Australian TV history on show at TMAG

Charlene's wedding dress on display in the gallery

The Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery (TMAG) is delighted to bring a slice of television history to visitors this winter as it displays one of Australia’s most iconic wedding dresses.

The Wedding Dress: An Australian TV Icon showcases the Cinderella-inspired dress worn by Charlene (Kylie Minogue) as she married Scott (Jason Donovan) on Network Ten soap opera Neighbours in 1987.

Scott and Charlene 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.

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 seminal Australian television moment.

Senior Curator of Decorative Arts, Peter Hughes, said the silk, organza and lace dress was a much-loved part of TMAG’s collection and came to the museum via an unusual route.

“After the wedding episode aired, a volunteer then working with our Decorative Arts department approached Grundy Television about donating the dress as part of the museum’s collection of 20th century wedding dresses,” Peter said.

“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.”

As 1 July 2022 marks 35 years – or the coral anniversary – of Scott and Charlene’s wedding, TMAG Director Mary Mulcahy said it was perfect timing for the display.

“Also, 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 Scott and Charlene,” Mary said.

“The display will celebrate 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.

“We will also be marking the occasion by hosting Scott and Charlene’s Wedding Reception in our Central Gallery, a fun, late-night ticketed event at the museum featuring food, drink and – of course – a nostalgic hit of ‘80s music.”

The Wedding Dress: An Australian Icon is on show in TMAG’s Salon Gallery from 24 June until 31 July 2022. Scott and Charlene’s Wedding Reception will take place in TMAG’s Central Gallery on Friday 1 July 2022, tickets are available here.