The Seneca Canadian Fashion Diversity Project (SCFDP) is a multimedia resource for education about (as well as celebration of) fashion diversity. Hosted on a website supported by the Seneca Library, the SCFDP focuses on fashion diversity research, garnered through object-based methodologies centered on garments from the Seneca Fashion Resource Centre collection (SFRC). This research will explore (and expand) on the SFRC collection, utilizing the lens of diversity to examine where alternative histories can be traced within existing garments in the collection, as well as look for gaps that need to be filled. These include people of colour, our First Nations History, LGBTQ+, and those living with a disability. Canada has an incredibly diverse population; this is not reflected in traditional fashion historical narratives. The SCFDP works to rectify this.
The 2021 Seneca Canadian Fashion Diversity Research Project team members are: Olivia Belande, Anna Ludmirsky, Dr. Mark Joseph O’Connell and Rose de Paulsen.
Olivia Belande is a twenty-two year old fashion student currently residing in Toronto with her cat. She has a deep interest in vintage garments (particularly those from the 40s through 60s), and the people who wore them. She uses writing as a tool to explore her own blackness through fashion history, and to help make much needed space in the fashion community for other BIPOC and Queer folks like herself. She is also usually overdressed for most events.
Anna Ludmirsky is a twenty-one-year-old queer, Jewish, First Generation Canadian born and raised in Toronto, Ontario. Anna is the founder and former president of the Women Empowerment club of her high school and is currently studying in her second term of the Fashion Arts program at Seneca College with a strong passion for fashion history and design. Alongside her alternative fashion, you can find her taking a pair of scissors to most of her garments to make them more unique. As a plus-size queer woman, in the future she hopes to design garments for those who wish to express themselves through their clothes no matter the size/shape.
Dr. Mark Joseph O’Connell is a professor of fashion studies at Seneca College. His research focuses on globalization and social justice in fashion. His articles have been published in Fashion Theory; Textile: The Journal of Cloth and Culture; Fashion, Style & Popular Culture; Queer Studies in Media & Popular Culture and Fashion Studies. In addition to his academic work Mark is also an artist and writer, and prior to teaching worked as a designer both in-house at M.A.C Cosmetics and for his own clothing line Modular Menswear.
Rose de Paulsen is a second year Fashion Arts Student at Seneca College with an interest in costuming and performance wear. She attended York University’s Theatre Production Program where she found a love of creating costumes and garments, as well as celebrating Queer and BIPOC identities through performance arts. She now aims to shine a light on the marginalized voices of fashion history and further fashion into accessibility and inclusion.