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  • FIDM Museum Blog: Summer intern report
    experience One of my main assignments was to digitize the ephemera in the Helen Larson Historic Fashion Collection This astounding collection of approximately 1 200 fashion objects dating from c 1600 to the 1940s belonged to Helen Larson a Californian who acquired exquisite historic clothing over fifty years beginning in 1948 Her pieces range from a rare seventeenth century velvet jerkin to elaborate gowns worn at the most prominent courts in Europe The FIDM Museum is now fundraising to purchase the collection in its entirety and in the meantime they house and exhibit it increasing its profile and introducing the public to this important piece of history Helen Larson working in her collection storage Helen Larson Archive c 1963 In addition to the clothing the FIDM Museum holds the Helen Larson Archive of correspondence photographs invoices catalog cards and other physical evidence of her effort to build the collection Her fascinating letters include exchanges with leading costume historians of the period museum curators and private collectors all of whom were critical in establishing and legitimizing the academic study of fashion Larson s robust professional and personal relationship with Doris Langley Moore is particularly well documented through colorful correspondence Moore founded The Museum of Costume in Bath England now named the Fashion Museum and cultivated an unprecedented expertise in the subject over the years Larson made several visits to London to purchase important selections from Moore s private collection The letters are all the more valuable because they give the provenance of many objects in the collection not to mention the lively conversations that took place over several decades between these two friends their letters which mention major world events among their discussions of clothing connoisseurship read like a compelling novel I scanned the collection s ephemera so that the museum can use it to further their research of the objects and eventually make it available online to museum patrons Letter from Helen Larson to Doris Langley Moore following the assassination of President Kennedy Helen Larson Archive I was also involved in the initial research stages of Outdoor Girls Sporting Fashion 1800s to 1950s a future exhibition on women and sports My job was to begin compiling a comprehensive bibliography of primary and secondary sources as well as search for historic sporting images online and in periodicals My own concept of sportswear was completely changed as I learned more about the subject and I look forward to the displays of elegant croquet tennis and promenading ensembles Though I loved the research aspect of this project I have to admit my favorite part was going through the FIDM Museum Collection piece by piece with curators Christina Johnson and Kevin Jones as they determined which objects were a good fit for the show As we combed through the storage shelves I was introduced to incredible objects in the museum s extensive collection and learned something new with each box we opened The exhibition is still a few years off but I was thrilled

    Original URL path: http://blog.fidmmuseum.org/museum/2013/10/summer-intern-report.html (2016-02-12)
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  • FIDM Museum Blog: New exhibitions now open!
    they re FREE Admission Free to the public 10am 5pm Tuesday Saturday Location FIDM Museum 919 S Grand Ave Los Angeles CA 90015 The 23rd Annual Art of Motion Picture Costume Design Exhibition features all five nominees for Best Costume The winner will be announced at the Academy Awards on February 22 2015 Below are costumes from each of these films If you were selecting the winner of the Oscar for Best Costume who would win The Grand Budapest Hotel by costume designer Milena Canonero L to R Ralph Fiennes as Monsieur Gustave H Tilda Swinton as Madame Ce line Desgoffe und Taxis Photo Alex J Berliner ABImages Inherent Vice by costume designer Mark Bridges L to R Serena Scott Thomas as Sloane Wolfmann Martin Short as Dr Rudy Blatnoyd Joaquin Phoenix as Larry Doc Sportello Shasta Fay Hepworth as Katherine Waterston Reese Witherspoon as Deputy D A Penny Kimball Photo Alex J Berliner ABImages Into the Woods by costume designer Colleen Atwood L to R Meryl Streep as The Witch Photo Alex J Berliner ABImages Maleficent by costume designer Anna B Sheppard L to R Angelina Jolie as Maleficent Photo Brandon Clark ABImages Mr Turner by costume designer Jacqueline Durran L to R Marion Bailey as Sophia Booth Timothy Spall as J M W Turner Photo Alex J Berliner ABImages Posted by FIDM Museum Permalink Comments You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post Verify your Comment Previewing your Comment Posted by This is only a preview Your comment has not yet been posted Your comment could not be posted Error type Your comment has been saved Comments are moderated and will not appear until approved by the author Post another comment The letters and numbers you entered did not match the image

