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.