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Research & Creative

Written by team members, students and guest authors, this assortment of posts features artifacts from the Fashion Research Collection. From object-based research to creative exploration, each post takes a dive into a different item housed within the collection. Use the categories on the left to view posts about specific topics. 

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Please note that our researchers and students have made every effort to properly cite all images. Failure to obtain proper image permissions (if required) is unintentional. We welcome any information that would allow our authors to correct their post.

Collar of blue and purple patterned Pucci Dress

PDF fileTaking Flight Emilio Pucci and His Influence on Class and Jet Age, opens in new window Using a material culture approach, Bianca Zanotti analyses an Emilio Pucci dress to consider how the designer's work represented a new class and culture of women in the 1960s.

Muslin floral printed day dress

PDF fileRecurring Romanticisms, opens in new window Isabella Pellegrino considers the historical context of a romantic dress from the early-twentieth century and how it may have been used to escape reality. Pellegrino compares it to how the cottagecore aesthetic is used to mentally escape the COVID-19 pandemic.

Blue and white beaded evening purse

PDF fileBeading a Visual Psychology: A Study of an Evening Purse, opens in new window Denisa Marginean argues that both a 1930s evening purse and the famous Rorschach prints which it resembles belong to a visual shift towards abstraction. 

Bodice front of blue velvet Afghan with gold embroidery

PDF fileVelvet: Comfort or Culture?, opens in new window Prompted by personal experiences, Rehab Patel performs a close reading of a 1970s Afghani dress to learn how clothing influences cross-cultural identity and belonging for Afghani-Canadians.

Clasp of Lucite Purse

PDF filePlight of the Ryerson Copycat Lucite Bag, opens in new window Laura Dionne performs object-based research on a replica Lucite purse to learn about the decade long trend of the 1950s. 

Mink fur collar with large bow and diamante details

PDF fileIs There a Future for Fur?, opens in new window Yuting Tang takes a close look at a mink fur collar and the association of fur and luxury within a Canadian context while considering animal rights.

Mannequin wearing 1890s wedding dress

PDF fileBridalwear: Romantic Historicism in the Late 19th Century, opens in new window Erin Colquhoun takes an in depth look at bridalwear during the Victorian era while examining a delicate gown from the time period. 

Fur collar of a Gucci wool cream coat

PDF fileGucci: Overview of Ready to Wear Design, opens in new window The author discusses the history of famed Italian fashion house, Gucci, paying particular attention to their RTW collection through the analysis of a Gucci cream coat with fox-fur collar. By Olena Vivcharyuk.

Belt of a paper jumpsuit with a pink, green, orange and yellow print

PDF fileImagining a Future of Disposability: Paper Fashion, opens in new window The author reflects on the relationship between the marketing of the paper dress as new technology and the futuristic thinking around outer space in the late 1960s. By Bianca Garcia.

Close up of the collar on a burgundy and black printed haori

PDF fileHaori: An Aspect of Culture, opens in new window The author compares and contrasts the materiality between two Japanese haori jackets, one belonging to the Fashion Research Collection, and the other privately owned. By Benedikte Goronga.

Close up of gold button on 1920s brocade opera coat

PDF file1920s Brocade Opera Coat Reflecting Feminism and the “Modern Girl”, opens in new window Through the analysis of a 1920s opera coat, the author discusses the rise of feminism and the birth of the "Modern Girl" in Canada. By Dianna De Angelis.

Close up of rosette detail on a 20th century boudoir cap

PDF fileAnalysis of a 20th Century Boudoir Cap, opens in new window Analyses a women’s boudoir cap, tying it to notions of femininity and gender relations. The author’s creative component involves the making of a crocheted cap to further explore technique and practice. By Madison Schmidt.

Paisley pattern of the men's velvet blazer

PDF filePeacock Revolution, opens in new window Examines a 1960s velveteen paisley blazer, studying a period of great change in men’s fashion known as the peacock revolution, when colourful, flamboyant, form-fitted styles were popular. By Kaleigh Morris.

