Silver paper headdress, c. 1860

Anyone interested in the history of fashion quickly realizes that fashion is a series of cyclical repetitions. Contemporary silhouettes, colors and design details reference recent and historic styles, often with only slight modifications to bring a garment... Read Article ››

Oscar dressing

In the early years of the Academy Awards, celebrities didn't always dress themselves in the latest glamorous fashions. In 1935, Claudette Colbert wore a simple traveling suit to accept the Best Actress Award for It Happened One Night. Colbert didn't... Read Article ››

Polonaise bodice

In 1872, fashion periodicals such as Godey's Lady's Book, Peterson's Magazine and Harper's Bazaar were filled with references to various styles of the polonaise dress. Whether a princess, vest, Russian or dolman polonaise, the common... Read Article ››


As designer for Lanvin since 2002, Alber Elbaz has brought new life to what had become a house on the periphery of fashion. Founded in 1885 as a millinery shop, Lanvin flourished under the direction of its founder, Jeanne Lanvin. Lanvin excelled in the... Read Article ››

Cinch belt

If you happened to see this cinch belt out and about, what would be your guess as to its age? Given that it is part of the FIDM Museum collection, we probably didn't pick it up at H&M over the weekend. Cinch belt1952SchafferAnonymous... Read Article ››

Fast fashion

Over the last few years, collaborations between clothing designers and mass-market retailers have become increasingly common. These fast fashion or capsule collections consist of a small group of designer items created for a specific retailer and are only... Read Article ››

Everything old is new again!

If you’re interested in the history of fashion, it is usually impossible to ignore the ways in which contemporary designers reference styles of past eras. As we mentioned in this post, designer John Galliano frequently mines fashion history for his... Read Article ››