A Step Ahead of the Competition

  As we've discussed here, here and here, many of the objects in our collection are donated. Our donors are extremely generous, and we've been gifted with many wonderful pieces over the years. To round out our collections, we also purchase... Read Article ››

Neck ties

  Neck and bow tie patternSimplicity1945-50Gift of Helen McKenna2006.864.3 The elongated, relatively slim silhouette of the modern neck tie emerged in the mid-nineteenth century. Unlike its predecessor, the cravat, the neck tie didn't require... Read Article ››

Cabana set, c. 1955

  Though "cabana set" sounds like the nickname for an elite group of beach hopping travellers, it actually refers to a matching or coordinating set of man's swim trunks and sport shirt or light jacket. Though California swimwear... Read Article ››

Lana Turner’s clutch, 1952

  Lana Turner's story is the stuff of Hollywood legends. One afternoon in 1936, Turner skipped class at Hollywood High School to get a soda at a Sunset Boulevard soda fountain. While sitting at the counter, Turner was spotted by William Wilkerson,... Read Article ››

Bathing cap

  It's the time of year when those of us in the northern hemisphere start dreaming about summer. Winter has gone on long enough and we're ready for warmer weather. Granted, the FIDM Museum is located in Los Angeles, so we can't complain too... Read Article ››

Hand-painted circle skirt

  During the 1950s, casual clothing became an increasingly important part of the American wardrobe. Economic prosperity in the wake of World War II meant that many individuals had time for leisure and relaxation, either on the weekend or during extended... Read Article ››

Evening shoes

  Brocade T-Strap Evening Pump Woodward & Lothrop c. 1927 Silk brocade, leather, rhinestone and metal Gift of Vicky Stevenson S2008.948.2A/B During the 1920s and into the 1930s, T-strap shoes were popular for both day and evening wear. This... Read Article ››


  Based on his experience as a Paris-based illustrator for Harper's Bazaar and editor of French Vogue, Chicago-born Main Rousseau Bocher (b. 1890) decided that he was entirely capable of opening his own couture house. He did so in 1930, first... 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 ››


Evening gown c.1959 Ferdinando Sarmi Gift of Mrs. Clarissa Dyer S2003.794.29AB From 1951 to 1958, Ferdinando Sarmi designed made-to-order evening gowns for Elizabeth Arden. These creations were worn by women involved in the social whirl of "great balls,... Read Article ››