This gift set was produced by Prue Acton Cosmetics at their plant in Mulgrave, Victoria, in the mid 1970s. Her cosmetics were available for sale from the 29th October, 1969, until 1976, when the rising costs of running her own plant in Melbourne made the operation unprofitable.

Physical Description

Consists of a tubular clear plastic container, with a cardboard stopper at each end, the top one threaded with a silver woven loop. Inside is a silver cardboard and clear plastic insert containing a bar of soap in a silver cardboard box, a pink fabric rose, and a purple plastic container of talcum powder with a blue plastic lid. Soap and talcum powder (100g) still inside containers.


Prue Acton was born in Benalla, Victoria, in 1943. She completed a Diploma of Art (majoring in Textiles) in 1962 and, the following year, started up her own company in Flinders Lane with a loan from her parents. She was the first Australia designer to break into the American market, after a successful visit to New York in 1967. Prue received a number of awards during her career, including 5 Australian Wool Board Awards, 3 David Jones Awards for Fashion Excellence and four Fashion Industry of Australia Lyrebird Awards, as well as receiving an OBE in 1982. After closing her business in the late 1980s, she now works as a fulltime painter.

Following in the footsteps of England's Mary Quant, Prue decided to supplement her clothing line with a range of cosmetics. Launched in October, 1969, the company was soon in financial difficulties due to the costs involved in establishing and running its own plant in Mulgrave. In 1970, the company was taken over by the German chemical firm Hoechst Ltd, who were desperate to break into the female cosmetics market, with Prue Acton being retained as a consultant. The company was never really profitable, unable to compete with the large amounts of money being spent on promotions by American firms such as Revlon and Max Factor, and was wound up in early 1976. A range of cosmetics, under the Prue Acton banner, were later released by Wella in the 1980s.
These items add to the Museum's Prue Acton collection, supplementing other items from her cosmetics range. There are no other examples of her perfumes or gift sets in the collection.

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