Fashion for Canada's 150th Birthday

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A selection of ladies and men's clothes on exhibit

The city of Cambridge is the location for an exhibit currently showing a wide range of Canadian fashion. It is part of the country-wide events being held to mark the 150th anniversary of Canada's formal formation as a country. Of course the Vikings were here in 1000AD, and Sir John Cabot was the first European to land here in 1497 - just to keep the record straight!

No fashionistas were around then, but this exhibit does have clothes going back to the late 1800s. The oldest labelled Canadian garment in the collection, shown here, is a men's black wool cutaway coat from about 1870. It bears the label, D. Stevenson, Toronto.

Moving up a few decades, I am showing a photo of two ladies's garments. The one on the left, from 1911, is a brown wool coat trimmed with black satin, labelled C. Ross of Ottawa. At the right is black silk suit from 1914 by Stitt of Toronto.

The main lead photo with this article shows four colourful outfits. At left is a 1966 creation by David Rea of Toronto, while the 1960s brown and gold sequined cocktail dress is by Maggy Reeves of Toronto. The men's outfits include a 1968 green damask Nehru jacket by Pierre Marques of Montreal, and a 1967 pinstripe suit by The London Tailor, Toronto.

The collection includes a fascinating array of clothes from designers who no longer produce clothes, including Vivian Poy (currently a Canadian senator), and other who still produce, such as Simon Chang who received the Order of Canada in 2008 for his contributions to the fashion industry.

A fascinating and fun exhibit, and one that should not be missed! It is at the Fashion History Museum, 74 Queen St East in Cambridge, Ontario.


Many of the clothes on display are on loan from the Seneca Fashion Resource Centre.


Photos with this story copyright C. Cunningham.



Clifford Cunningham

Dr. Clifford Cunningham is a planetary scientist. He earned his PhD in the history of astronomy at the University of Southern Queensland, and has undergraduate degrees in science and ancient history from the University of Waterloo. In 2014 he was named a contributor to Encyclopedia Britannica. He is the author of 14 books on asteroids and the history of science. In 1999 he appeared on the TV show Star Trek: Deep Space Nine. Asteroid 4276 was named in his honor in 1990 by the International Astronomical Union based on the recommendation of its bureau located at Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics.

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