Hayden and Emily McPherson

Everyone wants to be a fashion designer.

And so it goes in 1950. Emily McPherson was a domestic science college for women in Melbourne.

Here’s a picture of my mother Hayden learning to sew. Looks like a nice plaid number.

The principal of the college, Miss Stuart said “The diploma, of needlecraft is a beautiful course, for girls who like clothes… both to design and make.”

Hayden studied “art, needlecrafts, science of textiles, and craftwork, such as stencilling, weaving, leatherwork.”

| Hayden Kavanagh, The Argus 1950 |

“For the examination in the third year they must have made an afternoon frock, sports frock, a good frock with handwork on and a frock to suit their own particular style.”

The diploma required the ladies to be employed in industry for one year.  Hayden couldn’t formally complete the diploma as her father wouldn’t allow his daughters to work.

Those were the days.

Julia Ritson

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