The FIDM Museum is in the final months of a major fundraising campaign to purchase the Helen Larson Historic Fashion Collection, a private collection of 1,400 historic garments and accessories from four centuries. Each Friday, this blog will present an exquisite piece from the Larson Collection.
The couture house of Madame Havet was located directly across the street from the Paris Opera House. While representing the forefront of Parisian style, Havet's designs were popular with visiting Americans, and they were also sold in the U.S. This one supposedly belonged to the daughter of the American railroad baron Jay Gould, who married a French aristocrat, the Duc de Talleyrand. The pale pink chiffon evening gown in the new short, sheer style of the 1920s has a bird motif rendered in glass rhinestones, which also decorate the hem and shoulder straps.
The FIDM Museum has a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to acquire this rare and beautiful ensemble and many more like it before the collection is dispersed forever or sold into private hands, inaccessible to students, researchers, and the general public. But we need your help to save the Larson Collection. We have raised more than twenty percent of the necessary funds, but we still have a long way to go, and time is running out! Please make a contribution online or by mail, or join our #4for400 social media campaign to donate $4 (or more) by texting "Museum" to 243725. Donations are tax deductible; if your company or organization has a matching gift program, your support will go even further. You can also help by spreading the word on social media, using the #4for400 hashtag. The FIDM Museum as until the end of 2015 to finish raising the necessary funds, so please join the campaign and help save 400 years of fashion history!