Welcome to the FIDM Museum!

Located in downtown Los Angeles, the FIDM Museum is devoted to the exhibition and interpretation of dress and textiles. Our collection focuses primarily on the 19th and 20th centuries, with an emphasis on American and European dress. Like all museums, we have thousands of objects housed in our secure, climate controlled storage areas. Until now, these objects were only available for viewing by those able to visit us in Los Angeles. But now we have a blog! And we’re so excited!

The FIDM Museum Blog will be dedicated to showcasing selected garments and accessories from our fabulous collection, while also featuring occasional “behind the scenes” glimpses of museum life. The Museum Staff is extremely privileged to work with these objects on a regular basis and we want to share this privilege with YOU. By providing context and interpretation for specific items in our collection, we hope that you will find objects that speak to you, whether you are a student, designer, or someone who enjoys the creative potential of fashion. We look forward to your comments and questions. Don’t be shy…we love to talk about the FIDM Museum!


25 responses to “Welcome to the FIDM Museum!

  1. I’m thrilled to discover this website and blog. Truly something for everyone. I’ll post a link to you thru my own blog at http://risingfeenix.blogspot.com/ and have my subscribers check out all you have to offer!

  2. Rachel says:

    Thanks so much for your kind comment, Sheila! We’ll be sure to check out your blog asap.

  3. loopy says:

    I have just discovered your site, I was not aware of the museum. It is truely wonderful. I am trying to research a couture house in the name of ‘ CAUET’ 6 Rue de la Paix Paris. Circa 1900 – 1930. Only a few doors away from The Boue Sisters! Do you possibly have any info?
    Many thanks.

  4. Rachel says:

    Our curator had the following piece of information for you:”Milliner Camille Roger was located at the same address during the years Loopy is researching. Most designers did not occupy their entire building…Worth was never the sole resident of #7 and his was one of the largest businesses.” Unfortunately, that’s all we know! If you have access to an academic database like Proquest, I’d give that a try. A Paris city directory might have some additional information too. I’ve found that if you look in older sources (which not be considered definitive today) you can sometimes find references to now forgotten designers. Good luck with your search and please let us know what you discover

  5. Patricia says:

    This is a great site and your exhibitions look fantastic. Wish I had known about this when I was last in LA. Will look you up some time, but for now readings the blogs is very informative.

    Who does your fabulous exhibition mounting and do you have a conservator on staff?

  6. Rachel says:

    Hi Patricia,

    Sorry you missed us…be sure to come and visit next time you’re in town. If you’re interested in purchasing a catalog of the Betsy Bloomindale exhibit, visit our Museum Shop.

    We don’t have a conservator on staff. When we need conservation work done, we work with various contract conservators.

    The invisible mounts for the Betsy Bloomingdale show were were made in-house, by our very own Study Collection Manager Carolyn Jamerson. We’ll be posting some images related to this process in the next few weeks!

  7. I am a great fan of the FIDM blog and enjoy visting very much. I am also great admirer of dress and textile and espcially film costume. I ove to read the articles and look at the amazing items on display.

    I am a collector myslelf and have started a blog on my collection


    Job well done FIDM!

  8. Rachel says:

    Thanks for your kind comments about our blog! I’ll be sure to visit your blog too.

  9. Micheline says:

    Hi – Congratulations on providing such a wonderful virtual costume Museum! The phtograhs are stunning…

    I wondered if you had in your collection, a garment or garments adorned by large jewel buttons that date from the 1885-1915 time period… I have been looking to find such a garment, but have not succeeded so far. I am a button collector and one of my favourite types are large jewel buttons, but I am unable to find a period garment showing these buttons…. Any help you could provide would be greatly appreciated. Thank You ! Micheline

  10. Rachel says:

    Micheline, so glad you found our blog and that you’re enjoying it!

    As for the buttons you mention, I can’t think of any garments in our collection that have the type of button you describe. If you are able to find them, I’d take a look at fashion periodicals from this time frame and see if you can find any mention of the buttons.

    Sorry I couldn’t be of more help in your button quest!

  11. Joezermeno@ca.rr.com says:

    As a fashion illustration student, will I be able to photograph costumes at the exhibits, in particular, the upcoming motion picture exhibit?