    Original URL path: http://blog.fidmmuseum.org/museum/2015/02/new-exhibitions-now-open.html (2016-02-12)
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  • FIDM Museum Blog: FIDM Museum to participate in the AAM Museum Assessment Program
    exceed the highest professional standards of the museum field The program is funded by the federal Institute of Museum and Library Services IMLS and administered by the American Alliance of Museums AAM AAM is the only organization representing the nation s entire museum community and has been dedicated to promoting excellence within the museum field for over 100 years AAM develops museum standards and best practices while also advocating for museums at local and national levels FIDM Museum staff will be embarking on the MAP assessment in late February with the goal of increasing collections accessibility and improving exhibition standards The program will take about four months to complete We look forward to sharing what we learn with you in the coming months Posted by FIDM Museum Permalink Comments You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post Verify your Comment Previewing your Comment Posted by This is only a preview Your comment has not yet been posted Your comment could not be posted Error type Your comment has been saved Comments are moderated and will not appear until approved by the author Post another comment The letters and numbers you entered did not match

    Original URL path: http://blog.fidmmuseum.org/museum/2015/02/fidm-museum-to-participate-in-the-aam-museum-assessment-program.html (2016-02-12)
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  • FIDM Museum Blog: Football fashion
    the extreme silhouette of a football player fully dressed for a game Bulky and protected a geared up player is almost unrecognizable as an ordinary human It is this imposing silhouette that influenced the orange Issey Miyake ensemble pictured here Suit Spring Summer 2001 Issey Miyake Museum Purchase 2003 5 7AB Issey Miyake b 1938 learned impeccable dressmaking skills at the Ecole de la Chambre Syndicale de la Couture Parisienne in 1965 Yet in the wake of the decade s mounting social discord and political unrest he came to believe that the bastion of haute couture was no longer relevant to postmodern lifestyles Miyake opened his Tokyo design studio in 1970 focused on creating ready to wear clothing Sometimes my clothes are radical probably sometimes challenging but I try not to fear radical things he explained 1 Miyake s Spring Summer 2001 menswear collection was termed Pneumatic pret a porter by the fashion press due to the air filled padding built into many of the garments This vivid ensemble was inspired by American football uniforms The blazer is constructed of printed nylon mesh generally reserved for team jerseys the knickers contain inflatable plastic bladders inserted over the outer thighs and knees to mimic players protective gear The clothing morphs the wearer s body into that of a sports hero enlarging his frame into an imposing physique while cushioning it to withstand the blows of stressful urban living 1 Wilcox Claire Radical Fashion London Victoria Albert Museum 2001 112 Posted by FIDM Museum Permalink Comments You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post Verify your Comment Previewing your Comment Posted by This is only a preview Your comment has not yet been posted Your comment could not be posted Error type Your comment has been

    Original URL path: http://blog.fidmmuseum.org/museum/2015/01/football-fashion.html (2016-02-12)
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  • FIDM Museum Blog: 1890s evening ensemble
    ages Evening ensemble 1890s Gift of Steven Porterfield 2007 897 6AB Artistic dress was donned by women with the courage to forgo conventional fashion Seasonal trends mass production and corporeal contortions were or no interest to the artistically inclined Instead they preferred the ease of movement offered by flowing hand crafted garments reminiscent of antiquity The appeal of the antique was summarized in Harper s Bazar in 1891 Greek costume has in it somewhat of the dignity the simplicity and the truth of nature 1 This extremely rare formal evening ensemble was custom made and is likely the unique creation of a French or English couture house It features an asymmetrical himation a diagonally draped mantle worn by Greco Roman men and women millennia ago Hand painted field lilies meander over the supple silk crepe embroidered with a classical Greek key motif in glistening silver bouillion Hand blown mercury lined glass beads cascade down the diaphanous chiffon undergown that falls unimpeded from bosom to hem over a flesh colored lining The lightweight textiles rippled around the body in movement molding to the wearer s statuesque contours in emulation of sculpted cloth in Hellenic statuary Detail of hand painted himation with Greek key motif worked in silver bouillion Though artistic dress had many supporters it was sometimes scorned In 1897 an article in Godey s Magazine pointed out the absurdity of stenographers and shop girls trailing their classic robes in New York slush 2 In other words though classically inspired dress might have been an improvement over the corsets bustles and petticoats of fashionable dress it didn t necessarily improve the life or comfort of the average woman Furthermore as noted previously wearing artistic dress meant bucking societal conventions not something every woman would do willingly For this reason artistic dress

