Saturday, October 5, 2013

Miss Fisher's Murder Mysteries Costume Exhibition at Rippon Lea

A sunny Spring day was perfect to visit Rippon Lea, its glorious garden and the exhibition of costumes worn by the cast of the hugely successful ABC TV series based on the books by Melbourne writer Kerry Greenwood.   Miss Fisher's Murder Mysteries gives Friday night television some glamour at last.

Taking us back to an era of Art Deco elegance and style, the grand house has been used very effectively, through generous access to various rooms, to display the work of costume designer Marion Boyce.
The first room to explore off the impressive foyer is the spacious  drawing room where some gorgeous evening wear is arranged.  The outfits come alive with movement via a large wall screen showing snippets of scenes from episodes featuring some of the costumes in the room.  However, so much more detail can be appreciated standing in front of each piece.   It is easy to admire the fabrics, colours, layering and beading up close,  as well as the bags and jewellery.  The focus is not just on the female characters either; there are outfits worn by some of the male cast too.
In the dining room,  a large table is set with lovely china plates on top of which are a selection of delicious hats that Phryne (Essie Davis) wears to complement her outfits.  There are feathers, captivating shapes and stylish ornamentation - the hats in the series are a treat.
Upstairs, you find a bedroom display, a bathroom setting and an interesting dressing room which is  set up as a behind-the-scenes production workroom full of the vintage fabrics, trims, sketches, notes and ideas that underpin the costume designer's vision.  
Other events planned to co-incide with the exhibition have included a Tea Dance in September and, this month, a 1920s Charm School session;  as well as an Afternoon Tea and Author Talk with Kerry Greenwood on Sunday 13 October. 
This is a clever exhibition and programme which showcases a beautiful National Trust property, the art and craft of the costume designer, the quality work of Every Cloud Productions and the popularity and success of Kerry Greenwood's Phryne Fisher mystery series of books. 

"The National Trust proudly presents the Miss Fisher's Murder Mysteries Costume Exhibition at Rippon Lea featuring the sumptuous costumes worn by the Hon. Phryne Fisher and her cohorts.
Rippon Lea, home of Aunt Prudence in the hit TV series, will come alive with costumes and props from both the first series and the highly anticipated second series of the ABC TV's Miss Fisher's Murder Mysteries."
Exhibition:  7 September - 27 October
(from the publicity flyer - for more information
 Have you read the 20th Phryne Fisher Mystery? Murder and Mendelssohn was released earlier this month.


Carol @ Hawthorn.

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