Ryerson Fashion Research Collection

Opening the closet door to a Canadian fashion archive

Labels in the Ryerson Fashion Research Collection

Leave a comment

By Ingrid Mida, Collection Co-ordinator.

Pierre Cardin Paris FRC197.04.003

Pierre Cardin Paris
FRC197.04.003

Label: VALENTINO Roma FRC1997.04.009

Label: VALENTINO Roma
FRC1997.04.009

In the 1850s, the ‘father of haute couture’ Charles Frederick Worth was the first fashion designer to insert a label into his garments and sign them like a work of art. Since then, it has become a common practice. Labels tell stories, especially if it is a numbered couture piece.  Other than the designer name, they often include the place of manufacture, and sometimes the season or date.

Label Nina Ricci Paris  FRC1997.04.003

Label Nina Ricci Paris
FRC1997.04.003

Putting a value on a garment depends so much on whether the fashion house still exists and its current ranking or status. If the label has been retired and the designer is no longer known, the garment might be beautifully constructed, but its value is diminished.

FRC_2pcEnsembles_1992.01.019_A+B_LBL_Web

Label Hyperbole Courreges FRC2013.002.009

Label Hyperbole Courreges
FRC2013.002.009

The Designer Archive of the Ryerson Fashion Research Collection contains a range of designer labels, including international designers like Balenciaga, Balmain, Dior, Issey Miyake, Kenzo, Nina RIcci, Valentino. There are also uniquely Canadian labels, some of which are rare and hard-to-find labels, like Meme Dysthe or Ruth Dukas, who made beautiful couture-like garments in the 1960s, but their names are almost totally unknown today. There are also garments with labels from Canadian retailers like the T. Eaton Company or Jean Pierce that no longer exist. For this reason, the Ryerson Fashion Research Collection offers a unique opportunity to study Canadian fashion history and to celebrate our past.

Label: Ruth Dukas FRC2013.02.001

Label: Ruth Dukas
FRC2013.02.001

Label T. Eaton Co, Limited FRC2008.03.007

Label T. Eaton Co, Limited
FRC2008.03.007

Label: Pat McDonagh FRC2013.99.020

Label: Pat McDonagh
FRC2013.99.020

To discover more labels in the Ryerson Fashion Research Collection, visit the Pinterest Board here.

This project was sponsored by a grant from the Learning and Teaching Office at Ryerson University in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

Author: Ingrid Mida

Curator, Dress Historian, Collection Co-ordinator of the Ryerson Fashion Research Collection, Part-time Lecturer, Lead Author of "The Dress Detective: A Practical Guide on How to do Object-based Research in Fashion."

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s