Elva Daphne Barker (nee Jardine) born 18th April, 1928 in Avoca and living there until her passing on 14th April, 2019, four days short of her 91st birthday.
A tumultuous world on the brink of war and a need for making necessities out of very little, combined with a natural artistic inclination, drew Elva into creating her own version of haute couture in her small-town environment of Avoca. With some tutoring in dressmaking from another local, Sylvia Greenwood, she made most of her own clothing with occasional help from her sister Irene.
Circa 1948 Elva and Barbara Romey opened a shop in High Street Avoca offering beautifully tailored and bespoke clothing for special events, gowns for debutante balls, weddings and tailored suits, coats and ensembles.
For her marriage to Lawrence William Barker, who was a local boy she had known before he left to serve in the RAAF, Elva created her own beautiful lace wedding dress and a bridesmaid’s dress for her sister, Irene. In later life she also made gowns for ballroom dancing – again for herself and others.
Elva’s creative talents are on show in Gallery 127 during July.