Dressed for History: Why Costume Collections Matter

  • March 16, 2023 - November 1, 2023
  • Recurring daily
  • Location: Museum of Vancouver
  • Address:
  • 1100 Chestnut St
  • Vancouver, BC V6J 3J9

Clothing is the most personal of artefacts. It reveals so much about who we are, what we do and what we value. Clothing conveys information about occupation, social and economic status, gender and cultural identity and political and religious affiliation. 

Clothing not only expresses aspects of a wearer’s identity, it also reveals much about the larger context of production. As products of available raw materials, textile technologies, designs and styles, what we wear connects us to local and global stories of resource extraction, trade, labour and technology.  

Four remarkable local collectors have recognized the importance of preserving costumes to document the past and inspire our present and future. Ivan Sayers, Claus Jahnke, Melanie Talkington and the members of the BC Society for the Museum of Original Costume (SMOC) are fashion historians with significant collections that feature some of the rarest garments and fabrics in the world. 

The Museum of Vancouver has invited these collectors to share their deep knowledge of costume history by showcasing pieces from their collections. Dressed for History: Why Costume Collections Matter makes the case that fashion and costumes are significant and enduring expressions of personal identity and of political and social change. This exhibition confirms Vancouver as home to world-class costume interpreters, collectors and historians. 

The Museum of Vancouver

March 16 to 

Dressed for History: Why Costume Collections Matter
1100 Chestnut St