Louella Ballerino crop top, 1946

  In 2003, a black and coral crop top was donated to the FIDM Museum. The top is of coral silk, with black silk appliques in a stylized floral pattern. Accompanying the donation was a snapshot of the donor actually wearing the top. We love this kind of... Read Article ››

McCardell playsuit and a Karan jumpsuit

  Rompers, jumpsuits and playsuits. Love 'em or hate 'em, they're all over the place. Emerging a few years ago as a runway trend, they've reached critical mass and can be purchased at just about any youth-oriented clothing retailer. As... Read Article ››

Pinafore dress, early 1940s

  Under pinafores, almost anything may lurk. They cover up playsuits, tennis dresses and sports frocks.1 Girl's pinafore Printed cotton 1940-45 Gift of the Manlove Family 2006.870.5 A contemporary pinafore is a short-sleeved girl's dress,... Read Article ››

Agnés turban, c. 1940-42

  Before World War II, fashion reportage devoted equal consideration to millinery and clothing. The newest toques and turbans from Paris milliners were described alongside the latest day and evening wear from Gabrielle Chanel, Jean Patou and Jeanne... Read Article ››

Valentina hat

  Valentina never suffered a lack of confidence in her taste or in her design skills. She was notorious for giving clients what she thought the needed, not what they requested. In 1952, Life magazine reported that her maxim to clients was "take it... Read Article ››

Sewing patterns from the FIDM Museum

Within the FIDM Museum collection are a number of smaller mini-collections. Some, like the Rudi Gernreich Archive, consist of large groupings of objects that document the work of a specific designer. Others, like our photograph collection, are less focused... Read Article ››

Norfolk jacket

First appearing in the 1860s, the Norfolk jacket is a durable, loose fitting jacket designed to provide ease of movement to hunters and sportsmen. Deriving its name from the Duke of Norfolk, the jacket was reputedly created specifically for the Duke at his... Read Article ››

Lucien Lelong lipstick packaging

  The use of makeup by American women grew exponentially during the first half of the twentieth century. In the beginning of the century, makeup was primarily an urban phenomenon, gradually spreading to other areas through increased marketing and a... Read Article ››

Nail head dresses

Young cosmopolitans love nail-head glitter!1 Dresses embellished with decorative gold, brass or silver nail heads first appeared in the late 1930s. Usually seen on solid-color "background" dresses of wool or synthetic crepe, nail heads were used as... Read Article ››

The Little Black Dress

During the nineteenth century, black clothing was usually worn to signify a special status, i.e. mourning, religious piety, extreme poverty or a position of economic and social authority. Because many professional men adopted black suit coats after 1850,... Read Article ››