ne of the most overlooked museums in Los Angeles is the FIDM Museum. Located in Downtown Los Angeles, the FIDM Museum has maintains a small but excellent collection of fashion-related items (well, small when compared to the Met in New York 🙂 ). As noted in a previous post, we recently visited the museum to view the 11th Outstanding Art of Television Costume Design Exhibition. However, there was also an exhibit of historical garments from the Linda and Steven Plochocki Collection on display which, naturally, we had to also see.
On display were a number of examples from various eras to include our favorite, the 19th Century. First, is this stunning wedding dress designed in 1878 by Emile Pingat:
The upright silhouette is characteristic of the Mid-Bustle Era, and as such, the bustle/tornure is fairly minimal. At the same time, we see a full train outlined with a wide band of ruffled pleating. The dress is made from an ivory/champagne silk; the overskirt is smooth with little adornment except for a band of ruffled net/silk band trim accented with strings of flowers and orange blossoms (a signature Victorian trim for wedding dresses). The underskirt has vertical pleats which presents a nice contrast to the plain overskirt. The bodice is a deep cuirass bodice with three-quarter sleeves, trimmed in silk ribbons and lace, especially around the neck.
Here’s a few more views:
The orange blossoms and lace trim frame the front opening of the overskirt.
Detail of sleeve treatment of lace and silk ribbon.
Detail of bustle.
Here’s a close-up of the orange blossom trim. Originally utilized by Queen Victoria in her wedding dress in 1840, it rapidly became a fashion trend for wedding dressed throughout the mid to late 19th Century.
The trim running along the skirt hem and the edges of the train is actually a netting that’s trimmed with silk tape on one edge. The wedding dress is a stunning example of Pingat’s work and it bears further study.
Next, is a bodice from c. 1898 designed by Jacques Doucet:
This bodice contains the signature elements characteristic of Doucet’s designs- rich old gold silk fabric trimmed with lace and lace appliques, some incorporating metallic gold thread. From a silhouette perspective, the leg-of-mutton sleeves are restrained, characteristic of late 1890s styles. The bodice is shaped like a jacket, reminiscent of 18th Century styles with a shirred gauze waist with a silk satin wide belt. Overall, it’s a rich, powerful style. It’s a pity that the skirt has not survived- the total package was no doubt a complete knock-out.
Well, that’s all for today. We hope you’ve enjoyed this as much as we did going to the FIDM Museum. 🙂