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Claire Regnault


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When crinolines, bustles and ostrich feathers were the height of colonial fashion – from ball gowns and riding habits to tea gowns and dresses worn for presentation to Queen Victoria.

This richly illustrated and lively social history explores the creation, consumption and spectacle of fashionable dress in Aotearoa New Zealand from 1840 to the early 1900s. Dressmakers were essential contributors to the development of New Zealand, and as a colonial outpost of the British Empire, New Zealand’s 19th century dress culture was heavily shaped by international trends. Interactions with Māori, the demands of settler lifestyle and the country’s geography all added another layer.

Dressed: Fashionable dress in Aotearoa New Zealand 1840 to 1910 teems with the fascinating, busy lives of early businesswomen, society women and civic figures. Featuring dresses and fashionable accessories from museums throughout Aotearoa New Zealand, and including over 300 images, this major book makes a significant contribution to histories of colonial dress.


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