April 12, 2017
The exhibition “Misfits: Bodies, Dress and Sustainability” highlights problems in the current fashion system of coded labels and arbitrarily sizes determined by manufacturers. In Canada, as in many other countries, a size ten from one manufacturer may differ from the size ten of another. This subjective practice is not customer-centric, and can lead to confusion and frustration in the marketplace. The size systems used in commercial garments are based on an amalgamation of dimensions obtained from different body measurements. The communication breakdown between posted garment sizes and people’s expectations affect how people buy, use and keep their clothing.
The exhibition runs from April 12 to September 13, 2017, in the Human Ecology Building on campus (the gallery in accessible via the south entrance and is wheelchair accessible). The exhibit is free and open to the public from 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. on weekdays, except for major holidays such as Victoria Day. For more information please access http://hecol.museums.ualberta.ca/ClothingAndTextiles/Exhibitions.aspx.
The Clothing and Textiles Collection is part of a larger consortium of the University of Alberta Museums, a network of 29 interdisciplinary museums and collections across campus.
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Press Story: "Chaos in women's wear'
May 5, 2017
Why doesn't anything ever fit well in the women's dressing room? University of Alberta researcher Anne Bissonnette, a material culture and curatorship professor, is pulling back the curtain on this threadbare question, and is challenging the 80-year-old standards being used by garment makers as outdated and unsuited to the modern body. Our bodies, she argues, are NOT the problem, and she says, there is 'chaos in women's wear' because of it. Bissonnette can talk about this issue, its complexities and challenges, and ways sizing for off-the-rack garments could be improved.
If you need a larger scope for this story, there is a movement called "Size NorthAmerica" afoot across the U.S. and Canada.
For her part, Bissonnette explores this issue through a new exhibit, Misfits, Bodies, Dress and Sustainability, she co-curated with her graduate students in Edmonton. Together, they also created a Fashion Design Manifesto.
Please contact Bev Betkowski if you'd like to interview Dr. Bissonnette.
Attached are two photos that can be used for editorial purposes. The first photo (at the beginning), courtesy of the University of Alberta, shows Anne Bissonnette with the Misfits exhibition. The second photo (below), titled 'Dress forms', courtesy of Bissonnette, shows an industrial size 10 dress form circa 1997 (tan), compared to custom-made dress forms for the same female in her 30s (yellow), 40s (salmon) and 50s (brown).
For questions contact:
Marketing and Communications
University of Alberta
General Services Building
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CLICK ON THE LINKS BELOW TO ACCESS
PRESS COVERAGE ON THIS EXHIBITION
- University of Alberta Web site (News & Events, News Articles), May 16, 2017, "'Chaos' in wowen's wear."
- CBC News, Edmonton, May 17, 2017, "'Chaos': When it comes to women's clothes, that's about the size of it, fashion expert says: Many shoppers blame themselves when clothing doesn't fit, but the problem is with the industry" by Lydia Neufel.
- Front page of the Metro News newspaper on May 18, 2017, “Edmonton researcher has theory about why women's clothing never fits quite right” by Kevin Maimann
- Radio-Canada (radio), La croisée avec Sandra Gagnon, May 17, 2017, "Des vêtements faits pour quelles femmes?”
- CBC TV 6 p.m. news broadcast (at the 28:34 mark) and late night (at the 29:54 mark). Live on Radio Active with Portia Clark, May 17, 2017.
- CTV Edmonton (at the 36:30 mark), plus CTV Vancouver Island and CTV Calgary
- Global TV, June 24, 2017.
- Claire Theobald, "University of Alberta exhibit highlights the absurd reality of women's clothing sizes," Edmonton Journal, June 3, 2017.
- Katie Baines, Corus Radio, Calgary June 10, 2017.
- "Women’s Wear is Far from Fitting," Top of Mind Radio with Julie Rose on Brigham Young University's BYU Radio (Sirius XM Satellite Radio), June 15, 2017.
- Global AM TV, June 20, 2017, 7:20 am: https://twitter.com/GlobalEdmonton/status/877172259000954880