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The FIDM Museum was thrilled to host the CSA Western Region Jack Handford Summer Scholarship winner, Axelle Boyer. A Ph.D. student in History of Art and Visual Culture at UC Santa Cruz, Axelle previously received her M.A. in Fashion Studies from Parsons School of Design. Her research interests include body adornment, style, and fashion of the African diaspora. Axelle spent her time at the Museum working with our Special Collections, and in the process discovered a intriguing booklet by artist Raymond Duncan. Below, Axelle delves into Duncan’s fascinating world – including his foray into garment and textile design. ****************************************************************************************************************** “Make... Continue reading
Posted yesterday at FIDM Museum Blog
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Recently, Los Angeles hosted a plethora of exhibitions dedicated to fashion photography: Capturing the Catwalk: Runway Photography from the Michel Arnaud Archive at the FIDM Museum; Icons of Style: A Century of Fashion Photography 1911-2011 at the Getty Museum; and In High Style: The Photography of Neal Barr at the Museum of Ventura County. The FIDM Museum Fashion Council gathered the experts, curators, and contributors to all of these extraordinary exhibitions for their annual Fall Luncheon & Lecture Day on October 27 - an afternoon focused on all things fashion photography. The event, which raised funds for future FIDM Museum... Continue reading
Posted 3 days ago at FIDM Museum Blog
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Just in time for Halloween, we're sharing Part Two of our Mugler-Inspired Costumes! As we learned in our previous post, Thierry Mugler used his runway to play out exotic fashion fantasies - everything from insects to angels, robots to rhinestone cowgirls appeared in his whimsical presentations. You'll notice that unlike today's fashion shows, these presentations were full of movement; rather than disappearing behind the clothing, Mugler's models act out his elaborate stories with emotion. Dancing, running, marching, flirting, and even bobsledding (see below!) were not unusual in Mugler's world. We hope you find the perfect costume for your own personal... Continue reading
Posted Oct 30, 2018 at FIDM Museum Blog
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Halloween is just around the corner, but if you still haven't selected your costume, we've got you covered! Look no further than the treasure trove of inspiration found in Thierry Mugler's wonderfully whimsical runway shows from the 1980s and 90s. Known as the “PT Barnum of the fashion world,” Mugler’s extravagant runways built his reputation as the ultimate showman. Atlantis, Mount Olympus, Aliens, Superheroes, Insects, Hollywood, Robots, and the Wild West are just some of the themes that appeared in his surrealistic presentations. Mugler saw the fashion show as an opportunity to build new worlds of fantasy, to tell the... Continue reading
Posted Oct 25, 2018 at FIDM Museum Blog
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The FIDM Museum History Gallery is a treasured part of our institution. It gives us the ability to showcase our vast Permanent Collection, or, in the case of the History Gallery’s current exhibition, an object that we hope to acquire! In the coming months, we are thrilled to take you behind-the-scenes of Majesty & Mystery: Saving a Napoléonic Court Gown. This unique exhibition introduces the Museum’s newest proposed acquisition: an extremely rare c. 1804 court gown possibly worn by Empress Joséphine, wife of Napoléon Bonaparte. As visitors explore the gallery, we share the historical importance of this gown, our research... Continue reading
Posted Oct 16, 2018 at FIDM Museum Blog
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Join the FIDM Museum Fashion Council for our annual Fall Luncheon & Lecture Day on Saturday, October 27 at the FIDM Orange County Campus! We will celebrate the opening of Capturing the Catwalk: Runway Photography from the Michel Arnaud Archive in the OC gallery space; to mark the occasion, the afternoon symposium will focus on the art of fashion photography, 1911-1998. We are thrilled to be joined by Paul Martineau, Associate Curator, Department of Photographs, Getty Museum, who will speak about the Getty's latest exhibition Icons of Style: A Century of Fashion Photography (open until October 21). Shelly Foote, formerly... Continue reading
Posted Oct 1, 2018 at FIDM Museum Blog
