Abkhazi Garden

Haute Couture at the Abkhazi Garden

1964 Fairfield Road, Oak Bay, Victoria

April 9 – September 2016

Steel sculptures by Bev Petow 

inspired by the glamourous wardrobe of

Princess Peggy Abkhazi

Born in Shanghai in 1902, Peggy Pemberton – Carter had an exotic, privileged and far flung life.  She was orphaned at an early age and adopted by a wealthy childless couple, with whom she travelled and lived all over the world. She met the exiled Georgian Prince Abkhazi as a young women in Paris in the 20’s and was reunited with him after the war, after a harrowing three years in an interment camp in Shanghai. They married and came to live on her property in Oak Bay, Victoria, where they built a modest house and a grand garden.

As the seat of the Crown’s representative, Victoria has always fancied itself Royal and the Prince and Princess Akhazi became the glitterati of the Governor General’s balls and the Union Club functions in the 50’s and 60’s and Peggy always dressed the part. Fortunately some of her dresses and gowns have been kept at the garden and they are the inspiration for this show.

A Curious Life The Biography of Princess Peggy Abkhazi by Katherine Gordon

A Curious Cage by Peggy Abkhazi (Sono NIs Press)


Bev Petow

Beverly Petow is an American/Canadian sculptor living in East Sooke whose work has been exhibited, admired and collected widely.  A rare woman in the metalworking world, she creates pieces of exquisite delicacy in steel. Her many years of designing and sewing her own wardrobe shows in Haute Couture and her ongoing dress series.