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.

Canadian Fashion Connection – Sherman Costume Jewellery (1947 – 1981)

Gustave Sherman was born in Montreal on October 15, 1910 to Jewish parents who had immigrated to Canada from Eastern Europe. Gustave started his career in the jewellery field as a salesman before hiring jeweller Dmytro (aka Jimmy) Kurica (pronounced … Continue reading

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Canadian Fashion Connection – Mr. Smith

David Smith was born in Windsor in about 1930. In 1955 he met television actor Jack Creley and the two opened an antique shop in Yorkville called the Green Dolphin. The business wasn’t doing well, so in 1960 they started … Continue reading

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Fashion Hall of Obscurity – Mrs. Franklin Inc. (1923-1938)

Last year we acquired a very nice forest green knit suit from the early 1930s. It is dead plain – consisting of a straight, ankle length skirt, and an open jacket with a belt. In the nape is a small … Continue reading

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Fashion in Song – Lydia the Tattooed Lady (1939)

There are several songs about tattooed women, but one of the best is by Groucho Marx. Lydia the Tattooed Lady, was written in 1939 by Yip Harburg and Harold Arlen, and was famously performed by Groucho Marx in the 1939 film … Continue reading

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Dressing Toronto – November 1-30

We just opened Dressing Toronto in conjunction with Myseum at the Toronto Media Arts Centre (location and opening times below). The show surveys some of the sources from where Torontonians acquired their clothing over the past 150 years. The selection of … Continue reading

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Happy 10th Anniversary to me!

I just realized my first blog entry was on October 26, 2008! My host accidentally erased the site in 2010, but I managed to recover most of what had been written, reposted, and kept on going. The GREAT thing about … Continue reading

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Photograph of mannequin heads, c. 1930 by Peter Weller

Peter Weller (1868-1940) lived in Berlin in the 1920s an 1930s where he worked as a fashion and portrait photographer. His work appeared in leading German magazines including: “Die Dame”, “Das Magazin”, and “UHU”. His studio and most of his … Continue reading

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Canadian Fashion Connection – Winston Kong

Winston Kong was born in Ipswich, Jamaica. He studied at Cornell university and planned to go into hotel management before realizing his passion lay in the fashion world. After attending the Fashion Institute of Technology, Kong worked for Henri Bendel … Continue reading

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That time when hem lengths were measured from the floor…

When hems started going up in the 1910s, they were measured according to how far off the ground they were, which this picture of the committee of the British Columbia Electric Social Club Dance from April 1, 1921 illustrates exceptionally … Continue reading

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Deja Views – See through boots

The biggest difference between these two pairs of see-through vinyl boots with black patent trim, is that the original c. 1966 pair were around U.S. $20.00. The 2018 pair by Maryam Nassir Zadeh are U.S. $556. (BTW – these styles never … Continue reading

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