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.

The Perfect Dent

Anyone with a mild case of OCD can drive themselves mad perfecting symmetrical dents and folds (without creases or kinks) in soft felt fedoras. I thought maybe I just didn’t have the right touch, but if you look at 1940s … Continue reading

Posted in Men's fashion, millinery | Leave a comment

A Day in the 1940s

Yesterday I was the guest speaker at Todmorden Mills Museum 3rd annual Fab Forties day. It was a bit of a time-trip for me to begin with because I worked at the museum from August 1985 to March 1987. When … Continue reading

Posted in Costuming | Tagged | Leave a comment

Michaele Vollbracht, 1947 – 2018

Born November 17, 1947 in Kansas City, Missouri, Michael Vollbracht was a fashion designer, illustrator, author, and designer. I worked with him in 1999 when he was the designer for a retrospective exhibition about American shoe designers Beth and Herbert … Continue reading

Posted in Designers/Couturiers | 2 Comments

Kate Spade, 1962 – 2018

Born in Kansas City on December 24, 1962, Katherine Bresnahan, was attending college when she met her future husband Andy Spade (brother of SNL actor David Spade). The idea of opening a ¬†handbag company came from a casual conversation the … Continue reading

Posted in Accessories, Designers/Couturiers | Leave a comment

Glossary – Beatnik fashion talk

Here are all the fashion terms from the Complete Beatnik Dictionary: So if you are a flutter bum (good looking guy) and want to get all chrome plated (dressed up) in some threads (clothes), you can put shape in a … Continue reading

Posted in Clothing customs, Glossary | Tagged | 2 Comments

PD Day in Toronto – Part Three – Italian Surprise

On our way back from the ROM we cut through Yorkville Village (formerly known as Hazleton Lanes), to get to our car, and discovered an exhibition of 60 years of Italian Fashion in the main rotunda. I had heard nothing … Continue reading

Posted in Museum Exhibitions, Other collections/museums | Tagged | Leave a comment

PD Day in Toronto – Part Two – Iris Van Herpen

After leaving the Aga Khan at 6:10, we drove 40 minutes south to the Royal Ontario Museum (ROM), arriving with a few minutes to spare for the 7:00 start of an event featuring Iris Van Herpen (pronounced Eeris Van Hairpen) … Continue reading

Posted in Museum Exhibitions, Other collections/museums | Leave a comment

PD Day in Toronto – Part One – The Aga Khan Museum

Yesterday started off with me cracking a tooth on a piece of 12 grain toast (so much for whole grains being good for you…) After a trip into Toronto for emergency dental work, we had the rest of the day … Continue reading

Posted in Museum Exhibitions, Other collections/museums | Leave a comment

Fashion in Song – Point of No Return by Nu Shooz (1986)

I am bending the rules with this addition because the song isn’t about fashion, but the video uses stop motion to animate a lot of shoes and sneakers – and after all, the band’s name is Nu Shooz… The band … Continue reading

Posted in Fashion in song, Shoes | Tagged | Leave a comment

Canadian Fashion Connection – April Cornell

In 1975 Montrealers Chris and April Cornell came back from a trip to Asia with their luggage stuffed with hundreds of pounds of kilims, Kandahar wedding shirts, Turkomen jewelry, Nepali jackets, Afghani socks, and Kuchi tribal dresses – enough to … Continue reading

Posted in Canadian dress | 2 Comments