Printed velvet coat

Althea Whillans recalls purchasing the fabric for this coat from Barker & Pollock on Queen St with money she earned waitressing at Tony’s Resturant in Khartoum Place. Already a skilled sewer with plenty of experience gained on her mother’s Robertson Reversible machine and her own second hand Globe, Althea got to work adapting a 1940s dress pattern to create this coat which is reminiscent of the art nouveau inspired designs of Barbara Hulanicki of Biba fame. The coat was appropriately bohemian for the artistic young Elam graduate who paired it with a long black satin skirt and flowing locks. Read more about the history of home sewing in the New Zealand Fashion Museum publication Home Sewn.


Credit: Althea Whillans, Auckland
Copyright: Creative Commons BY-NC-ND 4.0 Licence
Maker: Althea Whillans
Garment type: Coat
Material: Printed velvet, satin
Purchase location: Fabric purchased from Barker and Pollock, Auckland.
Exhibition: Home Sewn: Original New Zealand Fashion (Auckland 2012)
Date: 1969