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Liberty of the press

  • Date recorded: 4 Sep 2014

  • Duration: 05:59

About this video

Held during Melbourne Spring Fashion Week 2014, Liberty of the press merged the contemporary catwalk with live performance and tableaux vivants. The event was inspired by and featured the Library's extraordinary Press Dress, an out-of-time example of postmodernism in the mid-Victorian age!

Featuring silk panels printed with the front pages of 19th-century Melbourne newspapers, the Press Dress was created for Mrs Matilda Butters to wear to the mayor's fancy dress ball in September 1866.

In this video, watch as models dressed in printed modern-day crinolines and ensembles inspired by the Press Dress parade around a mannequin wearing the gown. The moving catwalk takes us through the La Trobe Reading Room and Queen’s Hall, accompanied by drumming, opera and electronic music, leading us to the Library forecourt for the grand finale, a Chinese lion dance.

The event was directed by Barking Spider Visual Theatre, recipients of a special fellowship granted in 2013 as part of the Library's dome centenary celebrations.