Sun-Drenched Style Now Open

“Something new under the sun! Something daring and different!” A 1946 California Fashion Promotion in the Chicago Daily Tribune proclaimed that West Coast fashion was at the cutting edge of casual clothes, designing on-trend sportswear that fit all... Read Article ››

Just Add Water, Part II

In keeping with this week's beachy blog theme, here is a very different swimsuit, made of equally impractical materials. The publicity surrounding the scandalous bikini (introduced in 1946) had subsided by the 1960s, but not the carnal delight in gazing... Read Article ››

Just Add Water, Part I

It's the first day of summer vacation for FIDM students! Where better place to spend it than the beach? This Jazz Age man's swimsuit from the FIDM Museum collection is hardly recognizable as beachwear today. Gender-segregated swimming hours were... Read Article ››

Catalina swimsuit, mid-1950s

With its beaches, pools, and nearly year-round sunshine, Southern California was the birthplace of active sportswear. Hollywood's "Dream Factories" showcased silver-screen stars with golden tans wearing dazzling swimwear. This mid-1950s suit... Read Article ››

Versace Mare bikini, c. 1994

According to the inimitable fashion editor and curator Diana Vreeland, a bikini reveals "everything about a girl except her mother's maiden name."1 As Vreeland noted, bikinis are defined by their scant coverage and are rarely more than a few... Read Article ››

Swingin’ Summer

  Swingin’ Summer, a collaboration between the FIDM Museum Shop and Clever Vintage Clothing, pays homage to the influence of swimwear on fashion and culture. On view in the FIDM Museum lobby through late July, this installation of swimwear and... 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 ››

Spring flowers

  Spring is here! Today, March 20, is the first day of spring for those of us in the Northern Hemisphere. Spring brings longer days, warmer weather and a host of colorful blooms. In celebration of spring's arrival, we offer you an array of flowers... 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 ››

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 ››

Lounge pajamas, c. 1935

During the 1920s, pajamas moved from bedroom to beach. Though pajama style pants were suggested by Paul Poiret as avant garde dress during the teens, pajamas were worn primarily as sleepwear until the 1920s. Sometime during the mid-to-late 1920s, pajamas... Read Article ››

Swimwear in the twentieth century

In 1913, Vogue magazine featured its first patterns for bathing costumes. These do-it-yourself patterns were intended to fill the “distinct need for smart bathing costumes,” an indication that swimming had become a widespread and fashionable... Read Article ››