    Original URL path: http://blog.fidmmuseum.org/museum/2014/05/1890s-evening-ensemble.html (2016-02-12)
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  • FIDM Museum Blog: Issey Miyake's early pleats
    demonstrated a consistent interest in pleats one of the elements of classical Western dress In 1993 Miyake introduced Pleats Please a line of garments featuring irregular extremely narrow heat set pleats In the Pleats Please line garment shapes are intended to interact with the body but usually have little relationship with the actual human form This dress with its extended back is a good example of this philosophy The pair of pleated silk Issey Miyake pants seen below are an earlier experiment in pleating featuring soft pleats that loosely mimic the shape of the body Issey Miyake 1987 89 Gift of the Museum at FIT 97 291 4 Miyake s work has had a clear trajectory moving from softer garment shapes made from natural fibers to rigid structural forms created from processed synthetic fibers In the soft shape of these pants it s possible to see a foreshadowing of Miyake s later work with Pleats Please In these pants the pleats are created through the process of construction Because it is impossible to create permanent pleats in silk fiber if all the seams were undone these pants would unfurl to a flat plane of fabric Miyake s later heat set pleats are impossible to undo imposed on the synthetic fibers through an industrial process 97 291 4 detail Despite their softness and relaxed silhouette the inverted V silhouette of these pleated pants and their shiny surface suggest an insect or sea creature The resemblence to a protective shell indicates Miyake s interest in housing the body rather than showcasing its form This conception of clothing is an acknowledgement of its most basic function that of protection from the elements In the midst of garments bearing needless though often aesthetically pleasing embellishment and decoration Miyake s return to basics is perhaps

    Original URL path: http://blog.fidmmuseum.org/museum/2010/10/issey-miyakes-early-pleats.html (2016-02-12)
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  • FIDM Museum Blog: Ready for the Red Carpet
    in those same gowns In honor of this year s red carpet season and our upcoming exhibition of Hollywood costumes today s post features a selection of dresses ready for the red carpet What s your favorite look Evening dress c 1912 Museum Purchase 2000 5 1 This layered tunic dress offers an early 20th century interpretation of ancient Greek and Roman draped garments The Far and Middle East are also referenced through the gauzy layers and rich jewel tone of the black and blue textile Tunic gowns were popular for both day and evening dress during this period with evening gowns being used as a canvas to experiment with pairing various textiles and embellishments Chiffon overlayers like the spangled chiffon used on this gown were popular for evening Norman Norell for Bonwit Teller c 1968 77 116 17 Gift of Mrs Alfred Bloomingdale Created by Norman Norell this demure evening dress of black wool crepe flirts with the eccentric fashions of the late 1960s Understated elegance was a hallmark of Norell s aesthetic his garments draw attention to the wearer This gown features a satin sash for textural contrast and a playful scalloped hem for a kicky finish Though Norell garments were available off the rack the quality of his workmanship was outstanding Each Norell garment was completed by a single seamstress not unlike the methods of the haute couture Though prices were high Norell s timeless aesthetic and the fine craftsmanship of his garments allowed his clients to wear his designs for years if not decades Carolina Herrera c 1992 Gift of Carolina Herrera 2005 844 12AB Carolina Herrera s evening confection suggests a ballerina s tutu A navy corset bodice contrasts with the fluffy layers of lavender tulle that comprise the skirt The knotted overskirt suggests that

    Original URL path: http://blog.fidmmuseum.org/museum/2015/01/ready-for-the-red-carpet.html (2016-02-12)
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  • FIDM Museum Blog: Two exhibitions opening in February!
    year s Academy Award winning The Great Gatsby Catherine Martin will be spotlighted Other films include Belle Anushia Nieradzik Big Eyes Colleen Atwood Selma Ruth E Carter and Jersey Boys Deborah Hopper Opulent Art 18th Century Dress from the Helen Larson Historic Fashion Collection Robe Volante France c 1745 Brocaded silk silk passementarie linen Helen Larson Historic Fashion Collection FIDM Museum L2011 13 991AB Ladies and gentlemen living in 18th century Europe dressed opulently The designing producing and wearing of fashion was elevated to an art form Luxurious silks handmade laces and precious metal trimmings were de rigueur for those aligned with royal courts and attending state theatres In this exhibition are displayed lavish garments and accessories spanning the century including a rare Figaro costume worn by an actor portraying the rascal servant in Beaumarchais s famed opera trilogy The stories of this character s hijinks undermining his aristocratic employer sparked revolutionary tensions with real life rulers who tried unsuccessfully to ban the popular productions Posted by FIDM Museum Permalink Comments You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post You have mislabel the 18th century gown in your post It is not a robe volante it is a Robe a la Francaise and the silk is mid 1760s not 1740s The serpentine S curve of the fabric is typical of the 1760s as are the sleeve treatments In the 1740s the sleeves would have winged cuffs Posted by hallie larkin February 13 2015 at 02 11 AM Great eye Thank you for your thoughtful comments It is the construction of the interior that makes this garment akin to a Robe Volante rather than a Robe a la Francaise the double box pleats at back alone do not make it specifically a Robe a la

    Original URL path: http://blog.fidmmuseum.org/museum/2015/01/two-exhibitions-opening-in-february.html (2016-02-12)
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