Friday, November 4, 2011

Convergence: Interdisciplinary Perspectives on Fashion

Ruth Dukas Paper Dress (Photo from the Toronto Telegram November 16, 1967)
Remember this post back in February where I wrote about a display of paper dresses at the Costume and Textile Gallery at the Royal Ontario Museum? It just goes to show you that you never know where a blog post might lead....

Not long after I wrote about that paper dress (pictured in the photo above), I received an email from the designer's son asking for a copy of the photo for his mom. Well long story short, I ended up doing an oral history interview with the designer, Ruth Dukas, for the ROM archives. As it turns out, Ruth only made one paper dress in her career, but was in fact renowned for the exquisite embroidery and beading of her evening gowns and cocktail dresses.

During the course of my research into Ruth's career as a designer during the 1960s, I fell in love with research and 1960s fashion, plus ended up back in grad school for a second masters degree.... On Saturday, I will be speaking at Ryerson University about the career of Ruth Dukas and the issues related to oral history projects.

This event called Convergence: Interdisciplinary Perspectives on Fashion reflects the interdisciplinary nature of scholarly fashion research today. Speakers from Ryerson, York and University of Toronto will present their research in three panels including - Narratives of Femininity in Fashion; Canadian Content? From Local to Global; and The Spaces in Fashion: Conditions & Contexts. The plenary talk will be given at 4:30 pm by Kate Strasdin of the University of Southampton and The Royal Ontario Museum’s 2011 Gervers Fellow.

The event takes place tomorrow - Saturday, November 5, 2011 at Ryerson University, 40 Gould Street, Kerr Hall South, Room 251, from 9 am to 5:30 pm. I will be speaking at 11 am and attendees are welcome to come anytime during the day. The event is free and open to the general public. More details are available at

Check out the amusing interview with Dr. Alison Matthews David, the organizer of the symposium, on Worn Fashion Journal's blog called "Embrace Your Inner Fashion Nerd".

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