School of Fashion

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School of Fashion

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A Fashion Program has existed in one form or another since Ryerson's beginning in 1948. It is difficult to determine the Program's exact name and organizational structure during the University/Institute's very first academic year, as evidenced by the two types of course calendars in the Archives Collection. One type of calendar, for the "School of Costume Design", offered two diplomas: a Diploma in Junior Designing (after two years) and a Diploma in Costume Design (after three years). The second type of calendar, for the "School of Fashion Crafts", includes two booklets: one for "Women's Tailoring" and one for the "Costume Design Division". The "Courses of Study" booklet in the 1948-1949 calendar series also mentions two nine-month trade-related extension courses in "Men's Tailoring" and Women's Tailoring". It appears, therefore, that the main Fashion course was "Costume Design". The "School of Fashion Crafts" calendar booklet in "Women's Tailoring" refers to this course as a nine-month course. The Archives is propably missing a third calendar booklet, in "Men's Tailoring". Sarah W. Murdoch was the School's first director. From 1951-1952 to 1957-1958, the "School of Fashion" offered three courses: a three-year course in Fashion Co-ordination; a two-year course in Dress Techniques; and a series of courses for teachers (source: Calendar). A clipping in the Fashion Documentation File reports that the name "Costume Design" changed to "Fashion Co-ordination" in 1951 (1Feb51). From 1958-1959 to 1970, the Fashion Program was administered as an option of Home Economics (source: Calendar). From 1970-1971 to 1984-1985, the Fashion Program was administered by the Fashion Department (source: Calendar). The 1982-1983 Course Calendar shows that several revisions were made to courses and options. In 1985-1986, the School of Fashion offered a Bachelor of Applied Arts in Fashion. It has not been determined when the Fashion Department changed its name to the School of Fashion although it is possible the change occurred when the Program received degree-granting status.

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