A Selective Guide to the Arts in Los Angeles

How Hollywood’s Mae West (5 feet) looked tall: Custom platform shoes (9.5”) c. 1945-50 Description: Pepenie Custom Made, printed cotton and leather platform shoes (image courtesy of FIDM)

Austrian composer Joseph Haydn’s walking stick (c. 1800), an afternoon dress by Gabrielle “Coco” Chanel (c. 1937), Mae West’s platform heels (c. 1945-50), and the “Peacock Dress” by Alexander McQueen (commissioned by FIDM in 2010) are among the varied objects covering more than 200 years of fashion history currently on display at the FIDM Museum & Galleries. “Fabulous! Ten Years of FIDM Museum Acquisitions, 2000–2010” runs through Dec. 17 at the Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising in downtown Los Angeles.

The FIDM Museum collection includes a whopping 15,000 historical fashions, and this exhibit will feature 170 of them, acquired over the past 10 years. French haute couture, international contemporary designers, and mid-20th-century American designers are all represented. The accompanying 375-page catalogue features a preface by Hubert de Givenchy.

Admission is free. The museum is open Tuesday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. For more information, visit www.fidmmuseum.org.