Brass buttons designed by Salvador Dali/private collection. Worn to go tobogganing!

Art Deco Chic at the Museum of Vancouver is about to unveil a gorgeous, historic collection of women’s international fashions from the 20’s and 30’s. This two room exhibit opens tomorrow and runs from March 8 through September 23. Lovingly purchased and kept by fashion historians and collectors Ivan Sayers and Claus Jahnke (both of whom I had the pleasure to meet and learn about the collection from yesterday) have amassed since the late 60’s.

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Drama teachers were Ivan’s only competition shopping back in the 60’s, where the Salvation Army was his regular haunt. Chests full of pieces would be unloaded, where he bought them for a dollar a bagful. That of course is no longer possible. To acquire a collection like this today would cost hundreds of thousands of dollars.

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Unfortunately a lot of these vintage pieces around the world wind up in landfill, which is why collectors love to spare their fate and keep them, and which is why Vancouver is lucky to have the chance to view such a large collection in one space.

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The exhibit’s opening party will take place tonight from 6:30 to 10 pm. Only 100 tickets will be made available to the public. Suggested attire? Why 20s and 30s dress, of course!

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Here’s a sneak preview at a few of the nearly 60 pieces on display. I wrote a blog post last month that covers Art Deco Chic in more detail. Additional photos can be found here.

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Leather bag, England c. 1928-1935
[Leather bag, England c. 1928-1935]

Afternoon suit, 1933, worn by astronomer Virginia Nail when she met Albert Einstein in 1936.
[Afternoon suit, 1933, worn by astronomer Virginia Nail when she met Albert Einstein in 1936]

VW Beetle purse. German bear perfume holder.
[VW Beetle leather promotional purse, German bear perfume holder]

If you’re not able to make the party, consider these events:

Design Challenge/Design and submit your own art deco inspired garment (by May 15)
Curator’s Talk and Tour/1st Thursday of each month
Curator Ivan Sayers on Art Deco/A curator’s view of Art Deco on April 5
High Tea @ MOV/On May 12, bring your Mom along for a special Mother’s Day happening
Dapper and Flapper Formal/June 8 will be the next night to dress up! Live performances, swing dances, and cocktails
Pop-up Speakeasy/August, Date TBA. Celebrating the 20s and 30s, this event’s focus will be on learning about the era’s finest craft cocktails, speakeasy style

Sign the guest book!

Tickets for the opening party can be purchased online. For more information on the exhibit and the events mentioned above, visit the MOV website.

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