Ivan Sayers is a fashion historian who specializes in the study of women’s, men’s, and children’s fashions from 1700 to the present. He has collected period costumes for over 50 years and now has one of the largest and most comprehensive private collections of historical clothing in Canada.
Ivan worked at the Museum of Vancouver from 1970 to 1990 and left his position as Curator of History to become a Museum Consultant and Lecturer.
As well as collecting and curating, Ivan presents illustrated lectures and historical fashion shows. He usually covers women’s fashions of the 19th and 20th centuries in whole or in part, but also does thematic programs. Some of last year’s programs included: maternity dresses, occupational clothing, beach wear, and men’s clothing.
Fashion shows can be of variable length, usually from 1 – 2 hours, and include anywhere from 8 – 18 outfits worn by live models. The garments in the fashion shows are drawn from the teaching collection, not the permanent collection. Models are not permitted to wear garments of great age or historical significance, one of a kind items or haute couture.
Ivan is currently the Honorary Curator of the Society for the Museum of Original Costume whose mandate it is to establish a museum of clothing and textiles in the lower mainland.
Ivan has received awards from the Western Canadian Designers and Fashion Association, the Vancouver Historical Society and was given a distinguished service award by the British Columbia Museum Association in October 2010. In May of 2015, Ivan was awarded an Honorary Doctor of Laws Degree by Kwantlen Polytechnic University. In September 2016, Ivan was honoured by the Museum of Vancouver with the distinction of Curator Emeritus.
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