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Vita Dress

Episode:39Te Papa Collection:History

Suggested curriculum levels:3 – 8

Curriculum connections:English: Listening, Reading, and Viewing, The Arts: Understanding the Arts in Context

Description:Simon Morton discovers beautiful art that is made for a human canvas. Women's handcrafts and fashion combine in a stunning dress by Marilyn Sainty and Vita Cochran.

Questions for students

  1. What does the word 'fashion' mean to you? It's a word that has many connotations and collocations. Find out what these terms mean, then make two lists: one for the connotations of 'fashion', the other for some of the collocations of the word.
  2. The presenter refers to a dressmaker's dummy as a canvas – he says Marilyn Sainty is a designer who makes art wearable. What distinctions do you think there are between art and fashion? Who decides which is which?
  3. We learn that the decoration on the dress is made by another person. When two or more people contribute to a work, it's often called a collaboration. Research other examples of collaboration in any area of art. Comment on the contribution of each person involved.
  4. What can fashion tell us about a time or a culture? Use the 'Then and now' response template to compare fashions now with those of another era. What changes over time, and what remains the same?
  5. How does the Vita dress illustrate the point that 'fashion take its inspiration from the past'? Can you give other examples of this?

Related templates:

Then and now