Canadian Fashion Connection – Michel Robichaud

Montreal designer Michel Robichaud was born in 1939 and studied in Montreal and Paris (apprenticing at Nina Ricci and Guy Laroche) before opening his own couture house in Montreal with a small collection of 13 outfits in the spring of 1963. His couture client list over the years included a swath of Quebec society women as well as more internationally known figures such as Elizabeth Taylor who ordered several items from him when she was in Montreal to marry Richard Burton in 1964.

Expo ’67 hostess uniform

Robichaud was commissioned to redesign Air Canada’s stewardess uniforms in 1964, which led to him getting the job of designing Expo 67’s hostess outfits. The pale blue hostess uniforms were designed in the fall of 1965 for the spring and summer of 1967 so they were a little on the conservative side by the time they were worn, but they were functional and in step with fashion. Robichaud also designed the uniforms for 10 Expo pavilions including Air Canada, Indians of Canada, Quebec, and a last minute design for Germany’s hostesses [Germany had designed uniforms for their hostesses that were inappropriate of the hot humid Canadian summers.] Later uniform design jobs followed including the 1976 Montreal Olympics.

Expo ’67 variations of Hostess uniforms, including the Mod raincoat

Robichaud designed his first ready-to-wear collection in fall 1967 and the following year opened his boutique on Crescent Street in Montreal which  closed in 1978. In the late 1980s he produced a diffusion line for Sears Canada.

In 1992 Robichaud donated  his archives to the Musee de la Civilisation, and has since received many accolades and awards from Quebec, Canada, and France for his work in the field of fashion. French language video by CBC

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.
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