I really should have listened more carefully to the lyrics in "It Never Rains in Southern California", because at the end of the second stanza the other shoe drops - "It never rains in California, but girl don't they warn ya? It pours, man, it pours". And despite my dreams of a sunny few days while exhibiting in the recent Los Angeles Fine Print Fair, the exception proved the rule. On the plus side, the rains brought an end to California's devastating six year drought and the normally dun-colored mountains were a lush green, but any idea of a quick dip in the hotel's outdoor pool was completely out of the question!
Of course Los Angeles offered plenty of other diversions to occupy my free time and one of the most enjoyable was a visit to the museum and galleries of the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising, or "FIDM" for short. Founded in 1969, FIDM began as an educational institution for students of fashion and costume design. The Institute now comprises 4 campuses in Southern California, and, since 1978, a museum and library featuring examples of and documentation for all manner of clothing, textiles, ornamentation and accessories, both historic and contemporary, for the movie industry and fashionistas alike.
As well as archives and reference materials, the FIDM Museum also offers fashion-themed special exhibitions that are free and open to the public. I had the good fortune to attend the preview party for their winter exhibitions which was held in a see-through tent complete with chandeliers and was just as fabulous as you would probably expect!
The main exhibition celebrated the silver anniversary of the FIDM Museum's annual nod to the Hollywood costume industry. "25th Art of Motion Picture Costume Design" featured wardrobes from several of 2016's outstanding films. Like these disco-inspired dresses from one of the opening numbers of "La La Land"...
Naturally, this being Los Angeles, there were quite a few attendees whose sartorial splendor rivaled the mannequins, but most of the guests at the opening party seemed as thrilled to be there as I was! The exhibitions remain on view at the FIDM Museum and Galleries until April 22nd.