Category Archives: Obscurier Couturiers

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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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 Hall of Obscurity – Chuck Howard

Chuck Howard, was one of those designers of the postwar era that gave American fashions a distinctly American look. Born in Cochrane, Georgia in 1927, Howard was stationed in Hawaii as a tail gunner in World War II. Courtesy of … Continue reading

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Fashion Hall of Obscurity – Zelda Barbour Wynn Valdes

Born June 28, 1905 Zelda Barbour Wynn Valdes grew up in Chambersburg, Pennsylvania and learned how to design and sew at her uncle’s tailoring shop in White Plains, New York. In 1948 she opened her own boutique called ‘Chez Zelda’ at Broadway and … Continue reading

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Fashion Hall of Obscurity – Sassy Jane Manufacturing Co.

The Sassy Jane Manufacturing Company was incorporated on March 22, 1917 by Missouri-born June Rand – a seamstress who had moved to California. She started the company in Los Angeles making gingham aprons, and with that endeavour becoming successful she … Continue reading

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Canadian Fashion Connection – Potbelly Boutique (c. 1965 – 1978)

Le Hibou (The Owl) was Ottawa’s first coffee house, founded in 1960 by Denis Faulkner, a student from the University of Ottawa who wanted a place where young Ottawans could meet, listen to music, play chess, and drink coffee. The club … Continue reading

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Fashion hall of Obscurity – Jack Herzog

Born in 1898, Jack Herzog leant his name to his family’s business that began as a series of smaller New York manufacturing firms run by Jack and his brothers that amalgamated in 1921, likely to weather the recession that occurred … Continue reading

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Fashion Hall of Obscurity – Victor Haffenden

A few months ago the museum was given a sleeveless, scoop-necked, full length white cotton lace dress with a blue cummerbund sash, worn in 1955 as a wedding dress. It didn’t look particularly ‘bridal’, but the donor, who had also … Continue reading

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Fashion Hall of Obscurity AND Canadian Fashion Connection – Jacqueline Familiant

Jacqueline Familiant opened an eponymously named boutique in old Montreal in November 1966. Like many Montrealers, she was anticipating the upcoming World Expo of 1967 which transformed the city into a cosmopolitan centre of busy street cafes, chic discotheques, and … Continue reading

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Fashion Hall of Obscurity – Edgar C. Hyman – Echo Scarves

After working for two veiling companies, Edgar C. Hyman started his own company in New York around the same time he married his wife Theresa in September, 1923. Inspired by his monogram, he called his company Echo, and produced print … Continue reading

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