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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. 

Image Credits:
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 file) Taking 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 file) Recurring Romanticisms (opens in new window) 
Isabella Pellegrino considers the historical context of a romantic dress from the early 20th century and how it may have been used to mentally escape reality.

Blue and white beaded evening purse

 (PDF file) Beading 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 belong to a visual shift towards abstraction.

Bodice front of blue velvet Afghan with gold embroidery

 (PDF file) Velvet: 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 file) Plight 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 file) Is 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 file) Bridalwear: Romantic Historicism in the Late 19th Century 
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 file) Gucci: Overview of Ready to Wear Design (opens in new window)  
Olena Vivcharyuk 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 a fox-fur collar.

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

 (PDF file) Imagining a Future of Disposability: Paper Fashion (opens in new window)  
Bianca Garcia eflects on the relationship between the marketing of the paper dress as new technology and the futuristic thinking around outer space in the late 1960s.

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

 (PDF file) Haori: An Aspect of Culture 
Benedikte Goronga compares and contrasts the materiality between two Japanese haori jackets, one belonging to the FRC, and the other from a privately owned collection.

Close up of gold button on 1920s brocade opera coat

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

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

 (PDF file) Analysis of a 20th Century Boudoir Cap (opens in new window)  
Madison Schmidt writes about the practicality of a 1900s boudoir cap and its historical symbolism of femininity.

Paisley pattern of the men's velvet blazer

 (PDF file) Peacock Revolution 
By examining a 1960s velveteen paisley blazer, Kaleigh Morris studies a period of change in men's fashion known as the peacock revolution.

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

 (PDF file) Yvonne Lin: Analysis of the White Slashed Leather Minidress (opens in new window)  
By analyzing an intricate garment created by TMU alum Yvonne Lin, Julia Birnie explores the use of 3D technology within fashion.

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

 (PDF file) Oscar de la Renta: The History Behind the Boutique Label (opens in new window)  
Brook Lindzon studies a 1970s Oscar de la Renta jumpsuit and the history behind boutique collections

Close up of leg of black pleated Issey Miyake Trousers

 (PDF file) Issey Miyake Trousers (opens in new window)  
To learn how a pair of Pleats Please trousers by Issey Miyake fits 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 file) Did Mary Quant’s designs conform to or defy the gender roles of the 1960’s? (opens in new window)  
Mariam Mansour and Samika Chadha question if the Ginger Group line was size friendly and its influence on Western women's fashion in the 21st century.

Button and decorative stitching of an Issey Miyake blanket coat

 (PDF file) Collage Through Feminism and Textile (opens in new window)  
Tricia Crivellaro 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. 

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

 (PDF file) Military Influence on Fashion: The Bomber Jacket (opens in new window)  
Sara Abraham discusses how the bomber jacket symbolized the shift from practicality to aesthetics in fashion.

Close up of emerald green gems on the Raymonda headpiece

 (PDF file) Case Study of A Ballet Costume Headpiece From Raymonda (opens in new window)  
By interviewing the original wearer, Julia Brucculieri learns more about the National Ballet of Canada's production of Raymonda, Act III.

Green celluloid hair comb with yellow and blue accents

 (PDF file) The Celluloid Hair Comb and Its Troublesome Existence (opens in new window)  
Sonali Prasad discusses the rich and troublesome history of the celluloid hair comb and the development of hair accessories.

Plastic belt on an aqua blue Thierry Mugler skirtsuit

 (PDF file) A Mugler Mystery (opens in new window) 
Tori Hopgood explores the idea of clothing as a symbol of power by performing object-based research on a 1990s Mugler skirt suit.

Close up of green metal mesh handbag

 (PDF file) A Handbag's Tale (opens in new window)  
Sonali Prasad discusses the rich and troublesome history of the celluloid hair comb and the development of hair accessories.

Cree Round Dance Cape

 (PDF file) Cree Round Dance Cape (opens in new window)  
This article highlights the importance of a 1960s round dance cape from the Cree region in Western Saskatchewan.

