Exhibition Review: Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries Costume Exhibition

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Photo Credit: Kirstie Morey

Prepare to enter the glamorous 1920s world of the Honorable Miss Phryne Fisher and her crime-fighting cohorts in the beautifully curated Miss Fisher Costume Exhibition currently on show at the historic Ayers House, in Adelaide. Based on the popular novels by Australian author Kerry Greenwood, the Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries series follows the professional and personal adventures of the sassy and sophisticated female detective in Melbourne. The Miss Fisher series has captured the hearts and souls of Australian and international viewers alike, and the display of approximately 50 costumes from Season Three, all designed by Marion Boyce, is a feast for the eyes.

Marion Boyce’s costumes for the entire cast feel right at home in the stately Ayers House Museum. One can just imagine Miss Fisher sauntering down the grand staircase and entertaining guests beneath the iridescent chandelier that greets visitors as they enter the venue. The costumes and props are exhibited in various themed rooms and alcoves, including a casino room, a jewellery room and a tennis scene on the ground floor. The spectacular set design of the exhibition is in harmony with the overall aesthetic of Ayers House and perfectly complements the hero of the exhibition: the costumes. Particular highlights include Dot’s ethereal wedding dress, Phryne’s mermaid costume and her chinoiserie embellished coat.

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Photo Credit: Kirstie Morey

The custom-made mannequins, mesmerizing music and projection of Miss Fisher scenes on the walls give you a sense of the meticulous attention to detail afforded to this exhibition. In addition, Ayers House Museum offers visitors a special behind-the-scenes glimpse into the workroom of the Miss Fisher costume department on the upper floor.

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Photo Credit: Kirstie Morey

Perhaps one of the most exciting aspects of this exhibition is the interactive element and genuine desire on behalf of the curators to create an immersive atmosphere. Visitors are given the opportunity to solve a murder mystery with the aid of various clues scattered around the house, and if you wish to put your creative and artistic skills to the test you can design you own 1920s gown on the basement level of the exhibition. Also, if you really want to get into the spirit of things, visitors have the opportunity to try on replica costumes and hats!

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Photo Credit: Kirstie Morey

On show until the 14th February, this exhibition truly has something for everyone and is not to be missed! In conjunction with the exhibition a 1920s-themed program of events, coined “The Festival of Phryne” has been created this summer.

Presented by The National Trust and Every Cloud Productions

The full program can be viewed at http://missfisherexhibition.com.au/#special-events.

The Miss Fisher’s MurderMysteries Costume Exhibition.
Ayers House Museum, 288 North Terrace.

Open daily from 10am – 5pm until February 14 2015

-Kirstie Morey

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