Ryerson Fashion Research Collection

Opening the closet door to a Canadian fashion archive


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Upcoming Event: ICOM Costume Committee Study Day

Balenciaga Gown and Bolero, ca.1955-1960, FRC1992.01.019ab

Balenciaga Gown and Bolero, ca.1955-1960, FRC1992.01.019ab

Ryerson University School of Fashion will be the host of the International Council of Museums Costume Committee Study Day on Tuesday, September 8, 2015.

This event is open to students who are interested in historic dress and/or museum studies and will be held on campus. A limited number of tours of the FRC facility will also be held.

Advance sign-up is required. Interested students must rsvp by September 3, 2015 to Ellen Holzan at ellenhlozan@hotmail.com. Seating is limited to 50 students. 

Programme Details:

12:00 – 1:00 Pre-event Tours of the Ryerson Fashion Research Collection

1:05 – 1:15 Welcome, Announcements, and History of Student Saturday/Tuesday Ellen Hlozan and Vicki Berger

 

1:15 – 1:35 Ingrid Mida, Ryerson Fashion Research Collection Co-ordinator, Ryerson University, Toronto, Canada –The Ryerson Fashion Research Collection and A Preview of “The Dress Detective: A Practical Guide to Object-based Research in Fashion” 

 

 

 

 

1:35 – 1:55 Isabel Alvarado Perales, Interim Director, Museum of National History, Santiago, Chile – The artistic representation as a source of knowledge of the history of women’s clothing in Chile: the case of José Gil de Castro and Raimundo Monvoisin

1:55 – 2:15 Vicki L. Berger, Ph.D., Retired Curator of Costume and Textiles, North Carolina Museum of History; Phoenix, Arizona, USA – A 1942 World War II American Bride: Anita Ruth Bonham Crawford

2:35 – 2:50 Q & A Session with first group of speakers

2:50 – 3:30 Refreshment break and Tour

 

Fashion Victims Cover3:30 – 3:50 Alison Matthews David, Ph.D., Associate Professor and Graduate Program Director, Fashion MA, School of Fashion, Ryerson University, Toronto, Ontario, Canada – Preview of “Fashion Victims

 

 

 

 

3:50 – 4:10 Meg Wilcox, Wardrobe Supervisor, Sherbrooke Village Restoration, Nova Scotia Museum, Sherbrooke, Nova Scotia, Canada – Challenges and Triumphs in Costuming Historical Sites Challenges

4:10 – 4:30 Sofia Pantouvaki, Ph.D., Scenographer and Professor of Costume Design for Theatre and Film, Aalto University, Helsinki, Finland – Performance Costume in the Absence of the Body

4:30 – 4:45 Q & A with speakers

4:45 – 4:55 Farewell and Adjourn Ellen Hlozan and Vicki Berger

4:55 – 5:25 Post-event Tours

 


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Introducing the Special Topics Course Participants for Reproduction of Historic Dress

by Ingrid Mida, Fashion Research Collection Co-ordinator

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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_photo

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).


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Evening gowns and Canadian Designer Pat McDonagh

By Ingrid Mida

There are many beautiful evening gowns in the Fashion Research Collection at Ryerson University, with the oldest gown dating back to c.1860.  Wedding gowns, ball gowns and evening gowns might only be worn once or perhaps only a few times, and then stored for many years before the owner is willing to part with them. Special event clothing often makes up a high proportion of study and museum collections, and that is also true at Ryerson.

I want to feature Canadian designers as much as possible on this blog and I have selected two evening ensembles created by acclaimed Canadian designer Pat McDonagh for this post.

