybylla to play the coquette. But the facade is short-lived – Sybylla the tomboy comes to the fore, capsizing the vessel and tipping herself and Harry into the water, reducing the dress to a dripping sheet. Director Gillian Armstrong uses the multiple manifestations of the frock to parallel Sybylla’s quest for identity.

Click 'View More' below to see a 360-degree view of the costume.

Judy Davis as Sybylla and Sam Neill as Harry embrace. He is touching her neck and she is touching his arm. They look at each other lovingly.
https://www.nfsa.gov.au/sites/default/files/10-2017/354513_1008.jpg
Judy Davis and Sam Neill in My Brilliant Career
NFSA-ID:
NFSA ID
354513
Courtesy:
Margaret Fink
Year:
Year

'Judy Davis, is a young lioness …' observed The London Sunday Times.

In sharp contrast to Hollywood conventions, in My Brilliant Career (Gillian Armstrong, Australia, 1979) the male lead Sam Neill as Harry Beecham is the eye candy, while Judy Davis as Sybylla is the ugly duckling.

This image by David Kynoch was probably taken during an on-set portrait shoot to experiment with lighting, poses and costumes.

Here Sybylla is transformed into an elegant young woman and together with Harry she creates a portrait that conveys a message quite different from that of the film's ending.

Despite the pioneering rural backdrop, the theme of a young woman renouncing marriage for career transcends its 19th century setting.

The film is based on the novel of the same name by Miles Franklin written in 1901. Anna Senior won an AFI Award and was nominated for Best Costume Design at the Academy Awards.

Miranda (Anne Lambert) looks up at Hanging Rock while shading her eyes from the sun
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Anne Louise Lambert in Picnic at Hanging Rock
NFSA-ID:
NFSA ID
1407692
Year:
Year

Miranda (Anne Lambert) looks up at Hanging Rock.

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Miranda picnic dress - costume
NFSA-ID:
NFSA ID
446165
Year:
Year

Anne Louise Lambert, who played Miranda in Picnic at Hanging Rock, provided the NFSA with the following notes on her costume: 'The daisy pattern in the lace trim of the dress was Miranda’s favourite flower. The butterfly-buckle was selected because like her, their lives are beautiful and brief.’

Judith Dorsman was the chief costume designer for Picnic. She was only 26 years old at the time the film was released and collaborated with Wendy Stiles (director Peter Weir’s wife, working under her maiden name) with assistance from Mandy Smith. 

Click 'View More' below to see a 360-degree view of the costume.

Notes by Jenny Gall and Stephen Groenewegen

Helen Morse as the French mistress, in a white dress and holding a parasol, at Hanging Rock in a scene from Picnic at Hanging Rock
https://www.nfsa.gov.au/sites/default/files/01-2018/sc_1.jpg
Helen Morse in Picnic at Hanging Rock
NFSA-ID:
NFSA ID
1407692
Year:
Year

Helen Morse as Mademoiselle Dianne de Poitiers, the French and Dancing mistress at Appleyard College in Picnic at Hanging Rock

She carries a parasol and wears a straw boater and an Edwardian gown of cream silk with a lace collar. She is supervising the students at Hanging Rock during their picnic on St Valentine's Day, 1900.

Based on the classic novel by Joan Lindsay, Picnic at Hanging Rock (1975) was a critical and popular success that helped establish director Peter Weir’s international reputation and Australia’s place in world cinema.

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Mademoiselle picnic dress - costume
NFSA-ID:
NFSA ID
481112
Year:
Year

Helen Morse’s Mademoiselle Dianne de Poitiers, the French and Dancing mistress at Appleyard College, is a model of grace and elegance. She wears a high-throated Edwardian gown of cream silk, with a modest train. The bodice is decorated with a confection of lace, and the dress is perfectly matched at the picnic with parasol, straw boater and shoes.

Judith Dorsman was the chief costume designer for Picnic at Hanging Rock. She was only 26 years old at the time the film was released and collaborated with Wendy Stiles (director Peter Weir’s wife, working under her maiden name) with assistance from Mandy Smith. 

Helen Morse was nominated for Best Actress at the 1976 AFI Awards for her leading roles in Picnic at Hanging Rock and also Caddie, and won the award for the latter role. 

Click 'View More' below to see a 360-degree view of the costume.

