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July 14, 2009


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clare sauro

I wanted The Museum at FIT to buy this when it came up for auction a few years back- so glad you got it!


FIDM Museum

We're so fortunate to have this in our collection. Come and visit her in person sometime!

William Logan

Madame Olympe is mentioned in Elizabeth Custer's Tenting on the Plains (1887), regarding a visit to New Orleans: "We had come on board almost wrecked in our finances by the theatre, the tempting flowers, the fascinating restaurants, and finally, a disastrous lingering one day in the beguiling shop of Madam Olympe, the reigning milliner. The General had bought some folly for me . . ." This was one of the memoirs she published after the general's death at the Little Big Horn.

FIDM Museum

William, thanks so much for sending us this fascinating reference to Madame Olympe! We'll add the citation to our files.

Katherine Patin

Is there any way I can get a copy of the paper? I am interested in Olympe. Thanks

FIDM Museum

Katherine, if you'd like a copy of Kevin's paper, email me directly at rharris@fidmmuseum.org.

Beth Chamberlain

Wow! Definitely one of my favorites of the era. Can you tell me if the flowers are woven in or embroidered?

FIDM Museum

Hi Beth,

The floral pattern is a brocade, woven into the textile during the manufacturing process.


I think my "favourites" list just got a new entry.


I just came across my old research on this woman. I started that back in the 1980s when I lived in New York and came across one of her gowns. I'm packing up all that's left of that research so the museum there will have it to store with that gown. Small world - who would have thought over 25years ago she'd be on the web!


I did research on her in the mid 1980s. Who would have thought she'd be on the web over 25yrs later.

Jessica Klaus

Would it still be possible to get s copy of the reasesrch paper? I have so many questions about this amazing dress!

FIDM Museum

Hi Jessica! Thank you so much for your interest in the research paper; unfortunately we can't share the entire paper, but if you have any specific questions please feel free to email us at at info@fidmmuseum.org!

Jessica Klaus

How does the bodice close? The fringe and sash cover the front and there is no image of the back. Thank you.

FIDM Museum

Hi Jessica, thank you for your question. The bodice hooks up the center front.

Emily Wells

Do you still have access to the research paper? I'd be interested in reading it! Thank you.

FIDM Museum

Hi Emily, thank you for your interest in the research paper; unfortunately, we can't share the entire paper, but if you have any specific questions please feel free to email us at info@fidmmuseum.org!


I know of Madame Olympe because I work at a museum in New Orleans. Once upon a time, I was reading a 19th-cent. article from a national publication (NY Times? Harper's Weekly?) that was commenting on ladies' fashions, and mentioned "Olympe." I wondered if the author could possibly have been referring to New Orleans's own modiste, but I thought, nah--she couldn't have been that well known. I guess she probably was nationally famous, though. Before the war, New Orleans was the 3rd-largest city in the US and was THE place for the southern elite to shop.

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