Style on the streets of Waterloo

Walking down the street do you ever take note that the building to your right looks similar to the shirt you’re wearing? On May 31, the Waterloo Region Museum opened an exhibit called Street Style,  which relates the architecture in Waterloo over the ages to the clothes worn at the time, starting in the 1850s.

The exhibit begins with a video filmed by Jake Lunt called <em>The Westfield Dance Ad</em>. The short video follows a couple that dances from the time period of 1910 to 2000, showing how the music and fashion have changed. From there, the observer can continue to walk down a corridor where dresses from every decade since the 1850s are showcased.

The reason for starting from that time period has to do with Waterloo itself: in 1853, Waterloo County was created, and in 1990 the county turned into Waterloo Region.

The exhibit was built in collaboration with the Fashion History Museum and was curated by Jonathan Walford and Kenn Norman. The two curators have amassed a collection of 8,000 garments and will soon be moving to a new location that has yet to be determined.

Street Style is a small sample of this collection but displays a distinct, colourful array. The dresses range from silk and velvet gowns to jean dresses with bedazzled words on the back.

The panels behind the dresses showing the architecture of the different time periods were supplied by some of the University of Waterloo&rsquo;s architecture students.

Street Style is one stop on the Building Waterloo Region Project, one of many projects celebrating the architecture and design across Canada. This project is also meant to mark the 10th anniversary of University of Waterloo&rsquo;s School of Architecture and Design at Riverside Gallery, and to mark the launch of a new transportation system in the Waterloo Region.

The exhibit opened May 31 and will be open until January 4.


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