The Musée du costume et du textile du Québec is undergoing a significant change as it becomes the Fashion Museum. This new identity, better suited to its mission, will help to rally the key actors of Montreal’s fashion scene around this unique, creative and dynamic institution.
The transformation of the Musée du costume et du textile du Québec
Founded in 1979 in the city of St-Lambert, the museum was originally known as the Musée Marsil. It became the Musée du costume et du textile du Québec in 2006, presenting itself as the sole institution in the province specialized in the field. In 2013, by moving to the Marché Bonsecours, located in Old Montréal, the museum was able to present iconic pieces from its collections, and to invite eight important Quebec designers to participate in its first Montreal exhibit, Tapis rouge: Fashion at the museum. After an enthusiastic response from the public, the museum’s subsequent exhibits were also created around fashion and textile arts, including Parcours d’une élégante, which is currently being presented at the museum.
During the course of its different transformations, bolstered by 37 years of experience, the museum has improved its rich collections. This unique archive now comprises more than 7500 artefacts linked to the history of fashion and textile arts. By becoming the Fashion Museum, the institution acquires an identity that is better suited to its mission and its collections. Through its multiple activities, the Fashion Museum wishes to increase its collaborations with all who allow Quebec’s fashion industry to thrive, including fashion designers and schools of fashion and textiles. “The objective is to increase the national and international exposure of Quebec’s heritage and to build a solid community around the museum,” explains Joanne Watkins, director at the Fashion Museum. As the only institution of its kind in Quebec, the museum wishes to develop activities that will make it a laboratory for the diffusion of heritage and innovation.
“I think that this rare jewel is still too well hidden,” says renowned fashion designer and multidisciplinary creator Jean-Claude Poitras, who has been the museum’s president since 2014. “Admittedly, the museum is of small stature, but it is now about to come out and play in the big leagues. With the Fashion Museum, we shift between innovation and tradition.”
Extension of the Exhibit Parcours d’une élégante
Building on its success, the exhibit Parcours d’une élégante will be extended until August 28th, 2016. This exhibit brings together 300 artefacts from the collection of Beatrice Pearson, a very generous donor. It is composed of a wide range of refined ensembles, each of them showcasing her unique and polished style. Bought second-hand or in luxury boutiques, made at home or in specialized workshops, each of the showcased pieces tells a story, about an elegant woman who always stays authentic, curious and discreet. Numerous activities linked to this exhibit are to come, including tours guided by Beatrice Pearson herself, followed by a tea tasting.
About the Fashion Museum
After 34 years on the South Shore of Montreal, the Fashion Museum (formerly the Musée du costume et du textile du Québec) moved to the Marché Bonsecours, located in Montreal’s Old Port, in April 2013. As Quebec’s sole museum dedicated to fashion and textile arts, the Fashion Museum’s mission is to promote the wealth of clothing and textile heritage. The museum makes a point of exhibiting creations from Quebec amongst international artefacts, thus shinning a spotlight upon the artists and artisans who have made or still make Quebec’s fashion scene an ongoing success. The museum documents, preserves and showcases the history of fashion, a precious heritage for generations to come. Since June 2014, the administrative board has been led by Jean-Claude Poitras, fashion creator, multidisciplinary designer, and recipient of many prizes and awards.