All I want for Christmas …

by Erin on October 25, 2006

Jacques Fath archives

You know, I've never really gotten the Neiman Marcus Christmas Book before (that's both a literal and a figurative gotten). I'm much more of an Heifer International catalog kind of person. Who really needs a gold-plated Hummer or a week's holiday in an undersea hotel, when you could have a no-maintenance water buffalo, instead? (And I bet the sheets at the undersea hotel are clammy.) But Ann S. (thank you, Ann!) sent me a link to this NM holiday item, and now — now I get it.

What is it? Well, I'll let the copywriters explain:

… the only archival record of the House of Fath. This museum-quality collection includes 26 volumes of original sketchbooks from 1948 through 1956, with more than 3,400 couture designs. The collection also includes three exquisite Fath haute couture dresses, each with its accompanying sketch. With this archive, the possibilities are monumental. Endow a wing of your favorite museum with a comprehensive overview of fashion history or launch your own research center to inspire the Faths of tomorrow.

How much, you ask? Only (only!) $3.5M. That's a three, a five, and five zeros (plus two more after the decimal point, for you sticklers out there). I'm sure I can pull that together if I remember to check under all the couch cushions.

TWENTY-SIX volumes of sketchbooks! 3400 designs! The only question would be, would you neither sleep nor eat until you'd looked at everything, or would you ration the books over some long-drawn-out period of time, so as to make it last longer?

(I'm not so sure about the "endow a wing of MY favorite museum" part, though. I mean, I'd be worried about the mustard getting on the clothes.)

But I do hope someone buys this and gives it to the Costume Institute at the Met, or to the Costume Museum in Bath, or to FIT, or some other place that will keep it safe and accessible to researchers, and who will mount an exhibit so that folks like us can check out every one of those 3400 designs (web site? please?).

Of course, being NM, it will probably be bought by some Texas oilman as a present for his spoiled teen daughter designer wanna-be. (He'll get the gold-plated Hummer for his wife.) But I'm not going to think about that now! I'm just going to go write a quick note to Santa.

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