Keeping up appearances: Genteel Women, dress and refurbishing in gold-rush Victoria, Australia, 1851‒1870

Journal article


Cramer, Lorinda 2017. Keeping up appearances: Genteel Women, dress and refurbishing in gold-rush Victoria, Australia, 1851‒1870. Textile: the journal of cloth and culture. 15 (1), pp. 48 - 67. https://doi.org/10.1080/14759756.2016.1209876
AuthorsCramer, Lorinda
Abstract

The discovery of gold in 1851 attracted a flood of migrants to the Colony of Victoria. Aspirational migrants, who struck it rich on the goldfields or in providing services to the diggers, turned to material consumption to express their newfound wealth, with the consequence that clothing could complicate its wearer’s social status. Integrating primary sources and surviving material culture, this article explores genteel articulations of the spontaneous and extravagant purchases of luxury goods by the lower orders, and their response: an engagement with notions of tasteful dress and genteel economy. It examines how genteel women carefully selected their dress, essential when gowns were worn over many years and wearing secondhand clothing was common, and how clothing was maintained through material practices, including mending and refurbishing, to demonstrate the place of dress and related needlework activities in constructions of genteel identity.

KeywordsAustralia; gold-rush Victoria; genteel identity; needlework; mending; dress refurbishing; secondhand dress
Year2017
JournalTextile: the journal of cloth and culture
Journal citation15 (1), pp. 48 - 67
PublisherBloomsbury Publishing plc
ISSN1475-9756
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.1080/14759756.2016.1209876
Scopus EID2-s2.0-84979581654
Page range48 - 67
Research GroupSchool of Arts
Place of publicationUnited Kingdom
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https://acuresearchbank.acu.edu.au/item/87570/keeping-up-appearances-genteel-women-dress-and-refurbishing-in-gold-rush-victoria-australia-1851-1870

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