Wool lace dress with sleeveless coat

This Bruce Papas Model dress and sleeveless coat belonged to Southland resident, Joan Robertson. She and her husband owned Merrydowns Romney Stud and also bred and raced thoroughbreds. Their daughter Gay describes them as a very gregarious and hospitable couple. "Dad was President of the Gore Racing Club, so Mum got to present the trophies and do lots of entertaining." They were friends with the owners of the Invercargill department store, Farrys, and Tony Farry would select clothes specifically with her in mind. Joan commissioned Bruce Papas to make this dress and coat to wear to her daughter’s wedding and travelled to Auckland for a fitting. She wrote to him: "I want so much to write this note just to tell you how thrilled I was with your lovely gown. I felt like a million dollars in it and it was so much admired, everything about it was just right – it fitted to perfection." (Letter from Joan Robertson to Bruce Papas, 10 June 1973.)

Details

Credit: Garment loan courtesy of Gay Renwick
Designer: Bruce Papas
Manufacturing location: Auckland
Garment type: Dress, sleeveless cloat
Material: Wool lace, chiffon (bodice, sleeves, lining)
Label: Bruce Papas Model
Date: 1973