Notes by Jenny Gall and Stephen Groenewegen

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Sara's pinafore - costume
NFSA-ID:
NFSA ID
446180
Year:
Year

There is no pretty summer dress for orphan Sara, played by Margaret Nelson, who is forbidden from attending the picnic in Picnic at Hanging Rock

Sara’s costumes are plain and her hairstyles severe. The starched pinafore covers a practical school uniform skirt and blouse. The ensemble conveys no sense of the wearer’s body shape and is without personal touches or decoration.

Judith Dorsman was the chief costume designer for Picnic. She was only 26 years old at the time the film was released and collaborated with Wendy Stiles (director Peter Weir’s wife, working under her maiden name) with assistance from Mandy Smith. 

Click 'View More' below to see a 360-degree view of the costume.

Notes by Jenny Gall and Stephen Groenewegen

Orphan Sara Waybourne seated on the steps in Appleyard College in a scene from Picnic at Hanging Rock
https://www.nfsa.gov.au/sites/default/files/01-2018/sara_on_stair.jpg
Margaret Nelson as Sara in Picnic at Hanging Rock
NFSA-ID:
NFSA ID
1407672
Year:
Year

Margaret Nelson as orphan Sara Waybourne, seated on the staircase in Appleyard College in Picnic at Hanging Rock.

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Muriel's Wedding: The Dress
NFSA-ID:
NFSA ID
351862
Courtesy:
House and Moorhouse Films
Year:
Year

The spectacular wedding gown worn by Muriel (Toni Collette) features a low neckline, highly decorated bodice, ornate lace sleeves and a full skirt with a modest train in heavy ivory satin. The headpiece adds a touch of regal class to the traditional veil, through which we can still see Muriel’s wide grin.

Thanks to the generous donation of production company House and Moorhouse Films, the NFSA preserves eight of the costumes designed by Terry Ryan for Muriel’s Wedding.

Terry (Terence) Ryan has designed costumes for more than 50 productions across cinema (Starstruck, 1982; King Kong, 2006; Tomorrow, When the War Began, 2010) and television (The Cowra Breakout, 1984; Farscape, 1999-2003).

Click 'View More' below to see a 360-degree view of the costume.

Shots of Muriel in her wedding dress
https://www.nfsa.gov.au/sites/default/files/11-2016/wedding-dress-compile.jpg
Muriel's wedding dress
Year:
Year

The wedding dress and accessories worn by Muriel (Toni Collette) in Muriel's Wedding (PJ Hogan, Australia, 1994). The film's costume designer was Terry Ryan.

Also pictured are: bridegroom David Van Arkle (played by Daniel Lapaine); David's swimming coach, Ken (Chris Haywood); and Muriel's bridesmaid, Tania (Sophie Lee).

The spectacular wedding gown features a low neckline, highly decorated bodice, ornate lace sleeves and a full skirt with a modest train in heavy ivory satin.

https://www.nfsa.gov.au/sites/default/files/11-2016/peach-bridesmaids-compile.jpg
Peach bridesmaid dresses
Year:
Year

The peach bridesmaid dresses and accessories as featured in Muriel's Wedding (PJ Hogan, Australia, 1994).

Pictured top left: Cheryl (Rosalind Hammond), Tania (Sophie Lee) and Janine (Belinda Jarrett) talking to Rhonda (Rachel Griffiths) at Muriel's wedding; right: Cheryl (Rosalind Hammond), Janine (Belinda Jarrett) and Tania (Sophie Lee); bottom left: Muriel (Toni Collette) with her bridesmaids.

The film's costume designer was Terry Ryan.

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The peach-coloured bridesmaid's dress
NFSA-ID:
NFSA ID
351219
Courtesy:
House and Moorhouse Films
Year:
Year

The three peach-coloured bridesmaids’ ensembles were worn by Cheryl (Rosalind Hammond), Tania (Sophie Lee) and Janine (Belinda Jarrett) at Muriel’s wedding.

Each ensemble comprises a peach-coloured, floor-length frock with tulle skirt and lace bodice. Also part of the costume are a white petticoat, floral hairpiece, earrings and gold shoes. 

Thanks to the generous donation of production company House and Moorhouse Films, the NFSA preserves eight of the costumes designed by Terry Ryan for Muriel’s Wedding.

Terry (Terence) Ryan has designed costumes for more than 50 productions across cinema (Starstruck, 1982; King Kong, 2006; Tomorrow, When the War Began, 2010) and television (The Cowra Breakout, 1984; Farscape, 1999-2003).

