Canadian Fashion Connection – Chatelaine magazine

Window display of war worker outfits in Eaton's Toronto, 1942, in promotion with Chatelaine magazine for an article on Women in War Industry.

Window display of war worker outfits in Eaton’s Toronto, 1942, in promotion with Chatelaine magazine for an article on Women in War Industry.

Chatelaine was one of several Canadian women’s magazines printed in the 20th century, but it has been the only one to survive. Started by Maclean Hunter Ltd in March 1928, Chatelaine, like most women’s magazines at the time, ran a mixed content of fiction, fashion, and beauty information, as well as help for homemakers with economical recipes and advice on child care and etiquette.

With the domination of similar American magazines like Ladies Home Journal and Family Circle, Chatelaine became the last remaining Canadian women’s magazine by the 1960s. It survived by always responding to Canadian women’s needs and topics, as well as speaking to the growing women’s movement with articles about women in the work force, equal pay, the pill, and abortion (topics generally avoided in American women’s magazines in the early 1960s.) However, since the 1990s, Chatelaine has become less political, and more focussed on fashion.

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.
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