New Acquisition: 158 Couture Designs, 1880-2008

Right now in Paris, at Les Arts Décoratifs, you can see the LACMA-organized exhibition Fashioning Fashion: European Dress in Detail, 1700–1915, which originally ran at LACMA in 2010. That show is centered around a major collection acquired by LACMA a few years ago; now, the museum has just made another major acquisition that picks up roughly where the last left off. We have just added 158 examples of couture objects dating from 1880 to 2008. Designers included in the acquisition include Cristobál Balenciaga, Coco Chanel, Christian Dior, Hubert de Givenchy, Madame Grès, Christian Lacroix, Yves Saint Laurent, Alexander McQueen, Madeleine Vionnet, and many more. For the latter, we also acquired the Betty Kirke Pattern Archives of Madeleine Vionnet—patterns, photographs, research materials, and much more.

The objects are not yet on view, and won’t be right away. But in the meantime we just have to share a few fantastic highlights from the collection—just a scratch of the surface of this tremendous acquisition.

Cauët Sœurs, Woman’s Evening Dress, c. 1912, purchased with funds provided by Ellen A. Michelson, photo © 2012 Museum Associates/LACMA. All rights reserved

Cauët Sœurs, Woman’s Evening Dress, c. 1912, purchased with funds provided by Ellen A. Michelson, photo © 2012 Museum Associates/LACMA. All rights reserved

Cauët Sœurs, Woman’s Evening Dress (detail)

Cauët Sœurs, Woman’s Evening Dress (detail)

Madeleine Vionnet, Woman’s Evening Dress, 1925, purchased with funds provided by Ellen A. Michelson, photo © 2012 Museum Associates/LACMA. All rights reserved

Madeleine Vionnet, Woman’s Evening Dress, 1925, purchased with funds provided by Ellen A. Michelson, photo © 2012 Museum Associates/LACMA. All rights reserved

Jeanne Lanvin, Woman’s Evening Dress, c. 1935, purchased with funds provided by Ellen A. Michelson, photo © 2012 Museum Associates/LACMA. All rights reserved

Jeanne Lanvin, Woman’s Evening Dress, c. 1935, purchased with funds provided by Ellen A. Michelson, photo © 2012 Museum Associates/LACMA. All rights reserved

Jeanne Lanvin, Woman’s Evening Dress (detail)

Jeanne Lanvin, Woman’s Evening Dress (detail)

Jean Dessès, Woman’s Evening Dress, 1956, purchased with funds provided by Ellen A. Michelson, photo © 2012 Museum Associates/LACMA. All rights reserved

Jean Dessès, Woman’s Evening Dress, 1956, purchased with funds provided by Ellen A. Michelson, photo © 2012 Museum Associates/LACMA. All rights reserved

Jean Dessès, Woman’s Evening Dress (detail)

Jean Dessès, Woman’s Evening Dress (detail)

Madame (Alix) Grès, Woman’s Evening Dress, 1987, purchased with funds provided by Ellen A. Michelson, photo © 2012 Museum Associates/LACMA. All rights reserved

Madame (Alix) Grès, Woman’s Evening Dress, 1987, purchased with funds provided by Ellen A. Michelson, photo © 2012 Museum Associates/LACMA. All rights reserved

Alexander McQueen, Woman’s Dress, Fall 2007, purchased with funds provided by Ellen A. Michelson, photo © 2012 Museum Associates/LACMA. All rights reserved

Alexander McQueen, Woman’s Dress, Fall 2007, purchased with funds provided by Ellen A. Michelson, photo © 2012 Museum Associates/LACMA. All rights reserved

Scott Tennent

6 Responses to New Acquisition: 158 Couture Designs, 1880-2008

  1. LS says:

    When do you expect that these will be displayed for public viewing at LACMA?

  2. lacma says:

    Hi LS – that is still being determined but we will definitely let you know!

  3. Marni Davidson says:

    Can’t wait to see everything!

  4. Sue Glass says:

    These are beautiful! Love the detailing on the hot pink (or is it purple?) evening dress with the scallops. Looks like beading along the edges! Can’t wait to see it in person.

  5. Robert E. Moore III says:

    I just recently graduated from IADT,Las Vegas,with a BA in Fashion Design and I would love to be able to view this extensive and exquisite collection when I am in LA in the spring of 2013.Is that a possibility?REM III

  6. Carol Pentecost--Debernatdi says:

    Ellen, these dresses are fantastic!! I am very happy to see your interest in them. I hope things are well with you, Michael and the girls. With love, Carol

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