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Fur stoles and paper dolls in camisoles with parasols!

Published: 19 July 2022

Last Updated: 20 July 2022

Faraday Museum Exhibition

A fascinating new exhibition at the Faraday Museum of Technology is giving people the unique opportunity to rub shoulders with fashion icons of the Art Deco era and beyond.

The ‘Fur Stoles and Paper Dolls’ exhibition brings iconic life-sized paper dolls to life with fashion from the 1920s right through to the 1980s. Exhibition-goers can take a step back in time and meander through the crowd of dolls, while admiring and learning about the history of fashion.

Sharyn Phillips, Faraday Museum manager and exhibition curator, says she came up with the idea after some paper dolls donated to the museum sparked a conversation among her team.

“When I went to shelve the paper dolls, I saw our mannequins and had one of those ‘ah ha’ moments,” Sharyn says.

“The original paper dolls from our collection will be on display and I think people will be surprised to discover the journey they have made from decades ago to today. Local artist Christie Wright designed all the paper dolls and they look fabulous.  We have included mannequins too, which are on display wearing Art Deco fashion.

“Children can create their own paper dolls and may want to take home a delightful mini version of the exhibited paper dolls from our store.”

Paper dolls have been a popular inexpensive children's toy for over two hundred years. Newspapers and magazines started publishing paper dolls in the middle of the 19th century both as a toy and a marketing tool, and in the 1920s Milton Bradley started producing books of celebrities with fashion of the time. Today, paper dolls have become highly sought-after collectibles.

The exhibition is available to view from now until 3 September at the Faraday Museum of Technology, 2B Faraday Street, Napier, open 9am to 3pm Monday to Saturday.

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