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Sophisticated. Powerful. Feminine. Above all, glamorous. When a woman dons an Oscar de la Renta creation, she exudes worldliness and elegance. There is a reason his clothes were embraced by First Ladies, society matrons, and millennial supermodels alike: de la Renta's designs made women feel confident. The Dominican-born designer truly loved helping women look and feel lovely in their own skin. He told Vogue, “Any girl from any walk of life dreams of that special dress, and I try to make that dream a reality for her.”[1] Though he is celebrated for his high-voltage glamour – ruffles, sequins, lace, and... Continue reading
Posted 3 days ago at FIDM Museum Blog
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April 21, 2016 marked the 90th birthday of Queen Elizabeth II, the United Kingdom's longest reigning monarch. Media outlets celebrated the milestone with photographic retrospectives of her remarkable life - many of which were captured by Sir Cecil Beaton, who photographed Britain’s Royal Family over four decades. The FIDM Museum is fortunate to have several Beaton prints in our collection, thanks to a generous donation from Joan and Donald Damask. Donald Damask began collecting Cecil Beaton artworks in 2000 while working in London. He admired Beaton’s versatility as an artist who could excel in so many different artistic media. A... Continue reading
Posted Apr 25, 2016 at FIDM Museum Blog
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Welcome back for another look at one of the most popular installations in our 24th Annual Art of Motion Picture Costume Design Exhibition: Crimson Peak! In Part One, Costume Designer Kate Hawley generously shared her personal workroom photos, mood boards, and character inspirations for her work on the grand Gothic romance. Today, we're revealing the surprising FIDM Museum connection to the film. But first, something for Tom Hiddleston's legion of fans: Hawley used this painting as one of her inspirations for the brooding character Thomas Sharpe, owner of the Allerdale estate, brother to Lucille, and mysterious husband to Edith. She... Continue reading
Posted Apr 20, 2016 at FIDM Museum Blog
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The Art of Motion Picture Costume Design exhibition always draws a range of emotions from our visitors - after all, seeing the costumes you adored onscreen in person can be an overwhelming experience. However, there's one film this year that was consistently met with awe: the exquisitely sinister costumes from Crimson Peak. Today on the blog, we are delighted to explore the story of these costumes courtesy of designer Kate Hawley, who generously shared pictures of her workroom, sketches, and mood boards that inspired the film's otherworldy aesthetic. Crimson Peak is the brain child of filmmaker Guillermo del Toro, known... Continue reading
Posted Apr 17, 2016 at FIDM Museum Blog
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The FIDM Museum is always thrilled to be a part of fashion exhibitions at other institutions, especially when we can collaborate with our fellow Los Angeles museums! This spring, LACMA's incredible exhibition Reigning Men: Fashion in Menswear, 1715–2015 showcases the often-overlooked world of historic and contemporary menswear. The comprehensive exhibition features this graphic silk caftan, a striking design from our Rudi Gernreich Archive. Our Curator-on-the-Go Kevin Jones completed another installation job on our behalf (you can catch up on his trip to the de Young Museum here!). Caftan Rudi Gernreich 1970 Bequest of the Rudi Gernreich Estate G85.331.17 Dressing garments... Continue reading
Posted Apr 13, 2016 at FIDM Museum Blog
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Our annual Art of Motion Picture Costume Design exhibition gives us the opportunity to meet the incredibly talented designers behind our favorite films. We love to learn about their unique career paths, design processes, and what it’s really like to work on set. This year, costume designers Jenny Eagan (Beasts of No Nation) and Daniel Orlandi (Trumbo) spoke to FIDM students about their experiences in the film industry. Read below for highlights from their candid conversation. Daniel Orlandi and Jenny Eagan on the FIDM LA Campus. On their first costume design jobs: Daniel Orlandi: I always wanted to be a... Continue reading
Posted Apr 9, 2016 at FIDM Museum Blog
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Filming is wrapped and the actors have gone home - now what happens to the costumes that helped shape their characters onscreen? How do these garments get from a movie set to our galleries? And where will they go when our exhibition closes? Today, Deidre Thieman from NBCUniversal Archives was kind enough to answer these questions and more for a behind-the-scenes look at a studio archive. Read on to learn how Deidre and her team display and preserve costumes from your favorite films and television shows! Deidre Thieman, NBCUniversal Production Archives What is your official position with the NBCUniversal archives?... Continue reading
Posted Apr 5, 2016 at FIDM Museum Blog
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In honor of Museum Week, we are excited to share the story behind one of the most exquisite and rare objects in our collection: Austrian composer and pianist Johann Hummel's three-piece court suit, dating to 1810-14! The ensemble was donated by a member of the Hummel family in 2009, thanks to a combination of perfect timing, location, and luck. Yvonne Hummel is married to the great-great-great grandson of Johann Hummel (1778-1837), and she had recently cleared out the family's property in Italy of furniture, clothing, and antiques. Yvonne lived down the street from the FIDM Museum in downtown Los Angeles,... Continue reading
