Tuesday, 2 June 2015

Phryne's Frocks

With a christian name like Phryne who needs a surname! Miss (Phryne) Fisher's Murder Mysteries is now into its 3rd season on ABC Television. Based on the mystery series by another Aussie, author and defence lawyer, Kerry Greenwood, they have taken much of the public by storm. I must say I find the production rather stilted - but the frocks. Now that's another matter! In fact I was fascinated to read that the French have also taken Phryne by storm and now the Americans have discovered her! (see the link here to a fun blog by Frances Shultz - I love her Sure-Cure for Post Downton Abbey) 

Much of the production is shot in the wonderful home and gardens of the National Trust's Ripponlea in Melbourne.
Home to Aunt Prudence - the inimitable Miriam Margolyes
And until 30 September 2015 you can visit the house and see the divine costumes. I took a Phryne fan along for a visit and an afternoon tea of scones and cream! What more could a girl want! And there were many 'girls' there - it seems that word has got out that this is an exhibition not to be missed by 'women of a certain age'! To see the outfits up-close-and-personal in such a wonderful setting was heavenly. All we needed were wafts of perfume to complete the picture. So let me take you for a walk through the rooms of outfits designed by the outstandingly talented Marion Boyce (see her link here) worn by the actress Essie Davis
The beautiful Essie, playing Phryne, with a gun for company!
Le salon
Anyone for tennis?
Beautiful fabrics, beautiful detail, beautiful finishes
Table top dancing at its best!
In the workroom, designs and weights (made out of old bottle tops - yes really!)
The finished design - no wonder Essie says once she is costumed up - she easily slips into the character
Series 3, episode 1. The original 1920's tabard with luminescent sequins and bugle beads. Purchased from a dealer in the USA. It was remounted to protect the fragile tule.
A 1920's 'leisure suit'??
I must replace my night attire!
Setting the scene - now who done it
From the personal collection of the designer Marion Boyce
The detail in each of the 'purses' - what a collection of 1920's/1930's memorabillia
And more of her collection - heaven
I'll take this delicate beaded shoulder warmer (these days called a shrug!!) and keep my gun handy just in case!
I commend the exhibition to you if you are in Melbourne. I also commend Marion Boyce for the divine designs and attention to detail. I also commend the ABC for investing in quality costumes - it makes all the difference. No wonder Essie says “As soon as I put on Phryne’s clothes I can adopt Phryne poses and promenade, and make an entry, feel confident and audacious… They just make me feel so good that I get away with things I could never pull off in my everyday life.”

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