Baker Fashions - Western Development Museum
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Fashions by Phyllis Baker

“...Designers have a passion, a burning desire to create, to experiment, and to try. Those who love to sew feel it deeply, and Phyllis Baker has done that in her collection, Just Looking...Thank You.
Carmen N. Beaumont, C.B. Creations, 2004

In appreciation of Saskatchewan Fashion Week, the WDM is pleased to present selected designs from Phyllis Baker’s Just Looking...Thank You exhibit of art clothing that toured the province in the 1990s. These pieces are now part of the WDM collection.

Passion for Design

Baker’s passion for design combined with her exquisite workmanship is showcased in the four creations shown here. Her love of flowers is interpreted in shimmering silks, appliqué and quilting. The styles are reminiscent of the 1950s when Baker was a student of fashion design at Ryerson University, Toronto. Baker moved to Saskatoon in 1958 where she honed her artistic, dressmaking and stitchery skills. In 1980 she graduated from the University of Saskatchewan with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in painting and drawing.

Made for Show

Just Looking...Thank You featured eight dresses made especially for the show and a wedding gown made a year earlier. Clematis followed in 1993. Each creation took between 75 and 150 hours of painstaking work.

In Baker’s words, “the garments reflect my love of colour, rich fabrics and handwork...The garments are meant simply to be enjoyed, the focus on the visual experience rather than the practicalities of wearability and saleability.”

The Western Development Museum is pleased to showcase these pieces from its collection during Saskatchewan Fashion Week.

Click on the photos for larger images. 


Sketch of dressDesigner’s sketch of Poppies gown

Poppies gownElegant evening gown of iridescent gray taffeta, red-orange silk appliqué poppies with olive green stems and leaves. Underside of skirt finished with black ruffles.


sketch of dress with photo and drawings of detail

Designer’s sketches

Clematis gown

Three-quarter length taffeta dress with puffed sleeves and quilted clematis flowers and leaves.


Sketch of dress

Designer’s sketches.

Tulips gown

Evening suit of grey silk with yellow tulips. Dress has quilted yoke and sleeves; jacket lined with yellow silk. Reverse appliqué detail, machine quilted.


Mock up of dress design

Working sample for flowers

Image of dress with cape down and second image of cape spread

Ensemble consists of cape, dress and cummerbund. Wool and polyester flannel cape with appliqué. Thai silk dress.  

Narrative Threads
Baker's work has been featured nationally as part of the Narrative Threads: Crafting the Canadian Quilt! online exhibit produced by the Textile Museum of Canada.

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