Posted Apr 2, 2016 at FIDM Museum Blog
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FIDM Museum is proud to participate in Museum Week, an international social media initiative to go behind-the-scenes of your favorite cultural institutions. From March 28 to April 4, a daily theme will bring you new insight about the inner-workings of our museum. Today's theme is #PeopleMW; it's an opportunity to get to know the individuals who care for the objects in our collection, curate the exhibitions, organize the budgets, work with donors, lead visitor tours, and all of the other infinite tasks that go along with running a museum. FIDM Museum Curator Kevin Jones We thought our fearless leader Kevin... Continue reading
Posted Mar 29, 2016 at FIDM Museum Blog
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Her peers elected her President of the Fashion Section at the famed Exposition Universelle de Paris in 1900.[1] In 1913, she accepted France’s prestigious Legion d’Honneur in recognition of her economic contributions to the country – the first woman designer to receive the honor.[2] From 1917 – 1919, she served as the first female president of the Chambre Syndicale de la Haute Couture, the governing board of all couture designers.[3] Though discussion of early twentieth-century design is typically dominated by the avant-garde aesthetic of Paul Poiret, there was another pioneer leading the way in both fashion and female entrepreneurialism: Jeanne... Continue reading
Posted Mar 23, 2016 at FIDM Museum Blog
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Happy St. Patrick’s Day! Today, the Chicago River runs green, revelers sip green beer, and millions of people around the world don the color of the Emerald Isle. If you forgot to wear your favorite green shirt, ask this question before you fall victim to a pinch – should we be wearing blue instead? St. Patrick’s Day has long been associated with green, and rightly so; it is one of three colors in Ireland’s flag, the shamrock is the symbol of St. Patrick, and the country is known for its lush verdant countryside. Yet surprisingly, Ireland has a longer association... Continue reading
Posted Mar 17, 2016 at FIDM Museum Blog
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Mollie Parnis (d. 1992), a mid-twentieth century New York designer who dressed First Ladies and movie stars, once told a reporter, "The last thing I want to talk about is what people are wearing."[1] A curious sentiment for a woman who spent her entire life in the fashion industry, but Parnis was far from an average designer. At the height of her career, the Park Avenue home she shared with her husband and business partner, L. J. Livingston, became a modern-day salon, with visits from politicians, journalists, artists, and actors. This striking black and blue velvet appliquéd coat, a recent... Continue reading
Posted Mar 14, 2016 at FIDM Museum Blog
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In today’s tech-centric world, it is nearly impossible to imagine a life before instant communication was available. When we want to speak with a friend, we can pick up the phone – or if that is too archaic, we can send a text, a tweet, a Facebook message, an email…the possibilities are endless! Last Friday, members of the FIDM Museum Fashion Council took a step back in time and learned how women of the 19th century communicated before the era of Snapchat through the Silent Language of Fans. After an elegant (and delicious!) catered tea in Grand Hope Park, guests... Continue reading
Posted Mar 9, 2016 at FIDM Museum Blog
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Curator Kevin Jones recently traveled to San Francisco to install loaned FIDM Museum objects in the de Young Museum's upcoming Oscar de la Renta retrospective! Read on to hear how our objects are installed at other institutions, and what it was liking working with fashion legend and former Vogue Editor at Large André Leon Tally. ******** It is always a pleasure to loan objects from the FIDM Museum to sister institutions and to work with fellow museum professionals. Not only do we reach new audiences viewing our objects, but the objects have contextualized reasons to be brought out of dark... Continue reading
Posted Mar 4, 2016 at FIDM Museum Blog
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Jenny Beavan with her Academy Award. Photo: Jeff Kravitz for Getty Images, via Huffington Post By now, you probably know Mad Max’s Jenny Beavan took home the Academy Award for Best Costume Design, but did you catch the rest of the FIDM Museum’s Oscar Week coverage? Don’t miss our exclusive interviews with nominated Costume Designers Paco Delgado, Jacqueline West, and Sandy Powell; read on for a behind-the-scenes look at Hollywood’s most glamorous week! Costume Designer Guild Awards – Tuesday, February 23 Sandy Powell presenting the Lacoste Spotlight Award to Cate Blanchett Costume designers from film and television gathered to celebrate... Continue reading
Posted Mar 1, 2016 at FIDM Museum Blog
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We conclude our Oscar Week Costume Designer Q&A with this year's double nominee, Sandy Powell, who is recognized for her work on both Cinderella and Carol. Powell's celebrated career includes Academy Award wins for Shakespeare in Love (1999), The Aviator (2005), and The Young Victoria (2010).The diaphanous blue ballgown from Cinderella is one of the highlight's of FIDM Museum's Art of Motion Picture Costume Design exhibition; Powell's design is a feat of engineering, layering cage crinolines with petticoats and superfine fabrics in blues and lavenders to achieve a watercolor effect. The designer partnered with Swarovski to add sparkle to the... Continue reading
Posted Feb 26, 2016 at FIDM Museum Blog
