Collection Online
linen, silk
(a) 152.0 cm (centre back) 32.0 cm (waist, flat) (dress) (b) 89.0 × 269 cm (wrap)
Place/s of Execution
Melbourne, Victoria
Accession Number
Australian Fashion and Textiles
Credit Line
National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne
Gift of Mary Newsome, 1995
Gallery location
Not on display
About the work

Hal Ludlow began his career in Auckland working for the designer Trilby Yates. In 1947 he migrated to Australia, initially designing for Symphony Gowns in Melbourne. A year later he established his own salon on Collins Street, winning the Australian Gown of the Year Award in 1955 and 1959. In 1960 Ludlow moved to Sydney, and relocated to Hong Kong in 1963. Returning to Sydney in 1973, Ludlow resumed designing but limited his practice to a few select clients.

One of the few designers who would do everything from choosing fabric to cutting and then stitching a garment, Ludlow created this dress and wrap in the same year that he won the Australian Gown of the Year Award. Rarely using a pattern, Ludlow draped and cut each garment over a form, paying close attention to proportion and detail. The use of white linen and a seemingly simple silhouette in the dress are accentuated by Ludlow's signature rows of parallel stitches. These construct and sculpt the flourish of linen blooms that frame the wearer's neck and face.