This post will look at winter fashion through the lens of local retailers and local events in Rotorua. This snapshot of fashion from the early 1900’s to the 1990’s shows the change in style, fabric and price.
Miss French’s Ladies Emporium on Tutanekai Street, promoted dressmaking and millinery as their specialty in 1910. In 1935, Cauldwell’s: The Men’s Store on Tutanekai Street offered fancy pullovers starting at about $50 (approximate) in today’s currency. Note the flannel undershirts and fleecy singlet’s. Meanwhile, the fashion fabric of choice at Teresa’s frock and millinery specialists also on Tutanekai Street was Tweed.
|Hot Lakes Chronicle 5 Feb 1910, Rotorua Morning Post 17 July 1935|
During the winter of 1945, Cauldwell’s sold wool dressing gowns in a “smart two-tone effect”, heavy woollen waterproof Swandri’s for men and tweed overcoats & caps for boys.
|Rotorua Morning Post 12 Jul 1945|
In 1956 a group of dancers showed their dance and fashion style at Geyser Hall. At Economic Outfitters on Hinemoa Street, one could find “woollen underwear” and “heavy sheepskin pyjamas”. On Eruera Street, Wisemans offered a choice of “free gloves or free nylons or 2 free belts” if you purchased a “WONDA Handbag”.
|The Rotorua Post 18 Jul 1956|
In the 1960’s fashion could be found in many places and at many events. In 1963 the ‘Gown of the Year’ event featured, amongst others, 13 beautiful gowns by New Zealand designers. The gowns were modelled by Tam Cochrane’s girls. An example of everyday wear was on show when Pop and Ani Dohery demonstrated their ‘twisting’ dance moves in 1963 at the Murupara Anglican Church Gala Festival. In 1966 workwear fashion was seen on the streets and in supermarkets. Two meter maids are stylishly dressed in their uniform and staff from ‘Mckenzies Supermarket’ show that their uniforms have some flair as well. If a fashionable suit was needed, one could find it at Finns Fashions and “Charge It” to an account. Finns Fashions used to occupy the site where ‘Max’ Women’s Retailer is now located, on the corner of Tutanekai Street and Eruera Street.
|1. Rotorua Photo News 19 Oct 1963, 2. Rotorua Photo News 14 Dec 1963, 3. Rotorua Photo News 30 Jul 1966, |
4. Rotorua Daily Post 18 Jul 1966, Rotorua Photo News 12 Feb 1966
In the local ‘Photo News’ publication, a double page spread titled, ‘New Zealand Fashion Scene’ showed the current fashion styles for the country. In this issue for 1966 white wool, checks and tweed are on trend.
|Rotorua Photo News 22 Oct 1966|
In 1976 the “Great Annual Sale” was in full swing at Bell’s Busy Centre on their winter fashion items. There were discounts on “fashion coats”, “vyella and clydella blouses”, “winter weight wool mixture slacks” and “warm skirts in wool and wool mixes”. Bell’s was on Tutanekai Street next to the Post Office. Gardner Fashions on the corner of Pukuatua and Tutanekai Streets offered the option of paying by “visa bankcard” or putting items on “layby”. Fashion wear such as “Pinafore Frocks”, “Angora Sweaters” and “Skinny Ribs” were all the rage in 1986.
|Rotorua Daily Post 14 Jul 1976 & 15 July 1986|
Hallensteins offered fashion items such as men’s sweatshirts in ‘100% cotton with a crew neckline’ and 'western style jeans in powder blue denim and with 5 pockets' were unbeatable value at $39 in 1990. Christmas came early in 1998 in an event held by Rotorua Community Hospice at Waiariki Polytechnic. The event featured clothing designed by students from Waiariki Polytechnic. Two gowns designed by Sara Oh were modelled by Rochelle Pike (standing in image on right) and Rita Joy (seated) models her own dress.
|Rotorua Daily Post 17 July 1990, Rotorua Weekender 3 Jul 1998|
This blog was written by Ani Sharland with thanks to the Hot Lakes Chronicle, Rotorua Morning Post, The Rotorua Post, Rotorua Daily Post and Rotorua Photo News.