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Back in time: Betsy Bloomingdale and Titanic fashion exhibits Nov. 14 [Updated]

October 19, 2009 |  6:00 am
Bloomingdale Pasadena’s Friends of the Gamble House is sponsoring two fashion-history events on Nov. 14 to kick off the group’s seasonal lecture tour. [Updated 3:55 p.m. Oct. 20: An earlier version of this post incorrectly implied that the events would be held at the Gamble House.]

First is "adDRESSING Titanic: Appearance and identity in 1912," in which Kevin Jones, curator of the museum at the Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising, will break down the sartorial hierarchy aboard the tragically doomed Titanic.

In addition to dissecting the various social subsets that were present on the ship (first, second and third class, along with crew and steerage), Jones will also highlight the many Titanic passengers involved in the fashion world and trend-making high-society circles. The event begins at 10 a.m. at Pasadena's Art Center College of Design.

That same day, historical haute couture pieces that fashion maven Betsy Bloomingdale gave to the FIDM Museum will be on display at the downtown Los Angeles site, 919 S. Grand Ave.  "High Style: Betsy Bloomingdale and the Haute Couture" exhibit, which will be on display at FIDM from Wednesday through Dec. 13, features 60 pieces. [Updated: An earlier version of this post incorrectly said 125 pieces.]  

Bloomingdale is the widow of Alfred P. Bloomingdale and an heir to the department store fortune. She was a devotee of French haute couture from 1961 to 1996, and on display will be vintage pieces designed by Christian Dior, Hubert de Givenchy and Yves Saint Laurent, among others. The heiress' personal style and sensibilities will also be explored. The display opens at 1 p.m.

Both events will be sponsored by Friends of the Gamble House. To purchase tickets -- $15 for students and $25 for the general public -- call 626-793-3334 Ext. 52 or visit

-- Emili Vesilind

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Photo: Betsy Bloomingdale, pictured in 1969. Credit: Courtesy of Mrs. Alfred Bloomingdale, FIDM Museum