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125 YEARS: COMMEMORATIVE FASHION SECTION

Swimwear Revolution

October 22, 2006|Barbara Thornburg | Barbara Thornburg is a senior editor for West.

In California, we're all about suiting ourselves when it comes to what we wear to the beach or pool. That obsession and innovation has made us "the swimwear capital of the world," says Kevin L. Jones, costume curator of the museum collections at L.A.'s Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising. He gave us a tour of the bathing costumes in FIDM's extensive 10,000-piece archival collection, selecting eight different suit designs that tell the story. "There's no better way to see the sea change in fashion history and women's liberation," says Jones, "than through this one type of outfit."

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THE FASHION INSTITUTE OF DESIGN & MERCHANDISING'S CURRENT SHOW, "FASHION MAKES SENSE," RUNS THROUGH DEC. 2 AT FIDM MUSEUM GALLERIES. CALL (213) 624-1200.

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