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FIDM Museum
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We hope you’ve had a chance to visit our Graceful Gift fan exhibition, learn about the unique objects on display, and hear directly from our donor and fan collector Mona Lee Nesseth. Now, there’s even more to see when you visit our galleries: we are excited to announce the temporary installation SHAPED: Case Studies in Communication, Ventilation & Construction. In coordination with A Graceful Gift, students in FIDM's Advanced Practice in Color, Design & 3D Form class researched and created conceptual interpretations of the fan and its many functions. Each piece is accompanied by a text panel written by the... Continue reading
Posted 5 days ago at FIDM Museum Blog
Look closely at any 18th or 19th European century painting depicting court life – chances are, there is a woman somewhere in the vignette artfully displaying an ornate fan. It is an accessory that we rarely think of today, yet just one hundred years ago, a lady was rarely seen without it. So ubiquitous was the fan that in 1711 author Joseph Addison wrote in The Spectator, a popular British magazine, “Women are armed with Fans as Men with Swords, and sometimes do more Execution with them.”[1] Jules Donzel fils, artists France, c. 1900 Painted silk taffeta & bone 2013.975.14AB... Continue reading
Posted Jun 11, 2016 at FIDM Museum Blog
The FIDM Museum is hiring an exhibition installer! This short-term contract position will play a vital role in mounting the 10th Annual Outstanding Art of Television Costume Design exhibition. As an exhibition installer, you will work closely with FIDM Museum staff to prepare incoming TV costumes for display. Costumes from The Mindy Project, designed by Salvador Perez. We are looking for a detail-oriented individual who is capable of overseeing a busy, frequently changing work environment. Some background in museum studies is preferred. Must be available to work Monday through Friday, June 20 through July 29, except Monday, July 4. To... Continue reading
Posted Jun 6, 2016 at FIDM Museum Blog
It takes a distinctive aesthetic, passion, and discipline to collect rare and beautiful objects. It takes a profoundly generous spirit to then pass that collection on so that more people can enjoy them. Mona Lee Nesseth, a Graduate Gemologist, custom jewelry designer, and antique and estate jewelry expert, made a truly graceful gift when she bestowed her exquisite collection of hand fans to the FIDM Museum & Galleries, which are now showcased in the current exhibition, A Graceful Gift: Fans From The Mona Lee Nesseth Collection. The exhibition is open for one more month - make sure you catch it... Continue reading
Posted Jun 2, 2016 at FIDM Museum Blog
As you explore the new FIDM Museum Online Collections, we want to make sure you can navigate the database as smoothly as possible. Below, you'll find questions and answers that should help guide you through the search process. Of course, if you have any additional questions please feel free to comment below, or send us an email. Don't forget to share with us know your favorite finds! Q: Are all of the objects in the FIDM Museum Collections shown in the online database? A: Not yet; we have over 15,000 objects in the Museum, and only about 650 of these... Continue reading
Posted May 26, 2016 at FIDM Museum Blog
The FIDM Museum is dedicated to making our collections accessible to the public, so we are thrilled to announce the launch of a brand new feature on our website: The Online Collections Database! You can can now search the collections digitally, browse pictures, and learn more information about the Museum's objects. The video below will introduce you to various features of the new Online Collections: FIDM Museum Online Collections from FIDM Museum on Vimeo. Simply visit the Museum's website and click on the "Collections" tab, or visit the database directly. Explore the Museum's Permanent and Study Collections, Textiles and Jewelry,... Continue reading
Posted May 23, 2016 at FIDM Museum Blog
The FIDM Museum Fashion Council is thrilled to announce the 2016 Annual Voyage: California Adventure! Join us for a five-day, four-night journey down the Northern California coast from October 3 - October 7, 2016. We will explore fashion museums, exclusive vineyards, and the region's top culinary destinations as a private bus takes the group to stops in Healdsburg, San Francisco, Big Sur, Cambria, and Santa Barbara. Tours and excursions include Hearst Castle, the de Young Museum, Chalk Hill Winery, William Selyem Winery, Post Ranch Inn, Lotusland, The Fan Museum, Dry Creek Kitchen, and more! Space is limited, so act fast!... Continue reading
Posted May 20, 2016 at FIDM Museum Blog
The FIDM Museum blog is excited to introduce a new column called "Confessions of a Curator." In this feature, our Curators Kevin Jones and Christina Johnson will speak directly to our readers about their current research projects, the challenges and joys of curating, and the process of building a robust fashion collection. Go behind-the-scenes with the Curators as the Museum prepares for upcoming exhibitions, and learn about their personal career paths. We also want to hear from you - if you have questions for our curatorial team or suggestions for blog topics, feel free to get in touch with us... Continue reading
Posted May 17, 2016 at FIDM Museum Blog
At the FIDM Museum, we’re delighted to showcase our objects in exhibitions both locally and abroad. We’ve talked about our participation in Reigning Men at LACMA and Oscar de la Renta at the de Young Museum, and last month one of our pieces joined Undressed: A Brief History of Underwear, currently on display at the Victoria & Albert Museum in London. The exhibition explores both the utilitarian and seductive purposes of underwear – how these garments shape the body and relate to the fashionable silhouette. Our Museum sent an object that combines elements of historicism, religion, satire, and sexuality in... Continue reading
Posted May 15, 2016 at FIDM Museum Blog
On Sunday, May 22, you're invited to join the FIDM Museum Fashion Council for an evening of fine food and wine at The BAZAAR, the celebrated Spanish Restaurant from award-winning chef José Andrés. All proceeds from this elegant event benefit the FIDM Museum. See the invitation below for more information, or click here to register. Hurry, seating is limited! Continue reading
Posted May 11, 2016 at FIDM Museum Blog
On May 4, 1929, Audrey Hepburn was born in Belgium; today, she would have been 87 years old. When she took Hollywood by storm in 1953 with her starring role in Roman Holiday, audiences were immediately captivated. She was not a traditional bombshell, but her arresting features, waifish figure, and sophisticated persona gave her an air of mystery, and an entirely unique allure. Long-time Hepburn fans remember the actress for her work in film favorites such as Sabrina, Charade, How to Steal a Million, and of course, Breakfast at Tiffany’s. Now, posters of Hepburn in sunglasses and a little black... Continue reading
Posted May 4, 2016 at FIDM Museum Blog
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 Apr 30, 2016 at FIDM Museum Blog
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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