Another Chapter Begins

It was on February 12, 2012 that Dr. Alison Matthews David opened an unmarked door on the seventh floor of the library for me. Behind that door were racks, bins, boxes and piles of clothing, stacks of books, journals and papers that comprised the Ryerson Costume Collection (as it was then known). Although the collection…

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A Mugler Mystery: Part III

My previous post reviewed the styles, colours and power dynamics of women’s fashion during the 1990s using The Dress Detective (note 1). This third and final blog post uses the contextual information gathered about the aqua blue Thierry Mugler skirt suit to consider clothing as a method of communication. More specifically, I ask: who would…

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A Mugler Mystery: Part I

Inspired by his background in theatre and dance, Mugler is known for his futuristic and whimsical designs born out of his wildest fantasies. This series of three blog posts will consider the construction of an acqua blue skirt suit by Thierry Mugler and analyze related contextual information of the 1990s in order to explore the idea of clothing as a symbol of power and method of communication.

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The Absent Presence of Evelyn Wilkie in Photographs

When donors offer clothing to the Ryerson Fashion Research Collection, I always ask if there are related photographs.  Clothing tells only one part of the story. Photographs can help reveal other clues as to the fashioning of identity since accessories and other details of body language are also relevant to unravelling clues to their persona.…

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Absent Presence and the Remaking of a Wedding Dress

The wedding dress worn by Evelyn Wilkie on November 15, 1927 cannot be displayed on a mannequin since the dress is in very poor condition and small fragments of silk shatter each time the dress is moved. For this reason, a replica of the dress was created by Ryerson University Fashion Design student Olivia Da Cruz…

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A Handbag’s Tale

Editor’s Introduction: This post was a creative project by MA Fashion student Anna Pollice for a special topics class called “Fashion Beyond the Clothed Body” with Dr. Esther Berry. In this post, Anna writes the narrative of an object biography from the point of view of a handbag (and her imaginary owner Eleanor). This handbag…

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Sustainability: The Kimono and The Haori

by Jennifer Dares and Cecilia Martins Gomes, MA Fashion Students  The word kimono means “thing to wear” in Japanese; the original word is kirumono (Steele 2005; Milhaupt 2014; ). This paper seeks to analyze what aspects of kimono are sustainable. To answer that question two styles of kimono from the Ryerson Fashion Research Collection were…

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Sustainability and a Paper Jumpsuit

By Emilie Chan and Zoe Yin, MA Fashion Students   This woman’s one-piece jumpsuit from the Ryerson Fashion Research Collection is made from a paper textile with repetitive printed patterns in highly contrasting colour combinations—pink, orange, yellow, and green (FRC2014.07.001AB). This jumpsuit is structured with a zipper back, long sleeves, wide legs that flare out from…

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