A Proud Moment

Ivan Sayers Awarded Honorary Degree from Kwantlen Polytechnic University


The Vancouver Lace Club is very proud to share this moment with you all.

On Thursday, May 21, 2015 Ivan Sayers was presented with an honorary doctorate degree from the Wilson School of Design (Fashion & Merchandising Department) at Kwantlen Polytechnic University for his contribution in promoting Fashion as an Art and Social History with post-secondary students and members of the public.

Ivan’s interest started at the age of 14 with the interest of Social History (human development and the evolution to the present date). Because of his interest he wanted to set up a Museum and acquired different items, giving history details and the technology used to create each item. Later he focused on clothing and textiles as there wasn’t much interest in this subject at that time.

In 1965, he moved from the Okanagan with one suitcase of his own clothing and a small cardboard box of vintage clothing. His collection has taken over his house at present. He attended UBC and graduated in 1969 in Classical Studies.

He began to volunteer at the Vancouver Museum in 1970, sorting out different costumes and ended up staying 20 years as a curator.

Later he met Betty Carlile and some of the other ladies from the Vancouver Lace Club who had attended his presentations. They invited Ivan to join in the mid 1990’s, as he wanted to know more about bobbin lace. Betty insisted that Ivan should try making lace, which he did with slight protest but is very proud of his lace snake that he made with help from Betty Ewing.

Ivan managed to build his collection of lace garments through thrift stores and from families who had heirlooms that they no longer wanted to keep.

His collections vary from men’s, women’s and children’s clothing. They range from 1730 to the modern day.

His oldest piece of lace is from 1580. Ivan has a fairly large collection of European laces from 1730 and on, with complete outfits worn during those times. As well, he has accessories of the times and various pattern books.

Ivan has conducted courses on the various eras of fashion, as well producing museum displays and fashion shows. There have been many articles in local newspapers regarding his collection and he has been interviewed frequently on local television.

Submitted by: Donna Leong, Betty Ewing and Christine Nelson

Photo by: Tallulah Photo


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