Category Archives: Canadian dress

Canadian Fashion Connection – Anita Pineault

The oldest of nine siblings, Anita Chouinard was born in Quebec in 1917. Her last name was changed to Pineault when she married. When he left to serve in Europe during World War II Anita took a job with the … Continue reading

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Canada’s First Black Model – Johanne Harelle

A year before the first American black model, Donyale Luna, graced the pages of Harper’s Bazaar, Johanne Harelle retired from her modelling career in Canada. Johanne Harelle was born Joan Harell to a French Canadian mother and West Indian father … Continue reading

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Kitchener-Waterloo Ontario – a city of fashion in 1940

Found this interesting article from the July 15, 1940 issue of MacLeans Magazine, about the cities of Kitchener and Waterloo. A large part of the article ensures readers that although the population has a large German heritage, it is not … Continue reading

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Canada’s Silk Steam Trains

From 1887 until the 1930s, raw silk from the Far East roared across Canada in trains from the port of Vancouver.  Within two hours of the boat docking at Vancouver, stevedores unloaded the 90-kilogram burlap-wrapped 12-inch by 24-inch by 36-inch bales … Continue reading

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Canadian Fashion Connection – Regal Sportswear

In business by 1946, this Winnipeg sportswear company declared bankruptcy in 1953. Another business also called Regal Sportswear had opened in Montreal by 1958.

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Canadian Fashion Connection – Gentry Inc. neckwear

Neckwear manufacturer Gentry Inc. began operations in Montreal in 1955. Two years later, Italian-born Rocco Polifroni joined the company, and in 1978 he purchased Gentry Inc. from the original owner. Polifroni’s children have since joined Gentry, keeping it a family-owned … Continue reading

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Joseph Carrier with sample shoes, Carrier Shoes, Toronto, 1949

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Canadian Fashion Connection – Lola Leman

Little is known about this Canadian knitwear designer/retailer. Olga was born in Yugoslavia on July 29, 1924 and came to Canada with her family sometime before the mid 1950s when her mother opened a knitwear shop in Toronto. By 1980, … Continue reading

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Canadian Fashion Connection: Milli Gould (1935 – 2019)

Hamilton retailer Milli Gould passed away October 13 after operating one of Hamilton’s premier women’s clothing stores for more than half a century. With a $5,000 loan, Milli opened her first shop in Hamilton in 1964, moving to her present … Continue reading

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Canadian Fashion Connection: D. McCall & Co.

The wholesale millinery business of D. McCall & Co., was established in 1879 by Dougald McCall and William Blackley (Blackley had immigrated to Montreal from Scotland in 1860 and moved to Toronto in 1866.) The business was originally located at … Continue reading

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