Fashion Blogger Colleen Tsoukalas Reviews HATCHED, MATCHED AND DISPATCHED

Fashion Blogger Colleen Tsoukalas wrote about Ivan Sayers’ last artist talk as part of the museum’s last exhibition, INVOKING VENUS, Feathers and Fashion:

This was the last of the INVOKING VENUS: Feathers and Fashion Series, featuring photo-based images by Catherine Stewart and clothing and accessories from the clothing collections of Claus Jahnke and Ivan Sayers. I’ve already written about the fabulous Opening Night and Fashion Show and just loved the presentations by Catherine and Ivan.

Ivan began by telling us that the phrase, “Hatched, Matched, Dispatched” referes to the only three times a respectable woman’s name should appear in print: when she is born, when she is married and when she dies. First we saw the Cristening Gowns, robes, capes and bonnets. Mostly made of linen or cotton, the oldest are the plainest and are hand sewn.  One he displayed, featured Ayrshire Embroidery, a rearity these days. Machine made gowns were common by the 1870’s and one on the table, was worn in 1887 at St. Andrews Wesley Church in Vancouver.

Wedding dresses for the wealthy were white or light colors with exquisite beading and lace trims. More colors and more practical materials were used for the less wealthy, who often remade or reused their dresses. During the war years, of course, the War Time Trade and Price Board restricted the length and amount of material and embellishments for the wedding dresses and bridal parties’ clothing. Likely, the 100 pound trousseau was much reduced as well.

There were just as many rituals and rules around death and funerals as there are now. Black was ‘the’ color although it was the most expensive dye.  The material had to be dense so as not to reflect light.  Gothic colors and shapes abounded. The Gothic church window was the desired silouette.  Sombre, sombre tone including black bonnets, veils and mourning jewels of jet – coal black.  Portraits at this time, especially those of children, often included the deceased posed with family members.

Beautiful clothing and slides as well as Ivan’s and Keiko’s reading to the audience and lots of fact filled and entertaining stories. Glad this is being recorded for everyone to enjoy.


Photo: Dresses from the collection of fashion historian Ivan Sayers. Credit: Connie T.