Last weekend I visited the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising in downtown Los Angeles for an exhibit. I was early so as I waiting for the other ladies in our group I wandered around with my camera.
FIDM is located in the south part of downtown now known as South Park. As you probably know, the city of LA is a sprawling mass and our downtown is appropriately spread out. I had never spent much time in this section of downtown. In recent years it has gained popularity as a residential area after being mostly occupied for decades by industrial buildings and residential hotels.
FIDM is adjacent to Grand Hope Park which I believe was created in the mid 90s. The park makes a nice campus area for the institute and includes a clock tower, kids’ playground area and a fountain. A small corner of green to relax in.
You can see the buildings of downtown in the background behind the bougainvillea.
One of the older 1920s office buildings amidst newer residential apartment buildings.
Nice to see water running in the fountain area. In the drought some places seem to be trying to make a politically correct statement by keeping the fountains dry, but it doesn’t make sense for various reasons. Anyway, this makes a very attractive area to sit and contemplate the world.
Grand Hope is such a lovely name for a park, not to be confused with Grand Park which is much larger and further north in downtown. This park is bounded on the west by Hope Street and on the east by Grand Avenue.
With the conversion of so many 1920s office buildings to residential lofts, which in turn spurred the development of new apartments and condos, thousands of people now call downtown home. This necessitated facilities for families such as this jungle gym play area.
The women I was waiting for showed up and it was time to venture into the Fashion Institute Gallery to see the exhibit.
But first a couple of shots of this angel sculpture on the Grand Avenue side:
We see a lot of different kinds of angels around our “City of Angels,” but I’ve never seen one with a cat mask before… especially one with Donald Trump hair. If I had an angel outside my house it would have to be a cat!
The first exhibit we saw was Fleurs: Botanicals in Dress. From the Gallery website, Roses…Tulips…Orchids…Lilacs…Botanicals have grown around the human body for centuries through trompe l’oeil woven petals, shade-embroidered leaves, and dimensional silk bouquet applications. Fleursexamines these sartorial techniques that allow springtime to be eternal and the flowers to never fade.
I could certainly see myself walking into a room wearing this coat of chrysanthemums… hmm, maybe not. In 1967 this dress cost $3,000, a small fortune at the time.
I’m really not a dress or dress-up kind of gal but some of these are quite striking.
This straw hat I was sure was from the 1960s so I was shocked to see it was actually from the 1820s.
If I had to wear a dress I could enjoy wearing this black number
And I’m sure if my beau showed up at my house wearing this jerkin I would swoon. But only if I was living in the 1600s!
This piece is from the student gallery. Quite clever in its own way… the shirt folds up flat to fit in your suitcase!
This wedding gown is from 1978 although some of us thought it looked more like a nightie… perhaps she was anticipating the next event. The groom’s suit behind was very natty… I liked the bell bottom pants.
We also saw the Donald and Joan Damask Design Collection, including art books, high fashion photography and a section devoted to Cecil Beaton, who among other things, was an Academy Award–winning stage and costume designer for the movie industry.
I am not generally that interested in fashion but I never turn down an opportunity to look at anything related to art and design. There is always something new to learn.
And now I think my camera and I will have to come back to this part of town and wander around some more.
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