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Fashion Research Collection

The Fashion Research Collection (FRC), external link contains 3000+ garments, accessories dating back to 1820. Designer archives include: BalenciagaDiorValentinoWayne Clarkeand more.


Learn about the FRC and Dr. Ingrid Mida, the face and brains of the FRC, to take you behind-the-scenes.

History of FRC

The Fashion Research Collection was founded in 1981 as a collection of donated garments, accessories and objects for use by instructors at the School of Fashion. For many years, the collection was dormant after its founder, Professor Katherine Cleaver, retired in 2005.

On February 12, 2012, Dr. Alison Matthews David opened an unmarked door on the seventh floor of the library to show Dr. Ingrid Mida the collection. Dr. Mida recognized the Collection's enormous untapped potential and undertook the Herculean task of rebuilding, structuring and meticulously archiving the Collection. Since that time, Dr. Mida has moved the Collection to a dedicated facility in Kerr Hall West, accepted new donations that have reshaped the collection, and provided opportunities for FCAD students and faculty, as well as visiting artists and scholars, to use the Collection's objects in their research and creative practices.

History of FRC: Dr. Ingrid Mida

Victoria Hopgood

Victoria Hopgood
FRC Assistant

As the FRC's Assistant, Hopgood is responsible for carefully documenting the Collection's garments and accessories through photography that is uploaded to the FRC's database and showcased on social media, external link.

Eve Townsend

Eve Townsend
FRC Coordinator

Please contact Townsend for any inquires related to the FRC.

Current & Past Collaborations

Beautiful 1920s mesh handbag with green and pink tones handwork catalogued in the Fashion Research Collection

1920s mesh handbag

This fashion object was analyzed by MA Fashion student Anna Pollice in Fashion Beyond the Clothed Body taught by Dr. Esther Berry. Pollice shared, Dr. Mida, FRC Coordinator, played an instrumental role in guiding her through the research.

1930s Box of Lady Invisible Hair Pins

Used by Jaclyn Marcus, MA Fashion graduate for her course Fashion Beyond the Clothed Body taught by Dr. Esther Berry. Marcus’ interest in the Lady Invisible hair pins was piqued by their simplicity; surrounded by the often-intricate artifacts found at the FRC, the hair pins were unique.

1930s Box of Lady Invisible Hair Pins catalogued in the Fashion Research Collection

1860s Baby Boots & 1990s Frock Coat 

Used by Ekaterina Soboleva, Fashion Design student for her course FSN 712 Creativity in Design taught by Danielle Martin. Soboleva’s inspiration came from her childhood in Russia, as well as artifacts from the FRC, and she combined these inspiration to design cool, structured menswear looks.
FRC2014.07.093ab, FRC2006.01.023

1955 TTC Grade Uniform

Used by Jacob Bleecker, Fashion Design student for his course Creativity in Design taught by Danielle Martin. Bleecker shared, “the FRC provided a tangible piece of history that provided me with inspiration in many aspects such as, colour, cut, detailing, labelling, and more.”

1955 TTC Grade Uniform used as inspiration for colour, cut, detailing, labelling, and more by Fashion Design student for their mini-collection in their course Creativity in Design. The 1955 TTC Grade Uniform is catalogued in the Fashion Research Collection.