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  • FIDM Museum Blog: Intern Report: Rudi Gernreich's Kimono Dress
    the obi sash of the traditional kimono and the thin black belt resembles the obijime which helps hold the obi in position See here for a diagram of the kimono including the obi and obijime Waist detail G85 331 9 How does a moderate less radical outfit like this dress continue Gernreich s proposed dialogue of liberating the female body and creating equality between the sexes It is through the appropriation of or edit as Gernreich liked to say of the kimono that he explored the ideal of equality 3 Since its introduction into Western wear the kimono has been a symbol of Japanese culture however its appropriation into Western wear subtly carries a legacy of liberating the female body The kimono was first introduced to Europe and the United States in the late nineteenth century At that time women s range of motion was limited by bustles corsets and large skirts During the same period the Arts and Crafts Movement gained momentum in England The Arts and Crafts movement aspired to create handmade works that embodied simplicity utility and comfort A new silhouette was developed during the 1870s that embodied all these ideals known as Artistic Dress These new garments were inspired by the kimono and its use of long modular panels loosened sleeves and waist 4 This loosened fit reduced physical restrictions normally caused by corsets tight bodices bustles and floor length skirts The women associated with the Arts and Crafts movement were freed from the confines of their clothing and were able to move about independently Dressing Gown 1906 1910 Exchange Transfer from Petterson Museum of Intercultural Art 2010 930 1 For a while these artistic dresses were only worn by women of the movement and were perceived as grotesque by women outside the group 5 Eventually the corset less Artistic dress went mainstream as an indoor only tea gown eventually making its way into the public scene Beginning in the 1910s wearing tea gowns outside the home became a more widely accepted practice though still very avant garde Designers like Mariano Fortuny borrowed from the kimono in his designs Thanks to the kimono the female body was not limited to small movements anymore 6 The image above featuring an embroidered dressing gown clearly demonstrates the freedom of movement available to women who wore Artistic style garments Back to Gernreich and his agenda with his Kimono dress Whether intentional or not the Kimono dress carries a lineage of liberating the female body and continues its legacy Gernreich s Kimono dress is unfitted with an adjustable belt at the waist and short enough to allow for easy movement As fashion scholars have noted dress carries moral and political meanings 7 This is exemplified by the appropriation of the Japanese kimono in the late nineteenth and early twentieth century and continues with Rudi Gernreich s designs of the 1960s and 1970s Gernreich s Kimono dress promotes functionality and simplicity through which women s bodies were freed ultimately decreasing the

    Original URL path: http://blog.fidmmuseum.org/museum/2014/09/intern-report-rudi-gernreichs-kimono-dress.html (2016-02-12)
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  • FIDM Museum Blog: Fashion Birthday: Rudi Gernreich
    by deadlines Gernreich opted to take time off for travel and rest 1 As he told a reporter in late 1968 I don t have cancer or a brain tumor or any incurable disease I just want to refresh myself 2 His first stop was reportedly North Africa though this caftan suggests he also ventured to India Covered with embroidery this caftan features shishadar or mirrorwork This technique uses embroidery stitches to affix small bits of mirror to a durable base fabric and was likely developed as a way to mimic the alluring gleam of textiles embroidered with gold or silver thread Shishadar probably originated sometime during the 17th century in the region now encompassed by Western India Pakistan and Afghanistan Even today it is used to decorate both garments and interior textiles Though we don t have Rudi Gernreich s sabbatical itinerary he probably purchased this caftan somewhere in western India most likely in Gujarat 3 G85 331 2 detail Note the mirrorwork at the top and right of this image The body obscuring silhouette of this eye catching caftan probably appealed to Gernreich s interest in liberating the body from constraining silhouettes During his career Gernreich designed many cocoon like caftans While on sabbatical he purchased at least one other embroidered Indian caftan Housed at the Kent State University Museum it is extremely similar but features different embroidery patterns Like the caftan pictured here it has a Rudi Gernreich label He may have purchased them as gifts or to retail under his own label as an embodiment of his ideas about clothing and its relationship to the body G85 331 2 Side view 1 Morris Bernadine Gernreich Taking a Year Off to Rest New York Times Oct 16 1968 42 2 Sheppard Eugenia Rudi Gernreich Plans Year Off

