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In 1966, Women’s Wear Daily highlighted the innovative work of a young New York designer fresh on the scene: Scott Barrie (1941 - 1993). Inspired by Madame Grès and the sinuous gowns of the 1930s, Barrie’s fashions were based on his experiments with draping, resulting in a collection of flattering, flowing dresses and pants that heralded the disco styles to come in the 1970s. He stated, “I have never worked in fabrics like matte jersey before, and I am discovering how exciting they can be...I am going to do things which you haven’t seen anywhere before.”[1] Scott Barrie with Pat... Continue reading
Posted Jun 17, 2020 at FIDM Museum Blog
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We're back with Part Two of Curator Kevin Jones' series on an exciting new acquisition: an exquisite evening ensemble belonging to Queen Alexandra. In this post, Kevin tracks existing documentation of Queen Alexandra's wardrobe and connects it to this newly discovered object. Plus, he turns to royal wardrobe scholar and renowned fashion historian Dr. Kate Strasdin for her expert opinion. Want to learn more about Kate and Kevin's collaboration on this project? Watch our Instagram Live on Friday, May 15 at 11 am PST for the first FIDM Museum Collection Conversation, a Q&A between Kate and Kevin! They will discuss... Continue reading
Posted May 11, 2020 at FIDM Museum Blog
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The FIDM Museum is full of fabulous floral fashions - now, you can make your own sartorial stems at home! Inspired by the gorgeous blooms in our collection, we've created a pattern for paper flowers. The materials are simple, but the possibilities are endless; from corsages to centerpieces, headbands to picture frames, it just takes a little glue and a lot of imagination. Use our easy-to-follow template to start, then let your creativity take over. Amp up the scale to make a unique piece of wall art, or try different petal shapes to replicate your favorite posy. Best of all,... Continue reading
Posted May 8, 2020 at FIDM Museum Blog
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FIDM Museum Curator Kevin Jones shares a very exciting (and regal!) new acquisition in today's post. In this two-part series, learn how the Museum found this object, collaborated with a colleague across the pond to verify its origins, and its significance to the scholarship of royal dress. ************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************ The FIDM Museum acquires objects for upcoming exhibitions, research projects, and just because they are beautiful. Sometimes years pass before they are displayed in our galleries, but all of our collections are readily available by appointment and, increasingly, online for anyone with an interest in fashion history. We have had garments and... Continue reading
Posted May 5, 2020 at FIDM Museum Blog
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You might want to get out your magnifying glass for the next FIDM Museum Family Activity: we've put together a Fashion Designer Word Search! Look for twenty designers listed in the jumble; remember, the names will be spelled out horizontally, vertically, diagonally, and even backwards... Download your copy of the Word Search by clicking this link, and don't forget to share your results with us using the hashtag #FIDMMuseumFamily. If you find yourself stumped, not to worry - we'll release a key on our social media accounts next week. Continue reading
Posted Apr 23, 2020 at FIDM Museum Blog
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The FIDM Museum was thrilled to acquire an original fan by master fan-maker Sylvain Le Guen, commissioned to accompany a contemporary gown with an Art Deco motif in our collection. Associate Curator Christina Johnson walks us through the process of how this fan came to fruition, from commission to creation. ********************************************************************************************************************************************************************************** The FIDM Museum Deco Fan. Commissioned 2019. Commissioned Gift of Mona Lee Nesseth, 2019.5.78AB Fan Reverse It isn’t every day that a museum has the opportunity to commission a couture-quality fan, but thanks to the generosity of Mona Lee Nesseth, the FIDM Museum recently did just that! Created by... Continue reading
Posted Apr 17, 2020 at FIDM Museum Blog
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Motorcycling ensemble, 1930s The FIDM Museum is sad to announce the postponement of the Los Angeles opening of our exhibition Sporting Fashion: Outdoor Girls 1800 to 1960, due to health and safety concerns and the current shelter-in-place requirements. We know many of you have been looking forward to Sporting Fashion for a long time. However, we are happy to report that with the support of our partner, the American Federation of Arts (AFA), our tour schedule for the exhibition to six institutions across the United States is still underway, beginning in March 2021. To see the current schedule of museums... Continue reading
Posted Apr 16, 2020 at FIDM Museum Blog
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Today's post was written by Museum Coordinator Leigh Wishner, a key player in organizing our annual Art of Motion Picture Costume Design exhibition. Leigh shares her tour highlights from a selection of films featured in this year's exhibition - read on for a fascinating, virtual mini-tour of three period productions! ****************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************** Do you love going to the movies, or streaming them from the comfort of your couch? Then chances are one of the elements that makes your viewing experience exciting are the costumes worn on screen. At the FIDM Museum, we’ve been displaying this facet of filmmaking for over two... Continue reading
Posted Apr 10, 2020 at FIDM Museum Blog
