His­toric bridal gowns on dis­play

Feilding-Rangitikei Herald - - Taihape - SAM KILMIS­TER

Mod­els have flaunted some of Manawatu’s most his­toric wed­ding dresses on the cat­walk in a unique bid to raise funds for a ru­ral so­cial group.

Nine mod­els from the Oroua Women’s Club pa­raded 23 of the re­gion’s finest bridal gowns of the last cen­tury on Fri­day.

The fea­tured gowns, all worn by Manawatu brides be­tween 1904 and 1993, chron­i­cle not only chang­ing fash­ion, but also women’s roles.

Club pres­i­dent Marg Short said each gown on dis­play had an in­ter­est­ing story be­hind it, whether about the bride who wore it, the his­toric styling or fash­ion of the dress, or the tai­lor­ing and ac­tual con­struc­tion of the gown.

Al­though, one of the chal­lenges of the ex­hi­bi­tion was get­ting the mod­els into some of the vin­tage dresses, Short said.

‘‘We’re strug­gling to fit into some of the older gowns. Our hips aren’t quite as small as they were in the past un­for­tu­nately.’’

About 80 peo­ple showed up at the group’s meet­ing hall, rais­ing about $1400 for the club.

Its mem­bers are hop­ing to work to­wards pur­chas­ing a de­fib­ril­la­tor, val­ued be­tween $2000-$3000, to store in its build­ing for mem­bers in case of an emer­gency.

Short said the dresses were handed down by grand­moth­ers and great grand­moth­ers, some of whom would be watch­ing on in the au­di­ence.

‘‘Some of the early ones are re­ally quite beau­ti­ful – a lot of lovely silk, smooth ones.’’

She had no­ticed a pro­gres­sion from cream dresses in the early 20th cen­tury to what were pre­dom­i­nately white dresses to­day.

PHOTO: WAR­WICK SMITH/STUFF

Aimee Per­rett mod­els Miranda Pol­son’s 1976 wed­ding dress.

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