Hand-dyed vibrant silk dress

This dinner dress was made by Colin Cole for his sister, Carolyn McCondach. Carolyn says she loved that dress but says it was incredibly hard to wear anything on top of it, due to its draping and hem. The fabric was hand-dyed by Amy Brown, who also dyed the fabric for another of Colin Cole's garments, a silk dress with kimono sleeves.  It had handmade buttons down the front. She thought it was the perfect dress to wear to a house warming party in Wellington. "I bought a small handled basket, and filled it with yellow miniature roses for the hostess and flew down from Auckland with my husband. When we arrived at the house the hostess, looked me up and down and said, 'How dare you come to my party wearing your big city clothes'. I was rather startled. I had no idea that Wellington was so informal. She was wearing a sun frock!"


Credit: Gifted to Te Papa Tongarewa by Carolyn McCondach, 2012. Photo courtesy of Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa.
Copyright: Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa, Wellington, All rights reserved.
Designer: Colin Cole
Manufacturing location: Auckland
Garment type: Dress
Material: Silk, hand-dyed by Amy Brown
Features: This dress by Colin Cole demonstrates a partnership between a couturier and a local craftsperson, in this case textile artist Amy Brown, who hand-dyed the silk in a myriad of vibrant colours.
Label: Colin Cole
Date: 1980s