Detail of red and pink patterned kimono

 (PDF file) The Kimono and the Haori (opens in new window)  
Jennifer Dares & Cecilia Martins Gomes discuss how a kimono and a haori housed by the FRC demonstrate sustainability through practice and design.

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

 (PDF file) Sustainability and the Jumpsuit (opens in new window)  
Emilie Chan and Zoe Yin question the sustainability of paper as a textile by considering elements of sustainable design and the current fashion landscape.

Close up of red floral detail on Julian Rose dress

 (PDF file) Julian Rose, the Forgotten Dressmaker (opens in new window)  
Anya Georgijevic questions why designer Julian Rose seemed to have disappeared from the British fashion scene despite the important role he played in shaping it.


Close up of closure on robe

 (PDF file) The Journey of a Chinese Robe (opens in new window)  
Tori Hopgood explores the history, construction, and symbolism of a late 1800s Chinese robe by comparing it to similar robes.

T. Eaton's Co black cape

 (PDF file) Reading a Cape (opens in new window)  
Tori Hopgood dates a T. Eaton Co. cape by performing a comparative analysis and considering the history of typography.


Sketch of Elite Syncopations Leotards

 (PDF file) Elite Syncopations Leotards (opens in new window)  
Teresa Adamo studies the construction and role of two seemingly identical ballet costumes.

Collar and zipper of an orange Courreges jumpsuit

 (PDF file) Making History: Inspired by Courréges (opens in new window)  
Shira Yavor recreates a 1960s raincoat designed by André Courrèges.

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

 (PDF file) The Top Hat of E.J Lennox (opens in new window)  
Through analysis and research, author Amanda Memme learns more about the original owner of a top hat from the 1890s.

Close up of rosette detail on blue Jack Liebman dress

 (PDF file) Assembling the Puzzle of Jack Liebman’s Career (opens in new window)  
Hannah Dobbie conducts archival research to learn more about the life and career of Canadian fashion designer, Jack Liebman, who made an impact on the industry that few know about.

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

 (PDF file) Making History: A Romantic Tutu (opens in new window)  
Inspired by the Pas de Quatre ballet, Allycia Coolidge and Joanna Lupker design and create a Romantic tutu.

A Weston and Wells Reversible Plated Bustle

 (PDF file) A Weston and Wells Reversible Plated Bustle (opens in new window)  
Christine Gow questions the practicality of a wire sports bustle and the historical context that would call for such a garment.

Shoulder detail of red printed Claire McCardell dress

 (PDF file) An Ode to Claire McCardell (opens in new window)  
Jenn Bilczuk discusses how the changing social landscape of the 1940s elevated Claire McCardell's simple yet style designs into fashion discourse.

Waist of black and pink printed Jack Liebman cocktail dress

 (PDF file) A Study of a 1940s Cocktail Dress by Jack Liebman (opens in new window)  
Hannah Dobbie discusses how a 1940s Jack Liebman dress blurs the perception of typical dresses from this time period.

Sketch of ballet tutu

 (PDF file) A Study of a Ballet Costume from Symphony in C (opens in new window)  
Teresa Adamo takes a look at how a plain white tutu donated by the National Ballet of Canada reveals more than meets the eye.

Label on Rei Kawakubo frock coat

 (PDF file) An Analysis of a Women’s Frock Coat by Rei Kawakubo (opens in new window)  
By analyzing a 1990s frock coat, Jordan Nguyen explores Rei Kawakubo's continuing influence on design, Japanese design aesthetics, and gender neutrality.

Mollie Hamilton in her 1930s wedding dress

 (PDF file) A Study of Design Elements in 1930s Bridal Wear (opens in new window)  
By comparing wedding dresses from the 1930s, Hannah Dobbie seeks to better understand the context of an FRC wedding dress.

Sketch of Mary Hamilton's 1930s wedding dress

 (PDF file) Mary Hamilton's Wedding Dress (opens in new window)  
Hannah Dobbie analyzes a wedding gown from the 1930s and its original wearer.

