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Bright & Hitchcocks, Geelong Day dress 1865-70

BRIGHT & HITCHCOCKS, Geelong, Victoria (retailer)
Day dress (1865-1870)

The label inside this silk taffeta day dress reads ‘FROM BRIGHT & HITCHCOCKS / GEELONG’ and is the earliest example of a branded garment in the NGV’s Australian fashion and textiles collection. The practice of labelling garments only began internationally in the mid-nineteenth century and has been attributed to Charles Frederick Worth. A large drapers store established in 1850 and servicing the goldfields, Bright and Hitchcocks stocked a broad range of men’s, women’s and children’s clothing and accessories alongside fabrics, trimmings and haberdashery. Most goods were imported from Britain and the store boasted about its capacity to ship in the latest styles for fashion-conscious local clients.