Current fellow: Megan Anderson

Costume: Extravagance, tradition and power: An exploration of Lieutenant-Governor Charles La Trobe's uniform

'Clothes make the man. Naked people have little or no influence on society' – Mark Twain

It can be easy to disregard clothing as a significant tool for fundamental research; fashion can be frivolous, superficial and frequently disposable. The rationale for Megan's research proposal is the unequivocal contrary of that statement.

Megan's project will explore the significance, history, tradition and symbolism encompassed in the uniform of Lieutenant–Governor Charles La Trobe. Within the garment industry, tailoring is extensively revered as the highest standard of garment construction, with the highest quality achieved. Ceremonial uniforms, including that of Lieutenant-Governor, are from an even higher echelon – every element of this uniform was designed to impress, emphasise and enhance the wearer in both status and stature.

As holder of the highest office in the new colony of Victoria, a distinguished uniform to solidify that position was absolutely necessary for La Trobe. The outcome of Megan's research will include an impeccably tailored suit with accents of gold and silver, and may also result in a collaborative exhibition.

Megan Anderson is Costume Production Assistant at Sovereign Hill Museums Association (SHMA), which involves researching and producing historically accurate reproduction clothing that is subsequently used as interpretive and educational tools within the living history museum.