Three women pose for the camera. One wears a white wedding gown. The other two are bridesmaids in pink.

Vintage fashion in colour

Beautiful vintage European fashion at Mark Foy's

Fashion at Mark Foy's Department Store
 Beth Taylor

To coincide with the recent opening of the Dressmaker Exhibition, we are celebrating vintage fashion with a new collection.

The stage is set with mannequins from Paris modelling dresses featuring exquisite handmade fabrics and fine details to make you catch your breath.

Except the audience for this show isn't in Europe, but Australia in the late 1940s. After the Second World War, Australians followed the latest romantic fashion trends from Paris keenly.

This rare colour footage from fashion shows at Mark Foy's department store in Sydney gives you a front row seat back in time.

Please note the footage is silent.

Pure glamour in 1947

A year before Christian Dior's romantic New Look took the world by storm, Parisian model (including Audrey Hepburn look-alike Maggy Sarragne, pictured below) give eager Australian audiences a preview of the latest evening gowns from France:

A 1947 Mark Foy's fashion parade. Excerpt from Fashion Parades at Mark Foy’s (1947–56), Film Australia Collection, NFSA.

Catwalks and poodle dogs

Gorgeous behind-the-scenes glimpses punctuate this fashion show footage with a French theme. They've even included a poodle:

A 1956 Mark Foy's fashion parade. An excerpt from Fashion Parades at Mark Foy’s (1947–56), Film Australia Collection, NFSA.

Bridal beauties

Bridal wear is an essential part of any fashion collection and this excerpt of a show from the late 1940s also includes bridesmaid looks:

A Mark Foy's bridal fashion parade, circa 1947. An excerpt from Fashion Parades at Mark Foy’s (1947–56), Film Australia Collection, NFSA.

Soak up every bit of stylish elegance in this new vintage fashion collection – showcasing ravishing 1940s and 1950s fashions from Australia and Europe.

The collection features footage from the first time Christian Dior's New Look was seen outside of Paris – in Sydney, as well as newsreels showing fashion parades on ice, in the air, off the sheep's back and around a schoolyard. Extended clips from the Mark Foy's fashion parades above are also featured.


Main image: bridal fashions from Fashion Parades at Mark Foy’s (1947–56), Film Australia Collection © NFSA.