Sourcing the Muse


Rosemary ArmstrongRosemary Armstrong established her sophisticated high fashion label, Tea Rose, in 1981. Her signature glamorous feminine styles feature exquisite fabrics which she sources overseas, a refined colour palette and finely crafted embroidered and beaded finishes.

Armstrong has chosen to base herself and her family in the quiet, idyllic environs of the Yarramalong Valley (some two hours from Sydney at the NSW Central Coast), preferring to commute to her Sydney studio and retail outlet. The landscape is which Armstrong lives provides the major source of inspiration for the colours and textures that appear in her work.

The Tea Rose design for Sourcing the Muse
Photo of the Tea Rose design worn by a model




© Wedding dress by Rosemary Armstrong, Tea Rose. Silk-satin lining, silk and viscose tulle with laser-cut flowers, silk-tulle drapery
Photographer: Greg Nagle
Stylist: Thelma McQuillan
Hair & make-up: Kelly Stratton
Model: Suzanne Black, Chic Model Management

Rosemary Armstrong's design concept - beads, embroidery and lace
Lace wedding overdress c1927'The pieces I selected from the Museum were either beaded, embroidered or lacy, and all were delicate and feminine. All of these words describe my label "TEA ROSE" quite perfectly. The garments I selected included a white lace coat and a delicate long cream lace dress - every season I work with lace. Also a long cream satin beaded wedding dress - every collection includes a wedding dress and beading is always a feature. Finally an embroidered skirt and jacket with delicate black and white embroidery - embroidery always being a feature of my label.

'My concept for the special outfit to be designed for this exhibition is to contain all these things: beading, embroidery, lace or tulle. The outfit will be delicate and feminine with a contemporary feel.

Detail of Irish crochet coat early 1900s'Whilst the thrust of the concept will remain the same in the process of creative design changes are often made. These changes reflect the creativity of designing and can sometimes alter the finished article.

'I will be working with a couture fabric from Switzerland and the beading will be done by a lady who has been working with me for some fourteen years.' - Rosemary Armstrong

linkObjects from the Powerhouse collection that inspired Rosemary Armstrong
linkInterview with Rosemary Armstrong