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Emporium: Rise of the 1950's Department Store Exhibition

Home > Melbourne > Vintage and Retro | Free | Fashion | Exhibitions | Day Trips
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Enter a world of 1950's glamour at Emporium - The Exhibition from 27 July - 23 October.


The iconic exhibition, on display at the Yarra Ranges Regional Museum in Lilydale, explores the rise of the advertising, ready-to-wear clothing, and department stores of the mid-20th century.

Department stores were a response to the great surge of wealth experienced by Australians (particularly among women due to their changing roles in society) and the evolution of shopping as a pastime, around the 1950's.

Emporium: Rise of the 1950's Department Store Exhibition features picture-based advertising and merchandise material from Albury's iconic 'Abikhair's Emporium', established and run by Syrian immigrants Saad Milham Abikhair and his wife Shefia in 1928 until it closed in the mid-1990's.
Goods sold at the store included girdles, stockings, clothing, household supplies, beauty and toiletry supplies, Haberdashery, shoes, hats, and much more.


The original Emporium even had two separate entries for men and women. Each led entrants to what the store owners (and probably wider-society) deemed appropriate for each sex. For instance, while female shoppers were directed past women's, men's, and children's areas, as well as the household supplies counters before they could even reach the register, their male counterparts were taken to the sporting goods and men's supplies departments (it was unthinkable, for them to see, never mind purchase women's 'unmentionables').

A great day out for fashion and history lovers alike; this stunning exhibition both demonstrates and celebrates the personal lives of women in the 1950's, and the society they lived in.


The exhibit will also be hosting the following workshops and events throughout:

School of Vintage: A day of talks and workshops on the history and style of 1950s fashion to celebrate the opening of the exhibition.
Sat 30th July 2016, 10:30am - 3pm.

School Holiday workshop: Hat-making with Clare James - go classic or crazy with your own creative style.
Tues 20th September, from 11:00am (5-8yr olds) & 12:45pm (9-12yr olds).

Public Talk: Dress, Memory: Writer Lorelei Vashti explores her memories of early adulthood in a personal history through dresses.
Sat 27th August 2016 from 11am.

Workshop -1950s Gin Cocktails with Four Pillars Distillery: Create cocktails that would make Don Draper proud.
Sat 17th September 2016, 3pm 4pm.

Meet the Makers Open Day: Demonstrations and workshops held all day long by local artists and artisans who work with textiles, threads, and wearable art.
Sat 22nd October, 2016, 10am - 4pm.
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When: Wednesday 27 July Sunday 23 October 2016. Open 7 Days, 10am-4pm (except public holidays).
Phone: 03 9294 6313
Where: Yarra Ranges Regional Museum, 35-37 Castella Street, Lilydale
Cost: Free. For workshop tickets see the wesbite above.
Your Comment
I love this era and I'm sure this exhibition will be fabulous.
by Gayle Beveridge (score: 3|7217) 1182 days ago
Gerii, I have shared a link to your article with athe Australian Social History Facebook Group. I'm sure it will be of interest to them.
by Gayle Beveridge (score: 3|7217) 1181 days ago
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