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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 5 days ago at FIDM Museum Blog
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
We are thrilled to announce the next exhibition in the FIDM Museum History Gallery: Fashion Philanthropy: The Linda & Steven Plochocki Collection opens to the public on June 6, 2017. The exhibition will feature thematic objects donated and collected by the couple, and will explore their long-time love of fashion history and support of the FIDM Museum. The gallery design is one of our most extraordinary efforts to date thanks to Creative Director Peter Lam- we can't wait to share it with you! While our Curators are busy preparing the exhibition, our Newsletter Editor Elisabeth Hinckley sat down with Linda... Continue reading
Posted May 3, 2017 at FIDM Museum Blog
Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti declared April 25 "La La Land Day," and we were happy to be part of the city's official celebrations! Our Art of Motion Picture Costume Design exhibition was extended one more day to welcome visitors, and we raffled off a DVD in addition to serving movie-themed concessions and picture-perfect La La Land cookies. FIDM Students participated in a design competition inspired by the film, and Costume Designer Mary Zophres selected the winning illustration by Olivia Mancivalano. La La Land-themed cookies, courtesy of Lionsgate! The finalists of the student fashion design sketch competition Winner Olivia Mancivalano... Continue reading
Posted Apr 25, 2017 at FIDM Museum Blog
“No one was more skilled at combing history and the far corners of the world for inspiration and translating these foreign motifs into contemporary Parisian terms.”[1] Paul Poiret is often credited with bringing elements of Far East design into French high fashion in the early twentieth century. Yet there were several forward-thinking houses that excelled at combining international inspiration with exquisitely-made couture garments. Callot Soeurs, a business run by the talented Callot sisters, was known for tunics, lingerie, nightgowns, and evening wear that incorporated touches of the exotic in the most elegant fashion. Whereas Poiret’s designs at times veered toward... Continue reading
Posted Apr 20, 2017 at FIDM Museum Blog
Our Curator, Kevin Jones, was at The Huntington Library, Art Collection, and Botanical Gardens today speaking to in-house docents about his favorite subjects: late-19th century and early-20th century fashion. His presentation was titled Dress in Diamonds: American Princesses and Gilded Age Fashion. Did you know our curators are available for private talks and presentations? Contact the museum to learn more! Caption: Consuelo (Vanderbilt), 9th Duchess of Marlborough, 1902. Dressed for the Coronation of King Edward VII and Queen Alexandra. Continue reading
Posted Mar 28, 2017 at FIDM Museum Blog
Visitors to our Art of Motion Picture Costume Design exhibition are consistently surprised at the level of ornate detail they notice in each costume. Subtle design elements give depth to the ensembles; construction techniques such as pleating, embroidery, leather work, and beading provide textures that make a costume three dimensional on screen. These details can also help the actor or actress feel connected to their role, and assist them as they build their character. For example, the purple silk tunic worn by Alice in Through the Looking Glass features top hats, rabbits, and stylized letter A's woven within the fabric... Continue reading
Posted Mar 24, 2017 at FIDM Museum Blog
The FIDM Museum is home to a robust collection of fragrance and beauty objects, from luxuriously packaged Lucien Lelong lipsticks to the suggestive glass bottle of Schiaparelli’s Shocking perfume. One name in particular among our signature scents remains relevant in today’s cosmetics industry: Estée Lauder. In honor of International Fragrance Day, we are sharing a selection of our charming Estée Lauder mini perfume compacts – tiny, collectible trinkets filled with solid scent. Introduced in 1967, production of these one-of-a-kind compacts are now an annual holiday tradition for the company. Perfume compact c. 1993-1997 Gift of the Annette Green Museum at... Continue reading
Posted Mar 21, 2017 at FIDM Museum Blog