Close up of shoulder detail of Yvonne Lin's white slashed leather minidress

PDF fileYvonne Lin: Analysis of the White Slashed Leather Minidress, opens in new window Uses object-based research to observe the construction of a 3D leather mini-dress and explores themes of art-to-wear, 3D technology in fashion, femininity and the grotesque. By Julia Birnie.

Oscar de la Renta white jumpsuit with black polka dots and poppy flowers

PDF fileOscar de la Renta: The History Behind the Boutique Label, opens in new window Studies a 1970s Oscar de la Renta jumpsuit and the history behind boutique collections. A creative component situates the garment on the cover of a fashion magazine. By Brooke Lindzon.

Close up of leg of black pleated Issey Miyake Trousers

PDF fileIssey Miyake Trousers, opens in new window To learn how a pair of Pleats Please trousers by Issey Miyake fit into his design vernacular, Fedlande Fenelon and Eiro Issakidis take a deep dive into the designer's techniques and influences over the course of his forty-year career.

Label of a Mary Quant mini dress which reads "Mary Quant's Ginger Group, Made in England"

PDF fileDid Mary Quant’s designs conform to or defy the gender roles of the 1960’s?, opens in new window Considers if the Ginger Group line was size friendly and whether it paved the way for Western women's fashion in the 21st century. By Mariam Mansour and Samika Chadha.

Button and decorative stitching of an Issey Miyake blanket coat

PDF fileCollage Through Feminism and Textile, opens in new window The author illuminates the work of textile designer, Makiko Minagawa and seeks to understand how feminism can be evoked through a blanket coat created by the artist. By Tricia Crivellaro.

Detail of the mink and leather of the men's bomber jacket

PDF fileMilitary Influence on Fashion: The Bomber Jacket, opens in new window Discusses how the bomber jacket symbolizes the shift from practicality to aesthetics in fashion. By Sara Abraham.

Close up of emerald green gems on the Raymonda headpiece

PDF fileCase Study of A Ballet Costume Headpiece From Raymonda, opens in new windowExamines a costumed headpiece from the National Ballet of Canada’s production: Raymonda Act III (1985). The author interviews the dancer who originally wore the headpiece. By Julia Brucculieri.

Green celluloid hair comb with yellow and blue accents

PDF fileThe Celluloid Hair Comb and Its Troublesome Existence, opens in new window Examines the trend of the hair comb, its troublesome existence and its evolution of style by conducting object-based research. By Sonali Prasad.

Plastic belt on an aqua blue Thierry Mugler skirtsuit

PDF fileA Mugler Mystery, opens in new window Explores fashion as a method of communication and the role of clothing within the workplace during the 1970s. By Tori Hopgood.

Close up of green metal mesh handbag

PDF fileA Handbag's Tale, opens in new window Creatively written from the point of view of the object itself, this article follows the object biography of a small enameled handbag and its imaginary owner. By Anna Pollice.

Cree Round Dance Cape

PDF fileCree Round Dance Cape, opens in new window A look at a cree dance cape from the 1960s. Written by FRC Archive.    

Detail of red and pink patterned kimono

PDF fileThe Kimono and the Haori, opens in new window Investigates two styles of traditional Japanese dress in relation to sustainability. By Jennifer Dares and Cecilia Gomes.

Close up of belt detail of pink, orange, yellow and green swirly patterned paper jumpsuit

PDF fileSustainability and the Jumpsuit, opens in new window Explores the history and sustainability of a 1960s paper jumpsuit. By Emilie Chan and Zoe Yin.

Close up of red floral detail on Julian Rose dress

PDF fileJulian Rose, the Forgotten Dressmaker, opens in new window Follows the life and career of British designer, Julian Rose, during the 1950s and 1960s. By Anya Georgijevic.


