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Do you have a background in Archives or are you currently an MLIS student? We are looking for an intern to help process FIDM Museum archival collections. If you're interested, please contact Associate Curator Christina Johnson with your cover letter and resume: cjohnson@fidmmuseum.org. We look forward to hearing from you! Continue reading
Posted Jan 13, 2017 at FIDM Museum Blog
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We are so proud of our growing Special Collections objects here at the FIDM Museum. Thanks to Associate Curator Christina Johnson's dedicated interest in historic photography, we have had the opportunity to amass a significant collection of photographs that teach us about the cultural context of fashion (you can read Christina's previous posts about historic photography on the blog here, here, and here). We were lucky to have archivist-in-training Marissa Maggs interning with us over the past few months; Marissa helped us catalog this important collection in our database, and created an organized and systematic method of storage. Eventually, all... Continue reading
Posted Jan 6, 2017 at FIDM Museum Blog
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Earlier this year, the FIDM Museum had the honor of participating in a special collaboration with Christian Dior - and we're finally able to share the stunning results with you! The famed French fashion house will celebrate its 70th anniversary in 2017. To mark this milestone, Dior partnered with Assouline to publish the ultimate anthology of the brand's history. The set will be comprised of seven individual volumes, one for each Head Couturier: Christian Dior (1947 - 1957); Yves St. Laurent (1958 - 1960); Marc Bohan (1961 - 1989); Gianfranco Ferré (1989 - 1996); John Galliano (1997 - 2011); Raf... Continue reading
Posted Dec 30, 2016 at FIDM Museum Blog
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You may have noticed in recent visits to the FIDM Museum that we now have an updated History Gallery, a space where rotating exhibitions display objects from our Permanent Collection. We've already filled this special gallery with treasures in A Graceful Gift: Fans from the Mona Lee Nesseth Collection and ManMode: Dressing the Male Ego. We are excited to announce that on February 7, Exotica: Fashion & Film Costume of the 1920s will debut in the FIDM Museum History Gallery. This exhibition will be shown in conjunction with the 25th anniversary of our annual Art of Motion Picture Costume Design... Continue reading
Posted Dec 21, 2016 at FIDM Museum Blog
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Fashion and music have always had a strong connection - think of Prince in his purple suits, the Spice Girls sporting distinctive character costumes, even the titular David Bowie song “Fashion.” Arguably the world’s most recognizable band, The Beatles cunningly used fashion throughout their career to communicate their onstage personas. Their transformation from teddy boys to beatniks, mod rockers to spiritual hippies culminated in the 1967 launch of a Beatles-owned clothing boutique in London. The FIDM Museum recently acquired a man’s brocade suit from the Apple Boutique, and it is a perfect encapsulation of the Peacock Revolution in 1960s menswear,... Continue reading
Posted Dec 9, 2016 at FIDM Museum Blog
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Though the weather outside is frightful, we’re warming up in California with our latest exhibition Sun-Drenched Style at the FIDM Orange County Campus. This exhibition showcases the work of five women designers in mid-century California. It was important to us to highlight California women in particular; you may have heard the names Claire McCardell, Bonnie Cashin, or Tina Leser, and perhaps you’re familiar with their achievements in mid-century American design. Yet California women were equally important in this space, and their proximity to the lifestyles that embraced sportswear made their designs all the more relevant. These women worked to lead... Continue reading
Posted Dec 2, 2016 at FIDM Museum Blog
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It's no secret that hats of the 19th century were a flight of fancy; this 1894-1897 chapeau by Madame Virot literally takes flight with a decorative bird head and feathers incorporated into the design. We only wish we could have seen the ensemble that was worn with this show-stopping topper! Hat, 1894 - 1897 French, Madame Virot Museum Purchase: Funds provided by Barbara Bundy 2008.37.9 This hat was featured in the FIDM Museum 2011 exhibition Fabulous! Ten Years of FIDM Museum Acquisitions, 2000 - 2010. An excerpt from the Fabulous! catalogue sheds light on Madame Virot and her relationship to... Continue reading
Posted Nov 22, 2016 at FIDM Museum Blog
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“Something new under the sun! Something daring and different!” A 1946 California Fashion Promotion in the Chicago Daily Tribune proclaimed that West Coast fashion was at the cutting edge of casual clothes, designing on-trend sportswear that fit all aspects of a modern lifestyle. In the FIDM Museum's latest exhibition Sun-Drenched Style: California Mid-Century Women Designers, we focus on five women who contributed to California's reputation as a style center in the mid-twentieth century. Louella Ballerino, Margit Fellegi, Agnes Barrett, Addie Masters, and Rose Marie Reid understood the evolving wardrobe needs of women, and provided fashionable solutions that could adapt to... Continue reading
Posted Nov 16, 2016 at FIDM Museum Blog
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We're back with another edition of Confessions of a Curator, blog entries written by our Curators about their ongoing projects and special interests. Dog lovers, it's your lucky day: Associate Curator Christina Johnson treats us to a history of dogs in fashion, spurred by the gift of an adorable 1903 puppy fan from our generous donor Mona Lee Nesseth. Enjoy! ********************************************************************************************************************************** Fan, 1903 Maison Duvelleroy Adolphe Thomasse, artist Gift of Mona Lee Nesseth, 2016.975.12 Anyone who really knows me knows I love dogs. I always have—ever since I was a child. Growing up, our dogs were treated as beloved family... Continue reading
