New Acquisition: 158 Couture Designs, 1880-2008

January 9, 2013
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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