Close up of closure on robe

PDF fileThe Journey of a Chinese Robe, opens in new window Explores the history, construction and symbolism of a late 1800s Chinese robe by comparing it to similar robes belonging to the Textile Museum of Canada. By Tori Hopgood.

T. Eaton's Co black cape

PDF fileReading a Cape, opens in new window Considers the construction and manufacturing of a 1900s black wool cape by the T. Eaton Company. By Tori Hopgood.


Sketch of Elite Syncopations Leotards

PDF fileElite Syncopations Leotards, opens in new window Observes the construction and role of two seemingly identical ballet costumes. By Teresa Adamo.

Collar and zipper of an orange Courreges jumpsuit

PDF fileMaking History: Inspired by Courréges, opens in new window Explores several garments designed by French fashion designer, André Courréges. By Shira Yavor.

The top hat box with the initials E.J.L.T.

PDF fileThe Top Hat of E.J Lennox, opens in new window Analyses a top hat by studying its life as a singularized possession. By Amanda Memme.

Close up of rosette detail on blue Jack Liebman dress

PDF fileAssembling the Puzzle of Jack Liebman’s Career, opens in new window The author conducts archival research to learn more about the life and career of Canadian fashion designer, Jack Liebman who made an impact on the industry, but few know much about. By Hannah Dobbie.

Young woman wearing a white body suit and long white tutu in front of Allan Gardens Conservatory

PDF fileMaking History: A Romantic Tutu, opens in new window Discusses the history and making of a Romantic tutu. By Allycia Coolidge and Joanna Lupker.

A Weston and Wells Reversible Plated Bustle

PDF fileA Weston and Wells Reversible Plated Bustle, opens in new window Investigates an 1885 bustle and its relation to American ingenuity during the Industrial era. By Christine Gow.

Shoulder detail of red printed Claire McCardell dress

PDF fileAn Ode to Claire McCardell, opens in new window Studies the life of American fashion designer, Claire McCardell, through the object analysis of her Townley red-cotton dress. By Jenn Bilczuk.

Waist of black and pink printed Jack Liebman cocktail dress

PDF fileA Study of a 1940s Cocktail Dress by Jack Liebman, opens in new window Explores the career of Montreal-based fashion designer, Jack Liebman through object analysis. By Hannah Dobbie.

Sketch of ballet tutu

PDF fileA Study of a Ballet Costume from Symphony in C, opens in new window Examines the construction of a costume from the production, Symphony in C. By Teresa Adamo.

Label on Rei Kawakubo frock coat

PDF fileAn Analysis of a Women’s Frock Coat by Rei Kawakubo, opens in new window Discusses topics such as Japanese design, gender neutrality and feminist interpretations. By Jordan Nguyen.

Mollie Hamilton in her 1930s wedding dress

PDF fileA Study of Design Elements in 1930s Bridal Wear, opens in new window Explores the design and making of wedding dresses throughout the 1930s era. By Hannah Dobbie.

Sketch of Mary Hamilton's 1930s wedding dress

PDF fileMary Hamilton's Wedding Dress, opens in new window Examines a wedding gown from the 1930s that belonged to Mary Hamilton. By Hannah Dobbie.

Pumpkin Yellow Corset

PDF fileA Peek Inside a Pumpkin Yellow Corset, opens in new window Analyzes a 1900s corset in relation to others of the same time period. 


Close up of paisley pattern of a child's dress from the 1850s

PDF fileA 1850s Child Paisley Dress, opens in new window “Frankie’s Party Dress” is a creative interpretation of an object analysis exercise. By Pam Johnston.

Close up of waist detail of a white printed 1860s dress

PDF fileA Comparison of 1860s Dresses, opens in new window Examines and compares a 1860s muslin dress from the FRC to similar designs housed within other fashion institutes and museums. By Alys-Mak Pilsworth.