Posted Nov 2, 2016 at FIDM Museum Blog
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All of us at the FIDM Museum were saddened to learn of James Galanos' passing at the age of 92 over the weekend. The Los Angeles-based couture designer was known for dressing the 20th century's brightest socialites, including Nancy Reagan and Betsy Bloomingdale. Galanos and Bloomingdale met at the Amelia Gray boutique in Beverly Hills; she later called his atelier "couture on Sepulveda Boulevard!" Bloomingdale admired his fine fabrics and beautiful construction, and remarked that his clothes were so well made, they could be worn inside out. Their relationship was highlighted in the FIDM Museum's 2009 exhibition High Style: Betsy... Continue reading
Posted Oct 31, 2016 at FIDM Museum Blog
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We are less than one month from the opening of our FIDM Orange County campus exhibition Sun-Drenched Style: California Mid-Century Women Designers. We hope you'll join us for the opening day event on November 12, where you can enjoy California cuisine and lectures exploring the era's fashions and interior design. The women featured in the exhibition might not be immediately familiar to you; we are highlighting influential designers who made significant contributions to California style, but perhaps were not recognized nationally. Louella Ballerino was a celebrated designer known for incorporating elements of South American, Native American, and Mexican culture into... Continue reading
Posted Oct 19, 2016 at FIDM Museum Blog
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The 10th Outstanding Art of Television Costume Design exhibition is coming to a close on October 15, but we wanted our featured costume designers to have one final say about their work! FIDM Museum Newsletter Editor Elizabeth Hinckley reached out to a few designers for an informal roundtable discussion about the challenges and joys of creating television costumes. Is there something in particular that you want visitors to know, understand, or appreciate about your costumes for your show? Daniel Lawson, The Good Wife: I think one of the main ideas I would like visitors to appreciate about the wardrobe in... Continue reading
Posted Oct 12, 2016 at FIDM Museum Blog
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Calling all Mid-Century Modern fans! The FIDM Museum Fashion Council invites you to Sun-Drenched Style, an afternoon celebrating California mid-century fashion and cuisine on Saturday, November 12, 2016 on the FIDM Orange County campus. You'll enjoy a fabulous retro luncheon full of your favorite nostalgic foods, from pigs in a blanket to lime jello! Explore the Museum's latest exhibition in the Orange County gallery, Sun-Drenched Style: California Mid-Century Women Designers, featuring the work of Louella Ballerino, Agnes Barrett, Margit Fellegi, Addie Masters, and Rose Marie Reid. Listen to presentations on the era's fashion, textiles, and interior design, and learn how... Continue reading
Posted Oct 6, 2016 at FIDM Museum Blog
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Intern with the FIDM Museum! We are currently seeking a talented and motivated intern to assist with a variety of projects. Assignments may include exhibition installation, curatorial research, object cataloguing, or digital asset management. Previous interns have assisted with curatorial projects, organized our Special Collections, and helped with our annual Hollywood costume exhibition. Interns work closely with FIDM Museum staff and receive valuable hands-on training in collection management and museum practices. We are looking for students enrolled in a graduate program, or with plans to enroll immediately following the internship, in a field related to fashion history and/or museum studies.... Continue reading
Posted Oct 3, 2016 at FIDM Museum Blog
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“Everyone told me my clothes didn’t fit, even my friends.”[1] So says celebrated designer Thom Browne, whose name is synonymous with the shrunken suit tailoring that has become the standout menswear trend of the past decade. Though he is now considered a darling of the fashion industry, his unusual take on classic tailoring was initially met with resistance. But Browne knew there was a market for his designs – he envisioned “the businessman who wants to look both conservative and cool,”[2] and transformed his personal style into a successful global label. Thom Browne Fall/Winter 2013/14, Look 8. Photo by Marcus... Continue reading
Posted Sep 28, 2016 at FIDM Museum Blog
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We love it when our interns can combine their passions with hands-on experience, so we were particularly happy to welcome archivist-in-training Sandy Lu to the FIDM Museum this summer. Sandy processed the Museum's Maurice Levin Archive, a collection of personal and professional papers belonging to a prominent mid-century California designer. Read on to learn how Sandy created an organized, accessible archive for future researchers to enjoy! Sandy is currently a graduate student at UCLA pursuing her Master of Library and Information Studies (MLIS). She is interested in design history, pop culture, and the relationship between cultural institutions and public education.... Continue reading
Posted Sep 21, 2016 at FIDM Museum Blog
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Yesterday was officially "Ask A Curator" Day on Twitter: members of the public were invited to ask museum curators questions about their profession, background, personal interests, and even how much coffee they drink! Over 1,300 international museums participated, including the FIDM Museum. Associate Curator Christina Johnson gamely answered questions all day from curious minds around the world. If you missed her responses, check out our recap below. Of course, Ask A Curator isn't limited to one day - feel free to ask questions anytime on social media or the blog! Associate Curator Christina Johnson with Curator Kevin Jones How do... Continue reading
