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The fashion world has been mourning the loss of prolific designer Azzedine Alaïa, who passed away at the age of 82 on November 18, 2017. Today's post comes from Museum Coordinator Leigh Wishner, who shares her memories of meeting Monsieur Alaïa and watching the master at work. ********************************************************************************************************************* Vogue, Volume 181, Issue 11 (November 1, 1991), pp. 246-247 I know exactly when I was first smitten by Monsieur Alaïa. In my high-school days, years before I’d started down the costume and textiles career path, I was prone to ripping pages from fashion magazines that caught my eye, plastering them up... Continue reading
Posted yesterday at FIDM Museum Blog
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Wedding ceremonies are full of customs passed down from family, culture, and religion, but perhaps nothing is more symbolic of Western nuptial tradition than the white wedding dress. It is a common misconception that Queen Victoria introduced the white wedding gown at her marriage to Prince Albert in 1840 – though her dress certainly popularized the trend. In fact, white was worn at the marriage celebrations of ancient Egyptian, Greek, and Roman societies. In addition to representing innocence and virginity, white fabric was laborious to keep clean and therefore a visible indication of wealth.[1] As sumptuous velvets, satins, brocades, and... Continue reading
Posted 6 days ago at FIDM Museum Blog
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The FIDM Museum is delighted to present the second exhibition of work created by students in the Bachelor of Arts in Design degree program. The annual exhibition features work by 36 Fashion Design, Interior Design, Product Development, Textile Design and Visual Communication graduates. Mallory Colin, Concept Designer Anne Bennion, Department Chair, outlined the mission of the major: "The Bachelor of Arts in Design degree prepares students to think creatively, critically, and divergently about the design process. Students learn to appreciate the universality of design, contextualize design problems, and blend historical and global perspectives with evolving trends as the foundation for... Continue reading
Posted Nov 13, 2017 at FIDM Museum Blog
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The FIDM Museum is proud to be an eligible institution for the Costume Society of America's Jack Handford Summer Internship for 2018. Student applicants must be a CSA Western Region member, an undergraduate about to commence their senior year in fall 2018, or a graduate student. The winning student will receive a $2000 stipend. The Museum intern will inventory, digitize, organize and rehouse the FIDM Museum’s Special Collections. These fashion-focused, paper-based materials are currently stored throughout the Museum’s office and storage areas. The intern will gain experience in planning and executing a major collection-based project under the guidance of the... Continue reading
Posted Nov 3, 2017 at FIDM Museum Blog
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Join the FIDM Museum Fashion Council on Saturday, December 9 for the opening of Thierry Mugler: Alien to Angel, an exhibition exploring the unconventional and otherworldly work of Parisian designer Thierry Mugler. The lecture day will feature an in-depth look at Mugler’s career, his inspiration from classic film costume, and the raucous French fashion scene at New York’s Henri Bendel department store in the 1980s and 90s. To get in the mood for all things Gallic, a delicious French-themed luncheon will be served. For more information and registration, click here. We hope to see you there! Continue reading
Posted Oct 25, 2017 at FIDM Museum Blog
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A unique periwinkle afternoon gown stands in the flower-filled gallery of Fashion Philanthropy: The Linda & Steven Plochocki Collection. Its Japanese-imported gossamer silk textile and hand-embroidered English Tudor roses represent the distinct style of one maker: Liberty & Co., a brand synonymous with British heritage. The name immediately conjures images of the magnificent mock-Tudor emporium sprawling across London’s Regent Street – as much a part of the city’s landscape as Buckingham Palace. Afternoon Gown, Liberty & Company, Ltd. c.1908 Loan courtesy of Linda & Steven Plochocki L2017.4.11AB Detail of Afternoon Gown Though Liberty has seen many changes in its one... Continue reading
Posted Oct 18, 2017 at FIDM Museum Blog
