Cream artificial silk wedding dress

Place Oceania: Australia
Accession Number REL/18213.001
Collection type Heraldry
Object type Heraldry
Physical description Artificial silk, Cotton
Location Main Bld: World War 2 Gallery: Gallery 3: Aust 43-44
Maker Unknown
Date made c 1942 - 1945
Conflict Second World War, 1939-1945

Small size wedding dress made from cream artificial silk lining fabric. Full length dress has a short train, sweetheart neckline, ruched centre front bodice, and ruched lower back. Three quarter sleeves are ruched on outer seam using furniture piping cord and have small shoulder pads. The same cord has been used to edge the back of the neck. Bodice has opening in left seam and is lined with cream cotton mosquito netting. Veil, now missing, was made from the same mosquito netting.

History / Summary

This dress, made from artificial silk lining fabric and mosquito netting, is an example of a cleverly improvised wedding dress making the most of wartime rationing. The material was all the owner could obtain with her clothing coupons. Rationing was enforced by the use of coupons which were limited to clothing, sugar, butter, and tea.

Rationing regulations were gazetted on 14 May 1942 to manage shortages of food and materials and control civilian consumption. The aim of wartime rationing was to curb inflation, reduce consumer spending and limit the impending shortages of essential goods with the overarching motive of ensuring the equal distribution of goods. This cut on consumer spending had a beneficial effect on the war effort as increased savings could be lent to the Government in the form of interest earning war loans.