Betsey Bloomingdale’s Haute Couture Collection at FIDM

As you know I go to FIDM, and we have a museum there that changes every quarter. I missed the Wizard of Oz which after seeing this last show really pissed me off. It’s literally in my school how could I not walk in and check it out but I guess the tinted windows intimidated me. Anyways I saw the Betsey Bloomingdale’s Couture Collection  she donated to the FIDM museum. Betsey Bloomingdale probably only sounds familiar because of the last name. Yes, she is the wife of the founder of Bloomingdales and a well know socialite. She has an amazing collection of couture collected over a 30 year period that will make you lusting for more. I saw at least 60 of her outfits ,each handmade for her, and it was breathe taking to say the least. The couture collection included designers Givenchy, Oscar de la Renta, Chanel, Dior, Courreges, Valentino and Yves Saint Lauren. I was in there for awhile reading each story behind each piece of clothing. She was good friends with Nancy Regan and even attended Princess Di’s wedding so it was amazing . There was the dress she wore and the invitation… I swooned. The most amazing to me were the dresses made with feathers because each feather was individually attached to the dresses and you can only wear it a certain amount of times before the feathers start loosing their stiffness. “Mrs. Bloomingdale’s haute couture odyssey began with a Balmain dress in 1961, when she was in her 30s. “My husband started Diner’s Club and we went to Europe,” she said. On visits to various fashion ateliers, Mr. Bloomingdale hit it off with the managing director of Dior. “Alfred said, ‘You buy your clothes at Dior.'”The 1960s through the 1980s was a period of extreme transition for haute couture, when older houses like Dior were struggling to modernize as their founders retired or died. Mrs. Bloomingdale offers a personal view of how those changes affected clients. She was close to Marc Bohan, who replaced Yves St. Laurent as the designer of Dior in 1958. Later, when luxury conglomerate LVMH replaced Mr. Bohan with Gianfranco Ferre, she found the new designer’s designs to be too heavy for comfort, and she drifted to other ateliers.”. Each outfit has a tag citing how to wear it (one tag suggests “light hose, not control. Valentino satin stole, [Harry Winston] earrings”) and where it had been previously worn. If you are a couture luster I definitely recommend checking it out at the school. It is free to the public and very worth it it’s open until December  12 so get on it.

Gianfranco Ferré for Dior, 1989-90, red silk crepe evening gown

With Karl.

The Princess Diana Wedding Invitation.


Marc Bohan for Christian Dior, Spring/Summer 1981 worn at the Royal Wedding of Prince Charles and Lady Diana Spencer.


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4 thoughts on “Betsey Bloomingdale’s Haute Couture Collection at FIDM

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      Kolbie

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