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25/10/2011: Ambassador Cuisia Presents SLIM Coffeetable Book to the Smithsonian Institution

Philippine Ambassador to the US Jose L. Cuisia, Jr. (second from left) presents a copy of the coffeetable book, SLIM: Salvacion Lim Higgins, Philippine Haute Couture 1947-1990 to the Smithsonian Institution National Museum of American History represented by Ms. Lisa Kathleen Graddy, Deputy Chair and Curator, Division of Political History on 24 October 2011 at the Embassy of the Philippines. They are joined by from left, former Secretary of Foreign Affairs of the Philippines and former Ambassador to Germany Delia Domingo-Albert and Mr. Manuel J. Melendez, International Relations Liaison of the Smithsonian Institution.

October 25, 2011, Washington, DC – In observance of Filipino American History Month, Philippine Ambassador to the US Jose L. Cuisia, Jr. turned over the coffeetable book, SLIM: Salvacion Lim Higgins, Philippine Haute Couture 1947-1990 to the Smithsonian Institution National Museum of American History represented by Ms. Lisa Kathleen Graddy, Deputy Chair and Curator, Division of Political History on 24 October 2011 at the Embassy of the Philippines.

The Ambassador was joined by former Secretary of Foreign Affairs and Philippine Ambassador to Germany Delia Domingo-Albert who represented the Higgins Family. Salvacion Lim Higgins or Slim was a celebrated Filipina designer known for her bold and timeless designs. Her work helped define modern Philippine couture. One of her creations was a gown of former US First Lady Mamie Eisenhower which was a gift during a state visit by former Philippine President Carlos P. Garcia. The gown now belongs to the collection of the Smithsonian Institution National Museum of American History.

Published in November 2009, the coffeetable book is an in-depth documentation of Slim’s work. It was curated by Slim’s son, Mark Lewis Higgins, and includes over 70 vintage photos and archival sketches in the period 1947-1990.The Higgins Family requested the Embassy to give a copy of the book to the Smithsonian, as a token of their appreciation for the assistance extended by the Smithsonian in the process of book writing. The book will be catalogued in the Smithsonian’s library system to make it available to the public.

The gown of Mrs. Eisenhower was included in the traveling exhibit, First Ladies: Political Role and Public Image, organized by the Smithsonian Institution. The exhibit, which was based on the First Ladies permanent collection at the Museum of American History went on national tour from November 2004 to October 2007. During the brief courtesy call of Ms. Graddy on Ambassador Cuisia before the book presentation, Ms. Graddy shared that the glass case which currently holds the gown of First Lady Michelle Obama was originally custom-made for the Slim gown of Mrs. Eisenhower for the traveling exhibit.-- END