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CW's hit television show Riverdale, a contemporary twist on the classic Archie comics, is one of the most popular displays in our Outstanding Art of Television Costume Design exhibition - we had to know more about the costumes that seamlessly mix vintage and modern inspiration. Costume Designer Rebekka Sorensen took time out of her busy schedule shooting Season Two in Vancouver to speak to us about her background, design process, and those Cheryl Blossom brooches! Riverdale Costume Designer Rebekka Sorensen You originally began your career in stage design; we'd love to know more about your career path, and how you... Continue reading
Posted Oct 6, 2017 at FIDM Museum Blog
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The FIDM Museum is thrilled to host an interactive installation from Google Arts & Culture! Visit the Museum Monday, October 2 - Saturday, October 7, 10 am - 5 pm, to experience the new ‘We Wear Culture’ campaign in person on Virtual Reality headsets and touch-screen computers. We are proud to be the only West Coast institution to provide this opportunity in collaboration with Google Arts & Culture. Plus, the event coincides with the final week of our Outstanding Art of Television Costume Design exhibition - even more reason to visit! As always, this experience and our exhibitions are completely... Continue reading
Posted Oct 2, 2017 at FIDM Museum Blog
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Hugh Hefner passed away on September 27 at the age of 91. Although a highly controversial figure, he made lasting contributions to American pop culture (and Los Angeles in particular). Below, Curator Kevin Jones shares his research on the iconic Playboy Bunny uniform, donated to the Museum in 2013 by Melissa Mandolf-Smith. **************************************************************************************************** The adult entertainment magazine Playboy is as ‘American as apple pie,’ as the cliché goes. Hugh Hefner, a former copywriter for Esquire magazine, had an idea to start a men’s magazine which not only tapped into the male sexual zeitgeist, but at the same time educated him... Continue reading
Posted Sep 28, 2017 at FIDM Museum Blog
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Have you visited the FIDM Museum's Annette Green Fragrance Gallery on the second floor of our Los Angeles campus? This intimate space has held a range of exhibitions showcasing fragrance, jewelry, and accessories. We are happy to announce our new exhibition Scents and Sensibilities: A Century of Fragrance Concepts will open in this gallery on Monday, September 25! Please note: to see this exhibition, check-in with a photo ID is required at the FIDM security desk inside the ground floor rotunda. Exhibition hours are Monday -Friday, 10:00 am - 5:00 pm. Shocking by Schiaparelli c.1937 Gift of Annette Green F2005.860.820AB... Continue reading
Posted Sep 21, 2017 at FIDM Museum Blog
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Nicole Truscinski, author of today's post, is currently a graduate student in the Costume Studies MA program at NYU. Prior to her internship at the FIDM Museum, she worked for six years in a designer vintage showroom in New York City. Her research focuses on costume design, media, and their relationship to fashion. Read on to learn what Nicole discovered when she delved into our vast 20th century clothing label collection! ************************************************************************************** As someone who obsesses over costume design - how it fits the character and the story, or how it might influence fashion designers and the masses - I... Continue reading
Posted Sep 11, 2017 at FIDM Museum Blog
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Today's blog post was written by summer intern Jessi Sachs, recipient of the 2017 Joan & Donald Damask Study Grant. Jessi is entering her first year of the Fashion and Textiles Master’s Degree program at the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York City. This research focuses on the Damask Henri Bendel Archive at the FIDM Museum and draws upon oral histories conducted with Donald Damask from 2013-2017. ********************************************************************** As a native New Yorker with four generations of familial ties to the city’s Garment Center, I was inherently drawn to the Damask Henri Bendel archive at the FIDM Museum. Originally... Continue reading
Posted Aug 30, 2017 at FIDM Museum Blog
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On Saturday night, the FIDM Museum ushered in our Outstanding Art of Television Costume Design exhibition! Thanks to the multitude of platforms available for television viewing and the rich variety of content produced, costume designers have more opportunity than ever to create unique, nuanced designs for the small screen. Indeed, as our exhibition entrance declares, it is truly "The New Golden Age" of television costume design, and as always we are proud to provide a space to study and celebrate this important work. Take a look inside the 11th annual opening night below; the exhibition is open from August 22... Continue reading
