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  • FIDM Museum Blog: Accessory
    faceted jet beads edge the front of the hat a few beads have fallen off over the years Toque American c 1885 Museum Purchase 2009 5 10 A black mesh overlay is embroidered with fringed roundels of small faceted jet beads and straw work knots But the fashion for jet inevitably passed and the decline of mourning rituals after World War I spelled the death of the Whitby jet industry Detail 1 Thomas N Bradley Bradley s new guide to Whitby Whitby T N Bradley 1884 27 28 Posted by FIDM Museum Permalink Comments 0 November 13 2015 Fundraising Friday The Romance of Accessories The FIDM Museum is in the final weeks of a major fundraising campaign to purchase the Helen Larson Historic Fashion Collection a private collection of 1 400 historic garments and accessories from four centuries Each Friday this blog will present exquisite pieces from the Larson Collection Dress Europe or United States c 1835 Bonnet Great Britain or Europe c 1830 Cap c 1830s Collar Europe c 1820 40 Shawl Europe c 1835 Purse Europe c 1830 all Helen Larson Historic Fashion Collection Buckle Europe c 1830 39 Gift of Jay Hampel 2010 801 1 The FIDM Museum always attempts to present a thorough and accurate picture of fashion history which means accessorizing our mannequins with the same attention to detail that a fashionable man or woman of the period would display This is particularly challenging for the Romantic Era circa 1815 40 The period was characterized by a flourishing of artistic literary and intellectual activity across Europe as well as a corresponding explosion of creativity in fashion A well dressed woman needed a myriad of accessories not including those largely hidden by her outer garments shoes stockings and several undergarments Here a dress of cotton batiste roller printed with brown flowers and vines is accessorized with a lace collar belt purse and gloves A cashmere shawl provided warmth without crushing the voluminous sleeves fashionable in the 1830s a lace cap framed the face beneath a bonnet stiffened with whalebone to protect the wearer s face from the sun All of these objects except the silver belt buckle a permanent collection piece and the ribbon belt and leather gloves which are props come from the Larson Collection While giving a splendid overview of the big picture of fashion history the collection is equally valuable because it so beautifully fills in the small delicate details for museum visitors students and researchers The FIDM Museum has a once in a lifetime opportunity to acquire these rare and beautiful pieces and many more like them before the Larson Collection is dispersed forever or sold into private hands But we need your help to save the Larson Collection We have raised more than twenty percent of the necessary funds but we still have a long way to go and time is running out Please make a contribution online or by mail or join our 4for400 social media campaign to donate 4 or more by texting Museum to 243725 Donations are tax deductible if your company or organization has a matching gift program your support will go even further You can also help by spreading the word on social media using the 4for400 hashtag The FIDM Museum as until the end of 2015 to finish raising the necessary funds so please join the campaign and help save 400 years of fashion history Posted by FIDM Museum Permalink Comments 0 October 06 2015 Butterflies By Night While butterflies often symbolize springtime lightness and new beginnings these pieces in the FIDM Museum collection refashion them as creatures of the night equally at home in the darkness of winter Evening Suit Elsa Schiaparelli Paris Fall Winter 1938 39 Gift of Elizabeth Galindo 2010 886 1AB Elsa Schiaparelli s 1890 1973 Summer 1937 collection featured a panoply of butterflies they alighted on hats formed rainbow hued prints and enlivened embroidery In this ensemble from the following year a butterfly morphs into one of the designer s trademark sculptural jacket fasteners Detail Schiaparelli drew on a wide circle of artistic friends for inspiration and assistance This carved and painted black butterfly was likely created by one of her well known sculptor collaborators such as Jean Clément Roger Jean Pierre or François Hugo The ornament s lighter than air appearance belies the heaviness of ensemble which is entirely hand embroidered with thousands of ink blue glass bugle beads together the dress and jacket weigh more than eight pounds Evening Gown Marc Bohan for Christian Dior Paris Fall Winter 1982 83 Gift of Mrs Alfred Bloomingdale 2006 116 6AB Butterflies became part of the iconography of the disco scene thanks to Bionic Boogie s dance hit Hot Butterfly later remixed as Papillon by Chaka Khan A butterfly of black polka dot net bordered by wire and black beads perches on the belt of this evening gown by Marc Bohan b 1926 for Christian Dior Croquis Marc Bohan for Christian Dior Paris Fall Winter 1982 83 Gift of Mrs Alfred Bloomingdale Special Collections SC2006 116 88 The tasseled braided cord wraps around a wide low waistband of black velvet for an obi effect perhaps a nod to the Japanese themed opera Madama Butterfly With its exotic dolman or batwing sleeves also decorated by tassels in the original sketch above the gown is ready to take flight into the night Mules Alexander McQueen c 2004 Museum Purchase 2005 5 112AB For Alexander McQueen 1969 2010 butterflies were not emblems of sweetness and light but reminders of the taxidermist and the entomologist s specimen case His fascination with the natural world encompassed its danger death and decay While these mules may appear playful at first glance the metal tipped spike heel threatens to sting like a bee This butterfly may be the legendary blue morpho an iridescent blue green butterfly native to Central and South America Like many creatures it is losing its native habitat to deforestation a reference consistent with McQueen

