Category Archives: Canadian dress

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

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Mary Humphries, 1926 – 2018

I just read that Canadian fibre/fabric specialist and author Mary Humphries passed away February 22 at the age of 92. Born in Evanston, Illinois, she grew up in Thornhill, Ontario, and received her MA from University College, University of Toronto. … Continue reading

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Canadian Fashion Connection – H. V. Cowie Company Ltd.

The H.V. Cowie Company Limited was founded by 45 year old Hedley Vicars Cowie on March 6, 1922. The company specialized in manufacturing and importing menswear (dress pants, blazers, dressing gowns, smoking jackets, neckwear, scarves…) Initially located at 22 Front Street in … Continue reading

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Canadian Fashion Connection – Photographer William Notman

Some of the earliest fashionable images of Canadians come from photographs taken by William Notman’s studios. Notman was born in Paisley, Scotland in 1826 and became a partner in his father’s wholesale woollen cloth business in 1851. In 1856 he … Continue reading

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Canadian Fashion Connection – Lou Myles

Luigi Cocomile was born in 1928, a month after Joseph and Lucetta Cocomile (an itinerant shoemaker and his wife), immigrated from Calabria, Italy to Toronto, Canada. The family struggled financially and Luigi dropped out of school after grade 8, earning … Continue reading

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Canadian Fashion Connection – Cover Girls

It could be argued that Canada’s first internationally famous models to appear on the cover of a magazine were the Dionne Quintuplets, whose images were used to promote a number of products in the late 1930s and early 1940s. However, … Continue reading

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Canadian Fashion Connection – Five Believers’ Batiks Ltd.

At first glance, this looks like a brown and yellow batik-print button-front maxi dress from the 1970s, but its much more than that… In 1966 middleweight boxer Rubin ‘Hurricane’ Carter and his friend John Artis were driving in a car … Continue reading

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More Master John

Last year I wrote about legendary Toronto bootmaker Master John. Fashion journalist Nathalie Atkinson also wrote about him as part of her ‘Clearly Canadian’ series on Canadian fashion design for the Globe and Mail. We were both working on shoestrings … Continue reading

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Canadian Fashion Connection – Pierre Paris

Pierre Paris was originally from the Basque region of southern France. After immigrating to Canada, he located in Vancouver and opened a boot-making business in 1907 where he specialized in making logging boots for the booming lumber trade. The company … Continue reading

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Canadian Fashion Connection – Greb Industries

In 1910, the Berlin Shoe Manufacturing Co. was incorporated. Two years later, Charles E. Greb and his son Erwin acquired the company. In 1916, when the city of Berlin, Ontario was renamed Kitchener, the factory was renamed the Greb Shoe … Continue reading

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