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Not many people know that LA Trade Tech has a room full of vintage designer and antiquated clothes donated to the school over the years. The archive provides a reference for teachers to show certain silhouettes and a close study of the inner and outer constructions of garments.

Unfortunately due to state budget cuts, the school is struggling to maintain classes, much less maintain the archival quality of the garments, some dating back to the 19th century. Therefore, the student visits to the costume room are few and far between, as careless or extreme handling can break down the fabric.

However, my textile class teacher gave us an opportunity to look through the closet to feel the different textiles designers used. While I loved everything, there were a few standouts I found in my short time in the room. I apologize for the poor picture quality, as I only had my phone & it was cramped quarters.

A jacket from the Edwardian era


Check out the pleated peplum on the bottom of the jacket


Since it wasn’t lined, I was able to see the inner construction


Art Deco period in the 1920s
(the dress reminds me a little of this 1925 Callot Soeurs dress at the Met Museum)

The front:


The back:


This was a lantern sleeve cuff, with some of the panels cut out:


The bottom border:


The second one I thought was amazing was this Christian Dior brocade coat with gold shank buttons.

The front:


The back:


Closeup of the front


The inside of the coat:


One last thing to leave you with…if you are a California resident, please vote FOR Proposition 30. The proposition would give more money to schools, universities and community colleges. Community colleges are the leaders in training highly skilled manufacturing jobs, however state budget cuts are decimating these technical programs, and we’ll never bridge the gap of what students need to learn and what employers require for these jobs. Several technical computer classes have already been struck from the course offerings at LATTC. If bringing the jobs back home is important to you, please support this proposition.