Popular conceptions of 1950s dress usually fixate on the defined waist and full skirt of Christian Dior's New Look. Though this silhouette dominated fashion for much of the decade, in 1957 a new shape appeared. Called the sack or chemise, this new dress... Read Article ››

Coco Chanel

Gabrielle "Coco" Chanel (1883-1971) distinguished her design aesthetic through a strict insistence on comfortable, lightweight garments and a pared-down silhouette. Chanel's interest in simplicity is seen in her earliest millinery designs from... Read Article ››

Holly’s Harp

Los Angeles based designer Holly Harp (1939-1995) began her fashion career in the late 1960s, designing theatrical, psychedelic clothing for iconic performers such as Janis Joplin and Grace Slick of Jefferson Airplane. Harp's early designs were in tune... Read Article ››


The girl herself is the extravaganza that makes the look of the sixties.1 Twiggy exploded onto the scene in 1966 though pure happenstance. While getting a haircut at the London salon Leonard of Mayfair, 16 year old Twiggy (then known as Leslie Hornby) was... Read Article ››

Bonnie Cashin

Lots of designers start from scratch every six months or so, moving with the trends. Not Bonnie Cashin. Every season she adds a little to what has gone before–some new colors, an experimental shape. Nothing invalidates her previous season’s... Read Article ››

Would you believe it’s paper?

As many of our readers may already know, season 6 of Project Runway was filmed at FIDM! In the most recent episode (season 6, episode 5), the contestants used pages from the Los Angeles Times to create “ripped from the headlines” garments. You can... Read Article ››

From mini to maxi

As discussed in this post, fashions changed dramatically in the 1960s. For women, the miniskirt was emblematic of widespread social and cultural changes which occurred throughout the decade. British designer Mary Quant is usually credited with bringing the... Read Article ››


Like many museums that focus on dress and textiles, the FIDM Museum is constantly searching for compelling menswear for our collection. Most 19th and 20th century menswear is relatively straightforward; it tends to favor function over form, resulting in... Read Article ››