CATHERINE Thornton knew nobody else would have the same dress at the Maroochydore High formal last night.  

To find another, they would have had to wind back the clock 52 years.  

It was the same dress worn by Catherine's grandmother in the Miss Australia Quest in Warwick in 1962.  

The dress had been put away by Catherine's mother, Jacqui, for years but vintage-loving Catherine knew it would be perfect for her formal as soon as she laid eyes on it.  

"My sister's formal was a few years ago and before she was about to go, mum brought out the dress and was showing her," Catherine said.  

"It wasn't really for her but I thought it would be great to wear. I really like a lot of vintage things."

Catherine's grandmother, Gwenda Jentz, nee Curd, bought the dress from the exclusive Linen Chest in Toowoomba especially for the quest.  

"Once I saw it and tried it on I had to have it, regardless of the price," Gwenda said.   

Another Warwick girl, Gas Aspinall, went on to become Miss Darling Downs and later, Miss Australia, but Gwenda still shone in her gold lame.  

The dress was altered to fit Catherine by Susie Williams, who said it was a good dress of quality fabric.  

Ms Williams said the dress seemed to be on trend, proved that fashion was cyclical.  

"I was looking in a magazine and found someone else in the fashion world wearing a dress that was almost identical," she said.

  Catherine has a leaning towards '50s and '60s gear and said she liked vintage items because they were different.  

She chose to accessorise the dress with black shoes, a simple black clutch, and earrings.

Gwenda Jentz nee Curd second from right in her dress in the Miss Australia Quest in 1962 Photo: Contributed
Gwenda Jentz nee Curd second from right in her dress in the Miss Australia Quest in 1962 Photo: Contributed Contributed

  "I didn't really want anything to take attention off the dress," she said.  

Wearing her grandmother's dress meant more to Catherine than just "a look".  

"It feels good to wear it, too, to know that it's something that's been in the family," she said.  

Catherine plans to keep the dress after the formal and perhaps another granddaughter will wear it one day, too.