Image courtesy of Burberry Entertainment / ABC / Film Victoria

Light blue and black custom made late 19th Century style women's costume used in the production of `The Mystery of a Hansom Cab' telemovie, filmed in Melbourne in 2012 by local production company Burberry Entertainment.

It was worn by Australian actor Jessica de Gouw, who played the role of Madge Frettlby, and designed by costume designer Wendy Cork, with costume supervisor Christiana Plitzco. The clothing and the head wear were tailor made in Sydney.

The film is based on the book of the same name, self published in 1886 by its author Fergus Hume. It was produced by Margot McDonald and directed by Shawn Seet, with executive producer Ewan Burnett.

Televised on the ABC in October 2012.

Physical Description

The costume consists of three pieces: light blue bodice with black trim; light blue skirt with black lace trim; and light blue bustle cover with black beading and black lace trim. It was worn with the following pieces from the Dark Blue Madge Frettlby costume in the Museum's collection: calico corset; calico bustle and pair of black leather and suede ladies lace up boots.


`The Mystery of a Hansom Cab' collection, of which this object is a part, is an important addition to the current collection, as it succinctly documents one local television production, through artefacts and documentation. It represents the thousands of hours of television that have been filmed in Melbourne since its introduction in 1956. It is also a great representation of how the city's history has been portrayed on screen.

It represents literary Melbourne, as a screen adaptation of one of our most iconic and successful 19th Century books; a book which uses the city, its streets and its buildings as one of its characters.

The handmade costumes, the majority of which were made in Melbourne, represent the output of the city's bespoke tailors and clothing manufacturers, a small number which still exist today.

More Information