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.

Fashion in Song – Sweater Girl (1949)

Written and performed by Ruth Wallis, a cabaret singer who produced her own record label for her songs because they were too risque for most record companies! Loretta’s a sweater girl now,Loretta’s a better girl now,How did she steal away, … Continue reading

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Life imitating Art… Summer of ’69

The cover of August 22, 1969 LIFE magazine and my sister Chris in Vancouver, B.C. around the same time.

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Dress Codes in the news — again

Last year’s kerfuffle over leggings worn on air flights, has now shifted to rompers. American Airlines threatened to kick this woman and her son off a flight between Jamaica and Miami unless she covered up. The alternative was to wear … Continue reading

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Patent Fashions – Cantilevered Soles

The heeless pump style were invented by Romeo Griffi in 1958. That same year Griffi filed patents in Italy, England and the U.S. for his cantilevered sole idea. The style was designed to relieve the normal shock to the leg … Continue reading

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Gerald McCann, 1931- 2019

English born Gerald McCann trained at the Royal College of Art, graduating in 1953. He designed for Marks & Spencer as well as upmarket manufacturer Harry B. Popper, whose clothes were worn by the queen herself. In 1955, McCann was … Continue reading

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Fashion in Song – Fancy (2010)

I can never decide whether I should include these types of contemporary songs in the Fashion in Song blogs. I admit I am not a rap fan because I don’t think it’s music – I consider it spoken word. The … Continue reading

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Silver Screen to Mainstream

When we were in Chicago a couple of weeks ago we caught a great exhibition at the Chicago History Museum. The exhibition focussed on American fashion in the 1930s and 1940s, especially styles influenced by Hollywood, although there was a … Continue reading

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Early smoking

This painting at the Cleveland Museum of Art struck me because it depicts what I thought must be one of the earliest images of someone smoking a cigarette. The painting by Horace Vernet is entitled Self Portrait in Rome, and … Continue reading

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German Knitwear Manufacturer Bleyle

I recently found this boy’s knitted suit in an antique mall and was happy to find lots of information about its German manufacturer – Bleyle. Thirty-five year old Austrian-born Wilhelm Bleyle bought a knitting machine in 1885 to make knitted … Continue reading

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When everything had a ‘New Look’…

I thought this 1947 poster we saw at the Halton County Railway Museum was interesting. Even Toronto transit was using the New Look in fashion to sell streetcars and buses!

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