Expo 67 Hostess Uniform

A Quebec designer created this iconic costume.

Written by Annick Desmarais

Posted February 6, 2023

Couturier Michel Robichaud designed this uniform for the Expo 67 World's Fair, the most important event of Canada's Centennial celebrations. The futuristic site of Expo 67, made up of ninety pavilions on the islands of Sainte-Hélène and Notre-Dame, received more than fifty million visitors in six months. The goal of the exhibition was to offer an optimistic and avant-garde vision of the world, and an important place was given to Canadian fashion.

Robichaud made headlines when he created the official hostess uniforms of Expo 67. The Quebec fashion pioneer was popular in the world of haute couture, and in the 1960s he was one of the first designers to create an off-the-rack collection bearing his name. Highly visible with their distinctive berets, the Expo 67 hostesses circulated throughout the site to welcome, inform, and assist visitors. The designer chose a knee-length skirt — more conservative than the fashionable miniskirt — in order to emphasize the hostesses’ professionalism. These hostesses in blue remain icons of the exhibition.

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This object resides at the McCord Stewart Museum.

This article originally appeared in Cinquante Merveilles de nos musées: les plus beaux trésors de la Francophonie Canadienne. The special interest publication was part of Projet Portage, a five-year initiative to connect history lovers in French and English Canada, generously supported by the Molson Foundation.

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