FIDM hoping to raise $2 million to acquire rare clothing collection

LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- A small sample of the Helen Larson Historic Fashion Collection is on display at the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising.

Over Larson's lifetime, she acquired 1,400 pieces of fashion spanning 400 years, from the 1600s to the 1950s.

It is remarkable since Larson started out simply as a homemaker with a passion for fashion.

When she died, the collection came to FIDM, which is now facing a December deadline to raise $2 million to acquire it.

The fundraising starts now -- or the collection is likely broken up and sold off for a lot more.

FIDM displays the pieces in rotating exhibits: Everything from Queen Victoria's gown to brocade shoes and matching hose to a Coco Chanel 1925 couture piece that still looks modern.

PHOTOS: Rare clothing collection on display at FIDM

For the students, it is a priceless living textbook about the best of the best, a source for academic inspiration. For the rest of us, it's just awe inspiring.

The fundraising is happening on social media with a hashtag #4for400 -- a very modern approach to save irreplaceable history.

A $4 donation can help save 400 years of fashion history -- if a half-million people donate.

To donate, visit
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