Dress, Fashion and Textiles - McCord Museum

Collections and Research

Shoes, La Gioconda, about 1930. Gift of Alan Grant, M2013.54.2.1-2 © McCord Museum

Dress, Fashion and Textiles

The Dress, Fashion and Textiles collection comprises 20,000 garments and accessories made or worn in Canada over the past three centuries. It covers all aspects of women’s, men’s and children’s fashionable clothing of the 19th and early 20th centuries, including indoor and outdoor garments, underclothing, sports attire, and dress for occasions and rites like weddings and christenings. Several rare 18th-century garments and accessories have Canadian provenance.

The many examples of mid-20th-century high fashion by Montreal, Canadian and international designers and couturiers bear witness to the development of Canada’s apparel industry and garment retail sector. The collection also houses items linked to Canadian historic events and individuals. Numerous everyday items of dress are prized for their rarity. Accessories like gloves, stockings, shoes and women’s parasols, fans and purses are also well represented.

The collection includes outstanding historical documentation and is an invaluable research resource for many aspects of the history of Canadian fashion and material culture relating to appearance.

  • Suit, about 1780, remodeled in the 1790s. Gift of Mrs. Herbert Molson, M18005.1-3 © McCord Museum
  • Shoes, La Gioconda, about 1930. Gift of Alan Grant, M2013.54.2.1-2 © McCord Museum
  • Wedding dress, Levaque’s Wool Shop, 1970. Gift of Fonds Franco-Ontarien Paulette Tourangeau, M2011.20.1.1 © McCord Museum
  • Dress, John James Milloy, 1887. Acquired with the assistance of a Movable Cultural Property grant from the Department of Canadian Heritage under the terms of the Cultural Property Export and Import Act, M2009.62.1.1-2 © McCord Museum
  • Boots, Canadian Rubber Co., 1868-1875. Gift of Dr. William P. Baker, M2006.118.1.1-2 © McCord Museum
  • Sampler, Mary Sheepey, 1764. Gift of René Boissay, M988.132 © McCord Museum


A unique reference tool, EncycloFashionQC features over 500 entries on who’s who in Quebec fashion, from the 19th century to today.

Discover the designers, manufacturers, retailers, organizations and events that have been shaping Quebec’s fashion industry since its beginnings.


Resonance gives you privileged access to behind the scenes of the Museum and
its collections.
Explore multiple perspectives on the collections and our history through unique content, interviews with artists and our experts, as well as research and discoveries.

Cynthia Cooper

Cynthia Cooper, 2017 © Laura Dumitriu

Meet the curator Cynthia Cooper and learn more about her expertise and what she does.

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