The history of women’s rights in Canada is often told through lectures, textbooks, photographs or film.
But for renowned historian Ivan Sayers, this liberation comes alive in a more colourful, tactile way.
On April 7, join Sayers in Fort Langley as he explores the evolution of women in the last century through a historical fashion show.
Titled A Century of Progress 1900 – 2000, the show will take audiences on a fashion journey from the corseted, highly constricted garments of the Victorian era, through the two World Wars and the flapper dresses of the Roaring ’20s, to Carnaby Street and the free spirits of the hippie commune.
Sayers will demonstrate how women’s emancipation from constrictive clothing parallels their social and political empowerment as well.
Taking place at 2 p.m. at St. George’s Anglican church, 9160 Church St., the event is organized by the St. George’s Anglican Christian Women’s group as a fundraiser for their community outreach programs.
Sayers, who is a former curator of the Vancouver Museum, has collected vintage clothing for more than 50 years, and has one of the largest private collections in Canada.
He specializes in the study of women’s, men’s, and children’s fashions from 1700 to the present, and presents illustrated lectures throughout North America in the form of a historical fashion show with live models.
The clothing in the fashion shows are drawn from his teaching collection, rather than his permanent collection. Models are not permitted to wear garments of great age or historical significance, one of a kind items or haute couture.
Sayers is currently the Honorary Curator of the Society for the Museum of Original Costume, a group that is working to create of a museum of clothing and textiles in the Lower Mainland.
He has also received awards from the Western Canadian Designers and Fashion Association, the Vancouver Historical Society and the British Columbia Museum Association.
In 2015, Sayers was awarded an Honorary Doctor of Laws Degree by Kwantlen Polytechnic University, and in 2016 was honoured by the Museum of Vancouver with the distinction of Curator Emeritus.
Tickets for the show in Fort Langley are $20 and are available at Country Lane Antiques, 9179 Glover Rd., or Wendel’s Bookshop & Café, 9233 Glover Rd.