FIDM Museum Down Under: Modern Love Fashion Visionaries from the FIDM Museum LA at Bendigo Art Gallery

Would you like to see the latest FIDM Museum & Galleries exhibition? That requires a trip to Australia, and based on reviews from the October 26th opening night on of Modern Love: Fashion Visionaries from the FIDM Museum LA, it is well worth the airfare.

The Bendigo Art Gallery, in Bendigo, Australia, collaborated with the FIDM Museum to produce this one-of-a-kind exhibition which spotlights fashion from the post-punk period of the 1980s to the present day. Over 60 ensembles comprised of 92 objects by the period’s most visionary and avant-garde fashion designers, explore the impact of fashion on culture and of social history on design.

Monique Lhuillier (b 1971), Los Angeles, ‘Camelot’ wedding gown, 2006, Silk satin, Gift of Monique Lhuillier, 2006.867.1AB

This is the first travelling exhibition of its kind for the FIDM Museum, and the garments did not travel alone. Curator Kevin Jones, Associate Curator Christina Johnson, and Assistant Registrar Dani Killam worked with Bendigo Art Gallery’s staff for three weeks to get the mannequins dressed and installed. The exhibition includes large-scale projections of the original runway shows and interviews with select designers.

More than 30 of the world’s most influential designers are featured in Modern Love, including Thom Browne, Chanel, Comme des Garçons, Dior, Ferragamo, Tom Ford, Jean Paul Gaultier, Carolina Herrera, Betsey Johnson, Patrick Kelly, Helmut Lang, Monique Lhuillier, Louboutin, Alexander McQueen, Issey Miyake, Moschino, Thierry Mugler, Hiroaki Ohya, Zac Posen, Prada, Christian Francis Roth, Ralph Rucci, Valentino, Versace, Vivienne Westwood, and YSL.

It all started when FIDM Museum curator, Kevin Jones, travelled to Bendigo for the record-breaking Grace Kelly: Style Icon. A gown worn by Grace Kelly in the movie The Swan (1956) was loaned from the FIDM Museum’s permanent collection for the exhibition.

Yohji Yamamoto (b 1943), Japan, Suit, Fall/Winter 1998, Wool twill & metal, Gift of Doris Raymond in honor of Kevin Jones, 2010.800.4AB

There, Jones spoke to Leanne Fitzgibbon, Senior Curator, Bendigo Art Gallery, about FIDM Museum’s recently closed FABULOUS! Exhibition (2011) and the idea was born.

“The FIDM Museum has never done a contemporary fashion show,” Jones said. “The Bendigo curators came up with the idea and could have gone a million different directions to formulate a show.”

“We wanted to focus on recent fashion history, and took as our starting point the Bondage ensemble by Westwood and McLaren as it marks such a pivotal point,” explained Fitzgibbon. “The exhibition focuses less on trends and more on innovation and enduring legacies and influences. We all have a love affair with fashion, and it was part of a natural progression really, to continue the discussion at Bendigo Art Gallery about fashion and the direction it has taken.” (BLOUIN ARTINFO Australia)

Alexander McQueen (1969–2010), London, Evening dress, Fall/Winter 2008–09, Commissioned 2010, Silk organza, silk tulle & silk lace, FIDM Museum Purchase: Funds provided by Karen Coombs-Jordan, 2010.5.73

One of the highlights is the Alexander McQueen Peacock dress from his Fall/Winter 2008–2009 collection. Commissioned for the FIDM Museum in 2010, it was constructed on a Schlappi mannequin, and took two people seven months to create. This treasure travels “first class” on that mannequin in its own custom designed crate.

Modern Love provides a tantalizing overview of the international fashion world in the decades that followed the riotous and often anti-social moments we identify with the Punk era, when fashion design experienced its greatest transformation alongside radical social change and the onset of new technologies,” Fitzgibbon said in an interview with the Herald Sun.

Malcolm McLaren (1946–2010) & Vivienne Westwood, (b 1941), Label: Seditionaries Personal Collection, London, ‘God Save the Sex Pistols’ shirt, c 1976–80, Printed cotton gauze, FIDM Museum Purchase: Funds provided by Dorothy Washington Sorensen, 2010.5.63

To witness this collision of haute couture, punk, activist fashion, runway creations and street wear, you must to travel to Bendigo— in the province of Victoria, an hour and a half north of Melbourne. Bon Voyage!

“Modern Love: Fashion Visionaries from the FIDM Museum LA” is at the Bendigo Art Gallery in Victoria from October 26, 2013 to February 2, 2014.

