How the dresses were worn
Two letters from Suzanne Farrington to Dorothy Holman are preserved at RAMM, which explain how the broadtail dress was originally donated to Topsham Museum.
In the first handwritten letter, written in early February 1976, Suzanne Farrington explains that she has ‘a small problem here.' She suggests that ‘it might be of interest to you, if not Exeter could maybe take it off your hands.'
She describes the dress and includes a small sketch to illustrate its silhouette. She writes:
‘It’s in black broadtail, these [a dotted line and arrow point toward the sketch] fall like a stole but it was a collar behind. I remember mummy wearing it but not theatrically.’
She suggests the dress might be ‘cut up for fur’ but she had ‘rather you or a costume museum had it.'
Suzanne Farrington wrote a second letter to Dorothy Holman a month later. The letter states:
‘I’m so glad you enjoy the dress, I do remember a beautiful Georgian diamond rose brooch pined on the stoll to keep the collar part up to form a curve behind the head.'
She goes on the explain that she also has:
'two evening dresses of hers that I’m afraid I had let out, but the design wasn’t altered so a judicious pin at the waste would nearly restore them. […] they are very glamourous and after all most people enjoy unobtainable glamour.'