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Women In Trousers

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  • Tue 30 Oct ’18, 12:00pm – 1:00pm


Palmerston North Central Library, 4 The Square, Palmerston North


All Ages

Ticket Information:

  • Free Admission

In 1893, the same year that women were granted the vote in New Zealand, Kate Walker and James Reeve Wilkinson of Christchurch published a pamphlet entitled Notes on Dress Reform and What it Implies in which they argued for the introduction of rational dress, asserting that dress reform was essential to the emancipation of women.

Their suggestions for dress reform fell into two main categories. ‘Minor’ dress reform which included shorter skirts, fewer petticoats and woollen underwear and ‘Major’ dress reform, which was focused on the adoption of ‘a legged costume’. In this illustrated talk, Claire Regnault will discuss the arguments for and against women in trousers during a period in which the skirt was considered to be ‘the secret of women’s greatness’.

Claire Regnault has worked as a curator in the museum and gallery sector for over 20 years, and is the Senior Curator History at Te Papa. She is currently writing a history of fashionable women’s dress in colonial New Zealand for Te Papa Press.

She is the author of The Dress Circle: New Zealand Fashion Design Since 1940, with Lucy Hammonds and Douglas Lloyd Jenkins, which was a finalist in the 2011 NZ Post Book Awards, and The New Zealand Gown of the Year. She is an active member of the Costume & Textile Association of New Zealand.

Second Floor, Central Library/tea and coffee provided.

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