Posted Sep 15, 2016 at FIDM Museum Blog
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Wild costumes, elaborate musical numbers, and the misadventures of unrequited love: Crazy Ex-Girlfriend delivers it all! We are thrilled to feature Costume Designer Melina Root's imaginative designs in this year's Art of Outstanding Television Costume Design exhibition - her ability to keep up with main character Rebecca Bunch's fantasy musical numbers and real-life shenanigans is truly impressive. Co-creator, star, writer, and Executive Producer Rachel Bloom joined Root for an interview about their collaborative process...read on to learn the story behind the turkey bra, Root's dream costume for Rebecca Bunch, and what to expect in Season Two! Crazy Ex-Girlfriend Costume Designer... Continue reading
Posted Sep 12, 2016 at FIDM Museum Blog
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In honor of Labor Day, we want to recognize one of the largest labor organizations in the garment industry: the International Ladies' Garment Workers Union (ILGWU), representing the thousands of men and women who painstakingly made and manufactured women's clothing. The ILGWU was active from 1900 to 1995, but throughout its 95 year history it made great strides in demanding justice and fair representation for those working in an industry known for extremely hazardous conditions. Workers in a garment factory, c. 1910. Courtesy of the Kheel Center at Cornell University. The ILGWU was started in 1900 during the throes of... Continue reading
Posted Sep 6, 2016 at FIDM Museum Blog
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We are so excited to share Part Two of intern Kasia Stempniak's blog series; in this post, she shares her findings after completing The Dress Detective method on a 19th century Parisian couture gown. Make sure you read Part One about Kasia's summer internship at the FIDM Museum! ******************************************************************************************************* I always saw, I always said If I were grown and free, I’d have a gown of reddest red As fine as you could see, Dorothy Parker’s poem of sartorial bliss in a red dress might have resonated with the owner of the vibrant velvet gown below.[1] Velvet Evening Gown, P.... Continue reading
Posted Sep 1, 2016 at FIDM Museum Blog
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We are exceptionally lucky at the FIDM Museum to have the help of talented interns and volunteers throughout the year. This summer, we were thrilled to welcome Kasia Stempniak as our intern, who worked on curatorial research (including French translations), exhibition installation, and everything in between. Kasia is a Ph.D. candidate in Romance Studies at Duke University. Her dissertation looks at the connections between fashion, literature and urban space in mid-to-late 19th century Paris. This fall, she will head to Paris as an exchange student at the Ecole Nationale Supérieure (ENS) where she will be researching and writing her dissertation.... Continue reading
Posted Aug 29, 2016 at FIDM Museum Blog
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In the second installment of our "Confessions of a Curator" series, Kevin Jones explores a rather scandalous new donation, and the role of censorship and sexuality in fashion. As always, if you have questions for our curatorial team, feel free to get in touch with us by commenting on our posts or sending an email. **************************************** June 3, 1964…A day that will live in fashion infamy. Fifty-two years ago Women’s Wear Daily published a photo that sent shockwaves around the globe: model Peggy Moffitt (b. 1940) wearing designer Rudi Gernreich’s (1922-1985) “Monokini.” This topless swimsuit was not new; Rudi had... Continue reading
Posted Aug 24, 2016 at FIDM Museum Blog
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Every two years, the world embraces Olympic-mania, and the fashion scene is no exception - just look at the cover of Vogue's August issue! Athletes are used as models in magazine editorials, and high fashion brands frequently step in to design the opening and closing ceremony looks for their respective countries: Lacoste for France, Stella McCartney for the United Kingdom, Giorgio Armani for Italy, and Ralph Lauren for the United States, among others. The athleisure trend shows no signs of slowing down on the runway and in stores, in part encouraged by the Games in Rio. In 1984, the Olympics... Continue reading
Posted Aug 21, 2016 at FIDM Museum Blog
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We have fully embraced Olympic Fever here at the FIDM Museum, and we are eager to share sporting objects in our Collection that correspond with the Games! Today we're highlighting an early 19th century coat worn by the Royal Company of Archers in Scotland. Archery made its Olympic debut 1900 (with a women's category added four years later), though it is one of the oldest documented sports in history. The Olympic archers of 2016 wear purely practical clothing - athletic fabrics meant to protect from all types of weather conditions, and above all not interfere with an archer's form. However,... Continue reading
Posted Aug 11, 2016 at FIDM Museum Blog
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Have you had a chance to view our new Art of Outstanding Television Costume Design exhibition? Here's your chance to enjoy the show and mingle with fellow costume fans. Join us for a morning of traditional treats in celebration of Outlander on Saturday, August 20! We'll be serving a selection of biscuits, scones, and tarts from the official Outlander companion cookbook by Theresa Carle-Sanders: Outlander Kitchen. Don't forget to show your plaid! RSVP to info@fidmmuseumshop.org. Continue reading
Posted Aug 9, 2016 at FIDM Museum Blog