Bringing an idea to life: Tender Memories coming soon

25th March 2021

There’s always an idea bubbling away in the mind of our executive director Joc O’Donnell – and Bill Richardson Transport World’s upcoming Tender Memories exhibit has been a long time in the making.

“I’ve always loved the idea of doing an exhibit of wedding dresses,” Joc says. “Our museum celebrates the craftsmanship of a bygone era, and the idea of bringing a selection of beautiful wedding gowns from years gone by has always struck me as something that would add a lot of texture to our collection.”

Set to be on display at Bill Richardson Transport World between 9 May – launching with a celebratory long lunch on Mother’s Day – and the end of September, the next exhibit to take centre stage will bring together the wedding attire, and a behind-the-scenes walk down memory lane, of the big days of some of New Zealand’s most well-known names. More than 20 Kiwi celebrities have agreed to loan their wedding attire to Bill Richardson Transport World for the Tender Memories display.

“People get a real thrill out of exhibits that evoke a sense of nostalgia, and perhaps inspire memories of their own – that’s what makes a collection connect with somebody on a personal level,” she says. “We have always tried to add different layers to our collection, elements that strike a chord with a wide variety of people, and I think our Tender Memories exhibit will be an absolutely beautiful addition to our museum.”

Adding to the exhibit’s appeal? A portion of proceeds from all ticket sales throughout the duration of the display’s run will be donated to KidsCan – a well-known charity that works to support vulnerable New Zealand children and their families.

“We wanted to work together with well-known New Zealand women – and men! – to use our collective platforms to support a worthy cause,” O’Donnell says. “We hope our Tender Memories exhibit is well-supported, so it is able to make a tangible different and generate a substantial donation for KidsCan. The work KidsCan does is so important, and we’re humbled so many Kiwi celebrities were willing to get on board with us to support its cause.”

Guests can expect to see the wedding items displayed with plenty of signature Transport World panache, O’Donnell says.

Among the big names set to take part is renowned bridal designer Trish Peng. Auckland-based Peng – whose work has featured in international publications including The Daily Mail, People magazine, HuffPost, and the holy grail of all things bridal, website The Knot – has crafted bespoke gowns for American actress Brittany Daniel and television personality Kristin Cavallari, homegrown influencers Matilda Green and Simone Anderson, and Kiwi Oscar nominee Keisha Castle-Hughes, among others.

Peng’s spectacular red bridal gown, which features a 20-metre silk tulle train, vintage Christian Dior lace, and hundreds of Swarovski crystals, will be among the gowns on display.

“Most wedding gowns - both on the runway and off - are only shown or seen once or twice in their lifetime so it’s great to have the opportunity to go back down memory lane and revisit some iconic Kiwi wedding looks from over the years,” Peng says.

“I’m excited to once again bring out my red gown from 2016 for this exhibition, as its debut at New Zealand Fashion Week was one of the highlights of my career, and exhibiting it to help raise funds for KidsCan is the cherry on top.”