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Today's post is brought to you by our summer intern Caela Castillo, who helped install the Art of Television Costume Design exhibition. Caela is a graduate student at the Fashion Institute of Technology in the MA Fashion and Textile Studies: History, Theory, and Museum Practice program. She also has an MA in History and Public History from Loyola University Chicago. She has previously interned at the Museum at FIT and the International Museum of Surgical Sciences in Chicago, and has contributed to exhibitions in California, Chicago, and New York. Her research interests include late 19th and early 20th century Paris;... Continue reading
Posted Sep 26, 2018 at FIDM Museum Blog
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"What makes Geoffrey Beene great? Is it the sophistication of his cut that makes the most bulky fabric seem airborne? The curved lines that give a graceful femininity to clothes without dipping into banality? It is all this but, more important, it is the designer’s unceasing struggle to find new materials and new shapes that flatter a woman’s body.”[1] Photograph by Michel Arnaud Geoffrey Beene at his Spring/Summer 1991 runway presentation Gift of Arnaud Associates, SC2000.1095.1 Described as cerebral, modernist, and the “architect of American clothing,”[2] designer Geoffrey Beene (1927 – 2004) made an indelible mark on fashion in the... Continue reading
Posted Sep 19, 2018 at FIDM Museum Blog
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Game of Thrones costume designer Michele Clapton visited the FIDM Museum yesterday to discuss her GOT-themed jewelry collaboration with Yunus & Eliza. Before her Q&A panel in front of a packed house, Michele spoke with us about her final season designing for the blockbuster show, how taking a break to work on The Crown benefited her return to GOT, and of course that spectacular white coat. See the costumes in person at the Art of Television Costume Design exhibition - but hurry, the GOT costumes are leaving early! The final date to see them is Saturday, September 22. Michele Clapton... Continue reading
Posted Sep 8, 2018 at FIDM Museum Blog
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Today's post was written by our 2018 Santamaura Study Grant Intern Brian Centrone. After years of being a writer and an English professor, Brian returned to school to do an M. A. in Costume Studies at New York University. His research focus has been menswear, where he has looked at the role gender, sexuality, and masculinity played in men’s eighteenth century breeches, as well as the impact nineteenth century anxieties about dress and sexuality had on the persecution of Oscar Wilde, and the establishment of the homosexual stereotype/identity. He is always looking to fill the gaps in the history of... Continue reading
Posted Aug 29, 2018 at FIDM Museum Blog
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Television is truly in a golden age – the quality that audiences experience on network, streaming, and digital platforms is equivalent to films playing on the big screen. Of course, the visual impact of television plays a big role in bringing new worlds to life for viewers, thanks to the hard work and creativity of Costume Designers. On Saturday night, the FIDM Museum and Television Academy put the spotlight on design for the annual Art of Outstanding Television Costume Design exhibition. Now in its 12th year, the exhibition highlights the mastery of both new and veteran designers for television shows... Continue reading
Posted Aug 22, 2018 at FIDM Museum Blog
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Today's post comes from our Digital Archive intern Maureen Nyhan, who spent time with the FIDM Museum this summer working on our Michel Arnaud Fashion Photography Archive. Maureen learned digital asset management skills as she scanned and categorized collections from one designer, Yohji Yamamoto, making these images available to researchers for years to come! ********************************************************************************************************************* As a non-traditional student (returning to school after family) I felt so welcomed to the FIDM Museum family, where my amateur skills in both fashion and digital asset management (DAM) were graciously overlooked and I was treated as a valued member of the team from... Continue reading
Posted Jul 27, 2018 at FIDM Museum Blog
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Booth Moore signing copies of her book American Runway at the FIDM Museum The Hollywood Reporter journalist and author Booth Moore recently visited the FIDM Museum for a reception in honor of her new book, American Runway. The CFDA published-book looks back at the tradition of New York Fashion Week, now celebrating its 75th anniversary. After a Q&A with students, moderated by Curator Kevin Jones, Moore took a tour of Capturing the Catwalk and sat down with us to talk about fashion journalism and the process of writing American Runway. ****************************************************************************************************************************************************************************** Let's start at the beginning - can you tell... Continue reading