Black and white Smythe blazer

PDF fileSmythe Les Vestes, opens in new window Examines a black and white tweed jacket and the unique history of Canadian company, Smythe Les Vestes. By Jennifer Braun.

Close up of label on Thierry Mugler hand painted pumps

PDF fileMulhallen's Muglers, opens in new window Follows the object biography of shoes designed by Thierry Mugler. By Annika Waddell.

Black crepe Paulene Trigere cocktail dress

PDF filePortrait of a Little Black Dress, opens in new window Explores the design and wearing of a black Pauline Trigère cocktail dress and addresses the history of the LBD. By Gabrielle Trach.

Turtle embroidery detail of kimono

PDF fileThe Language of the Kimono, opens in new window Discusses the symbolism and meaning involved in the practice of wearing kimonos. By Dr. Ingrid E. Mida.

Sleeve of floral bed jacket by Mercy

PDF fileA Bed Jacket by Mercy, opens in new window Investigates the infamous story of this bed jacket that became an international case of copyright infringement. By Jennifer Braun.

Close up of pink flower on the lining of a Dolce & Gabbana fur coat

PDF fileInside a Dolce & Gabbana Fur Coat, opens in new window Examines the cut and construction of a winter jacket designed by Dolce & Gabbana. By Millie Yates.

Bodice of an arsenic green dress with a square neckline and gold buttons

PDF fileThe Arsenic Green Dress, opens in new window Shares the results of arsenic testing on a green-pigmented dress from the late 1800s. By Dr. Ingrid E. Mida.

Close up of feather detail on grey fedora

PDF fileThe Enduring Fedora, opens in new window Explores the history and legacy of the fedora through the object analysis of a felted-gray hat by Phillip Treacy. By Millie Yates.

Close up of beaded detail sleeve on Chloe outfit

PDF fileEnsemble by Chloe, opens in new window Studies the work of female designer, Gaby Aghion, who founded the fashion house, Chloé. By Jazmin Welch.

Button and closure detail on Christian Dior wool jacket

PDF fileA Dissection of a Wool Jacket by Christian Dior, opens in new window Examines the construction of a wool-tweed jacket and compares it to similar designs of the 1950s. By Millie Yates.

Sketch of 1860 day dress

PDF fileStudy of a Summer Day Dress, opens in new window Analyses a muslin day dress from the mid-19th century. By Alys Mak-Pilsworth.

Sketch of Lady's velveteen jacket

PDF fileA Close Look at a Lady's Velveteen Jacket, opens in new window Offers a close reading of a women’s velveteen jacket from the 1800s. By Jessica Oakes.

Label on Christian Dior wool jacket

PDF fileA Close Look at a 1950s Wool Jacket by Dior, opens in new window Examines a jacket which balances couture quality and everyday versatility By Millie Yates.

Neckline and scarf of a bold coloured printed dress

PDF fileThinking of Spring Flowers, opens in new window A pictorial post that displays a selection of floral-patterned dresses in celebration of spring. By Dr. Ingrid E. Mida.

Collar detail on fuchsia pink Dolce and Gabbana Coat

PDF fileIt’s All About the Coat, opens in new window Features a selection of contemporary coats from the FRC’s Designer Archive. By Dr. Ingrid E. Mida.

Floral gold embroidery of 1920s evening coat

PDF fileA 1920’s Embroidered Evening Coat, opens in new window Discusses a Holt Renfrew evening coat from the 1920s. By Dr. Ingrid E. Mida.

Belt detail on Hanae Mori velvet shift dress

PDF fileHanae Mori Velvet Shift Dress, opens in new window Analyses the construction of a shift dress by Japanese designer, Hanae Mori. By Dr. Ingrid E. Mida and Kimberly Lecki.

Embellished Silk Crepe Evening Jacket, late 1930s

PDF fileEmbellished Silk Crepe Evening Jacket, opens in new window Examines a decorative jacket and discusses the intersections between fashion and art, as well as arguing against fast fashion. By Dr. Ingrid E. Mida and Kristina McMullin.