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Time to break out your box of Crayolas - today we're sharing our very first FIDM Museum Coloring Book! Perfect for kids of all ages (including adults who are kids at heart), the book features ten objects from the FIDM Museum collection ready for your artistic prowess. Each garment, accessory, and textile are accompanied by a fun fact and reference photo - but don't let that stop you from experimenting with your own creative interpretation! Click here to download, and remember to share your creations with us on social media using the hashtag #FIDMMuseumFamily. Happy coloring! Continue reading
Posted Apr 9, 2020 at FIDM Museum Blog
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We are so pleased to release the first set of FIDM Museum Family Activities, our newest resource for children of all ages! These activity sheets encourage kids to observe and interact with objects in our collection, and provide opportunities to ask questions and get creative; it’s a chance to ‘be the curator’ of the FIDM Museum. We look forward to adding to this booklet every week, including coloring pages and craft projects. Collect them all to assemble your very own fashion publication. We are excited to see what you create - please share your masterpieces with us on Instagram, Twitter,... Continue reading
Posted Apr 2, 2020 at FIDM Museum Blog
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In the days ahead, all of us at the FIDM Museum understand how important it will be to find connection virtually with your favorite cultural institutions. We are happy to provide several ways to interact digitally with our Museum; in addition to the resources listed below, we are excited to announce that our website and blog are undergoing a full redesign, and will launch later this year with a fresh new look. In the meantime, we invite you to join us online: Start your journey right here on the FIDM Museum Blog, which launched in 2009- a forerunner in the... Continue reading
Posted Mar 23, 2020 at FIDM Museum Blog
Dear FIDM Museum Community, Due to COVID-19 concerns, the Art of Motion Picture Costume Design exhibition is now closed, as is the FIDM Orange County Campus gallery. The health and safety of our visitors is our priority; this decision was made in adherence to guidelines provided by the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health. We look forward to welcoming our guests back to the galleries in May 2020 for the upcoming exhibition Sporting Fashion: Outdoor Girls 1800 to 1960. You can always visit us online via our digitized collections, Google Arts & Culture platform, and here on the FIDM... Continue reading
Posted Mar 13, 2020 at FIDM Museum Blog
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Mark your calendar for Friday, March 6: it's time for the FIDM Museum Fashion Council's annual Royal Tea! Held outside in an elegant tent, the afternoon is a chance to meet new friends who share a love fashion history, enjoy a delicious and proper English tea, and experience the hallmark FIDM Museum exhibition The Art of Motion Picture Costume Design. You'll hear from Museum Coordinator and textile expert Leigh Wishner, who will discuss a fascinating 1940s dress in our collection (keep reading for a detailed description of her presentation), followed by a private tour of our film costume exhibition. The... Continue reading
Posted Feb 19, 2020 at FIDM Museum Blog
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Today's post is an in-depth look at a very special new acquisition, written by French scholar Georgina Letourmy-Bordier. Letourmy-Bordier holds a PhD in French History of Art, specializing in Fans. She has organized several exhibitions dedicated to this object, and regularly has articles relating to fan research published. She is currently a fan specialist for several French auction houses, mostly in Paris. Translated from French by Mary Kitson, Secretary of the Fan Circle International ************************************************************************************ The ‘Amphitrite’ Fan: A Masterpiece in the FIDM Museum Collection Most antique fans still in existence today have lost their history. Their origins, their context,... Continue reading
Posted Feb 12, 2020 at FIDM Museum Blog
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Beloved classic, haunting origin story, historical satire, epic mob saga, and Hollywood nostalgia: this year's Academy Award nominees for Best Costume Design span the gamut of film genres. One thing they all have in common is a unique aesthetic created by the masterful designers featured in the FIDM Museum's Art of Motion Picture Costume Design exhibition. Oscar nominees Jacqueline Durran (Little Women), Mark Bridges (Joker), Mayes C. Rubeo (JoJo Rabbit), Sandy Powell and Christopher Peterson (The Irishman), and Arianne Phillips (Once Upon a Time in...Hollywood) are among the many designers showcased in this annual exhibition, which includes over 100 costumes... Continue reading
Posted Feb 6, 2020 at FIDM Museum Blog
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In the mid-20th century, the splendor of the Palace of Versailles, former home to France’s kings, queens, and emperors, had drastically faded. The palace was in extreme disrepair, facing millions of dollars worth of renovations to restore it to its former glory. Cut to 1973: Versailles Chief Curator Gerald Van der Kemp and his wife Florence happened to be on holiday with fashion publicist Eleanor Lambert, a consummate advocate for American design. The three hatched an idea for a benefit to raise funds for the restoration: an elaborate fashion show in the palace’s Royal Opera theater featuring both American and... Continue reading
Posted Dec 14, 2019 at FIDM Museum Blog
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On November 15, 2019, Curator Kevin Jones celebrated his 20th year at the FIDM Museum! To mark this milestone, we asked our social media followers what questions they had for Kevin about his career and experiences in the field over the past twenty years. Read on to learn what missed acquisition keeps him up at night, which costume was the most difficult to mount, and where he hopes to see the Museum in twenty years. Kevin at the opening of Designing Hollywood: Sketches from the Christian Esquevin Collection, 2014 This was asked by several people: what is your favorite object... Continue reading