Pumpkin Yellow Corset

 (PDF file) A Peek Inside a Pumpkin Yellow Corset (opens in new window)  
Pam Johnstone writes a short story as a creative interpretation of an object analysis exercise.

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

 (PDF file) An 1850s Child Paisley Dress (opens in new window) 
Pam Johnstone writes a short story as a creative interpretation of an object analysis exercise.

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

 (PDF file) A Comparison of 1860s Dresses (opens in new window)  
Alys Mak-Pilsworth compares an 1860s dress from the FRC to similar dresses in other collections.

Black and white Smythe blazer

 (PDF file) Smythe Les Vestes (opens in new window)  
Jennifer Braun examines a tweed jacket and the unique history of the Canadian company that designed it.

Close up of label on Thierry Mugler hand painted pumps

 (PDF file) Mulhallen's Muglers (opens in new window)  
Annika Waddell questions if the pre-appointed biography or personality of a garment imposed by a designer ever intersects with the identity of the consumer.

Black crepe Paulene Trigere cocktail dress

 (PDF file) Portrait of a Little Black Dress (opens in new window)  
By analyzing a black Pauline Trigère cocktail dress, Gabrielle Trach explores the history of the LBD.

Turtle embroidery detail of kimono

 (PDF file) The Language of the Kimono (opens in new window)  
Dr. Ingrid Mida examines a kimono purchased by the donor's grandparents in the 1930s.

Sleeve of floral bed jacket by Mercy

 (PDF file) A Bed Jacket by Mercy (opens in new window)  
Jennifer Braun takes a deep dive into how a bed jacket made by Canadian designers became the subject of an international case of copyright infringement.

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

 (PDF file) Inside a Dolce & Gabbana Fur Coat (opens in new window) 
Millie Yates studies the remarkable design elements of a 1990s Dolce & Gabbana jacket, including the hand-painted leather.

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

 (PDF file) The Arsenic Green Dress (opens in new window)  
Dr. Ingrid Mida shares the results of arsenic testing on a green-pigmented dress from the late 1800s.

Close up of feather detail on grey fedora

 (PDF file) The Enduring Fedora (opens in new window)  
Millie Yates explores the history and legacy of the fedora through object analysis of a felted-gray hat by Phillip Treacy.

Close up of beaded detail sleeve on Chloe outfit

 (PDF file) Ensemble by Chloe (opens in new window)  
Jazmin Welch studies the work of female designer, Gaby Aghion, founder of the fashion house, Chloé.

Button and closure detail on Christian Dior wool jacket

 (PDF file) A Dissection of a Wool Jacket by Christian Dior (opens in new window)  
Author Millie Yates performs object-based research on a Christian Dior jacket from the 1950s.

Sketch of 1860 day dress

 (PDF file) Study of a Summer Day Dress (opens in new window)  
Alys Mak-Pilsworth explores a muslin day dress from the mid-19th century through analysis and drawing.

Sketch of Lady's velveteen jacket

 (PDF file) A Close Look at a Lady's Velveteen Jacket (opens in new window)  
Jessica Oakes closely examines the construction of a purple velveteen jacket.

Label on Christian Dior wool jacket

 (PDF file) A Close Look at a 1950s Wool Jacket by Dior (opens in new window)  
Enticed by the subtle complexity, Millie Yates studies the construction of a Dior boucle jacket.

Neckline and scarf of a bold coloured printed dress

 (PDF file) Thinking of Spring Flowers (opens in new window)  
Inspired by the hopefulness of Spring, Dr. Ingrid Mida highlights floral patterned dresses in the FRC.

Collar detail on fuchsia pink Dolce and Gabbana Coat

 (PDF file) It’s All About the Coat (opens in new window)  
Dr. Ingrid Mida features coats from the FRC Designer Archive.

Floral gold embroidery of 1920s evening coat

 (PDF file) A 1920’s Embroidered Evening Coat (opens in new window)  
Dr. Ingrid Mida discusses the history of a 1920s black satin evening coat from Holt Renfrew.

