expo 67 lounge

Mid-century fashion, vintage pop culture and retro cool... from Expo 67 and beyond.

17 September 2007

Michel Robichaud

Born in 1939, Montreal designer Michel Robichaud studied in both Montreal and Paris before opening his couture house in 1963. In 1964, Robichaud successfully re-vamped Air Canada's flight attendant uniforms, prompting mayor Jean Drapeau to call upon him for Expo 67's hostess outfits, after an unsuccessful design competition yielded no satisfactory results.

Robichaud recalls that the infamous powder blue uniforms he designed for general Expo hostesses were actually quite in tune with 60's street fashion, except for the tri-color hats. These were designed with function in mind, meant to be instantly visible in a crowd. Combs were fitted into them, to prevent hostesses from losing their hats on the often-windy Expo islands.

Michel Robichaud also designed the uniforms for 10 other Expo pavilions, including Air Canada, Indians of Canada as well as a last minute design for Germany's hostesses. [Germans were under the impression that Canada was bitterly cold year-round, designing uniforms that were way too hot for humid July weather...]

At the time, Robichaud dressed all of Montreal high society. Among his clients was mayor Drapeau's wife, for whom he designed 15 evening ensembles for her to wear to Expo 67 related social functions...

images: (top) cyberpresse.ca (bottom) library and archives Canada

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Blogger stinkypaw said...

Interesting post. Funny how Europeans often think we live in "winter land"...

4:45 pm  
Blogger Jason Stockl said...

Everyone thinks we live in igloos...

5:14 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you for the wonderfully interesting fashion information. Mr. Robichaud was a great designer and I remember fondly his lovely hostess costumes. He clothed the mayor's wife. I hope some museum will feature a permanent exhibit on this man's great contribution in the history of Montreal clothing. He must have been a very great man considering the idol like contest that preceeded the selection, and Mayor Drapeau's personal choice, a very wise one by the look of the results which followed.

12:03 pm  
Blogger Barbara Collishaw said...

I knew M Robichaud as a friend of the French family we boarded with in the 1970s. He had a huge influence on Canadian fashion at the time!

2:39 pm  

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