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December 14, 2012


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Daniel Milford-Cottam

Lovely to know what's happened to the Vivien Leigh dress from the Langley Moore book - the Fashion Museum in Bath acquired a group of ten dresses from the book a few years ago, which amazed me as I had assumed all DLM's collection would already be in their collection, but I guess she, like all collectors, bought/resold/rotated/upgraded... although I don't think I could sell the first ever antique garment I purchased!

Actually, now I see the Art Fund link, at http://www.artfund.org/what-we-do/art-weve-helped-buy/artwork/9435/ten-dresses , I see that those dresses were also from the Helen Larsson collection, so does the collection own the remaining pieces from the book?

FIDM Museum

Hi Daniel,

Thanks so much for your comment. The FIDM Museum acquired 6 of the ensembles (Plates XXI & XXII, XXXIV-bodice, XLIII, XLVIII, LXXVII, C) appearing in The Woman in Fashion from the Helen Larson Estate in 2001. The Helen Larson Historic Fashion Collection contains 6 of the gowns worn in The Woman in Fashion, as well as numerous accessories used in the book. I believe the Royal Ontario Museum has a few gowns as well. And in case you were wondering, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art holds most of the clothing worn in The Child in Fashion (1953). I find it fascinating tracing the paths of these objects!

Christina Johnson, Associate Curator


Thank you so much for your response! It fascinates me very much too. Amazing to think that so much of it is now in the United States.

Liz Tregenza

Wow. I am so interested in the video that you have posted from Costume Colloquim. I am a bit of a D.L.M addict, and it was so interesting to find out a little bit more about where some of her pieces ended up.

Whilst studying for my undergraduate degree I wrote my dissertation about wearing historical dress, so understandably D.L.M and the use of her costume collection for both Woman in fashion and her tv series was hugely important to me. Whilst I was doing this I was hunting for the pieces in her collection that were used in the Woman in fashion, but didn’t get all that far (I found a few of the pieces that had been sold at auction). It is great to know where so many pieces from the collection ended up.

I think D.L.M has to be one of the most important mid 20th century fashion historians, I love her approach and her scholarly position. Unlike Laver and Cunnington her views were not clouded by psychological theory (I’m just re-reading Laver’s Taste and Fashion now, for my masters.)

I was particularly interested that you mention writing a book about D.L.M I REALLY hope this happens. There is so much to be said about Moore, not just as a collector and historian, but how she used her position in society to her advantage. I am also fascinated by the variety of models she had in Woman In Fashion in particular.

Kind regards,

(A fellow DLM obsessive) Liz Tregenza

Bert Hamelin

I work in theater costuming and had the great good fortune to work with Lynn Redgrave several years before her death. I had purchased The Woman in Fashion book from an antique book dealer in New Haven, CT and mentioned it to Lynn at one of our fittings. she hadn't seen the book in many, many years and when I brought it in to show her, she told me a delightful story about the wax doll she is holding in her hand in the her photo. It had been a very hot day and the doll was made of wax and melted, much to her disappointment. She told me I needed to find The Child in Fashion as her brother appears in it along with Lynn and her sister, Vanessa and he was not happy about being recruited for the job.

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