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. And don't forget to follow our Instagram account tomorrow as Mad Men costumer Janie Bryant takes over to raise awareness about our fundraising campaign!
Although this Civil War-era wedding ensemble--consisting of a silk satin bodice, overskirt, underskirt, and belt--appears to be trimmed with fur, it is actually swansdown that accents the collar, shoulders, cuffs, and fine linen gauze overskirt, a romantic appurtenance for a winter bride.
The lace cap is adorned with glass beads and pear-shaped pearls, and anchors a square, floor-length veil of tulle. This is one of more than a dozen historic wedding gowns in the Larson Collection, dating from the early 19th century to the 1960s; the collection also includes several veils and other bridal accessories, and a man's embroidered wedding coat from the 18th century. Detail
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!