New furs from Georges
While a bitter war raged on the other side of the world, some wealthy Melbourne residents carried on with their lives just as usual. This 1915 newsreel item shows women modelling expensive fur coats, stoles, muffs and hats for Georges Department Store in Collins Street, Melbourne. Georges was a 'favoured spot with most of the smartest people in Melbourne'. The furs shown here would have been beyond the reach of most Melbourne residents at that time. As the war progressed, public condemnation of excessive or wasteful fashion became more prominent in the press.
Georges Department Store was established in 1880, and owners William and Arthur George enjoyed great success as it became one of Melbourne's elite shops. As business continued to grow, the store moved in 1889 to the ‘Paris’ end of Collins Street, into what is now one of the most iconic buildings in the city precinct. By 1901 Georges was advertised as the 'Universal Provider'. It sold everything from drapery and laces to carpets and coal, with a philosophy of providing exclusive goods and meticulous service. It was probably one of the first Australian department stores to have one of its product lines promoted through the cinema under the guise of news, in what would now be termed ‘advertorial’. This newsreel clip shows Georges’ new winter fashions depicted in a series of 12 scenes, including two final hand-drawn illustrations animated by stop-motion technology.
Originally silent, this footage has had the 1911 song 'Every Girl is a Fisher Girl' added.