Exploring Miss Fisher’s Wardrobe

For many years I’ve enjoyed the Phyrne Fisher murder mystery books by Kerry Greenwood, not least because they are set in Melbourne during the 1920’s.

These wonderful novels have now been made into a TV series. Series 2 is currently showing and every episode is avidly watched by me, and The Golfer!, and lots of my friends. The stars of the show are perfectly cast, the settings are often recognisable landmarks from Melbourne and other Victorian locations, and the costumes….ah!, the costumes…..sumptuous, elegant, beautiful!! And they are now on display at the very grand and splendid Rippon Lea. So, of course, we needed to go!

On entering the grounds we followed this path….

20131019-161752.jpg…admiring the old fashioned lamps…..

20131019-161851.jpg…the path leading us to the mansion….


Needless to say, we thoroughly enjoyed inspecting the beautiful costumes, and the added advantage of exploring the rooms of Rippon Lea in which they are displayed. I especially liked the “workroom” where fabrics, notions and sewing equipment were set up, along with drawings of a jacket, and that very jacket “in the making” there for viewing too.

Regrettably no photos of the costumes are allowed, but I did ask the attendant on our way out if I could photograph a pass (which are given out at the ticket office and collected – boo hoo – on entry to the mansion)….


Despite the wind (we’re now ignoring this wind!), it was a spectacular Melbourne Spring day, and our pass gave us access to the beautiful grounds surrounding the mansion….and photos were allowed!

We rounded the corner to the conservatory….

20131019-163205.jpg…then down some steep steps to the basement kitchen, laundry, servants’ area, pantry and cellar, all set up as it would have been in the late 1800’s when the mansion was first built and lived in. Unfortunately, the areas were too dark for good pics.

But we did explore the gardens.

Lots of tall old trees….



….a rose garden and an amazing fernery…..

20131019-163844.jpg…can’t you imagine sitting here, reading or stitching, and listening to the trickle of water from the little stream running through the fernery….so peaceful!……

20131019-164104.jpg….lots of plants decked out in their Spring finery…..

20131019-164205.jpg….a bridge…..

20131019-164246.jpg….leading to a gazebo…..

20131019-164317.jpg….with a view of the lake (where the little steam comes out)…..

20131019-164405.jpg….a lookout (which Miss Helen bravely climbed, while Miss GJ and I contentedly stayed on terra firma – bad backs precluding our climbing the steep steps!)…..

20131019-164551.jpg…and ducks on the lake!

20131019-164922.jpgA delightful day, topped off by viewing the scheduled Friday evening instalment of Miss Fisher on ABC1 and exclaiming over the hats, bags and costumes I’d seen that day!!

Happy stitching
Meredithe x

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10 Responses to Exploring Miss Fisher’s Wardrobe

  1. Glenda says:

    Gorgeous prose and photos !!
    Miss Fisher is an inspiration , and I hope she and Jack finally find each other!!!
    Lovely day!

  2. Ann says:

    What a lovely day out. Pics are beautiful. Wouldn’t it be lovely to have a stitching day there!!!

  3. Ruth says:

    So glad to hear that you enjoyed the exhibition as I am flying down to Melbourne on Thursday with my mother and sister and law to see Phryne’s gorgeous gowns.

  4. Quilter501 says:

    Such inspirational pix. We here in the Pacific Northwest of the US are preparing for our winter. My golfer is out trying to get in his last rounds in blustery winds…..but no white stuff on the course I went to a fall quilt show yesterday in Spokane and bought a wonderful new mousepad. It says: I quilt, he golfs. Enjoy your sunshine and stitching.

  5. Helen F says:

    Oh M it was the best afternoon out!!!! I can’t stop thinking about how life would have been lived in that amazing house!!

  6. Maree says:

    Your photos are gorgeous Meredithe ,glad you enjoyed the exhibition as much as I did.

  7. Helen F says:

    PS M – I would recommend everyone who loves the Phyrny series to read the books by Kerry Greenwood !!! – her writing just flows and you are instantly hooked “unputdownable”!!! – nearly finished book 2 !!!

  8. Anne says : I wish you could have taken photos of the costumes – I will need to watch my DVD box set of series one again, to drool over her beautiful clothes. I will look out for series two being shown on tv here. Lovely to see your photos of the house and grounds – it’s hard to believe that it’s just over a year since we were there!!

    Malcolm says : it brings it all back!!

  9. Oh, thank you for sharing the information about the Phryne Fisher exhibition, I’ve just checked the Rippon Lea website and see that the exhibition will run until 1 December so I will have time to visit.

    On a similar theme, have you been to see the Edward Steichen & Art Deco Fashion at the NGV. Phryne would have loved wearing some of the fashions on display here.

  10. Carole says:

    Thanks for the virtual tour of Ripponlea. Years ago we lived just around the corner and I used to ride my bike to work right past this historic mansion but would you believe I never went in through the gates to check it out 😦 Must try and see this exhibition.

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