    Joe Zermeno, February 8, 2010

  12. Rachel says:

    Hi Joe,

    We typically don’t allow photography during exhibitions. You are, however, welcome to sketch the garments during your visit to the FIDM Museum. There are a few press images available online…just search for the exhibit and you should find several sites.

    Hope you enjoy the Hollywood exhibition!

  13. Perry says:

    Wonderful site, thanks!


  14. Rachel says:

    Hi Perry, We’re always happy to have a new reader. Glad you’re enjoying our blog!

  15. Ingrid Mida says:

    I recently visited the Museum and wrote a post about my visit on my blog Fashion is my Muse! I wished I could visit more often! What a delight!

  16. A friend of mine attended FIDM and I have to be candid – her skill set improved dramatically. For confidentiality’s sake, I won’t post her name, but she comes from Japan, and speaks OK English, not great. When she first started, she was an amateur at best. When she “graduated” in 2009, her portfolio was fantastic, her sketching ability was unbelievable, and immediately after school, she obtained a career level job in her chosen industry. I am excited to see more and learn more about FIDM and their museum.

  17. Sonny Ahuja says:

    I actually stumbled upon your blog researching for discontinued perfumes. But I see the museum is more about garments and fashion. As a social media consultant, i get to meet quite a few people who are fashion advisers to entrepreneurs and business coaches. I surely will inform them about this site at my next meetup/event.

    But I do have a question.. Will you be adding any more information on discontinued fragrances?

    I will write a post about FIDM Museum and link it from my blogs:


  18. Leorah Kroyanker says:

    I have just discovered this blog, and your museum. I read on it that Ladies Loungeing pyjamas were popular in the 1930s – but I wonder about men’s wear. I have photos from the late 1930s of both my father and grandfather, vacationing in elegant European resorts wearing striped pyjamas on the street. My only association with striped pyjamas was with the Concentration Camp uniform, so was rather shocked. Can you comment on this? are you interested in the photos? looking forward to your reply, and thanking you in advance, Leorah from Jerusalem

  19. Rachel says:

    Hi Leorah,

    It’s interesting you asked about stripes, as I’m about to start reading a book on the history of stripes called “The Devil’s Cloth” by Michel Pastoureau. I’ve only read a few pages, so I may not be able to answer your question in full.

    Your question about stripes in relation to concentration camps is an interesting one. Stripes have historically been used to denote someone who is a prisoner or is being punished. I think their usage in the context of concentration camps relates to this historical meaning, though the treatment received by prisoners of concentration camps gives the striped uniform a particularly terrible association.

    Your father and grandfather wouldn’t have had this association, however, and were probably wearing beach pajamas that were in the latest fashion. We’d love to see these photos! Feel free to email me at rharris@fidmmuseum.org

  20. Jenny says:

    Hello!! I just came across your blog doing some research for school (I am an MLIS/archives grad student.) I was lucky enough to intern at a studio archive over the summer and fell in love with preserving and cataloging film costumes. I feel so lucky to live in LA and have access to great museums/exhibits like yourselves. Keep up the fab work! If the FIDM library or archives is hiring, I’d love to apply.

  21. JanA says:

    Hello! It’s always a joy to visit FIDM and now I’ve also found your wonderful blog. I’m doubly glad, because I have a question and have never found anyone to answer it. About 15 years ago, while shopping in a thrift shop, I came across an old black and white coat, which I immediately fell in love with and purchased. The label inside says “Fernshire of California”. I’ve looked, but am unable to find out anything about this company. Do you possibly have any information? thank you!

  22. Rachel says:

    Hi Jan,

    No, I’m not familiar with Fernshire of California. You may have looked into this already, but try looking through issues of California Stylist for the same decade as your coat. You also might try a search of the historic Los Angeles Times. Both can be accessed via the LAPL: http://www.lapl.org/. Good luck with your search!

  23. Lucy says:


    I am trying to discover whether there are any museum/library/other institutional archives of twentieth century printed dressmaking patterns – can you help?

    Thank you!

  24. Rachel says:

    Hi Lucy,

    I believe that this is a fairly extensive pattern archive: http://www.uri.edu/library/special_collections/COPA/. I’m not sure how easy it is for outside researchers to access this collection, but it won’t hurt to give them a call. Best of luck!

  25. Rachel says:

    We have closed comments on this post. If you have a specific question, feel free to email us at rharris at fidmmuseum dot org.

Comments are closed.