Ryerson Fashion Research Collection

Opening the closet door to a Canadian fashion archive


Leave a comment

In this weather, it is all about the coat!

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.


1 Comment

The Kathleen Kubas Collection

By Ingrid Mida, Collection Co-ordinator.

Black sinamay cartwheel hat with asymmetrical brim with draped black mesh.  Miss Jones by Stephen Jones FRC2009.01.608

Black sinamay cartwheel hat with asymmetrical brim with draped black mesh.
Miss Jones by Stephen Jones
FRC2009.01.608

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).

Beige sinamay pciture hat with layered and draped raffia and scattered black sequins. Linda Campisano Millinery Chicago. FRC2009.01.694

Beige sinamay picture hat with layered and draped raffia and scattered black sequins.
Linda Campisano Millinery Chicago.
FRC2009.01.694

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:

Dyed Feather Boa with black satin ribbon tie FRC2009.01.439

Dyed Feather Boa with black satin ribbon tie
FRC2009.01.439

Wool coat with leopard silk lining, DOLCE & GABBANA, FRC2009.01.667

Wool coat with leopard silk lining, DOLCE & GABBANA,
FRC2009.01.667

Burgundy textured knit jersey pullover dress with matching overcoat. Missoni Creeds Toronto

Burgundy textured knit jersey pullover dress with matching overcoat.
MISSONI Creeds Toronto, FRC2009.01.684

FRC_EveDresses_2009.01.395_FRT_Web

Black jersey dress with extended shoulders, keyhole neckline at back. JEAN MUIR
FRC2009.01.395

Brown, black and cream felted wool blanket  coat, lined in quilted polyester satin, single  button closure on left shoulder. Issey Miyake FRC2009.01.680

Brown, black and cream felted wool blanket
coat, lined in quilted polyester satin, single
button closure on left shoulder.
ISSEY MIYAKE
FRC2009.01.680

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

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

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.