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Object Detail

White silk taffeta full length gown. Has fully gathered skirt and a close fitting basque forming a "V" in the front. Deep "V" neckline back and front. Puffed sleeves. Eight pink and white organdie flowers attached to back of seam of basque. Back zip fastening. c1982.
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This silk taffeta dress was designed and made by Pam Darney for a New Year's ball in Vienna at the Palais in Schwarzenburg. Pam and Barry Darney had been travelling in Europe where they heard about a private hotel in a palace. They wrote to ask to stay and were accepted. The next year, back in New Plymouth, a beautiful invitation arrived in the post inviting them to return for a ball. They arrived and Pam was appointed a maid to help her iron and prepare her dress. The ball started at midnight and went to 4am. they danced on the marble floors amongst the artworks to a five piece string quintet playing Strauss.

Pam Darney designed and made many of her dresses. She based her clothes on the European designers in Vogue. She used the photos to draw up her own designs to work from. She was never formally trained but learnt from her Grandmother, who was a tailor, on her treadle sewing machine.
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