    Original URL path: http://blog.fidmmuseum.org/museum/2014/08/fashion-birthday-rudi-gernreich.html (2016-02-12)
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  • FIDM Museum Blog: Mariano Fortuny
    always used glass beads produced by the famous Murano glassworks which was near his home in Venice Fortuny s dresses were designed to glide over the body showcasing the beauty of the natural form All Fortuny garments were one size fits all though a drawstring at the bateau neckline and the addition of fabric sashes allowed wearers to customize the fit The sash seen in the image above is typical of those worn with the Delphos It also showcases another of Fortuny s talents textiles printed in patterns inspired by a variety of historic cultures Capes cloaks and jackets of Fortuny printed silk velvet were frequently worn over the solid color silk Delphos or used to create simple unfitted gowns Our Delphos is black but Fortuny also utilized other colors and shades Most often these are rich nearly luminous jewel tones Fortuny always dyed his own fabric often with the help of his wife Henriette Fortuny s Delphos was introduced about 1909 when the highly artificial S bend silhouette was dominant Fortuny s lightweight creations were meant to be worn without any corsetry and ideally with only the bare minimum of undergarments Because of this Fortuny s early experimentation in classically influenced dress were worn only by the most daring of women including dancers Isadora Duncan and Ruth St Denis actress Lillian Gish and the noted eccentric Marchesa Lusia Casati Gradually Fortuny s gowns were adopted as at home dress by some women In the fashion press they were often referred to as a teagown a style of at home dress popular in the late 19th and early 20th centuries By the 1920s Fortuny s Delphos and its variations were becoming acceptable for wear outside the home 80 1925 059 4 Hem detail The aspect of Fortuny s work that receives the most attention is the narrow pleats that give the garments their textural character Silk which Fortuny used to create his pleated gowns is notoriously difficult to permanently pleat Using a secret process that he invented Fortuny was somehow able to achieve a nearly permanent pleat The panels of fabric were probably finger pleated when wet and then heat set The only evidence of the process is an image taken from a patent application for a machine used for some part of the process Scholars have suggested that the pleated widths of fabric were held in place by thread during the heat set process The panels each containing between 430 450 pleats were hand sewn after pleating Though Fortuny s pleating process created a very stable pleat customers were encouraged to maintain their pleated Fortuny garments by storing them inside small round hat boxes In the boxes the dresses were stored in a twisted coil which helped maintain the pleats If the pleats started to come undone due to water damage or extended sitting Fortuny would re pleat the gown for free at his Venice production facility Upon Fortuny s death in 1949 production of his distinct pleated garments

    Original URL path: http://blog.fidmmuseum.org/museum/2011/01/mariano-fortuny.html (2016-02-12)
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  • FIDM Museum Blog: Tropical print halter, c. 1942-45
    new style required innovative purpose built undergarments In 1938 Vogue advised its readers to invest in undergarments designed for the geography of different dresses including halter neck playsuits and backless dresses 1 Despite increasing popularity these revealing cuts were usually relegated to specific situations athletic pursuits vacation lounging and evenings out on the town Fashionable daywear of the 1930s and 1940s continued to flatter but not reveal the body With no label this playful separate might have been homemade a self sufficient strategy encouraged during and immediately after World War II In the spirit of make do and mend it could have been crafted from another garment or a length of yardage Period imagery indicates that casual halter tops were often part of an ensemble featuring a coordinating short skirt and summery sandals Back view 2003 40 80 The fabric used in the construction of this top is a wild swirling mix of brown yellow and teal In the printed pattern sarong clad women recline among abstracted tropical flowers and foliage This imagery evokes thoughts of faraway vacations something North Americans experienced in large numbers after World War II Post war prosperity allowed for more travel often to tropical locales Mexico Puerto Rico California Florida and Cuba were popular vacation destinations as was Hawaii The many islands of the Bahamas were also favored described by Vogue as a land of sunny days and fragrant starry evenings 2 Any of these destinations would have been the perfect setting for this tropically inspired halter top 1 More Than Meets the Eye in Brassieres Designed for Dresses Vogue Apr 1 1938 148 2 The World of Fashion Nassau Bound Vogue Jan 1 1941 41 Posted by FIDM Museum Permalink Comments You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this

