Chanel day dress, c. 1937

Gabrielle "Coco" Chanel's (1883-1971) reputation is staked primarily on her exploration of menswear-inspired suits and her promotion of the understated little black dress. Though these creations are an important part of her aesthetic, her... Read Article ››

Bakelite cherry brooch, late 1930s

   Cherry and log brooch c. 1935-1940 Gift of Steven Porterfield 2010.897.49 Can you imagine a world without plastic? Overwhelmingly ubiquitous today, plastic has been in existence for less than 200 years. Prior to the last quarter of the 19th... Read Article ››

Fashion Birthday: Madeleine Vionnet

  French couturier Madeleine Vionnet was born on this day in 1876. Born in Chilleurs-aux-Bois, about 75 miles from Paris, Vionnet was apprenticed to a local dressmaker at age 11. She spent several years in this first apprenticeship, moving to a... Read Article ››

Boudoir slippers, c. 1939

  Boudoir slippers c. 1939 Daniel Green Gift of Kevin Jones 2008.155.3AB In the 1937 article, "Mules: The More the Merrier," Vogue claimed that, "all women are slipper collectors."1 Though this is probably an... Read Article ››

Wiener Werkstatte girl’s ensemble

  Wiener Werkstatte c. 1930 2005.5.170AB Museum Purchase Founded in 1903 by architect Josef Hoffman and artist Kolomon Moser, the Wiener Werkstatte (Vienna Workshop) was a group of artists, designers and craftsman dedicated to combining artistry and... Read Article ››

Fred Astaire’s dancing shoes

  Tap Shoes Worn by Fred Astaire, c. 1930sSuede, leather & metal tapsDepartment of Recreation and Parks, City of Los Angeles/FIDM MuseumL88.1.125AB By the time he first appeared in a Hollywood film in 1933, Fred Astaire was already an experienced... Read Article ››

Mae West objects on display

  Originally posted in 2009, this post explores Mae West's larger-than-life persona. Visit the 20th Annual Art of Motion Picture Costume Design exhibition to see one of Mae West's corsets and a pair of her platform shoes on exhibit. The... Read Article ››

Blanche and Simone velvet hat, c. 1930-33

  The 1931 Paris Exposition Coloniale Internationale was designed to showcase the artistic and cultural achievements of France's colonial possessions, while also demonstrating the mutual benefits of the colonial relationship. At the time... Read Article ››

Movie Modes hat

  During the 1930s, Hollywood films were a major influence on fashion. Movie screens were "huge, luminous shop windows," offering viewers an opportunity to browse the latest creations from talented costume designers.1 Despite the Depression,... Read Article ››