Photos by Monty Coles for

Bold, Beautiful and Damned: A Retrospective of 80s Fashion Illustrations From Tony Viramontes

Tony Viramontes was the fashion illustrator of the 1980s, using strokes of charcoal and gouache to capture the decade’s style icons (Isabella Rossellini, Janet Jackson, Paloma Picasso, Madonna, Naomi Campbell, etc.) in all of their shoulder-padded, jet-setting glory. Now, over 25 years after his tragic death from AIDS at the age of 31, he’s being honored with Dean Rhys Morgan’s new book Bold, Beautiful, and Damned (released Oct. 29, 2013), and an intimate installation of his illustrations in the FIDM Museum Foyer.

Original illustrations by Viramontes, featuring creations by Yves Saint Laurent, Valentino, Chanel, Claude Montana, Christian Dior, and more, will be displayed.

On opening night, a presentation on the life, style, and illustrations of Tony Viramontes, created for the V&A in London, will be given by the author. This will be Morgan’s only presentation in Los Angeles. He will also sign copies of his book at the reception.

Opening Reception

Thursday, November 14, 5:30–8:30pm

  • 5:30–6:30: Opening Review in the Museum Gallery Foyer
  • 6:30–7:30: Exclusive LA presentation by author Dean Rhys Morgan on the life, style, & illustrations of Tony Viramontes, as presented at the V&A in London (presentation will be held in FIDM’s main building)
  • 7:30–8:30: Book-signing and reception in the Museum Foyer
  • RSVP:

    The illustrations will be on view from November 14 through December 21, 2013.


FIDM Museum Shop

Inspired by the vibrant fashion illustrations by Tony Viramontes and the approaching holiday season, the FIDM Museum Shop has been curating an intriguing blend of books, accessories, and gifts that are sophisticated, whimsical, beautiful, and fun. Here are a few of our new favorites:

Bold, Beautiful and Damned: The World of 1980s Fashion Illustrator Tony Viramontes

The book, of course, that everyone is talking about. Intense, powerful, and passionate drawings that were avant-garde in the late 1970s, yet changed the artistic direction of fashion illustration for decades.

Bib & Sola Intimate Sets

Woman water bearers around the world who have brought water into their homes for centuries inspired these sets. The design of the carafes and drinking glasses is achieved through the movement of color being blown into the glass. Each is an object d’art and truly unique. A portion of the profits from every set sold benefits charities working to change the way water is understood and distributed in our world.

Philip Treacy by Kevin Davies

Philip Treacy, one of the world’s most famous and influential milliners, is intensely private and rarely allows anyone to watch him while he works. In this new book, photographer Kevin Davies, close friend of the designer for over 20 years, has documented the milliner and his fantastical studio, capturing moments with Treacy on his own, with his muses, or fitting his iconic creations. Features over 200 photographs accompanied by anecdotes and insights.

Leather Goods by Icon

Art-printed leather cross-body cell phone cases, business card holders, zip pouches, and wallets feature artwork by Picasso, Miro, Vargas, and more. Icon uses a patented printing process that transfers the exclusive, licensed artwork onto high-quality leather. Beautiful both to use and to give.

Pattern: 100 Fashion Designers 10 Curators

The follow-up volume to the 2005 Phaidon success SAMPLE, presents 100 of the most creative fashion designers who have recently emerged internationally. Selected by 10 of the most respected figures in the field—a mixture of leading designers, stylists, editors, educators, bloggers and writers—it is a must-see catwalk in a book. 423 pages.

Baek Sondergaard Scarves

These luscious scarves are designed in Denmark and made of 80% Modal and 20% silk. Beautiful array of colors and textures, and perfect for this time of year. Many styles are unisex.

For these items and more, visit the FIDM Museum Shop for a fabulous selection of one-of-a-kind jewelry, amazing treasures, and exclusive gifts. See why we have won Downtown LA’s Best Unique Store for three consecutive years.



  • Bold, Beautiful and Damned: A Retrospective of 80s Fashion Illustrations From Tony Viramontes
  • FIDM Museum Gallery Foyer
  • November 14 through December 21, 2013

  • Accessories from The Helen Larson Historic Fashion Collection
  • On view at the Annette Green Fragrance Archive
  • FIDM Museum 2nd Floor
  • Exhibition Hours
  • Monday–Saturday
  • 10am–5pm

All FIDM Museum exhibitions are free & open to the public

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