Closing April 15, 2018


Transport yourself back to the 19th century where beautiful outfits fashioned by seamstresses and shoemakers supplied the privileged with enviable ensembles. Swathed from head to toe in expensive garments and shod in delicate footwear, fashion-forward women graced the boulevards and the ballrooms with their colourful presence. Their tailored male companions cut equally refined figures in their black coats, spotless white linens, lustrous top hats and shiny boots. Yet presenting an elegant exterior was not without its perils. The discomfort of constricting corsets and impossibly narrow footwear was matched by the dangers of wearing articles of fashion dyed with poison-laced colours and made of highly flammable materials.


From the challenges faced by those who produced fashionable dress to the risks taken by those who wore it, this exhibition provides thought-provoking insights into what it means to be a fashion victim.


In an episode of the Bata Shoe Museum’s video series The World at Your Feet: Stories from the Collection of the BSM, Senior Curator and exhibition curator Elizabeth Semmelhack went into our storage room and took a closer look at one of the artetacts featured in the exhibition, a pair of exquisite 19th century boots by shoemaker François Pinet.

Media Information

Click here for a pdf version of the press release for Fashion Victims: The Pleasures and Perils of 19th Century Dress.  A contact sheet of artefact images and information from the exhibition can be found here. To download our general press kit, please visit our Media Room.

For more information, to arrange interviews or for high res visuals, please contact:
Nicole Cahill
Marketing/ New Media Manager
416.979.7799 x239