In 2009, the School of Fashion received its largest single donation of over 700 garments and accessories for the Ryerson Fashion Research Collection from the family of Kathleen Kubas., after she had passed away in 2008 at the age of 70. Kathleen Kubas was a former model and actress before she became a grade 1 schoolteacher. She loved fashion, and was known in Toronto as the “Hat Lady”. Kathleen had an extraordinary millinery collection, including many from milliners Phillip Treacy, Stephen Jones and Eric Javits. Her friends said her “hats reflected her personality — extravagent, yet elegant and fashionable” (note 1).
This donation from the Kubas family added an infusion of contemporary designer labels from about 1985 – 2005 into the Fashion Research Collection, including garments by Gucci, Kenzo, Issey Miyake, Missoni, Jean Muir, and many others. Her wardrobe shows an affinity for bold fashion-forward pieces as well as textures like knits and furs. The colours of her wardrobe are vibrant, dominated by bright colours like pinks and purples but also balanced by neutral pieces in gray, black and white. She clearly knew what she liked and what looked good on her tall, slender frame.
Garments and accessories from the Kathleen Kubas donation were photographed for this project included:
The high caliber of the labels in the Kathleen Kubas Collection and the near perfect condition of the pieces gives significant weight and importance to this part of the Fashion Research Collection at Ryerson University.
Note 1: In the undated pamphlet for the celebration of life ceremony in honour of Kathleen Kubas, she is described this way.
This project has been sponsored by a grant from the Learning & Teaching Office at Ryerson University.