The Nolan Bryant Costume Collection encompasses ensembles, hats, shoes and accessories with a focus of post-war haute couture garments. Though the collection is currently private and self funded, the mandate of the collection is for purposes of academic research and exhibition. 

Creators within the collection include Christobal Balenciaga, Yves Saint Laurent, Karl Lagerfeld, Issey Miyake, Pierre Balmain, Zandra Rhodes, Halston and Hubert de Givenchy, among others. 

  Detail of a Hubert de Givenchy (French, born 1927), silk brocade cocktail ensemble, Late 1950's | HC.14P.052

Detail of a Hubert de Givenchy (French, born 1927), silk brocade cocktail ensemble, Late 1950's | HC.14P.052


Nolan was the consulting curator for Fashion Blows, an exhibition of the late fashion visionary Isabella Blow's wardrobe. The exhibition marked the first showing of the collection outside of England and was presented at Hudson's Bay in Toronto in support of the Isabella Blow Foundation and the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH). 

The exhibition also featured a selection of garments from the wardrobe of The Honourable Daphne Guinness. 


Nolan is an in-demand lecturer, speaking on a variety of topics in the realm of style, society, contemporary culture and historic fashion. At the Canadian Opera Company Nolan lectured on the history of the ball gown, focusing on its illustrious link to society, and to help illustrate, he exhibited contemporary examples from the wardrobes of notable fashion collectors. Nolan has also moderated panel discussions, most recently at SoHo House Toronto with a panel comprised of La Traviata director Arin Arbus, costume designer Cait O'Connor and general director of the Canadian Opera Company Alexander Neef. Other lectures have taken place at Toronto's Design Exchange, fundraising lunches and at Ryerson University in Toronto, where Nolan guest lectured on the topic of society women in their capacity as patrons of the art of fashion.