    Original URL path: http://blog.fidmmuseum.org/museum/accessory/ (2016-02-12)
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  • FIDM Museum Blog: AdDRESSING Titanic
    Stetson hat and a great free air of bravado 2 Detail In 1934 Levi Strauss Co introduced its first Lady Levi s jeans tailored for the female figure as well as Dude Ranch Duds a line of Western style leisure wear for both sexes designed to capitalize on the popularity of dude ranch vacations Previously Levi s had been sold primarily in the Western states now the firm expanded its market beyond the West allowing would be dudes on the East Coast to purchase their ranch wardrobes before leaving home 3 A whole new audience discovered denim laying the foundation for a global empire Addie Masters California c 1939 Museum Purchase 2009 5 67 The plaid or gingham shirts and cardigans adopted by early female dudines or dudettes were soon replaced by female versions of a man s Western or Rodeo shirt They retained their contrasting yokes piping and cowboy themed embellishments but came in feminine colors and patterns with blouson sleeves princess seams fabric covered buttons and metallic embroidery and beading Detail By the late 50s the dude ranch was in decline though cowboys were more popular than ever thanks to television shows like Gunsmoke and Have Gun Will Travel Levi s duly renamed its Dude Ranch Duds line Western Wear 4 Sportswear manufacturers many of them based in California continued to produce Western style clothing appealing both to the dude who rides a horse and the one who rides the station wagon to and from steak fries 5 Indeed the lure of the West has never really gone out of fashion as our next blog post will illustrate Perhaps that s because as Vogue put it deep down in every American s breast is a longing for the frontier perhaps the most powerful of American motivations 6 Bodyshirt

    Original URL path: http://blog.fidmmuseum.org/museum/addressing-titanic/ (2016-02-12)
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  • FIDM Museum Blog: Adele Simpson
    tall Simpson literally stood on a soapbox to comment on her runway shows Suit Adele Simpson c 1960 Gift of Mrs Carita Kadison 2003 792 1A C Simpson never sketched but worked directly with fabrics Some she designed herself others she sourced on her travels to India China and South America She was also a frequent visitor to Paris where she drew inspiration from the haute couture and adapted it for American lifestyles Although her clothes were never flamboyant or avant garde Simpson was a pioneer in her own quiet way She introduced cotton and sari fabric for eveningwear adding an unconventional twist to her conservative silhouettes And she often used black in her spring and summer looks including this one 2003 792 1A C At a time when many of America s top designers were men Simpson claimed to understand women s lifestyles and bodies better than her male competitors As she told the New York Times on April 24 1967 I like to feel I am dressing women not just making dresses Simpson described her typical customer She s busy with charity work if she doesn t have a job She doesn t take hours to get dressed

    Original URL path: http://blog.fidmmuseum.org/museum/adele-simpson/ (2016-02-12)
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  • FIDM Museum Blog: Adolfo
    changing season today s post features an early 1970s felt hat by Adolfo Adolfo c 1973 Gift of Anonymous Donor 99 40 1 Though Adolfo b 1933 once claimed that he never enjoyed making hats they were his entrée into the fashion industry 1 Born in Cuba Adolfo Sardinia immigrated to New York in 1948 Almost immediately after his arrival in New York Adolfo began work as an apprentice milliner