Click 'View More' below to see a 360-degree view of the costume.

A compilation of images showing Tania's bridesmaids in their pink dresses in the film Muriel's Wedding
https://www.nfsa.gov.au/sites/default/files/11-2016/pink-bridesmaids-compile.jpg
Pink bridesmaid dresses

The pink bridesmaid dresses and accessories worn at the start of Muriel's Wedding (PJ Hogan, Australia, 1994), during the wedding of Tania (Sophie Lee).

Pictured top left: Muriel (Toni Collette) and Janine (Belinda Jarrett); bottom left: Cheryl (Rosalind Hammond); top centre: Cheryl (Rosalind Hammond) and Janine (Belinda Jarrett); bottom centre and far right: Nicole (Pippa Grandison).

The film's costume designer was Terry Ryan.

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The pink bridesmaid's dress
NFSA-ID:
NFSA ID
350712
Courtesy:
House and Moorhouse Films
Year:
Year

The pink bridesmaids’ ensembles were worn by Janine (Belinda Jarrett), Cheryl (Rosalind Hammond) and Nicole (Pippa Grandison) at Tania’s wedding at the start of the film.

The hot-pink bridesmaid’s dress is matched with pearl choker necklace, nylon lace gloves, white floral-and-pearl headpiece and pearl and gold clip-on earrings. The neckline is defined by a stiff ruffle of pink tulle with seed-pearl decoration and the bridesmaids all wear their hair in the same up-swept style. 

Thanks to the generous donation of production company House and Moorhouse Films, the NFSA preserves eight of the costumes designed by Terry Ryan for Muriel’s Wedding.

Terry (Terence) Ryan has designed costumes for more than 50 productions across cinema (Starstruck, 1982; King Kong, 2006; Tomorrow, When the War Began, 2010) and television (The Cowra Breakout, 1984; Farscape, 1999-2003).

Click 'View More' below to see a 360-degree view of the costume.

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Starstruck: pink and purple tutu

Gillian Armstrong’s effervescent rock musical comedy Starstruck features outrageous costumes designed by Terry Ryan and Luciana Arrighi and influenced by the kitsch aesthetic of early 1980s music videos.

Jackie (played by Jo Kennedy) wears the pink and purple tutu and blue tights at the final performance in the film at the Opera House. The costume is made out of a dress belonging to Jackie’s classically stylish mother Pearl (Margo Lee). Pearl giving the dress to Jackie is symbolic of her love and greater acceptance of her daughter by the end of the film.

The bodice and tutu take Jackie’s 80s style to new heights with echoes of prom queen, new romanticism and new wave. The tutu is made up of two tulle skirts – each of them multicoloured, with sequins.

Click 'View More' below to see a 360-degree view of the costume.

Jo Kennedy in Starstruck performing on stage wearing pink sequined tutu
https://www.nfsa.gov.au/sites/default/files/10-2016/starstruck_tutu_on_stage.jpg
Jo Kennedy wearing the pink and purple tutu
Year:
Year

Jackie (played by Jo Kennedy) wears the pink and purple tutu and blue tights at the final performance in Starstruck at the Opera House.

The costume is made out of a dress belonging to Jackie’s classically stylish mother Pearl (Margo Lee). Pearl giving the dress to Jackie is symbolic of her love and greater acceptance of her daughter by the end of the film.

Gillian Armstrong’s effervescent rock musical comedy Starstruck features outrageous costumes designed by Terry Ryan and Luciana Arrighi and influenced by the kitsch aesthetic of early 1980s music videos.

Front view of a flapper-style 1920s sequined evening dress bought in Paris and worn in the Australian silent film The Cheaters
https://www.nfsa.gov.au/sites/default/files/01-2018/1245461_2.jpg
The Cheaters: 1920s sequined evening dress
NFSA-ID:
NFSA ID
1245461
Year:
Year

A flapper-style 1920s sequined evening dress bought in Paris and worn by Isabel McDonagh (credited as Marie Lorraine) in the Australian silent film The Cheaters (1929).

The sleeveless, knee-length dress is ivory yellow with a drop waist and round neck. It is decorated with sequins, giving it a mother-of-pearl effect of blue, pink and green. There is an additional grey and silver sequin pattern on the front with silver and grey lacework at the bottom front of the dress.