Posted Jul 11, 2018 at FIDM Museum Blog
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FIDM Museum Registrar and Capturing the Catwalk Curator Meghan Hansen finishes her three-part series on the making of the exhibition. In her final post, she explores the seminal moments that made it into her "Catwalk History" slideshow. ***************************************************************************************************************** One feature of Capturing the Catwalk that I am particularly proud of is the slideshow, called “Catwalk History.” While I could only feature approximately 80 printed photographs in the gallery due to space constraints, I was able to incorporate a wider range of images in this presentation projected on the gallery wall. The runway shots are from all four fashion capitals --... Continue reading
Posted Jul 6, 2018 at FIDM Museum Blog
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In her next post on curating Capturing the Catwalk, Meghan Hansen explains how she created the impressive light box that sits at the entrance of the exhibition - and why it's an important part of runway history. *************************************************************************************************************************** Different people learn in different ways, so I was particularly interested in providing several different modes of experiencing Michel Arnaud’s photography. Will Arnaud examining the lightbox at the entrance of Capturing the Catwalk. Communicating the great scope and quantity of the Arnaud Archive was a particularly goal of mine. The nearly 200,000 color slides take up an entire wall of shelves in... Continue reading
Posted Jun 29, 2018 at FIDM Museum Blog
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Capturing the Catwalk: Runway Photography from the Michel Arnaud Archive is a one-of-a-kind exhibition that brings together the worlds of fashion history, photography, and the runway. Today, exhibition curator and FIDM Museum Registrar Meghan Hansen takes you behind-the-scenes of her curatorial process - the first of a three part series. **************************************************************************************************************** Capturing the Catwalk is the first FIDM Museum exhibition to feature designer clothing alongside runway photographs of the models in matching garments. This is also the first exhibition I have curated from scholarly research of primary sources, as well as the first time many of the photos and objects... Continue reading
Posted Jun 21, 2018 at FIDM Museum Blog
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Thierry Mugler has had a busy year at the FIDM Museum; his work was recently on display in Thierry Mugler: Alien to Angel on our Orange County campus, and two of his ravishing runway looks are on view in our newly-opened Los Angeles exhibition Capturing the Catwalk: Runway Photography from the Michel Arnaud Archive, open until July 7. With more of his designs on display in Heavenly Bodies: Fashion and the Catholic Imagination at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and a massive retrospective planned at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, Mugler is definitely having a moment. (Note: all photographs... Continue reading
Posted Jun 4, 2018 at FIDM Museum Blog
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On Wednesday, May 23, the FIDM Museum welcomed photographer Michel Arnaud, along with his family, friends, and colleagues, to celebrate the opening of Capturing the Catwalk: Runway Photography from the Michel Arnaud Archive. The exhibition is the first to showcase his work spanning over two decades in the fashion industry; it highlights his contributions to the field (including advances in camera technology), and explores the ever-changing world of the runway - from fashion capitals and editorial visions to haute couture and supermodels. The photographs are shown alongside dress, accessories, and special collection objects from the FIDM Museum Permanent Collection. The... Continue reading
Posted May 26, 2018 at FIDM Museum Blog
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Did you follow along with our Royal Wedding Week celebrations? Every day last week leading up to the spectacular wedding of Prince Harry and Ms. Meghan Markle (who hails from our very own Los Angeles), we shared an object in the FIDM Museum Collection with royal provenance on our social media platforms. We are proud that our Museum holds one of the largest collections of royal dress in the country, and it's important to us to share these precious objects with our community! Don't worry if you missed a day; we're recapping the week for you below. You also have... Continue reading
