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Haute couturier Dominique Sirop, a member of the Chambre Syndicale de la Haute Couture Parisienne who worked with Saint Laurent and de Givenchy, assembled the predominantly French acquisition, which consists of both daywear and eveningwear. Some of the highlights include a prim 1987 rose and white chevron-striped evening gown by Madame Grès, an elegant 1925 silk satin evening dress with goldfoiled glass bugle beads and silver metallic-wrapped thread trim by Vionnet, and a luxurious fall 2007 brown leather and fox evening dress by McQueen.
A major part of the Vionnet acquisition was due to the recent donation by scholar Betty Kirke of the Betty Kirke Pattern Archives of Madeleine Vionnet, which include priceless paper patterns, muslin toiles, research notes, slides, and photographs that Kirke used for her book “Madeleine Vionnet.”
The acquisition, coupled with Rodarte designers Kate and Laura Mulleavy’s 2011 gift of the Rodarte Frangelico-inspired couture collection significantly strengthens LACMA’s couture holdings, some 25,000 pieces in the museum’s Costume and Textiles Collection.
“In addition to expanding the breadth of LACMA’s repository of twentieth-century fashion, this outstanding acquisition allows us to draw entirely from our permanent collection in organizing exhibitions that explore the role of the couturier in the development of modern style,” said Sharon Takeda, LACMA senior curator Costume and Textiles, via email.