    Original URL path: http://blog.fidmmuseum.org/museum/adolfo/ (2016-02-12)
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  • FIDM Museum Blog: Adrian
    basked in the admiration and awe bestowed upon her from legions of fans and friends A glamorous public identity was materialized by Marlene Dietrich through her appearance This paper will study fashion and identity in the life of Marlene Dietrich focusing on a rare group of her garments and accessories from the FIDM Museum in Los Angeles This significant collection is comprised of over fifty personal wardrobe and movie costume ensembles in addition to twenty pairs of custom shoes donated by Dietrich to a now defunct museum from 1964 to 1966 before arriving at the FIDM Museum in 1990 These pieces date from her early career in Berlin her Hollywood years USO tours and stage performances Snapshot of Marlene Dietrich during her USO tour 1944 45 Museum Purchase Marlene Dietrich purchased this paisley gown in Los Angeles in the early 1940s and wore it frequently as evidenced by the many extant photographs During her 1944 45 USO tour she was photographed wearing the gown onstage as seen in the snapshot above Dietrich also wore the gown in the 1948 film A Foreign Affair The image below shows how this illustrious gown is stored at the FIDM Museum Gown worn by Marlene Dietrich Irene c 1941 Department of Recreation and Parks City of Los Angeles FIDM Museum INV 3633 This embellished jacket was part of Dietrich s personal wardrobe Evening Jacket worn by Marlene Dietrich Travis Banton Howard Greer c 1936 Department of Recreation and Parks City of Los Angeles FIDM Museum INV 1137 Detail of INV 1137 Hollywood Scandal Edith Head and Celanese Star in Crepe by Kevin Jones This is a convoluted story of eleven dresses in the FIDM Museum s Hollywood Costume Collection The collection came as a loan to FIDM in 1990 from the City of Los Angeles California after being stored in an abandoned city jail for more than twenty years Many of the garments have been exhibited around the world as authentic half of these gowns though are spurious While dressing the costumes for an exhibition it was noticed that some of them did not look as they appeared in publicity stills Were these the same garments Had they been altered A detailed analysis of the gowns ensued The gowns provenance though proved to be the thriller of this drama In 1960 the rayon manufacturer Celanese teamed with Paramount Pictures costume designer Edith Head to launch a new material called Star in Crepe by showcasing eleven original Golden Era crepe gowns in fashion shows in the United States with contemporary interpretations of the garments to inspire consumers to purchase the new material so they too could dress like a star The first fashion show was held at The Plaza Hotel in New York Thereafter identical copies of the gowns and their interpretations were worn in fashion shows around the country Later the costumes were donated to Hollywood Museum Associates an organization planning a museum of Los Angeles movie history The copy gowns were donated to various other institutions By 1968 Hollywood Museum Associates was defunct bailed out of debt by the City of Los Angeles who twenty years later loaned the eleven gowns to the FIDM Museum Which famous dresses are these Who were the movie queens wearing such beautiful creations Have any of the original dresses survived Stay tuned for the ending to this most dramatic Hollywood Scandal Sketch of the gown worn by Greta Garbo in the film Inspiration Gilbert Adrian design for Greta Garbo in Inspiration 1931 Modern Screen Magazine March 1931 Image courtesy of Richard Atkins FIDM Museum Actual gown worn by Greta Garbo in Inspiration Gilbert Adrian for Greta Garbo in Inspiration 1931 Silk velvet and rhinestones Image courtesy of the Drexel University Historic Costume Collection PA Gift of Mrs Thomas E Burns Jr 76 1 1ab Photography by Dave Gehosky Image courtesy of the Drexel Digital Museum Project http digimuse cis drexel edu Fake version of the gown worn by Greta Garbo in Inspiration created in 1961 Fake by Edith Head for Celanese Corp 1961 Representing Greta Garbo in Inspiration 1931 Department of Recreation and Parks City of Los Angeles FIDM Museum Image of model wearing fake Inspiration gown in 1961 fashion show Fake gown by Edith Head for Celanese Corp 1961 Representing Greta Garbo in Inspiration 1931 Model wearing the costume for a Celanese Fashion Show 1962 Department of Recreation and Parks City of Los Angeles FIDM Museum 1 Dietrich Marlene Marlene trans Salvatore Attanasio New York Grove Press 1989 Posted by FIDM Museum Permalink Comments 2 TrackBack 0 August 12 2009 Adrian Ltd What must be admired most in Adrian s fashions is their construction he is an architect balancing proportions and studying every line His approach is original and frequently unconventional but that is what makes the viewing of an Adrian collection exciting 1 When Adrian decided to leave the world of costume design in 1941 and open Adrian Ltd he could have had no knowledge of how perfect his timing would prove to be With the Nazi invasion of Paris in 1940 all contact with the French fashion industry halted As nearly all American designers based their designs on those originating from Paris the absence of information from France created a fashion vacuum American designers stepped up to the plate and soon began to create fashions based on an idealized American lifestyle These new fashions were often casual practical and made of durable fabrics Both New York and Los Angeles fought for the title of America s Fashion Capitol The February 19 1941 title of a Los Angeles Times article declared East and West Struggle for Fashion Dictatorship and suggested that Los Angeles would win the battle ultimately becoming more powerful in its sway over the civilized world than Paris ever thought of being Adrian debuted his first collection for buyers in January of 1942 at the May Company department store in Los Angeles Buyers were not particularly excited about this initial collection so Adrian

