Ryerson Fashion Research Collection

Opening the closet door to a Canadian fashion archive

In this weather, it is all about the coat!

Leave a comment

by Ingrid Mida, Collection Co-ordinator

Given that we seem to be stuck with a never-ending winter in Toronto, I decided that it was an ideal time to feature a selection of the contemporary coats from the Designer Archive of the Ryerson Fashion Research Collection. In Canada, where outerwear is an essential part of coping with the winter, coats make a first impression. There are coat people – those of us who have a different coat for every type of weather – and Kathleen Kubas, who donated the coats shown below, was one of them.

One of my favourite coats in the FRC Designer Archive is this avant-garde coat by Issey Miyake. This coat is made of a combination of brown, black and cream felted wool and is lined in quilted polyester satin. It closes at the shoulder with a toggle button. The textile that makes up this coat is what sets it apart and really deserves a closer look.

Issey Miyake coat, felted wool with silk lining, ca. 2000, FRC2009.01.680.

Issey Miyake coat, felted wool with silk lining, ca. 2000, FRC2009.01.680.

This Jean Paul Gaultier wool blanket coat shown below has no closures other than a tie belt at the waist. The luxury of this coat is not evident to anyone other than the wearer, because the lining for the body of the coat is silk satin printed with Jean Paul Gaultier’s signature. The sleeves are lined in striped cream satin. The label is Jean Paul Gaultier Classique Paris. This style of coat was one of Kathleen Kubas favourite styles. Easy to wear over anything including layers of bulky sweaters, this style of coat wraps the wearer in warmth and comfort.

Jean Paul Gaultier blanket coat, wool with silk satin lining, ca.2005-2008, FRC2009.01.363 A+B

Jean Paul Gaultier blanket coat, wool with silk satin lining, ca.2005-2008, FRC2009.01.363 A+B

Quite a different style of coat is the fitted coat shown below. Its slim fit and narrow armholes would limit what it could be comfortably worn over, but on its own it is a statement. I dare say that the bright fuchsia pink colour would blow the winter blues away in a heartbeat. This wool coat by Gucci opens to reveal a luxurious leopard print lining.

Fuchsia pink wool coat with leopard silk lining, snap closures, GUCCI, FRC2009.01.667

Fuchsia pink wool coat with leopard silk lining, snap closures, GUCCI, FRC2009.01.667

Another lovely coat by Gucci is this cream wool coat with a red fox fur collar shown below. This fitted coat has added warmth with its fur collar.

Cream wool coat with red fur fox collar. Label GUCCI, FRC2009.01.374

Cream wool coat with red fur fox collar. Label GUCCI, FRC2009.01.374

Versatile in its shape, the cashmere cape shown below is a piece that could be worn over another coat for a day of extreme cold or on its own in less frigid temps. This luxurious cape shown below is made of black cashmere and is trimmed with chinchilla fur.

Black cashmere cape trimmed with chinchilla fur, Label Holt Renfrew. FRC2009.01.214

Black cashmere cape trimmed with chinchilla fur, Label Holt Renfrew. FRC2009.01.214

All of the featured coats were donated to the collection by the family of the late Kathleen Kubas. The collection also has other coats including coats by Dior, Givenchy, Louis Feraud, Karl Lagerfeld, Valentina  and other designers.

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