The FIDM Museum is excited to announce the Lori and Sal Santamaura Summer Study Grant. Open to U.S. citizens, applicants should be enrolled in a graduate program in fashion history or museum studies; consideration will also be given to students beginning their graduate program in Fall 2017. The eight-week (35 hours per week) Study Program will introduce a student to the fashion-focused Museum field. This may include working on a collections-based project, cataloging, curatorial research, and installation experience. Additionally, the student will have the opportunity to shadow each FIDM Museum staff member and participate in educational field trips to other... Continue reading
Posted Mar 15, 2017 at FIDM Museum Blog
We are happy to join the global celebration of International Women's Day! Although the exact origins of this annual holiday vary depending on the source, most historians agree its formation is tied to the textile and garment industry. Much like the founding of the International Ladies' Garment Workers Union, International Women's Day was a response to the horrible working conditions found in factories during the Industrial Revolution. According to the United Nations, a 1908 demonstration of 15,000 New York City garment workers protesting poor wages, long hours, and dangerous working conditions inspired the creation of National Woman’s Day in 1909... Continue reading
Posted Mar 8, 2017 at FIDM Museum Blog
We are thrilled to share that Associate Curator Christina Johnson will be sharing her extensive knowledge on fashion designer Rudi Gernreich at the Costume Society of America's Western Region symposium. Modernism Mode: Fashions, Fabrics, and Interiors in Mid-Century America will be held on Saturday, March 11 from 9 a.m. - 5 p.m. at California State University, Long Beach. Inspired by Frank Bros.: The Store that Modernized Modern, the symposium will feature noted scholars presenting their research on how the mid-century modern aesthetic was conveyed in American fashion, textile, and interior design. In addition to Christina Johnson, panelists include fashion and... Continue reading
Posted Mar 2, 2017 at FIDM Museum Blog
The name Max Factor is synonymous with beauty, Hollywood, and glamour. As an inventor, he created a new formula of makeup adored by movie stars and school teachers alike. As a businessman, he changed the way women viewed cosmetics forever. One of the most important names in beauty, and “the first to start manufacturing makeup on a large scale for regular women, Max Factor is rightfully credited with defining the makeup industry as we know it today.”[1] Maksymillian Faktorowicz grew up in Lodz, Congress Poland (a sovereign state that was once the Russian part of Poland) in the late 19th... Continue reading
Posted Feb 25, 2017 at FIDM Museum Blog
Our institution is proud to house a robust collection of specialty materials relating to fashion, such as sketches, magazines, books, patterns, fashion plates, photographs, ephemera, and even personal designer archives. However, archive collections take an enormous amount of time and dedication to organize in order to make them accessible to students, researchers, and the public. We've had fantastic Library and Information Studies interns help us facilitate these projects (in fact, we're seeking one more intern!), and today's blog post follows the initial steps to ordering a scattered and delicate archive. Below, intern Marissa Maggs walks us through the process of... Continue reading
Posted Feb 16, 2017 at FIDM Museum Blog
Experience the FIDM Museum's two new exhibitions with a unique day of live performances, delicious food, and educational talks and tours! We invite you to join us for the annual Fashion Council Royal Tea on Friday, March 3 at 1:00 pm. The day begins with a catered tea inside a lovely tent in Grand Hope Park. Associate Curator Christina Johnson will then speak about the Spanish influence on robe de style dresses of the 1920s, followed by an exclusive concert performed by LA Opera singers! We wrap the event with a private tour of our exhibitions Exotica: Fashion & Film... Continue reading
Posted Feb 13, 2017 at FIDM Museum Blog
It's our favorite time of year - the opening of two brand new exhibitions! We are thrilled to share with you the very special 25th anniversary of our Art of Motion Picture Costume Design exhibition, as well as Exotica: Fashion & Film Costume of the 1920s. Both exhibitions showcase phenomenal examples of design and creativity, and both provide a commentary on the mystical allure of Hollywood, onscreen and off. Our Social Media team was at the Press Preview of the exhibition to interview costume designers featured in the exhibition about their design processes, research methods, and creative inspirations. Keep reading... Continue reading
Posted Feb 10, 2017 at FIDM Museum Blog