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  • FIDM Museum Blog: Bound to Impress: Corsets from The Helen Larson Historic Fashion Collection
    backs and flattened breasts or rounded hourglasses with sloped shoulders and cinched waistlines garment silhouettes followed the dictates of these concealed undergarments This exhibition covers sixty years from the Ancien Régime through the French Revolution during the age of Napoléon to the era of British Romanticism The first aim of 18 th century corsets often referred to as stays or bodies was to aid ideal deportment Ladies were to have shoulders thrust back and down and rigid upright spines Of course these corsets also helped to achieve the fashionable silhouette conical torso and round hips This corset is made of sturdy wool and silk damask and stiffened with baleen strips a durable material cut from the mouth plate of baleen whales Leather strips prevented fraying at the edges due to wear Schedule a viewing of Bound to Impress by contacting Jim Nemmert at 949 851 6200 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

    Original URL path: http://blog.fidmmuseum.org/museum/2014/01/bound-to-impress-corsets-from-the-helen-larson-historic-fashion-collection.html (2016-02-12)
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  • FIDM Museum Blog: Top five posts of 2013: Skirt lifter, c. 1876
    in the form of a patent date stamped on the side of the handle October 16 1876 In the later nineteenth century more women participated in outdoor sporting hobbies such as promenading croquet and archery An 1876 article in The Queen states As the trains of outdoor dresses get longer and longer a serviceable dress holder becomes more and more indispensable 1 Other dress holders were simpler and came in pairs to wear for cycling and similarly rigorous activities 2 There was also a resurgence of the polonaise dress during this period an ensemble consisting of an overdress gathered up in elegant drapes to expose a decorative petticoat a look that referenced the eighteenth century robe à la polonaise The skirt lifter both pulled the dress up to avoid soiling the hem and created the fashionable gathered drapes of the polonaise According to The Atlanta Constitution dress holders were worn suspended from the right 3 as seen in these two fashion plates The Englishwoman s Domestic Magazine 1870 Peterson s Magazine June 1879 Fashion scholar C Willet Cunnington suggests dress holders were worn as early as 1846 to pull the dress up while walking 4 but the trend reached its peak of popularity from the 1860s to the 1880s As promenading and other outdoor pursuits became stylish the tool was much used by the elegantes to raise the trains of their walking dresses 5 making skirt lifters a definitive fashion statement Apparently though it was not a universally admired accessory as Godey s Lady s Book called the dress holder useful but not pretty 6 Other cord and loop mechanisms were employed to pull the dress into folds but many of these were hidden under the skirt or disguised by ribbons and bows The skirt lifter was the most visible and decorative accessory used for this purpose It could be worn on its own or as one of the multiple tools dangling from a chatelaine an ornamental belt with chains and clasps to hold a lady s various accoutrements fan parasol eyeglasses sewing scissors 7 Chatelaine dress holders and belt clasps featured in The Queen October 14 1876 We now know who wore the dress holder and why so let s turn our attention to the charmingly detailed butterfly that covers the handles The FIDM Museum s dress holder was made in 1876 during the height of the Aesthetic movement which eschewed the mass produced goods of industrialism in favor of artistic ideals and quality craftsmanship art for art s sake 8 The butterfly represents Aestheticism s embrace of Asian design influences so much so that the renowned painter James Whistler a major proponent of this artistic movement created a signature monogram with his initials stylized into a butterfly 9 Though this skirt lifter was mass produced the manufacturer was marketing its products according to the fashionable motifs of the era Butterfly embroidery featured in La Mode Illustrée February 21 1875 James Whistler Butterfly Monogram Charcoal on paper The Metropolitan

    Original URL path: http://blog.fidmmuseum.org/museum/2013/12/top-five-posts-of-2013-skirt-lifter-c-1876.html (2016-02-12)
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  • FIDM Museum Blog: Top five posts of 2013: Sarah Elizabeth Craft’s Easter bonnet, 1852
    wear new clothing after the austerity of Lent In 1890 Harper s Bazar described Easter Sunday as the day that new bonnets and spring gowns first see the light 1 Girl s bonnet 1852 Silk taffeta silk ribbon Museum Purchase 2009 5 73A In Victorian era fashion magazines bonnets and Easter were very closely linked Sentimental poems and short stories celebrated the appearance of new Easter bonnets or mourned for those women who wouldn t be wearing a new bonnet for the holiday Easter bonnets also influenced holiday decorating In 1891 Harper s Bazar recommended decorating an Easter table with tiny doll bonnets filled with fresh seasonal flowers such as tulips hyacinths or daffodils Ideally both a new gown and a new bonnet were purchased for the Easter holiday For many consumers however a new bonnet or supplies to refurbish an old one were less expensive and therefore more attainable This colorful silk bonnet was purchased for an 11 year old girl in 1852 Sadly it was never worn 2009 5 73A The intended owner of this bonnet was Sarah Elizabeth Craft 1841 1852 who lived in Ireland Parish now Holyoke Massachusetts Purchased as a Christmas present to be worn the following spring for Easter services the gift was never opened as Sarah died on the twentieth of December After her death Sarah s cherished possessions her dolls needlework and letters as well as this bonnet with its original bandbox were packed into a small wooden trunk and placed in an attic where they stayed until their discovery more than a century later Sarah s bonnet is unusual not only for its striking appearance but because its provenance is fully documented The bold color combination of sky blue and lemon yellow reveal that not all Victorian era fashions were subdued