    Original URL path: http://blog.fidmmuseum.org/museum/adrian/ (2016-02-12)
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  • FIDM Museum Blog: Aesthetes, Bohemians & Craftsmen: Artistic Dress, 1880s–1920s
    scaled back It was not until after World War II that things began looking up again Posted by FIDM Museum Permalink Comments 0 TrackBack 0 March 15 2013 Green in fashion Thanks to Pantone avoiding a pinch on St Patrick s Day will be much easier this year According to their decree 2013 is the year of emerald green a rich jewel tone that enhances our sense of well being balance and harmony 1 Due to Pantone s promotion of the color retailers are well stocked with garments and accessories featuring emerald and other shades of green So if you wear green on St Patrick s Day you ll be sporting the most fashionable color of 2013 and immune to the painful pinches given to those who shun green clothing on this informal holiday In the FIDM Museum collection we are fortunate to have some wonderful green garments and accessories In honor of both St Patrick s Day and Pantone s color of the year today s post features an emerald green silk bonnet from the late 19th century Want to see another emerald garment from our collection Revisit our post on James Galanos vivid 1950s cocktail dress Kate Greenaway bonnet c 1880 89 Museum Purchase 2004 5 11 Continue reading Green in fashion Posted by FIDM Museum Permalink Comments 0 TrackBack 0 July 27 2012 Investigating a Silver Studio textile In 2007 the Textile Group of Los Angeles donated a late 19th century Silver Studio textile panel to the FIDM Museum About 7 feet long and 2 ½ feet wide this printed cotton textile features a dynamic pattern of orange poppies and white daisy chains on a pink ground As our curators were familiar with the Silver Studio they were certain that the textile had been used to decorate

    Original URL path: http://blog.fidmmuseum.org/museum/aesthetes-bohemians-craftsmen-artistic-dress-1880s1920s/ (2016-02-12)
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  • FIDM Museum Blog: Agnés
    York and other cities Preeminent among Parisian milliners during the 1920s and 1930s was Agnés often referred to as Madame Agnés Agnés trained under Caroline Reboux perhaps the most well known of the late 19th and early 20th century Parisian milliners In 1917 Agnés opened her own salon For her personal wardrobe she reportedly favored Madeline Vionnet and Louiseboulanger She was reportedly aware of artistic currents mining both contemporary and

    Original URL path: http://blog.fidmmuseum.org/museum/agn%C3%A9s/ (2016-02-12)
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  • FIDM Museum Blog: Alan Flusser
    1970s fashion Instead of tailored business suits Relax offered a variety of casual clothing options In the late 1970s sporty casual jackets wide collared button up shirts and pleated baggy pants were part of the Relax look In 1979 Bill Cunningham yes the same Bill Cunningham of street photography fame described a model in the Pierre Cardin Relax runway show as looking like he just fell off a park bench

    Original URL path: http://blog.fidmmuseum.org/museum/alan-flusser/ (2016-02-12)
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