Montreal Expo ’67: Canada threw a “We’re 100!” birthday party and the world came, very well-dressed. McCord Museum, the small social history museum in Montreal, has a wonderful exhibit about fashion during the time of the Expo. I spent a few hours at Musée McCord (as they say in Montreal, where French is the primary language) reminiscing about 1967…that’s the year I graduated from high school. Fifty years ago!
The leap from the 50s to the 60s
In 1967, fashions were changing as quickly as the times. After working in factories and business during World War II, the 1950s found women returning to traditional wife-and-mother roles. According to Vintage Fashion Guild, the fashion was “code, conformity, and consumerism.”
Although my high school did not permit short skirts (yet), there were signs of change. White “go-go” boots began to show up in the halls. More of us were wearing “Mod” clothes with bright colors and actually dressing for our age, not our mothers’. We loved the Beatles, Twiggy, and “white Levis,” bought from the boys’ department.
There would be no turning back, in fashion or in attitudes…
Montreal Expo ’67
Expo ’67 came at the perfect time to show off the styles of the modern world. Each of the 62 countries that participated had a pavilion, with hostesses (and the occasional host) dressed to reflect the nation’s colors and culture. Special efforts went into the wardrobes. McCord’s fabulous exhibit shows the uniforms of the hostesses, as well as what guests were wearing to the most successful World’s Fair of the 20th century. The photo gallery shows how fashion had changed from the early 60s.
McCord Museum: Worth Your Time
McCord is worth your time, whether you’re in Montreal or want to use its online research library. Since it’s part of McGill University (the museum is located in the former Student Union building) the archives of the “McCord Museum conserve and present close to 1,500,000 objects, images and manuscripts that are irreplaceable reflections of the social history and material culture of Montreal, Quebec and Canada.” The online collection has about 140,000 items.