    Original URL path: http://blog.fidmmuseum.org/museum/2013/12/top-five-posts-of-2013-sarah-elizabeth-crafts-easter-bonnet-1852.html (2016-02-12)
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  • FIDM Museum Blog: Top five posts of 2013: Making paper wigs
    magazines Many images can be found online but don t forget to reference print sources Once you ve determined the desired look of your wig get yourself a pad of 14x17 inch 70 lb drawing paper c 1860s wig Remove a sheet of paper from the pad fold on a diagonal angle and cut along the fold Leaving a 1 2 inch edge cut 3 8 to 5 8 inch wide strips It s important to leave a 1 2 inch margin as it will be used to help anchor the hair to the mannequin Straight cuts approximate straight hair while curved lines create waves We sometimes use pinking shears to create added texture Hair cut from 70 lb drawing paper Note the uncut edge which is important for attaching the hair to the mannequin It also helps in creating a believable hairline and part Paper wig made with pinking shears As you build the wig keep the desired hairline in mind We ve found that if you don t pay attention to creating a natural hairline the wig can look odd It also helps to remember that you re not making hair you re making an abstract interpretation of hair In other words you re sculpting And you re not creating a perfect hairstyle Even paper hair appears more natural when it s very slightly imperfect and asymmetrical Once you ve cut several segments of hair begin attaching them to the mannequin If we re making a particularly elaborate wig one we hope to keep for a long time we ll sometimes use a plain juliet cap for the foundation Usually we work directly on the mannequin We generally use scotch tape but you might want to experiment with different tapes depending on your mannequin finish The 1 2 inch margin uncut is taped along the hairline disappearing when the strands of hair are pulled back If a part is desired the margin can be taped to approximate a part Note that a few strands fall forward these pieces will be curled This hair will have a bit of extra decoration but no hat When you re building the wig don t forget to consider if you ll be including hats veils or other headwear Front hair has been pulled back and taped together creating a topknot The long strands at the nape will be pulled up filling out the hairstyle If a hairstyle is particularly full you might consider creating a tissue paper rat a slightly crumpled wad of paper placed inside the hairstyle creating additional fullness This technique was used on the c 1895 wig pictured above To form the topknot strands are pulled up and taped in place The front curls were created with an extremely low tech tool a 2 pencil As you re forming the wig remember the layout of your gallery Will the wig only be seen from the front or will it be seen in the round You ll probably want to

    Original URL path: http://blog.fidmmuseum.org/museum/2013/12/top-five-posts-of-2013-making-paper-wigs.html (2016-02-12)
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  • FIDM Museum Blog: Research resources
    via Proquest an academic database available via subscription Even if you don t have a college or university affiliation most public libraries subscribe to Proquest Museum websites Many museums have websites that feature images commentary or exhibitions In addition to images there is often contextual information about specific objects As museums strive to present authoritative information you can be sure what you re reading is accurate and well researched The Costume Institute at the Metropolitan Museum of Art Helibrunn Timeline of Art History This timeline from the Metropolitan Museum of Art is a fantastic resource for all types of art history research Museum of Fine Arts Boston Fashion and Textile Arts Los Angles County Museum of Art LACMA Costume and Textiles Fashion Jewellery Accessories Victoria Albert Museum Other resources Do you have any patterns from decades past These are often dated with a copyright mark which can help pinpoint when a particular style was popular Archive org can sometimes be a good source for out of print books relating to fashion Wikimedia Commons has interesting imagery including this fantastic image of a bat fancy dress costume Like Wikipedia however you should probably take any textual information you find here with a grain maybe even several grains of salt We ve surely missed some resources in this post so feel free to comment with resources that you find useful In case you thought we d leave you without an image here s another garment featured in our recent exhibition High Style Betsy Bloomingdale and the Haute Couture This garment was pictured in L Officiel issue 547 Enjoy Evening dress Hubert de Givenchy Autumn Winter 1967 68 Gift of Mrs Alfred Bloomingdale 2006 116 4 Double layer bias cut organza strips spiral around the china silk foundation to form an evening dress in a virtuosic display of patterning skills Many of these strips are long enough to encircle the dress multiple times during their descent from neckline to hem This design necessitated a liberal use of fabric Hundreds of small curved pieces were cut away to form diagonal scallops across the body imparting a sense of movement even when the wearer was standing still 2006 116 4 Detail Posted by FIDM Museum Permalink Comments You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post I personally find Wikipedia and related sites to be a very useful tool for presearch When I have no prior information about a particular topic or no idea where to start with research I ll often look it up on Wikipedia skim the article to get some basic information in my head and then check out the references section at the bottom of the article Usually the references contain information about books scholarly articles or other juried publications related to the subject and I can then use those references to kick start my search A lot of the information on the internet in general is potentially unreliable or just plain wrong but even inaccurate

