by Louise Coffey-Webb, Costume Committee Chair

If you have been by the ARC (Archive Resource Center) lately, you will have noticed a new mannequin in the central display area. She is wearing another of our “Princess” costumes from the Fiesta La Ballona, circa 1951.

The label inside states “Rosalie Utterback Original.” Rosalie was former Chair of the Fashion Design Department at Woodbury University (where I now am.) She was at Woodbury for 30 years, from 1966 through 1996. Before that, she had her own dressmaking business, and this costume is obviously from that period.

If any of you readers have photographs of Fiesta costumes from the 1950s, it would be great fun to see if they feature one of Rosalie’s dresses! Our dress features a pretty fitted lace bodice, with an attached four-tiered floor-length skirt in faille.

In front of the mannequin is a trophy which was given to Elsie Mohler in 1962. The engraving reads “Fiesta La Ballona, Culver City Chamber of Commerce, The Chamber of President’s Award.”

This Fall, work will continue on finishing up the cataloguing of the MGM Costume Collection at the ARC. The final step in this process is converting all the information onto our new computer database system.

My hope is that visitors will be able to sit at a computer in the Center and view the inventory on a monitor, complete with photos – thus making the entire collection available, rather than waiting for each costume to be individually displayed.

Stay tuned for a progress report!

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