Ceil Chapman

Best remembered today as Marilyn Monroe's favorite designer, Ceil Chapman was famous in the 1940s and '50s for her glamorous yet affordable evening looks. Her ready-to-wear "dream dresses," as the New York Times called them in... Read Article ››

Ranch Dressing, Part 1

The American West has been a powerful influence on fashion since the 1920s, when Hollywood films romanticized the cowboy myth and city slickers from the East Coast traveled west to experience ranch living as "dudes": tourists who dressed... Read Article ››

Delivering Dietrich’s Dress

Last fall, the FIDM Museum lent a Marlene Dietrich dress to the exhibition Light & Noir: Emigrés and Exiles in Hollywood, 1933-1950, at the Skirball Cultural Center in Los Angeles. The strapless evening gown in a paisley... Read Article ››

Fall dressing: Coats and Jackets

  As today is the first full day of fall, it seems only appropriate to take a look at some of the warm and cozy garments in our collection. So, today we bring you a selection of coats and jackets, from sensible wool to patterned lamé. Let us know if... Read Article ››

Tropical print halter, c. 1942-45

  What do you have planned for this last long weekend of summer? Depending on where you're located, you could be experiencing a blast of tropical heat, or the first cooling temperatures of fall. Here in Los Angeles, highs of 80-90 degrees are... Read Article ››

Friday Wrap: Reading & Watching

  An occasional round-up of articles, events, exhibitions, and other information of interest. This week, we share a fascinating read, a festive perfume bottle, and footage of historic garments in action.   Do you document your museum visits by... Read Article ››

Fashion Birthday: Elsa Schiaparelli

Happy birthday to Elsa Schiaparelli! Born in Rome on September 10, 1890, Schiaparelli would be 123 years old today. One of the twentieth-century’s most revered fashion designs, her work is admired for its wit and creativity. Schiaparelli’s career in... Read Article ››

Versace Mare bikini, c. 1994

According to the inimitable fashion editor and curator Diana Vreeland, a bikini reveals "everything about a girl except her mother's maiden name."1 As Vreeland noted, bikinis are defined by their scant coverage and are rarely more than a few... Read Article ››