    Original URL path: http://blog.fidmmuseum.org/museum/2010/02/research-resources.html (2016-02-12)
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  • FIDM Museum Blog: Top five posts of 2013: Red and black ensemble, 1894-96
    to 1950 Some of the garments like this mauve and floral day ensemble have labels but most are unlabelled including this ensemble An established dressmaker working from a brick and mortar shop would have stitched a label inside the finished garment The absence of a label indicates that the garments were made either by a talented home sewer or a skilled dressmaker who didn t have enough capital to open her own shop 2 Though we can t attribute this striking ensemble to a specific maker it is definitely a stylish well made example of mid 1890s fashion As we described in this post 1890s garments can usually be dated by sleeve shape The exaggerated gigot or leg o mutton sleeves seen on this ensemble were popular in the mid 1890s To achieve this abundantly full silhouette each sleeve was made from about 1 yard of fabric and required an understructure Fibre Chamois a lightweight flexible interlining was one way to keep the popular leg o mutton sleeves full and shapely Fibre Chamois advertisement 1895 The tall standing collar indicates a dress for day wear Victorian etiquette dictated that a proper woman didn t reveal herself in public so day dress particularly that worn for traveling outside the home featured high necklines long sleeves and long skirts In contrast evening wear was typically revealing with short sleeves and lower bodices The high collar full sleeves and decorative black net flounce on this dress obscure the natural silhouette exemplifying the 1896 maxim Revealed form is vulgar suggested form poetic 2 Elegant carefully fitted gloves both disguised and accentuated the hands Skirts of this era were relatively plain a foil for highly decorative bodices The waistline was at or near the natural waist and appeared relatively tiny below puffed leg o mutton

    Original URL path: http://blog.fidmmuseum.org/museum/2013/12/top-five-posts-of-2013-red-and-black-ensemble-1894-96.html (2016-02-12)
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  • FIDM Museum Blog: Top five posts of 2013: Cristobal Balenciaga and Christian Dior
    two designers rank among the most revered names of the haute couture Two of the twentieth century s greatest couturiers were born today January 21 In 1895 Cristobal Balenciaga was born in Getaria Spain Ten years later Christian Dior was born in Granville Normandy France In addition to sharing a birthday Balenciaga and Dior were both masters of their craft creating extraordinary garments and influencing generations of designers In celebration of their respective birthdays careers and legacy we re sharing previously unseen images of each designer s work Cristobal Balenciaga 1958 Silk matelassé Transfer from the Museum at FIT 2004 291 10 To see other Cristobal Balenciaga pieces from our collection click here Christian Dior c 1955 Silk satin Gift of Mary Coquillard 97 196 1 To see other Christian Dior pieces in the FIDM Museum collection click here 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

    Original URL path: http://blog.fidmmuseum.org/museum/2013/12/top-five-posts-of-2013-cristobal-balenciaga-and-christian-dior.html (2016-02-12)
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  • FIDM Museum Blog: An Invitation from the FIDM Museum Fashion Council
    party of the Los Angeles Jewelry Antique Design Show We are honored that the proceeds from this beautiful evening will benefit the FIDM Museum Fashion Council in support of the acquisition of The Helen Larson Historic Fashion Collection Wednesday January 15 Vanguard Reception 7 8 pm Opening Night Preview Party 8 11 pm Los Angeles Convention Center South Hall H 1201 S Figueroa Street Los Angeles CA 90015 For more information and to purchase tickets visit LAWINTERSHOW COM 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 Please try again As a final step before posting your comment enter the letters and numbers you see in the image below This prevents automated programs from posting comments Having trouble reading this image View an alternate Post a comment Comments are moderated

    Original URL path: http://blog.fidmmuseum.org/museum/2013/12/an-invitation-from-the-fidm-museum-fashion-council.html (2016-02-12)
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