Waist of a two piece blue and cream printed silk dress

PDF fileResource List for Canadian Fashion, opens in new window Offers a compiled list of sources for students and scholars to use as inspiration and for research purposes.  By Dr. Ingrid E. Mida.

Label of T. Eaton Co. black silk shirtwaist

PDF fileOf Shirtwaists and the Modern Woman, opens in new window Explores the history and production of shirtwaists. By Dr. Ingrid E. Mida.

Gold thread emblem on the front of a cherry red men's ceremonial cap

PDF fileA Ceremonial Cap, opens in new window Analyses the construction and condition of a ceremonial cap once belonging to a Clarence B. Shulenberger. By Kate O’Reilly.

1900s black felted wool bowler hat

PDF fileThe Bowler Hat, opens in new window Explores the history of bowler hats, touching upon their origin and their use during the late 1800s and early 1900s. By Dr. Ingrid E. Mida.

Black sinamay cartwheel hat

PDF fileOf Hats and History, opens in new window Looks at the meanings of hats as a signifier of status, power and class. By Dr. Ingrid E. Mida.

Collar detail of black and white woven blazer

PDF fileA Made in Canada Success Story: Smythe Jackets, opens in new window Celebrates the brand Smythe, by examining the tailored jackets created by Canadian design duo Christie Smythe and Andrea Lenczner. By Dr. Ingrid E. Mida.

Hood detail of 1970s Marilyn Brooks velvet evening gown

PDF fileA Marilyn Brooks Evening Gown, opens in new window Studies the work of Canadian designer, Marilyn Brooks and her hooded gown design. By Dr. Ingrid E. Mida.

Neckline beading detail of Ruth Dukas evening gown

PDF fileEvening Gowns and Canadian Designer Ruth Dukas, opens in new window Highlights the work of Canadian designer Ruth Dukas, who has remained largely unknown since the 1960s. By Dr. Ingrid E. Mida.

White and black Pat McDonagh evening gown

PDF fileEvening Gowns and Canadian Designer Pat McDonagh, opens in new window Explores two evening ensembles by acclaimed Canadian fashion designer. By Dr. Ingrid E. Mida.

Black sheered otter muff 1870s

PDF fileThe Muff, opens in new window Examines the history and significance of the muff and its use by both men and women. By Dr. Ingrid E. Mida.

Close up of tie on bustle

PDF fileThe Reversible Player Sports Bustle, opens in new window Discusses the wearing of the bustle, its rise and fall in popularity throughout the Victorian era, particularly in relation to sports, such as tennis. By Dr. Ingrid E. Mida.

Black Silk Parasol with Cordwork Embroidery

PDF fileBlack Silk Parasol, opens in new window Explores a 1900s parasol decorated with scrollwork embroidery. By Dr. Ingrid E. Mida.

Close up of rosette detail on wedding slippers

PDF file1890s Wedding Slippers, opens in new window Investigates the social history of a pair of wedding slippers from 1890. By Dr. Ingrid E. Mida.

Cabinet card photograph of man and woman

PDF fileThe Patricia Rogal Collection of Photographs, opens in new window Explores photographs, carte de viste, and cabinet cards from 1860-1920 kindly donated by Patricia Rogal. By Dr. Ingrid E. Mida.

Collar detail of burgundy textured knit kersey dress

PDF fileThe Kathleen Kubas Collection, opens in new window Tells the story of how the FRC received its largest donation of over 700 garments and accessories from the family of Kathleen Kubas, a former model, actress and schoolteacher in Toronto. By Dr. Ingrid E. Mida.

Label of an orange Courreges jumpsuit. Label reads Creeds Toronto, Hyperbole Courreges, Paris Made in France

PDF fileLabels in the FRC, opens in new window Examines designer labels from the Designer Archive and highlights the history of labels in fashion. By Dr. Ingrid E. Mida.