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Today we continue our Costume Designer Q&A Series with Jacqueline West, Academy Award nominee for her work on the powerful film The Revenant. Brad Pitt, whom she dressed in The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, once called West "a method designer," and her work for The Revenant was no different. She immersed herself in research, visiting collections and reading primary source materials to accurately depict the true story of fur traders and First Nations people making their way through the unforgiving frontier mountains. West shares with us her love for museums, how art history inspires her work, and discusses her... Continue reading
Posted Feb 24, 2016 at FIDM Museum Blog
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Paco Delgado was on campus today to promote his Academy Award-nominated costumes for The Danish Girl. The Spanish designer is no stranger to receiving critical acclaim; his costumes for Les Misérables in 2013 were also nominated for an Academy Award, BAFTA and Costume Designer Guild award, among others. The social media teams from the Museum, FIDM College, and Fashion Club were lucky enough to ask Delgado a few questions about the transition of his career, his process of designing for The Danish Girl, and (exciting for us!) how he used museum collections in his research. Costume Designer Paco Delgado Q:... Continue reading
Posted Feb 19, 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 Versace archive, and helped with our annual television costume design exhibition. Summer 2015 interns working with Curator Christina Johnson. 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... Continue reading
Posted Feb 17, 2016 at FIDM Museum Blog
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Have you ever panicked over what to buy your Valentine? Women typically receive chocolates, roses, and teddy bears, but what is the classic Valentine’s Day gift for men? Perhaps this pair of silly novelty boxers, complete with an amorous pun and kitschy plastic toy, would be the perfect show of affection – a gift that could plausibly be found in the aisle of any Target or department store today. Jockey Boxers 1950-1959 Museum Purchase 2004.5.69 These white boxers are emblazoned with hearts that read “My Heart Pants For You,” and the matching vinyl heart toy has a mechanism that causes... Continue reading
Posted Feb 14, 2016 at FIDM Museum Blog
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Please join the FIDM Museum Fashion Council for the annual Royal Tea & Tour on Friday, March 4! This elegant day includes delicious food, a private lecture on the Silent Language of Fans, and exclusive curator-led tours of the Museum's two current exhibitions: Art of Motion Picture Costume Design and A Graceful Gift: Fans from the Mona Lee Nesseth Collection. We hope you can make it to this royally ravishing event! Registration is now open; click here to purchase tickets. Continue reading
Posted Feb 10, 2016 at FIDM Museum Blog
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“And now, you are needed ON SET…” These words ushered guests into the 24th Art of Motion Picture Costume Design exhibition on Saturday night, where designers, actors, FIDM staff, and alumni joined together under the famous chandelier tent to preview this year’s installation. The exhibition features 100 ensembles from 23 films of 2015; action, science fiction and fantasy mix with musicals and period dramas to showcase outstanding examples of costume design from the past year. Heavy buzz surrounded the five Academy Award nominees for Best Costume Design, all of which are on display: The Danish Girl (Paco Delgado), Cinderella (Sandy... Continue reading
Posted Feb 9, 2016 at FIDM Museum Blog
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Get all of the information you need to visit our upcoming exhibitions, opening Tuesday, February 9: LOCATION: 919 S. Grand Avenue Los Angeles, California 90015 HOURS: 10 am - 5 pm, Tuesday through Saturday Museum will be open Monday, February 29 and closed Friday, March 4 Remember, our exhibitions are always free! 24th Annual Art of Motion Picture Costume Design 2014 Academy Award Winner for Best Costume Design: Milena Canenero for The Grand Budapest Hotel FIDM Museum & Galleries’ popular annual exhibition shines the spotlight on costumes that help bring memorable film characters to life. Visitors have the opportunity to... Continue reading
Posted Feb 5, 2016 at FIDM Museum Blog
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At the end of each year, our team reports on the Museum’s activities from the past twelve months – including what objects have been added to the Permanent Collection. As we compiled our list of 2015 acquisitions, there were a few unforgettable pieces that demanded our attention. These striking suede and leather heels from the 1930s are undoubtedly one of our “Staff Picks” for Favorite New Acquisition of 2015: Shoes 1930 - 1935 Suede and metallic leather Museum Purchase 2015.5.57A-D There is so much to take in when you look at these shoes. Does your eye travel directly to the... Continue reading
Posted Feb 3, 2016 at FIDM Museum Blog
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Best remembered today as Marilyn Monroe's favorite designer, Ceil Chapman was famous in the 1940s and '50s for her glamorous yet affordable evening looks. Her ready-to-wear "dream dresses," as the New York Times called them in 1957, were designed to grace the debutante balls, senior proms, cocktail parties, dinner dances, and swanky nightclub outings that filled women's social calendars in mid-century New York.1 "Here's one house that understands the importance of the cocktail dress," Women's Wear Daily remarked approvingly.2 Ceil Chapman, New York c. 1954-1959 Gift of Barbara Jacobs 89.388.1AB Chapman launched her eponymous label in 1940, after briefly partnering... Continue reading
Posted Jan 28, 2016 at FIDM Museum Blog