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 – April Cornell

In 1975 Montrealers Chris and April Cornell came back from an Asian trip 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 open … Continue reading

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Acquiring Contemporary Clothing: Weston Wear, c. 2010

When collecting fashions from the recent past for the future, it can be a challenge to make sound decisions without the perspective of time to see the past more clearly. Since the museum was founded in 2004 we have acquired … 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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Fashion Hall of Obscurity – Carole Little

Mary Carole Lenski was born September 27, 1934. After studying fashion design in Los Angeles, she started her fashion career as a secretary at swimsuit maker Rose Marie Reid. She married her boss, James Little and by the early 1970s … Continue reading

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Fashion in Song – Chattanooga Shoe Shine Boy – 1950

The Chatanooga Shoe Shine Boy by Red Foley was at the top of charts in 1950, and was later covered by other artists, including Frank Sinatra, Pat Boone, and Bing Crosby. Have you ever passed the corner of Fourth and … 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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Fashion and Humour

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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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Judith Leiber, 1921 – 2018

Handbag designer Judith Leiber passed away last Saturday at the age of 97, a few hours after her artist husband of 72 years Gerson Leiber. Both died of heart attacks. Born Judith Marianne Peto in Budapest on Jan. 11, 1921, … Continue reading

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