Black silk parasol, ca. 1900s, FRC1989.02.001. Men's beaded gauntlet gloves, ca. 1990s, FRC2019.01.003AB. Envelope flap evening purse with white and blue beading, ca. 1930s, FRC2018.04.002.
The FRC currently holds approximately 3500 garments, accessories and other fashion-related objects that date back from 1815 to today. Founded in 1981, by Professor Katherine Cleaver, it began as a collection of donated garments and accessories. Initially considered to be a part of the Ryerson University Library and housed behind an unmarked door, the collection was primarily used as a resource for teaching. Faculty members would bring items into the classroom as visual examples for communicating garment cut and construction and to familiarize students with various historical fashion silhouettes.
In 2013, Dr. Ingrid E. Mida re-discovered the Fashion Research Collection and immediately recognized its untapped potential as a research collection for students and faculty. Through the processes of archiving, cataloguing and deaccessioning, Mida transformed the collection into a space that could be used by students, faculty and scholars as a support to their research and creative projects.
Today, the collection is housed in Kerr Hall West and is available to students, faculty, staff and visiting scholars by appointment for onsite object-based research and additionally for class and community tours.