The Wedding Dress: An Australian TV Icon
Opens 24-06-2022, closes 31-07-2022
On 1 July 1987, Australian viewers witnessed a piece of television history: the wedding of Scott and Charlene on Network Ten soap opera Neighbours.
Scott Robinson (Jason Donovan) and Charlene Mitchell (Kylie Minogue) were the program’s Romeo and Juliet, and their love story culminated in a romantic wedding that has become a touchstone of Australian popular culture.
Neighbours was so popular in the UK that 19.6 million people tuned in to watch the wedding episode when it was eventually broadcast on the BBC in November 1988, making it the third most-watched television program of that year.
As worn by Kylie Minogue – then at the beginning of her decades-long career as a global superstar – Charlene’s wedding dress became synonymous with this iconic Australian television moment.
After the wedding episode aired, a volunteer then working with TMAG’s Decorative Arts department approached Grundy Television about donating the dress as part of the museum’s collection of 20th century wedding dresses.
The idea was to collect a dress for each year of the century to reflect changing fashions, while also representing the lives of people of different backgrounds and, occasionally, historic moments such as this.
Grundy Television donated the dress to TMAG in 1989, and since then it has travelled to museums across Australia and also to the UK to feature in exhibitions celebrating both Australian television costume and Kylie Minogue’s fashion history.
2022 marks 35 years – or the coral anniversary – of Scott and Charlene’s wedding. Earlier this year, it was announced that Neighbours would cease production after 37 years on air, with Kylie Minogue and Jason Donovan set to return for one final episode as their much-loved characters.
This display celebrates both Neighbours as an Australian television institution, as well as a fondly-remembered moment in the program’s history that is forever preserved in the TMAG Collection.
TMAG will also be marking the occasion with Scott and Charlene’s Wedding Reception in the Central Gallery, a fun, late-night ticketed event featuring food, drink and 80s music on Friday 1 July 2022. Find out more and book your tickets here.
Image details: Jocelyn Amanda Creed, Wedding dress (Charlene's wedding dress from Neighbours) (detail), 1987, silk, organza, lace. Presented by Grundy Television, 1989.