Ryerson Fashion Research Collection

Opening the closet door to a Canadian fashion archive

Introducing the Special Topics Course Participants for Reproduction of Historic Dress

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by Ingrid Mida, Fashion Research Collection Co-ordinator


I would like to introduce the new special topics course in the School of Fashion called: Reproducing Historic Dress. Designed by me and taught in conjunction with Dr. Lu Ann Lafrenz, this course is intended to provide hands-­‐on   experience  in  reproducing garments  from  historic  dress  artifacts  belonging  to  the  Ryerson   Fashion  Research  Collection.  Students  will  learn techniques  for  researching  historic  dress   and  replicating  historic  garments  from  the  original  artifact.  The  course  will be   supplemented  with  visits  to  other  dress  collections  and  related  topics  from  museology,  such   as  conservation techniques  and  mounting  of  dress.  Students  will  chose  a  historic  garment   from  the  collection  and  replicate  it exactly,  thereby  gaining  knowledge  of  historic   construction  techniques  and  materials. Three students were invited to participate in the inaugural course and are introduced below. Over the coming months, they will be uploading their progress reports as a way of sharing the creative process of their projects. Please join me in welcoming Millie, Jessica and Alys to the blog!





Millie Yates

Millie Yates

Millie Yates is a third-year Fashion Design student. She interns for Philip Sparks Tailored Goods and writes for Ryerson fashion blog StyleCircle.org. After completing her degree, she hopes to work in contemporary womenswear. Millie’s interests include pattern-drafting, screen-printing and fashion illustration. She is replicating a wool boucle jacket by Christian Dior for Holt Renfrew from the 1950s (FRC 2013.99.007).

Jessica Oakes

Jessica Oakes

Jessica Oakes is a third-year Fashion Design student and a professed costume fanatic. She has interned with a theatre for children and also in a bridal alterations store. Some day she hopes to either design and make costumes or re-create historical garments like Viking clothing and kimonos. For this course, she is replicating a woman’s purple velvet womenswear military-style jacket with overskirt and tails from the 1880s (FRC 2014.07.198).


Alys Mak-Pilsworth

Alys Mak-Pilsworth is a fourth-year Fashion Design Student. She has interned for  the Fashion History Museum, and last year worked under my direction in the Ryerson Fashion Research Collection. She has participated in the organizing and running of the student run fashion show Twice. Besides fashion, her interests include film, literature, history, and cooking. As part of the special topics course she is replicating a patterned muslin day dress with long sleeves from the 1860s (FRC 2014.07.409).

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."

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