Vertical strips of sequin fabric form a fringe-like effect around the entire bottom half of the dress. Four of these strips are detached from the dress; two are sewn together. The underlining silk is the most fragile part of the dress.

Author Meg Stewart 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 - 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.

The Cheaters: 'I want you to be my wife!'
NFSA-ID:
NFSA ID
7361
Year:
Year

A scene from the Australian silent film The Cheaters (1929) featuring the flapper-style 1920s sequined evening dress worn by Paula Marsh (played by Isabel McDonagh, credited as Marie Lorraine).

Paula Marsh has been sent to a fancy hotel by her father who heads an embezzling gang to rob wealthy guests. She becomes sidetracked by the dashing Lee Travers (Josef Bambach), the adopted son of her father’s nemesis, with whom she falls deeply in love. 

In this scene, a tearful Paula realises that her romance must end soon and that she will have to return to her true life as a cheater (thief). Lee asks Paula to be his wife, and she is torn by love and loyalty. 

Actress Isabel McDonagh wears an exquisite sequined flapper dress which had been purchased in Paris in 1925 by a close school friend of the McDonagh sisters, Kathleen Coen. Isabel borrowed it for the wardrobe of her character in the film.

Drawing of bushranger Ned Kelly wearing a long coat with armour underneath. He is holding a rifle in one hand. There is a lion on his right hand side and some iron bars behind them that looks like a jail cell.
https://www.nfsa.gov.au/sites/default/files/07-2018/594306_0003.jpg
Ned Kelly: Armour costume sketch
NFSA-ID:
NFSA ID
594306
Year:
Year

This is a copy of an original drawing by costume designer Anna Borghesi for the film Ned Kelly (2003).

The sketch shows Kelly (Heath Ledger) standing in a cage with a lion. He is wearing a long oilskin coat over his armour, while he holds the end of a rifle with his right hand.

It is a dramatic and well-executed picture, in addition to being an effective costume design sketch. Its monochromatic execution, low-level perspective and high contrasting tones all add to the sense of drama in the drawing.

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Ned Kelly Helmet
NFSA-ID:
NFSA ID
594400
Year:
Year

A replica of the helmet worn by Ned Kelly and made for the 2003 film Ned Kelly starring Heath Ledger as Australia's most infamous bushranger.

Ned Kelly's armour is iconic, thanks in part to the 'letterbox' eye-slot on the helmet. This 360-degree view provides us with a good opportunity to see the armour in its entirety.

It documents the realistic work of costume designer Anna Borghesi and her team, as well as armourer John Fox, especially since the armour worn by Ledger is actually made of fibreglass and not metal.

Click 'View More' below to see a 360-degree view of the helmet.

Drawing of a woman wearing a Victorian-style lavender-coloured dress with high neck and ruffled skirt. The drawing shows the front and back of the dress.
https://www.nfsa.gov.au/sites/default/files/07-2018/594271_0002.jpg
Ned Kelly: Lavender Dress Costume Sketch
NFSA-ID:
NFSA ID
594271
Year:
Year

This is a copy of an original colour drawing by costume designer Anna Borghesi for the film Ned Kelly (2003).

The sketch is of the lavender dress worn by Julia Cook (played by Naomi Watts), showing the front and back of the costume as well as an inset of the collar and bodice.

Borghesi's sketch provides a highly effective visual description of the costume, including drawing the viewer's attention to the many folds of the dress.

Placing the figure in a stable with a horse adds further context to the character, and was probably for the benefit of the film's director.

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Ned Kelly Costume: Lavender Dress
NFSA-ID:
NFSA ID
593997
Year:
Year

Original costume worn by Naomi Watts as Julia Cook in the film Ned Kelly (2003).

This 360-degree view gives us a wonderful opportunity to the see the lavender dress from Ned Kelly in its entirety.

The colour is exquisite and the edging material almost gives it a regal quality, in contrast to the poor upbringing of Ned Kelly. 

Comparing the dress with the original sketch by designer Anna Borghesi is also interesting; what we see here is a less elaborate costume in terms of folds and draping.

Click 'View More' below to see a 360-degree view of the costume.

A colourful dress in an early 1900s style with a flower-and-leaf motif and worn on a mannequin
https://www.nfsa.gov.au/sites/default/files/04-2019/02_001_resized.jpg
The Getting of Wisdom: Floral dress
Year:
Year

A floral dress worn by Laura Tweedle Ramsbotham (played by Susannah Fowle) in Bruce Beresford's film adaptation of The Getting of Wisdom (1978), by Henry Handel Richardson.

