Press Release for the Exhibition “Misfits: Bodies, Dress and Sustainability”

April 12, 2017
Anne Bissonnette

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

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.

* * *

Press Story: "Chaos in women's wear'
May 5, 2017
Bev Betkowski
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the curtain on this threadbare question, and is challenging the 80-year-old standards being used by garment makers as outdated and unsuited to the modern body.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:

Bev Betkowski
Communications Associate
Marketing and Communications
University of Alberta
General Services Building
Twitter: BevB_UAlberta

* * *