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The Couture Pattern Museum, located in Santa Barbara, CA, oversees one of the world’s largest and most significant collections of commercial haute couture and high-fashion sewing patterns released by international and American fashion design houses during the golden age of couture and dressmaking, from the late 1940's to the mid 1960's.


The museum concentrates most of its curating activities in connection with post-WWII haute couture fashion. This is the period coined "the golden age of couture," where fashion displayed optimism, epitomizing the feminine silhouette with an idealized image of elegance and grace. This was also the period when the paper pattern industry saw its greatest influence and demand.


The mission of the museum is to collect, preserve, and digitize these rare and precious paper patterns, before the fragile tissue paper and its instructions disintegrate. Additionally, the museum studies and preserves the limited and fragmented information about couture construction and sewing techniques from the instructions released from design houses that were published with the commercial patterns. Some of these once-thriving couture houses are no longer in existence, and the last remnants of their history will be retained and curated through organizing and digitizing the commercial patterns they released.


We are committed to keeping the history of the democratization of couture alive, and to sharing and expanding this story by preserving, recreating, and exhibiting the designer ensembles from authentic and authorized couture sewing patterns as an important part of how couture sewing patterns were made available to the home sewist, and how these designs were made accessible and recreated by patrons who otherwise did not have access or the financial means to Parisian haute couture. 

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Couture Pattern Museum

315 Meigs Rd Ste A380

Santa Barbara, CA 93109

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