Haute history: Costume museum unique fashion resource, interesting destination

The Canadian Press ~ The News
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WINNIPEG - While the fashion community's growth is hard to ignore, the same cannot be said for the Costume Museum of Canada. Yes, that's right, the Costume Museum of Canada is a unique fashion resource.
Home to some amazing garments, the Costume Museum of Canada, located in Winnipeg, is right up there with Toronto's Bata Shoe Museum when it comes to a historical glimpse into fashion.
Here you will find over 35,000 artifacts, from gorgeous, intricate gowns and smartly tailored suits to fantastic vintage jewels.
Two exhibits currently on display include one on nightwear while the other focuses on the construction of clothing from the inside out.
Nightwear - on display until early April - showcases the evolution of PJs from the 1830s up until the 1960s. One of the most unique items on display is a "morning sack," a nifty little garment that people used to slip over their heads to cover their clothes to keep them free of hair and other undesirables.
Meanwhile, "Inside Out," on display until April 13, looks at the construction of clothing and the various sewing techniques used over time. According to the exhibit's curator, many of the same sewing techniques used in the mid-1800s are still used today. The exhibit also highlights the techniques used to create form in garments, such as ruffling, boning and cutting on the bias.
Later this spring, visitors can see "The Wedding Dress," which looks at many interesting and wild wedding outfits worn throughout the decades. This summer, look for "The Dirty Thirties." The displays show an elegant time in fashion during which many luxurious fabrics fuelled a fashion-conscious society marked by a renewal in the embracing of a feminine physique.
One thing that is fascinating is the museum's collection of patterns. This extensive collection covers the time frame from 1850 to 1980; that's over 100 years of fashion. And while the museum doesn't lend the patterns out, they do have all the tools one might need for aspiring designers to trace the patterns for their own personal use. (This is a great resource for those who like to incorporate a bit of retro style into today's designs.)
In addition to the exhibits on display, there is also a vintage shop on site where you can purchase items that the museum may have duplicates of. There is also a gift shop that sells the wares of local designers.
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On the Net:
www.costumemuseum.com

Organizations: Costume Museum of Canada, Bata Shoe Museum

Geographic location: WINNIPEG, Toronto

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