SWINGIN’ SUMMER: A Brief Look at California Swimwear

Southern California style is synonymous with the good life. Outdoor activities, beach culture, patio living, Hollywood, and the global marketplace all contribute to the romance and allure of California style.

Swimwear and swimwear-influenced styles are at the center of this world of leisure, travel, and fun. From the vintage classics of the 1930’s to today, swimwear has influenced street wear, sportswear, separates, accessories, and fabric design.

Swingin’ Summer, a collaboration between the FIDM Museum Shop and LA’s Clever Vintage Clothing, pays homage to the influence of swimwear on fashion and culture. Modeling California vintage classics, the ten mannequins in the museum lobby remind us that style—including beach style—is eternal.

This rare poolside set is the result of two noted personalities in the swimwear category, Alfred Shaheen and Rudi Gernreich, who collaborated in 1958. Gernreich started his own line in 1959 and created a sensation with topless bathing suits in 1964. From the collection of Clever Vintage customer, Audrey Moorehead.

The solid wood surfboard, above, was handmade in 1938 by a then 12 year-old Don Scott of Whittier who rode his bicycle to Long Beach to surf. There were very few surfers in California before the post-war period. The men’s matching shirt and swim trunks were sold via the Sears Roebuck catalog some 20 years later. The suit in the middle is by Catalina, which was established in 1928. The set on the right is by Kamehameha Garment Company, founded in Hawaii in 1936, one of the oldest manufactures of Aloha shirts, sarongs, full skirted dresses, sun and swimsuits for export to the mainland.

This early 1950’s Hawaiian honeymoon set takes swimwear styling to the street in “his ‘n her” fashions designed for shopping, dinner, or visiting the many tourist destinations on the islands. Upon returning home, these sets provided the basic wardrobe for many luaus and poolside parties. From the collection of Clever Vintage Clothing.

Swingin’ Summer will be on display in the museum lobby through late July.

6th Annual Outstanding Art of Television Costume Design Exhibition

Opens July 31st

Costume worn by Barbara Flynn as Mrs. Jamieson in Return to Cranford. Costumes by Jenny Beavan.

The Academy of Television Arts & Sciences and the FIDM Museum & Galleries at the Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising are proud to jointly present The Outstanding Art of Television Costume Design, saluting the work of this year’s Primetime Emmy®-Nominated Costume Designers and Costume Supervisors.

For the sixth year, the guest curator and organizer of this exhibition is noted Costume Designer Mary Rose, the President of the Costume Designers Guild, and an executive board officer of the CDG since 1994. Ms. Rose is the Governor of the Costume Design and Supervision Peer Group of the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences.

Mary Rose, President of the Costume Designers Guild, Guest Curator, at the 5th annual Outstanding Art of Television Costume Design exhibition.

Rose, a noted designer for feature films, television/cable series and movies, has been the curator of numerous costume exhibitions in the United States and abroad.

Giving visitors an opportunity to review their favorite TV shows and characters, the exhibition celebrates television costume design and includes more than 75 costumes selected from a variety of television genres: episodic series, movies and mini-series.

Rainbow Fairy sketch from the ABC TV Show Once Upon A Time by Costume Designer Eduardo Castro.

The exhibition will feature costumes from shows such as Downton Abbey, by Costume Designer Susannah Buxton, Once Upon a Time, by Costume Designer Eduardo Castro, Pretty Little Liars, by Costume Designer and FIDM Grad Mandi Line, Smash, by Costume Designer Molly Maginnis, New Girl, by Costume Designer Debra McGuire, Pan Am, by Costume Designer Ane Crabtree, and many more.

The free exhibition runs from July 31–October 20, 2012.


FIDM Museum Shop

Summer is a state-of-mind. The long sunny days entice us to slow down, relax, read a book, entertain on the patio, or at least embrace our casual side as we dress for work. The FIDM Museum Shop offers some whimsical lifestyle accessories to inspire making the most of summertime.

The Wonderful World of Fifi Lapin: Style Secrets of a Furry Fashionista: Even the most savvy fashionistas have a lot to learn from this illustrated rabbit and in-demand fashion blogger. The perfect book to throw in your tote and read anywhere.

The Risa Neck Ring is handcrafted in the Abasto District in Buenos Aires using gold, antique silver and brass. The organic Latin American design adds flavor to any number of outfits.

J’Adore Paris Dipping Dishes: Do you love Paris? We adore it. Celebrate your love for the City of Lights with J’Adore Paris. Renderings of the Eiffel Tower pop against antique French postcards and maps. Set of 4 in gift box.

The Pakna Cuff is handcrafted, using gold patina over brass. The organic style takes the classic cuff to another level, and is perfect with a t-shirt, swimwear, or an LBD.

Summertime entertaining can be elegant and easy with these attractive, no-fuss disposable serving papers. Whether you are at home or headed for the seaside, these lovely designer placemats will add a stylish note to your table and make the cleanup a breeze!

Solar Queen Jubilee Edition: To celebrate the 60th year of Queen Elizabeth II reign, designer Chris Collicot has created this commemorative limited edition Solar Queen in a lilac dress with crown and broach.

Vintage Ceramic Appetizer Spoons are ceramic and feature decorative drawings of antique spoons. It comes packaged in an ornate patterned gift box, and offers a piece of nostalgia with a fresh twist for any gathering.

Inspiration Dior is not for the beach, but this luxurious volume is guaranteed to transport you to another place, and is an outstanding addition to any fashion library.

Multi Gingko Leaf Earrings combine pink quartz with black onyx drops. The 22k gingko leaves are reminiscent of gilded flower petals. Designed by Alumnus Joe Viboonviriyawong.

Bryna Hermann Saddle Bag offers a great new shape for hands-free wear. In shrunken lambskin and woven cowhide, it is an easy everyday option. Antique brass hardware at front and a cross- body strap will take you from season to season in functional style.

Artichoke Candles are molded from wax and are a foolproof gift for almost any occasion.

Prèt-à-por Tea Bags: Tea Time with Karl Lagerfeld and other fashion designers…what could be better than that?

Visit the FIDM Museum Shop for a fabulous selection of one-of-a-kind jewelry, amazing treasures, and exclusive gifts.

2012 Exhibitions

  • RIPPED: Expressions from the Underground
  • November 8–December 22, 2012

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