by Robyn Yager | The Vancouver Maritime Museum’s new 2014 summer exhibition, Babes & Bathers: History of the Swimsuit, opened to the public today (June 28th) and should be well worth checking out. Aside from providing one of the most frustrating and sometimes humiliating shopping experiences, swimsuits are seriously overlooked at the interesting intersection of fashion and social history. Over the years, swimsuits have helped to communicate and facilitate eras of social change, and as such they are integral to our understanding of the role fashion plays in society.
With the help of Vancouver fashion historian Ivan Sayers, the Vancouver Maritime Museum is exhibiting swimming costumes worn in Vancouver from the 1890’s to the 1980’s (Sayers is the owner of one of the largest private collections of clothing in the country and has lent his expertise to fashion shows, lectures, and exhibitions throughout North America). What should prove particularly fascinating is the accompanying collection of Woodward’s catalogues that reveal through their many pages how this city has dressed for the beach over time.
VMM | 1905 Ogden Ave. in Vanier Park | Now-Nov. 2 | vancouvermaritimemuseum.com