Collection Online
Bodice of a woman’s wedding dress

Bodice of a woman’s wedding dress
(c. 1982)

silk, silk (thread), cotton, wool, metal (coins)
46.5 cm (centre back) 145.8 cm (cuff to cuff)
Place/s of Execution
Accession Number
Asian Art
Credit Line
National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne
Purchased with funds donated by Vivien Knowles, 2012
This digital record has been made available on NGV Collection Online through the generous support of The Gordon Darling Foundation
Gallery location
Not on display
Physical description
This elaborately embroidered bodice – originally attached to a long very full skirt of heavy fabric – was part of a Pashtun woman’s wedding dress. In some Pashtun groups, such as the Kakarh, skirts were considered personal items of clothing and were therefore removed before the bodice could be sold. As is customary, the garment comprises embroidery and printed Russian cotton stitched together to form a roughly symmetrical pattern. Each of the long wide sleeves features embroidered designs of geometric or stylised floral motifs in reds, oranges and golds with some accents in green. The designs on the front panel include symbols of wealth and fertility such as circles and arrows, tulips, stars, floral and leaf motifs. Appliqué pompons and coins further adorn the garment. Visible at the shoulders, the back of the bodice’s central panel and back is made of green Russian cotton printed with a pink floral motif and embellished with stitched patterns. This area would have been covered by a shawl in everyday dress.