Mollie Parnis

Mollie Parnis (d. 1992), a mid-twentieth century New York designer who dressed First Ladies and movie stars, once told a reporter, "The last thing I want to talk about is what people are wearing."[1] A curious sentiment for a woman who spent her... Read Article ››

Celebrate Spring

  Spring has officially arrived! March 20 was the first day of the spring in the Northern Hemisphere. From here on out, the weather gradually gets warmer and days are longer. Warm days encourage colorful spring flowers to bloom: cherry blossoms, tulips,... Read Article ››

Jeanne Lanvin bonnet, 1913

Jeanne Lanvin 1913 Gift of Joshua & Jenny Livingston 2000.879.39 Like her contemporary Gabrielle "Coco" Chanel, Jeanne Lanvin's (1867–1946) career began with hats. As a teenager, Lanvin apprenticed with at least two Parisian milliners,... Read Article ››

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 ››

From the Archives: Tina Leser skirt

Today's post highlights the value of primary source research. Because of its label, we knew that this was a Tina Leser skirt. Using one of the FIDM Library databases, we found a brief mention of this exact skirt in a New York Times article. Finding... Read Article ››

The start of summer

  The unofficial start of summer is just a few days away. In the United States, the Memorial Day holiday (always the last Monday in May) marks the beginning of the summer season. Depending on where you live, the climate may or may not cooperate. No... Read Article ››

Chains of Chanel

  Gilt chains are a recurring visual theme in the Chanel lexicon. Beginning in the 1920s, Gabrielle “Coco” Chanel promoted costume jewelry as an alternative to jewelry made of gold and studded with pearls and precious stones. Chanel didn't just... Read Article ››

Lanz Original, late 1940s

  Jacketc. 1946 Wool, cotton, brass buttonsLanz OriginalGift of Patricia Marks2003.45.3 Lanz originated in Salzburg, Austria during the early 1920s. Founded by Josef Lanz and Fritz Mahler in 1922, Lanz of Salzburg specialized in ski wear and traditional... Read Article ››

1890s cabinet card and cape

  Cabinet card1896-1898Give of Steven Porterfield2009.897.27 Whoa! What happened to this cabinet card?!? Browsing through our collections management database, I was struck by the unusual orientation of this image, not to mention the sitter's... Read Article ››

Koos van den Akker

In a Koos van den Akker garment, fabric is always the focal point. Not just a single luxury fabric, but a riotous mix of fabric patches and panels combined into a surprisingly unified whole. According to the designer, his garments always "start with the... Read Article ››