Drag Edition Dress Collection at Agnes Etherington Art Centre

Patterns for All Bodies: The Pilot

From community to museum, and now museum back to community, Agnes’s Dress Collection sashays out into the world in ways not previously imagined with museum collections. Our year-long project of re-patterning Agnes’s historic dress collection, with local drag artists Dare de LaFemme, Tyffanie Morgan and Rowena Whey, culminates in a Historical Costume Ball Drag Show Fashion Pageant Spectacular that you don’t want to miss on January 25, 2024!

Patterns for All Bodies (PfAB) re-patterns garments from the Dress Collection for digital download, with instructions for how to adjust and construct. In doing so, PfAB not only brings to life the historical process of dress construction to honour the hands that originally made the garments, but also makes their patterns available so that any body can make the clothes, or have the clothes made, for their own body.

As part of the PfAB pilot, local drag artists Dare de LaFemme, Tyffanie Morgan and Rowena Whey were invited to re-interpret and re-inhabit the garments. Working with local dress historians, makers and conservators, the drag artists chose their own fabrics and embellishments and determined how they would like to wear, accessorize, and perform the garments made for them.

The first patterns will be launched for free download in a new online exhibition on Digital Agnes, with plans for new patterns, performances and resources to be added over the coming years.

Artists: Dare de LaFemme, Tyffanie Morgan, Rowena Whey
Conservator: Marissa Monette
Digital Development Coordinator: Danuta Sierhuis
Dress Historians/Patternmakers: Carolyn Dowdell, Elaine MacKay
Dressmakers: Jess Dykins, Julia Popsin-Gomes
Photographer: Bernard Clark
Videographer: Jay Middaugh

Curated by Alicia Boutilier, Chief Curator / Curator of Canadian Historical Art
Supported by Bader Philanthropies, Inc.

Related Programs

Historical Costume Ball Drag Show Fashion Pageant Spectacular
January 25, 2024, 7–10 pm

This event launches the Patterns for All Bodies project in a particularly fabulous way. Kingston’s Dare de LaFemme, Tyffanie Morgan and Rowena Whey showcase—with emphasis on the word *show*—their bespoke garments. We unveil the behind-the-scenes process and launch the first patterns for free download in a new online exhibition on Digital Agnes. Come costumed up and get ready to mingle or dance!

This event also launches a weeklong series of activities, in collaboration with the Centre for Teaching and Learning, Queen’s University. All programs are free and open to the public.

My Storytime, with Jas Morgan and Tyffanie Morgan
January 27, 2024, 2–4:30 pm

Join us for screenings of Kingston Is Burning (1995, dir. James Fowler, 22 mins) and Miss Tyffanie: Extreme Close-Up (2008, dir. Sandra Jass, with Jessica Lindal & Matt MacLellan, 17 mins). Following the screenings, stay for in-person conversations with Jas Morgan and Tyffanie Morgan, as they look back at the making of the films and reflect on drag history, fashion performance and queer activism in Kingston. Drag artists and community members are invited to attend and share their stories too. Snacks will be served.

You Ain’t “Scared of Me” … You Hate Me with Dr Tommy Mayberry
January 29, 2024, 12–2 pm

An Academic Drag Queen’s Critical Race Theory-Informed Response to Today’s Dragphobia and Transphobia.

While the word transphobia isn’t overly new (first used three decades ago in 1993), the word dragphobia appears to be an entirely new term and concept drawing open hate publicly to the fore in our global pandemic era. But none of this hate is actually new, is it? …it’s just dragged up in new clothes for a new stage and a new runway in 2023/24, if you will. 1978, California state senator John Briggs’ referendum in opposition to gay rights; 1988-2000, Margaret Thatcher’s Section 28 that stopped the promotion of homosexuality; 2022 and today, Florida’s “Don’t Say Gay” bill; 2023 and today, New Brunswick’s and Saskatchewan’s pronouns-at-school policies and bills.

So, why do people choose to hate? And even more so, to uphold hate, protect hate, legislate hate? Fear might have something to do with it, but it runs so much deeper and so much more sinisterly than that.

Creation Station (for all families)
with Abby Nowakowski and Darre de LaFemme
January 28, 2024, 2–4 pm

Hear a Drag Artist read a story. Tell your own story. And make your own family storybook. Featuring Knifey Spooney treats!

Creation Station is a free studio program designed to give families and children ages 2+ an exploratory artmaking experience. Each monthly workshop offers themed art activities for families. All required materials are provided.

In partnership with Kingston Frontenac Public Library.

Construction for Agnes Reimagined begins May 13, 2024!

Agnes Etherington Art Centre
Situated within territories of the Anishinaabe, Haudenosaunee and Huron-Wendat, the Agnes Etherington Art Centre is a curatorially-driven and research-intensive professional art centre that proudly serves a dual mandate as a leading, internationally recognized public art gallery and as an active pedagogical resource at Queen’s University in Kingston. By commissioning, researching, collecting and stewarding works of art, and by exhibiting and interpreting visual culture through an intersectional lens, Agnes creates opportunities for participation and exchange across communities, cultures, histories and geographies.

Agnes is committed to anti-racism. We work to eradicate institutional biases and develop accountable programs that centre the artistic expression and lived experience of Black, Indigenous and People of Colour. Agnes promotes 2SLGBTQIAP+ positive spaces.

36 University Avenue
Kingston, ON K7L 3N6

Agnes is an accessible venue.

Facebook: @aeartcentre
Twitter: @aeartcentre
Instagram: @aeartcentre

For inquiries, contact Kate Yüksel, Communications Coordinator.

Image credits:
1. Behind-the-scenes during a fashion photoshoot with Bernard Clarke and drag performers Dare DeLaFemme, Rowena Whey and Tyffanie Morgan. Video still: Danuta Sierhuis
2. Dare de LaFemme, Tyffanie Morgan and Rowena Whey showcase their nails. Photo: Bernard Clark
3. Film still from Miss Tyffanie: Extreme Close-Up (2008, dir. Sandra Jass, with Jessica Lindal & Matt MacLellan).