‘Glamour’ is a term usually reserved to describe celebrities and fashion personalities. This research project proposes that glamour can also be performed by highly skilled professional women to assert themselves in the workplace and challenge gender expectations. Years before the publication of the Dress for Success books in the 1970s, women were already entering typically masculine environments and negotiating their professional identities through fashion and personal appearance. This paper provides a case study of one woman’s wardrobe, donated to the Ryerson University Fashion Research Collection in 1997. Its owner, Barbara Moon, was a highly respected journalist and magazine editor who worked in Toronto from the 1950s to 1990s. Through material culture approaches, as well as textual and discursive analyses, Moon’s wardrobe was examined and situated within the social and professional contexts in which it was worn. Connections were drawn between the themes she explored in her writing, and her elegant self-presentation.
- Nina Ricci raw silk evening gown and jacket, FRC 1997.04.048, Photo by Jazmin Welch, Courtesy of the Ryerson Fashion Research Collection.
- Valentino evening gown, FRC 1997.04.009, Photo by Jazmin Welch, Courtesy of the Ryerson Fashion Research Collection.