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London couturier Peter Russell opened his house in 1931 at 2 Carlos Place, Mayfair and specialised in “sporty suits and simple gowns”. His preferred aesthetic was “functional elegance” and his client list included members of royalty and high society ladies sold across the Commonwealth.

Russell had a great eye for detail, and supervised every aspect of design even dyeing and printing fabrics for his twice-yearly collections.

In 1942 he was one of the founding members of the Incorporated Society of London Fashion Designers, which aimed to produce and promote high quality British fashion for export, in competition with the Parisian couture houses as well as build the relationship with government and represent the industry’s interests.

In the late ’40s he showed his collection at Georges, in Melbourne Australia and they started to produce some of his designs under his supervision. Then Georges asked him to design a collection of coronation gowns, for Australian women to wear for the upcoming coronation of Queen Elizabeth and her royal tour – it was “colossally successful” and in 1953 he sold his London design house and moved to Melbourne, taking on a role as a fashion advisor for a local fashion house.

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from a 1930s dress - Courtesy of

from a 1930s dress

Courtesy of