Posted May 21, 2018 at FIDM Museum Blog
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Telephone, shoe, lobster: unremarkable objects that Italian designer Elsa Schiaparelli and Spanish artist Salvador Dalí elevated to art and high fashion during their many years of fruitful collaboration. Though Schiaparelli was renowned for her partnership with several celebrated artists of the mid-twentieth century (Man Ray, Christian Bérard, Jean Cocteau, and Meret Oppenheim to name a few)[1], she and Dalí shared an unparalleled synergy that resulted in some of the most important creations of the Surrealist movement. Dalí and Schiaparelli, circa 1949. Photo: Courtesy of Fundació Gala-Salvador Dalí Though their first encounter is not recorded, they likely met through mutual acquaintances... Continue reading
Posted May 11, 2018 at FIDM Museum Blog
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We love participating in Museum Week, the annual social media campaign that encourages institutions around the world to take their online community behind-the-scenes. Today's theme is Professions: who works at the FIDM Museum and what do they do? It takes so many capable hands to keep a museum running. There are countless moving parts that occur 'behind the curtain' - the exhibition you see is the result of months or even years of arduous planning - not to mention the day-to-day tasks of operating a non-profit institution. Like most museums, we have a small but mighty staff that works incredibly... Continue reading
Posted Apr 26, 2018 at FIDM Museum Blog
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Turning the corner into our Acquiring Beauty exhibition, we often hear the ‘oohs and ahhs’ of visitors greeted with an impressive sight: a magnificent Zandra Rhodes pleated gold lamé ensemble fit for a queen. The majestic gown does indeed have a British royal background – a fitting provenance for the charming pink-haired designer who cites her home country as the inspiration behind many of her collections.[1] Evening Ensemble Zandra Rhodes London, England, Fall 1981 FIDM Museum Purchase: Funds raised by the FIDM Museum Fashion Council, 2015 Pink Mane Portrait 1985: photograph by Robyn Beeche, makeup by Yvonne Gold. Rhodes wears... Continue reading
Posted Apr 23, 2018 at FIDM Museum Blog
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Have you visited our latest History Gallery exhibition Acquiring Beauty: FIDM Museum Fashion Council, Est. 2011? This unique show, on view through July 7, 2018, celebrates the accomplishments of the FIDM Museum Fashion Council, the support group that has enabled the Museum to acquire the most extraordinary pieces. From a 1960s Apple Boutique suit to a royal court bodice, the exhibition showcases the most rare and wonderful objects - all made possible by the FIDM Museum Fashion Council! Below, Christina Johnson, who co-curated the exhibition with Kevin Jones, tells us more about what went into selecting these stunning pieces from... Continue reading
Posted Apr 12, 2018 at FIDM Museum Blog
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Today's post is written by Curator Kevin Jones and Associate Curator Christina Johnson to explain the details of the FIDM Museum's acquisition of objects from The Helen Larson Historic Fashion Collection. Associate Curator Christina Johnson and Curator Kevin Jones in front of the Princess Charlotte Gown from The Helen Larson Historic Fashion Collection With the upcoming Charles Whitaker auction of garments and accessories from Helen Larson’s private collection on April 28, 2018 in Pennsylvania, we’d like to take this opportunity to tell the story of the FIDM Museum’s formation of The Helen Larson Historic Fashion Collection, and dispel any confusion... Continue reading
Posted Apr 4, 2018 at FIDM Museum Blog
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What does the word 'Victorian' bring to mind? For Costume Designer Consolata Boyle, the answer is the color black - in all its varying tones and textures. The FIDM Museum was fortunate to host the Irish designer in September 2017 before the release of her latest film Victoria and Abdul, for which she received her third Academy Award nomination for Best Costume Design (now on display until April 7 in our Art of Motion Picture Costume Design exhibition). Academy Award-nominated costumes from Victoria and Abdul by Consolata Boyle Queen Victoria costume sketch for Victoria and Abdul by Consolata Boyle The... Continue reading
Posted Mar 29, 2018 at FIDM Museum Blog