Posted Aug 22, 2017 at FIDM Museum Blog
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We've always thought the best part of our biannual costume design exhibitions is the opportunity to examine up-close the thoughtful details incorporated into each garment. Costume Designers, particularly in television, work so quickly, and yet they produce incredible ensembles week after week - some of which are only shown for a few seconds on screen. In advance of the public opening of the Outstanding Art of Television Costume Design exhibition on Tuesday, August 22, we're giving you a hint of the beautiful garments featured in this year's show! We look forward to hearing which costumes you loved best when you... Continue reading
Posted Aug 17, 2017 at FIDM Museum Blog
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This summer we were thrilled to welcome our first recipient of the Sal & Lori Santamaura Study Grant, Carson Poplin! Over her 8 week internship, Carson worked diligently with our Curators to research and date objects in our Rudi Gernreich Archive. For her intern report, Carson explored a donation of Mainbocher maternity gowns given to the Museum by Gloria Vanderbilt in 1995; read on to learn what she discovered about their provenance! ************************************************************************ I’ve always been interested in fashion and how it manifests itself in our culture, which is how I ended up as a graduate student at the Fashion... Continue reading
Posted Aug 3, 2017 at FIDM Museum Blog
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Today's intern report comes from Yvonne Sone, MLIS graduate of the University of Washington. Yvonne worked closely with our Michel Arnaud Fashion Photography Archive, and was vital in our efforts to prepare for the launch of our Google Arts & Culture platform. Yvonne received her BFA in Fashion Design from Woodbury University, and has two decades of experience in the vintage fashion industry. In addition to her passion for historic costume and textiles, she is interested in public librarianship, information access, and community outreach. ****************************************************************************************************** Modern day fashion is a parade of anything goes—from the outrageously oversized to the androgynous,... Continue reading
Posted Jul 20, 2017 at FIDM Museum Blog
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The days are longer, the temperatures are rising, and our air conditioners are running on full blast – the dog days of summer are here! To stay cool, many of us will spend lazy days by the pool or on the beach wearing our favorite bathing suit. This seemingly simple ensemble transformed in the mid-twentieth century from utilitarian garment to fashionable statement piece. Our exhibition Sun-Drenched Style focused on prominent California women designers, including a true innovator in the world of swimwear: Margit Fellegi, Cole of California’s Head Designer from 1936 to 1972. In the 1930s and 1940s, the nationwide... Continue reading
Posted Jul 12, 2017 at FIDM Museum Blog
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We've walked you through the exciting features of our new Google Arts & Culture platform, now learn how the website came to be thanks to the hard work of Museum Registrar Meghan Hansen! Below, read Meghan's account of working with Google on this groundbreaking project. ************************************************************************************************************************ There is an adorable dog at the end of this post. Please stay with me – you will be rewarded! Museum work is not always glamorous or hands-on. As Registrar of the museum, I am in charge of the records management, which in the 21st century encompasses much more than paper records and card... Continue reading
Posted Jun 30, 2017 at FIDM Museum Blog
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Participating in international Museum Week gives us an opportunity to connect with our audience and tell behind-the-scenes stories about our favorite objects. Today’s Museum Week theme is “stories;” in honor of our upcoming Art of Outstanding Television Costume Design exhibition, we decided to present a gloriously glamorous film costume designed by a man known as Hollywood’s historian: Walter Plunkett. Costume worn by Marisa Pavan in Diane Walter Plunkett, 1956 Gift of Mrs. Maria Cole 2005.845.4 This velvet gown was worn by Marisa Pavan as Catherine de Medici in the 1956 film Diane, which told the story of King Henry II’s... Continue reading
