Author Archives: Jonathan

About Jonathan

Jonathan Walford is a fashion historian and co-founder of the Fashion History Museum in Cambridge, Ontario. The FHM maintains a collection of nearly 12,000 artifacts dating from the mid 17th century to the present. Jonathan has authored various books and museum catalogues, including The Seductive Shoe, Shoes A-Z, Forties Fashion, 1950s American Fashion, and Sixties Fashion.

Gina Fratini, 1931 – 2017

Georgina Caroline Eve Butler was born into an aristocratic, connected family on 22 September, 1931 in Kobe, Japan and spent most of her childhood in colonial India. She studied at the Royal College of Arts before marrying in 1954. After her … Continue reading

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Laura Biagiotti, 1943 – 2017

Laura Biagiotti was born August 4, 1943 and studied to become an archaeologist before entering her mother’s dressmaking business. She presented her first eponymous collection in 1972 and her brand quickly became one of the leading luxury lines that made … Continue reading

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Glossary – Budgie Smuggler

Originally an Australian slang term for a pair of tightly-fitted briefly-cut Speedo-style men’s swimwear that highlight the male bulge – likening it to what a smuggled budgie might look like. The term appeared shortly after the turn of the millennium – the … Continue reading

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Buy From Jews!

I have known Vancouver collector Claus Jahnke for 35 years now – from right around the time he first started collecting German and Austrian clothing. I can proudly say I have had a leading role in finding many of his best pieces and … Continue reading

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Canadian Fashion Connection – Marie Saint Pierre

This past week saw two historical milestones happen in Quebec. The first was Montreal’s 375th birthday, and the second was the induction of Montreal fashion designer Marie Saint Pierre into the Royal Canadian Academy of Arts. Marie Saint Pierre graduated LaSalle … Continue reading

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Fashion Hall of Obscurity – Chuck Howard

Chuck Howard, was one of those designers of the postwar era that gave American fashions a distinctly American look. Born in Cochrane, Georgia in 1927, Howard was stationed in Hawaii as a tail gunner in World War II. Courtesy of … Continue reading

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Fashioning Canada Since 1867 article

The latest article about Fashioning Canada Since 1867: 150 years of Canadian fashions – Bill Doucet | Cambridge Times While Canada’s contribution to fashion may be somewhat underappreciated, there are garments that are internationally known. Take for instance a Russian group that … Continue reading

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Glossary – Holoku, Muumu, Wrapper, Mother Hubbard

The holoku, as it is known in Hawaii (and its shorter version, the muumuu – which means ‘cut off’), is also known as an ahu tua (empire dress) or ahu mama (granny dress) in Tahiti. Other variations in name exist … Continue reading

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1956 mall footage

Fascinating footage from 1956 of Southdale Minnesota’s Richfield Edina Shopping Mall. They claim to be the first enclosed mall in the world.

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Fashion Hall of Obscurity – Zelda Barbour Wynn Valdes

Born June 28, 1905 Zelda Barbour Wynn Valdes grew up in Chambersburg, Pennsylvania and learned how to design and sew at her uncle’s tailoring shop in White Plains, New York. In 1948 she opened her own boutique called ‘Chez Zelda’ at Broadway and … Continue reading

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