    Original URL path: http://blog.fidmmuseum.org/museum/2014/08/tropical-print-halter-c-1942-45.html (2016-02-12)
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  • FIDM Museum Blog: Chanel day dress, c. 1937
    on showcasing the female form with form fitting bias cut dresses and tailored suits that emphasized the waist Chanel s chiffon afternoon dress features a seam at the natural waist and a self fabric belt for emphasis The flowing skirt is cut on the bias and would float gracefully around the wearer s legs when walking Because of its mid calf length we know this dress was intended for day wear Despite her reputation for a pared down aesthetic Chanel was no stranger to flowers and frou frou Throughout the 1930s flowers were an extremely popular decorative device In 1935 it was reported that all Paris today is wearing flowers both real and artificial 1 Floral patterns were a favorite for day and evening dresses as dimensional decoration on garments and accessories and as decoration in the hair Chanel used flowers often a camellia as soft accent on garments as a motif in her jewelry designs and as textile pattern In this afternoon dress Chanel used self fabric cut out flowers to embellish the neckline and unusual split sleeves Individual daisies were carefully cut from a length of the filmy chiffon stacked and sewn around the scooped neckline and sleeves Chanel s use of this inventive time consuming embellishment elevates an otherwise straightforward afternoon dress to the level of haute couture 1 Parisians Vie for Originality in Floral Wear The Washington Post 5 July 1935 14 Posted by FIDM Museum Permalink Comments You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post This dress displays such simple classic elegance I adore this Posted by Jules October 17 2012 at 06 33 AM Only chanel can make so elegant prints on dress with simple white and red color Posted by Jenny October 25 2012 at 08 22

    Original URL path: http://blog.fidmmuseum.org/museum/2012/10/chanel-day-dress-c-1937.html (2016-02-12)
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  • FIDM Museum Blog: World War II propaganda dress
    to the Corps so they could transport injured troops The textile collection was also a gesture of support to beleaguered British citizens who had suffered under Nazi bombing Other featured slogans included Bravo Britain and Friends Across the Sea in colors called English Channel blue and Buckingham Palace red To promote the textiles which were marketed nationally a fashion show was held in Manhattan featuring socialites clad in dresses created from the various textiles Astute readers probably noticed that the text in the detail image is backwards This collection of textiles was intentionally printed with reversed mirror writing which can be read properly only when reflected in a mirror Our curators have recently determined that the unusual mirror writing featured in the print is a reference to the many coded messaging systems used during World War II The mirror writing also had an immediate effect on the wearer every time she glanced in a mirror she was confronted with a cheerful fashionable reminder of her patriotic duty 2005 842 2 Back view With its square shoulders and slightly full just below the knee skirt this dress showcases all the important elements of World War II era fashions The prevalence of military uniforms L 85 regulations and a sense of patriotic duty led to dresses with a compact structured silhouette similar to that of a military uniform Because the dress has no label we can guess that it was probably created by a skilled home sewer who wanted to support the efforts of the British American Ambulance Corps The ruched self fabric trim at the shoulders and waist and the fullness of the skirt suggest that this was made soon after the textile was released in 1941 With the advent of L 85 regulations in 1942 even home sewers probably would have streamlined their garments out of a sense of patriotic duty Further reading Atkins Jacqueline ed Wearing Propaganda Textiles on the Home Front in Japan Britain and the United States 1931 1945 New Haven Yale University Press 2005 Wolford Jonathan Forties Fashion From Siren Suits to the New Look New York Thames Hudson 2008 Posted by FIDM Museum Permalink Comments You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post Another reason could be that the dress was turned In war time people could often not be able to buy new clothes or fabric and had to repair dresses all the time I myself have turned old coats to turn clothes you take them completely apart turn the fabric around and put it back together again This way the dirty faded fabric that was on the outside is now on the inside and visa versa Your dress will look like new Posted by Jo Teeuwisse June 06 2012 at 11 08 AM Thank you so much This is absolutely fascinating What an era that was It is a great example of how fashion is a reflection of society Posted by Jason Lillywhite June 06 2012 at

