Elite Syncopations Leotards: Part One, The Shy Girl Costumes

Part One provides a detailed observations of two seemingly identical dresses with their accompanying tights. Within the Ryerson Fashion Research collection, there is a group of quirky outfits that stand apart from the other classical and romantic ballet costumes.  The Elite Syncopation costumes donated by the National Ballet of Canada are colourful, spunky, and appealing.…

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Making History: Inspired by Courrèges Part 1

by Shira Yavor My Making History project is inspired by a black and white photograph of a model wearing a dress/raincoat with cutouts and a flower motif designed by André Courrèges (Note 1). This image included the caption: “André Courrèges, Dress, photographed by William Laxton, 1960s.” My research included examining garments from the Ryerson Fashion Research…

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The Top Hat of E.J. Lennox, Architect of Old City Hall

By Amanda Memme The Ryerson Fashion Research Collection owns five top hats – quite a few, I thought, for this type of accessory. One top hat stood out among the rest (FRC2014.07.091 A-J). This hat was housed in a luxurious hard-shell case of leather and canvas that had been stencilled with the initials E.J.L.T. Not only…

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A Weston & Wells Reversible Plated Bustle

by Christine Gow Much like the clothes that parade down the catwalks of the world’s fashion capitals, the fashionable female body is also subject to the cyclical whims of taste. When we manage to attain the unattainable—that year’s bump, lump, or lack thereof du jour—we tire of it and move on. Take, for example, the…

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An Ode to Claire McCardell in the object-based analysis of a Red Cotton Dress

By Jenn Bilczuk In the 1940’s, Paris was under occupation and designers elsewhere were cut off from their Parisian inspirations. To prevent the demise of the industry, American designers were thrust into a position of fashion authority that had been previously denied to them (Buckland). Key influencers, like Vogue and Harper’s Bazaar, fueled by economic nationalism…

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Drawing as a Research Tool: Observing The Sleeping Beauty Bluebird Costume

Front view of the Bluebird costume. (FRC 2014.08.015A) Drawing by Teresa Adamo 2017. Observing an historical artifact can be overwhelming at first, especially when presented with a garment that has a large amount of surface details and materials.  Creating observational drawings can be an excellent method for object-based research. As stated in The Dress Detective,…

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