Sunday, July 9, 2017

Ivan Sayers and SMOC: A Clothing Celebration of Canada's 150th Birthday

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On the beautiful park like garden space known as Barclay Heritage Square containing the Roedde House Museum, Ivan Sayers showed more than fifteen historic outfits from 1867-1980. The program was shared in English and French, by Ivan and Patrice Godin. I heard a collective Bonjour and Merci at the beginning and end of the program, as well as more conversations and exclamations throughout the two hours. In this very well attended celebration, more than 100 chairs were taken and attendees also sat on the grass or stood wherever they could find space. This was a special opportunity, truly inspired by the history of clothing/costume, where people reminisced about the history, places where they had lived in Canada, coming to Canada, the war effort, clothing they had made or worn...a very lively, interactive and memorable day for all. Ivan referenced and emphasized the multicultural make-up of Canada, the languages, cultures and diversity that is what we are.

People dressed up for this occasion; there were dresses, shirts, hats, parasols, shoes, mostly red and white and so many flags and symbols like these commemorative pins, featuring the maple leaf.
This white dress, is a copy of the first Attorney General's wife's dress for a day of croquet. Note the bustle pads, petticoats and lots of cover up for modesty and the focus on the flat stomach.

Even the dogs were dressed for Canada's birthday! I love the parasol that women, through the ages, have used as a sun shade, to keep their faces pale and to denote upper class rather than working class status. Seeing a lot of parasols now, too, but more for healthy skin than as a status symbol. Parker made his Coureur De Bois uniform, except for the snow shoes. Amazing attention to historical accuracy and detail and a nod to the Hudson Bay's history as well.

Thanks to SMOC President, Dianna Drahanchuk for organizing this memorable day! Thanks to Ivan  for the presentation of Canadian clothing, history and culture and the changing roles of women throughout the years. And to Patrice, for retelling the story in French. To Parker, for representing the next generation of costume creators and enthusiasts. To Kimberly D'Souza who took a million gorgeous photos of the event. To volunteers and attendees who truly got the party started. Hats off!
More on marvelous SMOC events at smoc.ca

Last but not least, big thanks to Luke Tsoukalas who deletes the garbage cans and other photo faux pas in my photos.

Love this V for Victory skirt, made for a Vancouver school 
Home Ec project, late 1930's early 40's. Bonnet style hat for the 
vulnerable woman, to be protected and defended. 
The 'chip hat' was made of recycled wood chips.

1970's hot pants in red and white, shoulder tote bag from Greece, Captain 
Canada boots by Rino, a Vancouver company, now in Burnaby. 
Note that the body is still quite covered up, this time with tights.

Oh Canada - Home made, passed down, or thrifted 
(My Sister's Closet, Vancouver) these red and white beauties are our colours.

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