Farewell to FABULOUS!

Christina Johnson, FIDM Museum, Co-Curator of exhibition, Karen Jordan, gracious FIDM Museum donor of the funds to purchase the Alexander McQueen “Peacock Dress” (seen in photo) and Kevin Jones, FIDM Museum, Co-Curator of exhibition

As FABULOUS! Ten Years of FIDM Museum Acquisitions, 2000–2010 approaches its final days, Co-Curators Kevin Jones and Christina Johnson took time to chat with the Newsletter about their FABULOUS! journey. Here are some highlights:

What is it like to sort through all the new pieces acquired over the past decade, work on creating the exhibition for over two years, labor over the catalogue for thousands of hours, conceptualize the installation, and then finally see everything complete and ready for the public?

It’s definitely a surreal experience to envision a project and then have it become tangible. There’s a sense of pride that our FIDM Museum & Galleries team could come together to create such a high caliber catalogue and exhibition. We really reached a new level of scholarship and exhibition design with FABULOUS! Mounting an exhibition entails quite a bit of physical work—like dressing, moving, drilling, and installing mannequins—that often stretches late into the night. It’s always weird to be all dressed up in the Galleries during the opening party after working so long in tee-shirts, jeans, and back braces!

How did you decide to name the exhibition FABULOUS!?

Our office is such an exciting place to work. We find ourselves exclaiming, “Oh, it’s fabulous!” each time a new donated or purchased object arrives. We were saying it so much over the past decade that we just had to use “FABULOUS!” as the title for the new acquisitions exhibition.

Was there a pivotal moment when you said “This makes it all worthwhile?”

We received the first shipment of catalogues in early September. We unloaded some and brought one box into the office. Our staff gathered around as we opened it and pulled out a book. It was wonderfully heavy and the images were so beautiful. All of the hard work was worth it in that single moment.

What happens to the pieces in the exhibition when it closes on Dec. 17th?

Textiles are very fragile and can’t be exposed to light for long periods of time, so they won’t be displayed again in our Galleries for quite a while. Pieces will be placed in archival boxes and taken to our temperature- and humidity-controlled storage rooms. They get a well-deserved rest, but will be accessible to researchers and photos will also appear on our FIDM Museum & Galleries Blog.

Knowing that the acquisition of important new pieces is central to the FIDM Museum’s mission—can we expect to see a FABULOUS 2 in another 10 years?

The museum is constantly acquiring exciting pieces so “Fabulous!” is still a common exclamation in our office suite. New acquisition exhibitions are great because the object range is so broad; there’s really something for everyone. In other words, yes, we would love to revisit the Fabulousness!

On the tours you told the amazing story of acquiring the McQueen peacock dress—has the response from the public made it worth it?

People are instantly drawn to the peacock dress in the Galleries; they immediately walk right over to it even though we planned it to be one of the last pieces visited in the exhibition. It’s really great to watch visitors admire it, then read the text panel, and understand why the dress is so important within the history of fashion. It’s heartening to see the smiles and the awe. The gown’s beauty inspires us, too.

For our readers that have not yet visited the exhibition—what do you have to say to them?

You only have two weeks left to see FABULOUS! Ten Years of FIDM Museum Acquisitions, 2000–2010 so hurry up and get your bustle on down to the FIDM Museum & Galleries! You’ll love it!

Visitors can view more than 200 historical objects: royal and court costumes, fashions, accessories, jewelry, textiles, and historic documents until Saturday, December 17th, 2011. Museum hours: 10–4 p.m., Tuesday–Saturday. Closed Sunday/Monday. Free


Accompanying the exhibition is a fully illustrated 375-page catalogue. With sumptuous photographs and fold-out pages, the FABULOUS! Ten Years of FIDM Museum Acquisitions, 2000–2010 catalogue is a perfect gift for yourself or the fashion historians on your list. Get the matching tote for a special price.

Curator Tours

Curator tours provide visitors an opportunity to interact directly with FIDM Museum curatorial staff. Private exhibition or behind-the-scenes Curator Tours are available Monday–Friday by appointment only. For groups of fewer than ten people, a $200 fee applies. For groups over ten people, the fee is $20 per person. Special arrangements must be made for groups over twenty-five. To schedule a tour, contact the Curator’s Office at 213.623.5821.