Belt detail on Hanae Mori velvet shift dress

 (PDF file) Hanae Mori Velvet Shift Dress (opens in new window)  
Kimberly Lecky writes about who might have been the original wearer of a Hanae Mori dress from the 1970s.

Embellished Silk Crepe Evening Jacket, late 1930s

 (PDF file) Embellished Silk Crepe Evening Jacket (opens in new window)  
Kristina McMullin and Dr. Ingrid Mida examine a decorative jacket and discuss the intersection between fashion and art, and argue against fast fashion.

Waist of a two piece blue and cream printed silk dress

 (PDF file) Resource List for Canadian Fashion (opens in new window)  
Dr. Ingrid Mida provides a compiled list of sources for students and scholars to use as inspiration and for research purposes.

Label of T. Eaton Co. black silk shirtwaist

 (PDF file) Of Shirtwaists and the Modern Woman (opens in new window)  
Dr. Ingrid Mida explores the history and production of shirtwaists in the 1900s.

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

 (PDF file) A Ceremonial Cap (opens in new window)  
Kate O'Reilly examines the details of a 1940s ceremonial cap and its original owner.

1900s black felted wool bowler hat

 (PDF file) The Bowler Hat (opens in new window)  
Dr. Ingrid Mida explores the history of bowler hats, touching upon their origin and their use during the late 1800s and early 1900s

Black sinamay cartwheel hat

 (PDF file) Of Hats and History (opens in new window)  
Dr. Ingrid Mida looks at the meaning of hats as a signifier of status, power and class.

Collar detail of black and white woven blazer

 (PDF file) A Made in Canada Success Story: Smythe Jackets (opens in new window)  
Dr. Ingrid Mida celebrates the brand Smythe by examining the tailored jackets created by Canadian design duo Christie Smythe and Andrea Lenczner. 

Hood detail of 1970s Marilyn Brooks velvet evening gown

 (PDF file) A Marilyn Brooks Evening Gown (opens in new window)  
Reflecting on her experiences with the Canadian designer, Dr. Ingrid Mida speaks to the importance of Marilyn Brooks's 40-year career.

Neckline beading detail of Ruth Dukas evening gown

 (PDF file) Evening Gowns and Canadian Designer Ruth Dukas (opens in new window)  
Dr. Ingrid Mida highlights the work of Canadian designer Ruth Dukas, who remained largely unknown until the 1960s.

White and black Pat McDonagh evening gown

 (PDF file) Evening Gowns and Canadian Designer Pat McDonagh (opens in new window)  
Dr. Ingrid Mida explores two evening ensembles by acclaimed Canadian fashion designer, Pat McDonagh.

Black sheered otter muff 1870s

 (PDF file) The Muff (opens in new window)  
By analyzing two muffs housed in the FRC, Dr. Ingrid Mida compares the differences between historical and contemporary muffs.

Close up of tie on bustle

 (PDF file) The Reversible Player Sports Bustle (opens in new window)  
Dr. Ingrid Mida writes about the use of wire bustles from the 1880s.

Black Silk Parasol with Cordwork Embroidery

 (PDF file) Black Silk Parasol (opens in new window)  
Dr. Ingrid Mida discusses the historical and contextual significance of parasols in the 1900s.

Close up of rosette detail on wedding slippers

 (PDF file) 1890s Wedding Slippers (opens in new window)  
Dr. Ingrid Mida writes about the social history behind a pair of satin wedding slippers from 1889.

Cabinet card photograph of man and woman

 (PDF file) The Patricia Rogal Collection of Photographs (opens in new window)  
Dr. Ingrid Mida reviews a large donation of photographs dating 1860-1920 that can help students understand the fashion of the time period.

Collar detail of burgundy textured knit kersey dress

 (PDF file) The Kathleen Kubas Collection (opens in new window)  
Dr. Ingrid Mida details 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.

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

 (PDF file) Labels in the FRC (opens in new window)  
Dr. Ingrid Mida examines designer labels from the Designer Archive and highlights the history of labels in fashion.