Label: Pat McDonagh FRC2013.99.020

Label: Pat McDonagh
FRC2013.99.020

Pat McDonagh was born in England, studied at Manchester University and the Sorbonne, before coming to Canada in the 1970s. According to her website biography, she is known for her “innovative textile techniques and youthful romanticism” and has designed gowns for celebrities and royalty. She is one of the founding members of the Fashion Design Council of Canada and has had a remarkable career as a Canadian fashion designer with 2010 marking her 40th year in fashion. She has won a number of awards including:

American Legend Fur Award
Five World Bureau Awards, 1975
New York Times award for Design Excellence, 1982
Judy Award for Contribution to the Canadian Fashion Industry, 1992
The Majestic Mink Award, 1994
Bata Shoe Museum Best Shoe Award, 2000
Matinee International Award, 2002
NAFA Fur Award, 2002
FDCC Lifetime Achievement Award, 2003

The two gowns by Pat McDonagh that were photographed for the digitization project include: a gold lame two-piece ensemble (FRC2000.04.002A+B) and a white satin ball gown (FRC2013.99.020).

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Gold lame two-piece evening ensemble (FRC2000.04.002 A+B)
Pat McDonagh, c. 1980s.

This shiny metallic gold lame Edwardian style top with puffed sleeves and ruffles with a matching gold lame long gathered skirt by Pat McDonagh captures the essence of the 1980s evening look, which was a blend of decadence and Hollywood glitz.

FRC_2pcEnsembles_2000.04.002_A+B_BCK_Web

Back view Gold lame two-piece evening ensemble
Pat McDonagh, c.1980s (FRC2000.04.002 A+B)

The metallic finish of the lame and the cascade of ruffles would sparkle in the dimmest light.

FRC_EveDresses_2013.99.020_FRT_Web

White satin strapless evening gown with black velvet trim and applique. FRC2013.99.020
Pat McDonagh, c.2000s.

The snow-white satin evening gown with black velvet trim at the bust-line and black velvet applique on the skirt  is another statement piece by Pat McDonagh, but in a quieter and more refined way. Undated in the collection, it probably can be situated as having been crafted in the last decade. It is in perfect condition, and perhaps was worn only once as it is unmarked.

FRC_EveDresses_2013.99.020_B34_Web

The black velvet applique is reminiscent of the soutache embroidery on white cotton gowns that was so popular in the 1860s. (See for example the White cotton pique day dress embroidered with black soutache from the Costume Institute at the Met. C.I.60.6.11 A+B recently on display alongside a painting by Claude Monet called “Women in the Garden” from 1866 in the exhibition Fashion, Impressionism and Modernity at the Metropolitan Museum of Art seen in this installation shot).

FRC_EveDresses_2013.99.020_Det_2_Web

Close up of applique detail on FRC2013.99.020

After writing this post, Pat McDonagh corrected my interpretation and told me that this dress was actually designed for “Canada’s first winner of the Rose of Tralee Festival in Tralee Ireland. Contestants of Irish descent come from all over the world to compete for the title of Irish Rose, the dress was prepared with traditional Irish symbols, it is the biggest pageant festival in the world.” This festival takes its inspiration from a 19th century ballad about a woman called “The Rose of Tralee” because of her beauty.

Both evening gowns featured in this post are finely finished, a hallmark of the Canadian label Pat McDonagh.

The FRC also holds another six garments by Pat McDonagh that were not photographed for the digitization project, including:

Ball gown,  hand-painted yellow silk with full skirt, c.2005-2010. (FRC2013.99.010)

Dress, Green, purple, orange and pink hoizontal striped silk chemise dress with short sleeves and V-neck, c.1970s. (FRC1998.04.003)

Evening gown, black floral printed chiffon spaghetti strap dress with blouson top, gathered waist and panelled overskirt, c. 1976-79. (FRC19888.02.008)

Evening gown, gray one-shoulder knit, beaded. c.2000-2010. (FRC2013.02.005).

Evening gown, grey sequined evening dress with train, spaghetti straps with cross-over back, c.2007-2010. (FRC.2013.99.025)

Skirt, Black lace tiered calf length. c.1980s. (FRC2000.04.003).

Additional References:

About Pat McDonagh”. Pat McDonagh n.d. Web, Jan. 2013.

Routh, Caroline. In Style: 100 Years of Canadian Women’s Fashions. Toronto: Stoddart Publishing Co. Ltd., 1993. Print.