Tea Dress competition: 50 years ago this month

Have you been doing any sewing lately? Check out this home sewer Tea Dress competition held in Christchurch in 1971 for some inspiration.

Negative showing 1971 Tea Dress competition, opens a new window
1971 Tea Dress competition, 1 September 1971, Christchurch Star Archive, CCL-Star-1971-1189-026-039N-01, opens a new window.

The above image shows models and designers Andrea Philpott, Gwenda Baker and Anna Jorgensen on stage at the 1971 Tea Dress competition wearing their own designs for a Tea dress. What is a Tea dress? While specific fashion details change with different decades, they were meant to be effortlessly stylish and practical. Traditionally they were worn to late afternoon or early evening events where tea was likely to be served.

Were you one of the contestants? Perhaps you know one of the other contestants that can be seen in the images below? Or just want to explore other fashion, opens a new window or sewing, opens a new window related images in our collection?

Can you provide more information or memories about the images that we have in the collection? You can add comments and stories to the images so that we all know more about what took place. You can register to post comments directly to the images in the toolbar for Canterbury Stories. Or do you have images from this time? If you do and would like to contribute them, you can upload them directly through the Discovery Wall, opens a new window, or contact us, opens a new window if you have more than a few!

These images are just some of thousands in the Christchurch Star Archive that we house and are working through to digitise and make accessible online. There are over 9,750 negatives, opens a new window and 6,040 prints, opens a new window to explore in this particular collection. We now have a total of over 32,600 items, opens a new window that you can explore in Canterbury Stories that include photographs, negatives and maps.