Posted Nov 21, 2019 at FIDM Museum Blog
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What do you see when you envision a fan? Perhaps gilded sticks, a painted leaf, a sprinkling of palettes? What about a fan made of perfume blotters, a cut-up silk scarf, or leather? World-class artist Sylvain Le Guen pushes the boundaries of traditional fan craftsmanship, using unexpected materials and shapes to construct contemporary fan designs. On October 26, 2019, the FIDM Museum was proud to host Le Guen at the annual Fashion Council Fall Lecture Day celebrating our new exhibition FANtasy: The Mona Lee Nesseth Fan Collection at the FIDM Museum at the FIDM Orange County campus. Le Guen began... Continue reading
Posted Nov 16, 2019 at FIDM Museum Blog
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Associate Curator Christina Johnson wrote this post about a very rare fan on display now in FANtasy: The Mona Lee Nesseth Fan Collection, FIDM Orange County Campus Gallery. ********************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************** "L'Occidentale" Fan Jeanne Paquin and Paul Iribe Paris, France Gift of Mona Lee Nesseth 2018.5.124A-C When I visit museum exhibitions I’m drawn to the objects on display and their meanings, but I also reflect on the many people behind-the-scenes who make those exhibitions happen! This blog entry describes how our team worked together to showcase an important new acquisition--a 1911 pochoir-printed silk fan created by Jeanne Paquin (1869-1936) in collaboration with... Continue reading
Posted Nov 7, 2019 at FIDM Museum Blog
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It's the final week of the FIDM Museum's Art of Television Costume Design exhibition! Our Newsletter Editor Elizabeth Hinckley caught up with several featured Costume Designers at the opening reception on August 17; in case you missed these interviews in the FIDM Museum Newsletter (sign-up here if you'd like to receive monthly updates), we're sharing their thoughts on the design process, their messages to Museum visitors, and their impressions of the exhibition - now in its 13th year. CDG President and FIDM Alumnus Salvador Perez (center) with Museum Coordinator Leigh Wishner (left) and Curator Kevin Jones (right) Salvador Perez (President,... Continue reading
Posted Oct 25, 2019 at FIDM Museum Blog
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Today's blog post is written by Donald and Joan Damask Summer Study Grant recipient Kirstin Purtich, who is currently studying fashion and textile conservation at the Fashion Institute of Technology. After completing an MA in decorative arts, design history, and material culture at the Bard Graduate Center and spending several years organizing and contributing to exhibitions, Kirstin is getting back to fashion history research—and is happy to be working directly with objects again. This fall she is pursuing several conservation treatment projects, one of which will become the basis for her qualifying paper at FIT. ********************************************************************** Over the course of... Continue reading
Posted Oct 11, 2019 at FIDM Museum Blog
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Today's blog post is written by Nandini Gopalarathinam, recipient of the Santamaura Summer Study Grant. Nandini Gopalarathinam is a fashion professional turned aspiring fashion historian and archivist. After years of working as a visual director for brands like Donna Karan and Anthropologie, she decided to take a deeper dive into into the historical, cultural, and social contexts for fashion. Currently, she is completing her final year of the dual degree M.A./M.S. program at New York University in Costume Studies and Library Science. Given her eclectic background, Nandini is most interested in exploring the intersection of global culture and trends in... Continue reading
Posted Oct 3, 2019 at FIDM Museum Blog
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The FIDM Museum Fashion Council is integral to the day-to-day operation of our institution. Because of the Museum's commitment to providing free admission, we rely on the group to support important acquisitions for the Permanent Collection. Fashion Council's fundraising activities, hands-on volunteer hours, and educational events not only enrich the Collection, but also fulfill the Museum's mission and benefit our fashion community. In fact, in 2018, Fashion Council members contributed over 4,282 total volunteer hours and raised nearly $209,000 in both financial and in-kind donations. As a non-profit organization, we truly could not exist without their incredible dedication! Join us... Continue reading
Posted Sep 26, 2019 at FIDM Museum Blog
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Currently on view at the Brooklyn Museum of Art, Pierre Cardin: Future Fashion reminds us of the noteworthy "futuristic" fashion in our collection. This post from 2014 explores how the fascination with space exploration and the moon landing was reflected through the clothes people wore in the 1960s and beyond. ************************************************************************** Fashion landed on the moon long before man did. In the early 1960s, in the throes of the Space Race between the United States and the Soviet Union, French couture designers like Pierre Cardin, Andre Courrèges, and Paco Rabanne sent so-called “Space Age” fashions down the Paris runways. These... Continue reading
Posted Sep 26, 2019 at FIDM Museum Blog
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British fashion designer Dame Zandra Rhodes was born on September 19, 1940! To celebrate, we're sharing a look back at Rhodes' career - make sure to scroll to the end to see pictures from her recent visit to the FIDM Museum! ************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************** 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... Continue reading
Posted Sep 19, 2019 at FIDM Museum Blog