Re-Designing History Illustration Competition


The FIDM Museum is holding an illustration competition for currently enrolled FIDM students! Create a design inspired by the beautiful, c. 1872 fuchsia day dress currently on view in the lobby of the second floor at the Los Angeles campus and you might win a cash prize. If you study at one of the other FIDM campuses, don't worry, we've got you covered! The images below show the c. 1872 day dress from all angles.

The winning illustrations will be displayed next to their historic inspiration in the upcoming exhibition Re-Designing History: FIDM Museum Study Collection, 1850-2000 to open in October 2010. The competition is open to all majors. Illustrations must be submitted by September 1, 2010 to the FIDM Museum Office, Suite 250, attention Kevin Jones, curator. The winning designs will be chosen by a panel of judges who will look for overall creativity, visual composition, and design inspiration. Cash prizes will be awarded to the 1st, 2nd and 3rd place winners.

We can't wait to see your submissions!

S20088975abDay dress
c. 1872
Gift of Steven Porterfield

S20088975ab-2S2008.897.5A-C Side view

S20088975ab-3 S2008.897.5A-C

2 responses to “Re-Designing History Illustration Competition

  1. Neil Fortin says:

    Beautiful Dress! I find it interesting that even day dresses from the 1870’s through the 80’s still look fancy and luxurious. I’m working on designing a show right now taking place in the 1880’s and I’m having trouble finding pictures of regular middle-class day dresses. I always assumed they would look old and worn, but with most of the research I have done it seems that the working/middle class tried to make themselves look as good as possible. Re-making gowns and updating styles seemed to be the norm. Is this true? With the study gown shown above, was this for a middle-class person?


  2. Christina says:


    I am Associate Curator of the FIDM Museum and your question just happens to coincide with one of my favorite eras in fashion history! For your 1880s project, I would take a look at “Dressed for the Photographer: Ordinary Americans & Fashion, 1840-1900” by Joan Severa. It is packed with great photographs of middle class people, and explains that yes, everyone across the socio-economic board tried to appear as well-kempt and fashionable as possible. Industrialization of the textile industry created affordable materials and ready-made clothes for much of the population in the mid-19th century. And to answer your last question, the study gown in this blog post would have been worn by a middle-class woman. It has a fashionable silhouette, and was likely made by a home dressmaker, perhaps even the wearer herself.

Leave a Reply