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.

Bill Sims – Celebrity fashion brand

You have probably never heard of Bill Sims but in 1918, he was the Vice Admiral of the U.S. Navy, and everybody knew his name. In the late 19th century little boys began wearing sailor outfits with middy tops – … Continue reading

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Oldest extant clothing…

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Fashion Faux Pas – Jeans into dresses

Cute idea or fashion disaster? A pair of high-waisted jeans turned upside down and contoured to fit the figure may look like a cute idea in this c. 1980 fashion illustration, but even with the fly undone, it is going … Continue reading

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Fashion Hall of Obscurity – Jules Parker

The museum was recently offered a hammered brass breast plate from the 1970s with the designer’s name ‘Jules Parker’ stamped onto the pig suede lining. It was an interesting piece, but the price was too steep. Looking for some information … Continue reading

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Nettles for Textiles

In Germany during World War 1, nettles were used for creating textiles for making underwear and bandages. This film shows the process of how this plant is transformed from a stinging weed into a useful textile fibre.

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Canadian Fashion Connection – Master John

Although ‘Master John’ sounds like some kind of fetish shop, it was actually Toronto’s glam-rock boot shop in the 1970s. Stocked with styles that rivalled Vancouver’s Fox & Fluevog, London’s Terry de Havilland or Los Angeles’ Fred Slatten, John Master … Continue reading

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Fashion in Song – The Sweater (1992)

(lyrics are spoken) Girls, I know you will understand this and feel the intrinsic incredible emotion You have just pulled over your head the worn, warm sweater belonging to a boy Now, you haven’t had a passionate kissing session or … Continue reading

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Kenneth Jay Lane, 1932 – 2017

Kenneth Jay Lane took costume jewellery to a new level in the 1960s when his fake gems graced a new swath of sophisticated women, including the Duchess of Windsor. Lane was born April 22, 1932 in Detroit, Michigan, and attended … Continue reading

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Fashion in Song – I wear Speedos (2017)

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Canadian Fashion Connection – Smallman & Ingram

On September 8, 1877, John Smallman and Lemuel Ingram opened a dry goods business with six employees at 147 Dundas Street in London, Ontario. Aiming to serve the higher-end market with goods imported from Europe,  Smallman and Ingram found success. … Continue reading

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