Shot velvet cocktail dress

This dress was made for 21-year-old Jacquie Swift in late 1961 by Mrs White, a dressmaker from Ponsonby, who would later make Jacquie’s wedding dress. The dress was copied from a picture specially for Jacquie to take to the UK when she went on her OE. Jacquie left New Zealand in January 1962 on the steamship Southern Cross. The dress was admired at the many social events on board, particularly a fancy dress evening. Clothed in her evening gown and gloves, and wearing jewellery loaned to her by crew members, she teamed up with her friend Patricia (in frilly two-piece swimsuit and wearing a leash) to portray a French madame and her scantily clad poodle. They won second prize, a basket of rich red roses. Jacquie describes their reaction to this bounty. "Great puzzlement in the middle of the Indian Ocean. Where did they come from? Our olfactory senses kicked in. They were, in fact, carved from beetroot!" Read more about wearing the colour black in the New Zealand Fashion Museum publication Black: The history of black in fashion, society and culture in New Zealand.

Details

Credit: Jacquie Storm (née Swift)
Maker: Mrs White
Manufacturing location: Ponsonby, Auckland
Garment type: Cocktail dress
Material: Gold/black shot velvet, metal zip
Colour: Black, gold
Date: 1961