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The Couture Pattern Museum 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, focusing principally upon the golden age of couture (1947 - 1957), but also including historical patterns ranging from the 1920's through the 1970's. The Couture Pattern Museum is a privately held and operated museum based in Santa Barbara, CA. 


The museum concentrates most of its research, curating, and historical reproduction activities in connection with post-WWII haute couture fashion. The post-war years was described by Christian Dior as "the golden age of couture." This is the period where the couture set the highest standards in fashion, epitomizing the feminine silhouette with an idealized image of elegance and grace through impeccable workmanship. This was also the period when the haute couture commercial paper pattern industry saw its greatest influence and demand.


The mission of the museum is to collect, preserve, and digitize 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 professional dressmakers and to home sewists, and how these designs were celebrated and 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

1221 State St Ste 12

Santa Barbara, CA 93101-2699

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