The “Ooooh”s and “Ahhhhhh”s characteristic of modern fashion shows were far from absent on a Saturday evening in January, at the “125 Years of Fashion” evening hosted by St. James in celebration of their 125th anniversary.


One of the many costumes on the ‘runway’ at St. James’ fashion show. (Melanie Wallace photo)

Special Guest Ivan Sayers is a local fashion historian and former curator of historical costumes at the Vancouver Museum, and proved to be a fabulously entertaining guide through many years of changing neck- and hem-lines.

Amidst wonderful refreshments and many friendly faces, guests at the show enjoyed viewing authentic garments worn in the Vancouver area, modeled on the runway by vibrant and enthusiastic models.

From wedding gowns to christening robes, Victorian finery to hippie go-go boots, Sayers’ collection is not only entertaining and interesting, but also educational.

For example, guests learned that “Black is the most expensive dye” says Sayers, so there was something expensive about being in mourning, and the early businessman could show his position of prestige through his black suit and cape.

Dress for women in the post-WWI era was meant to make women appear smaller and more in need of protection, whereas the slacks and suits women wore in the WWII era spoke to their new roles outside the home.

Another treat of the evening was most certainly the historical interludes given by long-time St. James’ parishioner, Margaret Vickers. Ms. Vickers took guests on a vivid journey through the historical events happening within the parish at the time of the different fashion eras.

Interestingly enough, some things don’t change, as displayed to chuckling guests by parishioner Brian Kaneen – modeling the same priestly vestments, cloak and biretta no matter what the era in question!

Congratulations to St. James on a wonderful 125 years, and a lively and fun celebration!