If there's one thing Australians do well, then movie-making surely tops the list. Our films are renown throughout the world for their wickedly-clever sense of humour, their use of our remarkable landscape as a backdrop, our distinct, uniquely Australian characters and overall 'feel,' which defines us on the world stage.
The Dressmaker, the movie, based on the best-selling novel by Rosalie Ham, is one such recent example of our Aussie expertise when it comes to weaving this cinema magic we're famous for.
This multi-award winning film contains all of these elements, making its originality sparkle on the screen. It's a story described as 'a bittersweet, comedy-drama.' The Dressmaker is this and so much more.
In case you've missed the movie, The Dressmaker is set in early 1950's Australia, in the country town of Dungatar. The locals are an odd-mix of characters who are all interconnected vexatiously by a long history of tragedy, rumour, gossip and sensationalism. They've a tightly-guarded, shared dark past which is shrouded in mystery, protecting secrets affecting the entire town.
Tilly Dunnage (played by Kate Winslet), is a former resident of broken Dungatar, who was sent away in disgrace as a child. Returning years later as a talented, beautiful and well-travelled dressmaker, she sets her sights on righting the wrongs of the past. Tilly begins her journey of transformation with her deranged mother (Judy Davis) and at the same time, in the most sensational of ways, embarks upon dealing with the poisonous townsfolk one dress at a time.
Her weapon against her foes; her determination to learn the truths of the past and expose them to all, using her extraordinary talents and knowledge of fashion via her sewing machine.
With a movie title like The Dressmaker, you can be certain there are some wonderful costumes throughout this movie and if you're a Melbourner, you will have a unique opportunity to see them yourself up-close at The Dressmaker Costume Exhibition.
The Dressmaker and the National Trust in association with Film Art Media are proud to present a major new exhibition featuring fifty of the stunning haute couture costumes from the movie, set in the beautiful surrounds of the Rippon Lea estate in Melbourne.
Experience the dressmaking talents of award-winning costume designers Marion Boyce and Margot Wilson (the designer behind Kate Winslet's costumes) with the opportunity to see up close, the fashions, fabrics and detail of these remarkable outfits, as worn by Kate Winslet and the cast members of The Dressmaker.
The costumes in the movie are inspired by 1950's Parisian couture and provide visitors with a rare in-depth view of each character's development throughout the film, and of course, the remote Dungatar township with its manifold issues.
The elegance of the Rippon Lea House and Gardens estate in Melbourne provides an ideal setting for this display of glamorous gowns from the movie. Wander through the grandeur of this magnificent National Trust property while re-living the magic of The Dressmaker's most poignant and finest moments.
Catch the The Dressmaker Costume Exhibition at Rippon Lea House and Gardens
10am-4pm daily until July 31st, 2016.
Bookings are essential and tickets can be purchased at the door.
For tickets and further information, visit The Dressmaker Costume Exhibition.
Rippon Lea House and Gardens. 192 Hotham Street, Elsternwick, Victoria. 3185.
*The Dressmaker image courtesy of National Trust Rippon Lea website.
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