Founded in Montreal around 1930, the Cotnoir Capponi school of fashion design was a private institution that taught haute couture techniques until it closed in 1989. Its founder, Laurette Cotnoir-Capponi, studied at the École Guerre-Lavigne in Paris during the 1920s. Following this training, she developed her own method, which she published in 1932. The three-year program included basic courses in cutting and fitting. Every year, the school organized an exhibition of the students’ work. These sophisticated, refined creations were examples of the finest haute couture tradition. Most of the school’s students became couturiers or costume designers. Its illustrious graduates include Arnold Scaasi, Hélène de Grandpré and costumer François Barbeau.
Cynthia Cooper, McCord Museum