design / dress detective / fashion / fashion, craft, vintage, design / Orange NSW / re-modelling / weddings

The mystery in the dress

It all started with an intriguing form submission via my website asking me if I’d be interested in doing some work on a vintage dress. Following a few email conversations, we arranged to talk. The voice on the other end of the phone was excited and full of enthusiasm, I liked this person instantly. After hearing a bit about the story I couldn’t wait to meet her and see the dress.

The young woman belonging to the voice is a midwife at a hospital in my favourite regional city, Orange. My partner and I go once a year to unwind at Orange Wine Week and we have come to love this place.

Screen Shot 2016-03-26 at 3.24.45 pm

My favourite event, the public tasting night, taste all the amazing wines and meet the makers!

I arranged to meet her next time I was there.

We met in a lovely café with her future mother in-law.  She had the dress with her, I couldn’t wait to see it and was oblivious to the stares of the other customers as we excitedly chatted.  When she pulled it unceremoniously out of a plastic bag the silk organza shushed, almost a sigh of relief. As soon as I saw it I knew it was something special! The dress is exquisitely made and the design is beautiful. The label reads – Madeline Newport.


Hand stitched label inside back bodice of dress.

The dress was worn by her partner’s Grandmother at her wedding in 1957 in Sydney. I want to find out all I can about the story of this dress.




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