Docent Tours

Explore exhibition highlights with trained docents. During exhibitions, hour-long docent tours are offered Tuesday-Saturday. Tours begin at 9 a.m. and leave from the FIDM Museum foyer. Docent tours are offered on a first-come, first-serve basis and are limited to 25 participants. Free with FIDM ID or $5 per person. For more information, call the FIDM Museum Shop at 213.623.5821, option 4.

Docent tours of FABULOUS! Ten Years of FIDM Museum Acquisitions, 2000–2010 will be offered through December 16th, 2011.

Exhibition/Events Calendar


  • FABULOUS! Ten Years of FIDM Museum Acquisitions, 2000–2010
  • Through December 17, 2011


Perfume Bottle, Lucien Lelong, c. 1949, Gift of Monique Fink, FIDM Museum Collection, F2006.877.45AB

  • Parfums Lucien Lelong: The Peter Fink Collection
  • On view at the Annette Green Fragrance Archive
  • FIDM Museum 2nd Floor
  • Exhibition Hours
  • Monday–Saturday
  • 10am–4pm
  • Admission: Free to the Public


UNNURWEAR Trunk Show & Sample Sale

Wed., Dec. 7th

11 am–5 pm

Icelandic award-winning designer, Unnur, will present her environmentally-conscious luxury accessories made from Italian leather and sea-leather (fish!) In Icelandic, UNNUR means “the waves of the ocean.” The current collections use farm-grown Icelandic Salmon and African Perch. In using sea-leather, UNNURWEAR is contributing to sustainable fashion and not endangering any species. The sea-leather smells like regular leather, and the more it’s worn, the better it looks. UNNURWEAR is about global consciousness of culture, nature and comfort.

Handbags, journals, belts, and jewelry. Special Holiday Prices.

FIDM Museum Shop

Visit the FIDM Museum Shop for a fabulous selection of one-of-a-kind jewelry, amazing treasures, and exclusive gifts— sure to surprise and delight everyone on your list. This carefully curated selection of unusual, creative, and beautifully designed pieces demonstrates why the FIDM Museum Shop has been voted Best Boutique Store in 2010 & 2011 by the Los Angeles Downtown News.

An important gift category this year? FABULOUS finds under $30. Here are some popular choices.

Breakfast at Tiffany’s Official 50th Anniversary Companion

A celebration of a timeless classic, this companion volume, timed to coincide with the 50th anniversary of the release of the iconic film, is the perfect book for any fan of Audrey Hepburn or the cinema.

Ultimate Hammer Tool

Made from rustproof stainless steel and invaluable for the home, car, dorm room or kitchen. Includes a hammer, pliers, wedge, scissors, knife, saw, file, and Philips head screwdriver. Instore only

Govino wine and champagne glasses

Govino is made from a food-safe, BPA-free polymer, which reflects a wine’s color and aromatics much like crystal. It is recyclable (#1), but better yet it is reusable. Instore only

Graffiti Cocktail Shaker

Mix your favorite drinks with this spray paint can cocktail shaker.

Famous Frocks: Patterns and Instructions for 20 Fabulous Iconic Dresses

Audrey Hepburn, Jackie O., Marilyn Monroe…these women wore stylish dresses that still make us swoon today. Famous Frocks provides everything needed to recreate these iconic looks.

Reindeer Figure

Sleek and modern polished nickel reindeer, for refined holiday décor.

101 Whiskies to Try Before You Die

By Ian Buxton. A fun and accessible guide to completing an education in whiskey from a man who knows his hooch. Instore only

Crystal Bracelets

Gorgeous bracelets at an unbeatable price. Wear one or stack them and make a sparkling statement. Instore only

Bad Cat Cards

Ante up your kitty and bring these bad cats to your next card game! From the best-selling book, Bad Cat.

Place Card Holders

No need to bring extra chairs—these adorable silver-plated place card holders are perfect for any dinner party.

FIDM Museum Shop has standout gifts with plenty of WOW for the special people on your list.

Storm of London Hydron

This trendy multi-function watch will keep you looking stylish, time after time! Instore only

Britt Rynearson Matsukaze pleated shawl

One of a kind and gorgeous! Instore only

Hilary Beane

Luxurious new designs from this noted LA fine jewelry designer. Online only

Train Laptop Brief

Constructed of vegetable-tanned leather and heavy-duty coated cotton canvas.

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