Ryerson Fashion Research Collection

Opening the closet door to a Canadian fashion archive


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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.