November 16, 2018

By Ahmad Khan, Spoke News

The Fashion History Museum is showing the 101 Tales of Fashion exhibition in Cambridge, Ont., which will continue till Dec. 23.

Fashion History Museum
The Fashion History Museum in Cambridge, Ont., was once the Hespeler Post Office. Photo by Ahmad Khan, Spoke News

The exhibition is a great opportunity for both fashion lovers and students alike to experience the many different dresses and designs from different time periods on display under one roof.

The museum has more than 12,000 objects in its collection. It also has a very large library and archives, which can prove hugely beneficial for people who take keen interest in fashion and its history.

Visitors looking at one of the displays at the Fashion History Museum in Cambridge, Ont., on Saturday Sept 22. Photo by Ahmad Khan
Visitors look at one of the displays at the Fashion History Museum in Cambridge, Ont., on Saturday Sept. 22. Photo by Ahmad Khan, Spoke News

The museum has limited space. Due to the space restraints, not all the items can be displayed at one time, but according to Kenn Norman, the museum’s co-founder and the chair of its board of directors, there was a reason for that.

“The reason the museum is small is that we want to make it more intimate,” Norman said.

Ingrid Hicks, one of the visitors last weekend, was very excited about the exhibition.

“I have a background in fashion. I went to fashion school and was fascinated by fashion ever since childhood. So when I heard about this event I had to come down here,” she said.

Ingrid Hicks
Ingrid Hicks, a fashion aficionado, visited the Fashion History Museum in Cambridge, Ont., on Saturday, Sept 22. Photo by Ahmad Khan, Spoke News

Norman has a special purpose for the place.

“Our intention was to have a public congregation place. We want the museum to become a hub for the community. We don’t collect clothing; we collect stories.”

One of the displays at the museum is a beautiful blue dress, which was a special gift from the king of Bahrain to the museum. This happened when Norman was in Bahrain with an exhibition in the capital city of Manama. The minister of culture for Bahrain had attended Trent University here in Canada.

“It was great fun,” Norman said of the chance encounter.

The museum is located in the building that used to be the Hespeler Post Office, which was built in 1929 and decommissioned in 1993. The building was sold to a private owner.

The current landowner, who inherited the building, wanted to bring it back to life as a hub for the community.

Kenn Norman
Kenn Norman, chair of the Fashion History Museum in Cambridge, Ont., stands next to a blue dress given to the museum by the Prince of Bahrain. Photo by Ahmad Khan, Spoke News

“We were the best fit as a museum to be the new tenant,” Norman added.

The museum, which opened in 2015, is located in a very lively part of town, with new sidewalks and new businesses blossoming on the street with cafes, bars and shops. At nighttime, after the museum closes, there are now lights that shine on the local waterfall, which can be seen from the bridge, which is a block away from the museum. That is nice for people who stay for dinner after visiting the museum.

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