Costume Museum Of Canada

As you may recall, in an earlier post I wrote about Lady A and I getting into the Museum of Man and Nature for our photo shoot with two free passes.  How I got those passes is a bit of a story.  In my city we have the now defunct Costume Museum of Canada.  The museum closed to the public and all the clothing was put into storage. A big regret is this all happened before I rediscovered my love old cloths and I never saw the museum when it was open.  I did contact them and let them know I’d be willing to do any volunteer work that was needed if they were willing to train me.  (I figured as a volunteer I’d be able to see the cloths up close over time.)

Right now the stock pile of clothes are in storage with the odd few pieces coming out for small portable showings.  The Museum of Man and Nature was doing an evening event last October called Nuit Blanche and they wanted a display of 1960’s outfits and they contacted the Costume Museum of Canada.  The 1960s is certainly not my era but I was only to willing to have my first (and at this point, only) volunteer experience with this museum.  In exchange for setting up the display, the Museum of Man and Nature unexpectedly gave free passes.

Here are some of the outfits we put out.

"Rachel and the lounge lizard Bruce"

 The fun thing about the ladies I was working with is they like to give the “people” personalities and then dress and accessorize them accordingly.  Fits my personality to a tee!  It is hard to see but I had the museum staff running around for a wine glass and cigarette that I felt Bruce just had to have.

Lily...she is sneaking out after a stocking on and one off.

 The standing mannequins are attached to their base by one foot.  You can’t get shoes on them without drilling a hole in the one shoe (which are artifacts).  The trick was to either ignore it like I did with Bruce or to hide it.  But, sometimes…like with Lil, I was able to make it work for the character and she carried her stocking and shoes.

Edith…my crowning glory.

I love Edith.  I saw the stuff the ladies had chosen for her to wear and I instantly saw my husbands grandmother.  She would sit like that with her purse clutched in her little hands at family gatherings!  Funny thing is all kinds of people saw her and said…”That’s my aunt so and so.” “She looks just like my mother!”

I had fun doing that.  And I felt I was good at it.  One of the ladies asked me how I seemed to be able to get them to sit or stand straight and look natural.  I thought about it and I think it is from my rehab background.  I have a basic understanding of how the muscles and bones work to achieve balance.  If the dummies were sitting funny or falling over I knew exactly where and how far they needed to bend or straighten to look normal. 
I really hope they call me back for some 1800’s outfits.  Actually, what I’d really like them to do is to create an on-line archive like the Met has.  I’d be only to happy to help dress and photograph the outfits.  FOR FREE!
* You can find the Canadian Costume Museum on Facebook.