    Original URL path: http://blog.fidmmuseum.org/museum/2012/06/world-war-ii-propaganda-dress.html (2016-02-12)
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  • FIDM Museum Blog: Intern Report: The Gianni Versace Menswear Archive, Part II
    in dating a vintage collection is having original catalogs from the time period being researched I was fortunate to have access to Versace menswear catalogs from 1982 1996 in order to research this collection I found dates for most garments by looking at these catalogs and matching them to the pictures and descriptions that are located in the Museum s Past Perfect database Looking for patterns and trends that stand out for each fashion season is an easy way to date garments in a collection One example from the Versace collection is the Tarzan print themed shirt from the Spring Summer 1993 catalog Just by glancing at the pattern and flipping through one of the catalogs I was easily able to find a date for shirt pictured below This tropical Tarzan print was featured throughout Versace s S S 1993 collection Left Tarzan print silk shirt Gianni Versace Italy Spring Summer 1993 V2006 890 323 Gift of Joan Worth in memory of Marvin Worth Right Image from Spring Summer 1993 Catalog featuring a Tarzan print silk handkerchief Another way to date a vintage garment collection is to use an online database such as Pro Quest Historical Newspapers or the Vogue Archive to look through old advertisements This was a challenging task for the Versace Archive because the collection I am working with is solely menswear and Vogue is a womenswear magazine I did not find it as helpful as I wanted it to be but I was able to recognize trends in womenswear during different years that helped me to date menswear pieces from the same year I found a Vogue cover shoot of model Linda Florentino wearing a Versace white butterfly patterned dress from Spring Summer 1995 and immediately knew that a shirt tie and vest in the Versace Menswear Archive dated from that year Additionally Elizabeth Hurley s iconic safety pin dress from the Spring Summer 1994 collection revealed to me that the white and black safety pin suit jackets in the FIDM Museum collection were from that same year April 1995 Vogue cover with model Kristen McMenamy wearing a Versace butterfly print dress On the right is a Versace man s vest with a similar print Vest Gianni Versace Italy Spring Summer 1995 V2006 890 253 Gift of Joan Worth in memory of Marvin Worth Right Elizabeth Hurley wearing Versace s revealing safety pin dress 1994 Left Man s black wool suit with safety pins Gianni Versace Italy Spring Summer 1994 V2006 890 184AB Gift of Joan Worth in memory of Marvin Worth I could go on and on about all of the different strategies I used to date the Versace Menswear Archive but for the sake of brevity I will conclude with one last tip try everything and do your research Databases print catalogs and good old fashioned library books will aid any researcher if he she knows how to use them and is persistent about trying multiple methods to accomplish a task When in doubt

    Original URL path: http://blog.fidmmuseum.org/museum/2014/08/intern-report-more-on-the-gianni-versace-menswear-archive.html (2016-02-12)
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  • FIDM Museum Blog: Intern Report: The Gianni Versace Menswear Archive
    The closet became a time capsule an actual frozen moment in time and essentially the perfect archive Rather than the typical collections that come in trash bags and boxes with an indecipherable original order this collection had a clear original order One could simply recreate Worth s closet thus recreating a moment in time and an archeological place of study This method of exhibition is comparable to archeological exhibitions and even more interestingly decorative furniture exhibitions both of which recreate the context in which the object was originally found This is one way the collection could be utilized as a way to better understand Marvin Worth and his personal organization system Another way to keep the focus on the donor would be to recreate the actual outfits that we know Worth wore as seen in the following photos This would be an easy way to exhibit these garments and better understand the collector Through this method Marvin Worth s personal curation of his clothing and self can be seen and the clothes become anthropological artifacts These two options are often utilized in an archival atmosphere where the focus is on the donor or collector L to R Marvin Worth and Marvin Worth with wife Joan Worth Photos courtesy of Worth Family To call Worth a collector of Versace is to put it mildly Over 95 of this vast collection is Versace but what makes this archival collection unique compared to other archives is that it is a story not only of one man but two Marvin Worth and Gianni Versace Through the avid collecting of Marvin Worth we are able to see the entire expanse of Versace s career with pieces dating from the early 1980s until his death in 1997 Anyone can come in and see the evolution of this designer s work One idea would be to focus on a particular type of garment such as a suit and exhibit different suits from the course of Versace s career effectively creating a timeline of Versace s career and the evolution of his aesthetic over time Three white Versace suits owned by Worth demonstrate the depth of his commitment to wearing and collecting Versace L to R Man s three piece off white wool suit Undated Wool Rayon Plastic V2006 890 160A C Man s two piece off white wool suit Spring Summer 1994 Wool Rayon Plastic Metal V2006 890 161AB Man s two piece off white wool suit Undated Wool Rayon Plastic V2006 890 162AB All Gift of Joan Worth in memory of Marvin Worth The Museum also owns a collection of Versace catalogs which have been a great resource these past weeks and I believe will be a great resource for future exhibitions One way to utilize these catalogs would be to exhibit the garments as seen in the catalogs The catalogs are highly stylized and are the resource to not only understand Versace as a creator of clothing but also a curator Gianni Versace Collezione Uomo

    Original URL path: http://blog.fidmmuseum.org/museum/2014/08/intern-report-the-gianni-versace-menswear-archive.html (2016-02-12)
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