Posted Jun 22, 2017 at FIDM Museum Blog
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Have you heard about Google Arts & Culture's latest initiative We Wear Culture? You might want to clear your schedule, because we are providing hours of exploration and discovery through the FIDM Museum's page on this new online portal! Google Arts & Culture invited 180 institutions to participate in their We Wear Culture campaign, an effort to understand the cultural significance of clothing and how it is made, worn, studied, preserved, and displayed. Using Google's groundbreaking technology, we can now present our collection and exhibitions on this state-of-the-art digital platform. Explore seven virtual exhibitions, two gallery views, and 318 objects... Continue reading
Posted Jun 15, 2017 at FIDM Museum Blog
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EXTRAORDINARY ACQUISITIONS FROM THE HELEN LARSON HISTORIC FASHION COLLECTION Helen Larson Archive Gift of Elaine Condon, Jane M. Gincig, and Patricia Larson Kalayjian The FIDM Museum is thrilled to announce the acquisition of an important group of objects from the Helen Larson Historic Fashion Collection. A seven-year fundraising project, with funds provided by the volunteer FIDM Museum Fashion Council and many generous donors, supported the purchase. Helen Larson was a collector based in Whittier, California. She owned a successful film costume rental business and amassed a world-renowned private collection of historic fashion. She was a brilliant connoisseur and historian. Her... Continue reading
Posted Jun 12, 2017 at FIDM Museum Blog
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We can't wait for you to see our newest exhibition Fashion Philanthropy: The Linda & Steven Plochocki Collection, now open in the FIDM Museum History Gallery! The fabulous objects in this exhibition were collected, purchased, or donated to the Museum by the Plochockis, and explore Linda's fascination with all things floral and embroidered. In addition to 19th and 20th century pieces, the show also highlights contemporary designs by Prada, Valentino, Alexander McQueen, and Raf Simons for Christian Dior. Creative Director Peter Lam's vision for the gallery produced a modern and fresh space that compliments the ensembles; his hand-crafted paper flowers... Continue reading
Posted Jun 6, 2017 at FIDM Museum Blog
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Legendary supermodel Naomi Campbell was born May 22, 1970, and stormed the fashion world at the young age of fifteen. The London born-and-raised original super was famously the first black model to appear on the cover of TIME magazine and both French and Russian Vogue; she has appeared on over 500 magazine covers and walked for almost every major fashion designer imaginable. After thirty plus years in the business, she continues to make waves in the fashion industry. Now, much of Campbell's time is spent on her charity Fashion For Relief. In honor of the always fierce and indomitable model,... Continue reading
Posted May 22, 2017 at FIDM Museum Blog
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You met one of the FIDM Museum's strongest supporters, Linda Plochocki, when we interviewed her a few weeks ago. Now, we want to take you behind-the-scenes of our latest exhibition in the History Gallery inspired by Linda and her husband Steven's generous donations to the Museum. This exhibition will showcase objects the couple has donated or helped to purchase for the FIDM Museum, and will also highlight a few of Linda's rare pieces from her personal collection. Fashion Philanthropy: The Linda & Steven Plochocki Collection opens to the public on June 6, and we can't wait for you to see... Continue reading
Posted May 16, 2017 at FIDM Museum Blog
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Today's post comes from Registrar Meghan Hansen, who has been working diligently to organize and catalog the FIDM Museum's Michel Arnaud Fashion Photography Archive. Read her account of digitizing the collection in advance of her Summer 2018 exhibition Capturing the Catwalk: Runway Photography from the Michel Arnaud Archive! ************************************************************************************************************************************** The FIDM Museum is home to a little-known treasure-trove of haute couture and prêt-a-porter runway photographs, which until recently was rarely seen and never exhibited. The Michel Arnaud Fashion Photography Archive was established with a single donation by Arnaud Associates, the business founded and still maintained by photographer Michel Arnaud. In... Continue reading
Posted May 12, 2017 at FIDM Museum Blog