With the World of Wearable Art Show (WOW) in town, and fantastic costume art in Te Papa’s store windows, we were inspired see what creative costumes we have in our photography collection.
Mr A. Mason wearing a ‘poster’ costume for the Empire Tea Company’s Crescent brand, which was described in advertisements of the time as a tea that ‘refreshes, invigorates and pleases all who use it’.
Poster balls were a popular form of entertainment within New Zealand’s leisure industry and first made headlines in New Zealand at the beginning of the 20th century.
As the name infers, ball-goers were required to wear costumes that represented poster advertisements of well-known goods, or the goods themselves.
A young person in a poster ball costume, possibly advertising chocolates or biscuits.
A female skater wearing a poster costume advertising Hunky Dory boot polish and Hoxo Pad Rubber Heels for ‘no more sore feet’. The photograph was taken by ZAKS, a rival studio to Berry & Co, and is actually a post-card – and so the three dimensional, roving human poster, becomes a two dimensional advertisement again.
In 1949 Helen Hitchins became the first person to open a modern art dealer gallery in New Zealand.
Want to see more photos? We have over 130,000 in our photography collection.