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On 13 June 2017 a group from Donvale Hill Probus Club Incorporated ventured to the well hidden Melbourne Costume Collection.  
The collection is housed in a factory in an industrial area of Bulleen. 
The building, originally designed for the manufacture of computer electronics, works well for the preservation and storage of over 10,000 items of costumes, jewellery and accessories. The collection is the work of Loel Thomson who has been collecting for over 30 years. The collection, was originally housed at Noorilim, an Italianate mansion in Murchison that was for many years the home of Loel and her husband.
Loel made a point of telling all present the collection is of clothes which have been worn in Australia from 1778 until today, although many were not made in Australia.  The Museum includes many forms of clothing over the years, but does not include theatre costumes or military uniforms.
Loel changes the exhibition regularly.
The current exhibition is set up as a series of rooms, each for a particular era. 
Easily recognised were the suspender belts worn by many of us to hold up our school stockings. Beautifully smocked children s clothes, dresses very similar to those worn by our mothers and grandmothers were also on display with matching accessories.  Many of us recalled the crocheted fashions of the 70 s, including bikinis. 
Patterns and magazines of the time provide another dimension to the exhibition.
All present thoroughly enjoyed the visit

Maree Zagorski.