The film's costume designer was Anna Senior.

A young woman dressed in a period floral-patterned dress with a red belt and an ostentatious red, broad-brimmed hat
https://www.nfsa.gov.au/sites/default/files/04-2019/22426_002b_crop.jpg
Susannah Fowle in The Getting of Wisdom
Year:
Year

Laura Tweedle Ramsbotham (played by Susannah Fowle) in Bruce Beresford's film adaptation of The Getting of Wisdom(1978), by Henry Handel Richardson.

The film's costume designer was Anna Senior.

A brown Akubra hat with a beer-can ringpull hat band worn in the film Wake in Fright
https://www.nfsa.gov.au/sites/default/files/03-2019/akubra_hat_resized.jpg
Wake in Fright Akubra: The Tale of a Hat
NFSA-ID:
NFSA ID
794926
Courtesy:
Peter Whittle
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The Akubra hat – with beer-can ringpull hatband – worn by Peter Whittle (Joe) in Wake in Fright (1971).

In September 2009, Peter Whittle recalled the origin of the hat he wore in the film:

The Tale of a Hat by Peter Whittle

In deference to the heat and dust of the outback setting, it was decided Dick and Joe should wear hats in the Wake in Fright daytime 'roo chase' sequence and Wardrobe dutifully came up with a pair of brand new Akubras.

One looked about right – fawn-coloured with a rustic hatband – in the cattleman’s style that could be bashed into fair shape by the wearer. It was Jack Thompson’s size and he accepted it graciously. 

Jack’s satisfaction with his hat derived at least somewhat from the fact that the other hat on offer was cloth-trimmed and dark grey in the man-of-substance 'squatter' style that years later would come to be favoured for country electioneering by Prime Minister John Howard. 

What appeal it might have to a miner yahoo-ing around the outback in a V8 was a mystery. With the admonition: 'You can fix it up a bit if you want', it was placed in my hands.

During a previous Christmas Gold Coast sabbatical with my brother and his army mates (he had just finished his Nashos [National Service] in Queensland at the time), I had noted one of the cohort sporting a hat with a hatband made of beer-can ring-pulls linked together. Along with short hair and ubiquitous tinny, this stood as a sort of alky [alcoholic] counter to the counterculture – a reactionary home truth to confront the beaded and bearded adherents of pot, peace and love.

At the time of making Wake in Fright, I lived across from Bondi Beach and a short hunt around the known drinking spots there garnered a generous fistful of ring-pulls which I fashioned into a chain. It replaced the cloth hatband and after rolling up the hat’s flat sides and indenting its top into a narrow crown, I had a pork-pie-style titfer [rhyming slang: tit for tat = hat] with a bush tweak. (The French Connection’s Popeye Doyle with omnipresent pork-pie hat would appear on screens at about the same time as Wake in Fright adding further credence to the hat’s place in the zeitgeist.)

Ted Kotcheff quickly latched onto the idea of the alky ring-pull chain as a Christmas decoration and he worked a shot into the film of Dick and Joe festooning Tim Hynes’ Christmas tree with a long chain supposedly garnered from an afternoon’s drinking at Tim’s place. 

When we eventually got to the Yindee location, my hat was 'broken-down' some more with glycerine and red dust to become the hat you see on screen. The interior lining eventually gave way (thanks, not least, to [the kangaroo] Nelson’s frenetic pawing – the hat did sterling duty in our 'fight' scene) and was replaced by sewn-in foam which has since deteriorated.

A couple of ring-pulls have broken and been replaced over the years, but most are still the originals picked up at Bondi in 1970.

Peter Whittle kindly donated the hat to the NFSA in 2009.

Five men on the balcony of an outback house, four of whom are pointing rifles in the same direction
https://www.nfsa.gov.au/sites/default/files/04-2019/wake_in_fright_hat.jpg
Wake in Fright: beer-can ringpull hat
Courtesy:
Wake in Fright Trust
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An image from Wake in Fright featuring four men aiming rifles: (left-right) Donald Pleasence as Doc Tydon, Gary Bond as John Grant, Peter Whittle as Joe and Jack Thompson as Dick.

Actor Peter Whittle is wearing the beer-can ringpull Akubra hat he later donated to the NFSA.