Colourful History of Men's Fashion
8 May 2002 Contrary to popular belief, fashion has
always influenced what men wear. Beginning on May 17 the
McCord will shed light on three hundred years of men's
fashion, from the end of the 18th century to the present, with
the opening of the much-anticipated exhibition Clothes Make
the MAN. From a Victorian boy's dress to a leather motorcycle
jacket, not to mention the elegant wardrobe of former Prime
Minister Pierre Elliott Trudeau, this exhibition will allow
visitors to discover the diversity of men's fashion over time.
Vanity, Propriety and Fraternity all have influenced men's
clothing choices. These exhibition themes are springboards for
discussions of intriguing and little-known chapters in the
history of men's apparel. Lavish and eye-catching embroided
waistcoats from the 18th century contrast with austere
examples of mid-19th-century tailoring. Garments strategically
constructed with padded chests or corseted waists betray men's
preoccupation with improving their physique. The exhibition
also presents clothing used to signal a man's social status as
well as fashion worn in both public and private life.
travelling exhibition was developed by guest curator Gail
Cariou in collaboration with Cynthia Cooper, the McCord's
Curator of Costume and Textiles and Eileen Stack, Curatorial
Assistant. "The changing nature of clothing production,
the evolution of new norms of modesty and the influence of
sportswear are just some of the topics raised in this
exhibition, which is sure to pique the curiosity of men and
women alike," explains Ms. Cariou.
section of the exhibition will feature clothing worn by Prime
Minister Pierre Elliott Trudeau, who was known for his strong
fashion sense. His trademark dark green cape, his
unforgettable buckskin jacket, and other key items from the
Prime Minister's wardrobe were generously loaned to the Museum
by the Trudeau family for this exhibition.
spokesperson Philippe Dubuc is pleased to be taking part in
this important event. "Menswear is too often overshadowed
by women's fashion," declares the celebrated Quebec
designer. "Clothes Make the MAN eloquently demonstrates
that designers have always put their talents and imagination
to work to benefit men who enjoy dressing well."
full complement of cultural activities has been planned to
accompany the exhibition. Clothes Make the MAN is on view at
the McCord Museum (690 Sherbrooke Street West, Montreal) from
17 May 2002 to 5 January 2003. The Museum is open from Tuesday
to Friday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., and on weekends and holiday
Mondays from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission (including taxes) is
$9.50 for adults, $5 for students, $19 for families, $7 for
seniors, and $3 for children between the ages of 7 and 12.
Children aged 6 and under are admitted free of charge.
McCord wishes to thank the Museums Assistance Program,
Heritage Canada for its generous support.
Lise Plante Communications, (514) 575-3194