Annie and Pierre Cantin, a couple of avid collectors, started gathering objects offering insight into Québec's history during the 1960s. More than 1,800 of these objects donated by the Cantins now grace the Musée de la civilisation collection. Among the themes represented in the donation, this exhibition draws from the fashion aspect in particular.
In early-20th-century Québec, appearances mattered and were an important way to signal adherence to certain social norms. To avoid raising eyebrows, men and women followed the rules of etiquette, a code dictating how they should dress and behave.
Over time, fashions changed, but these dress codes remained influential up until the 1960s. As for new trends, the rise of department stores and mass consumption ushered in a new era where fashions changed in step with shifts in society.