Musings of a Museum Fanatic: Making Mainbocher at the Chicago History Museum

1.30.2017

Making Mainbocher at the Chicago History Museum


Earlier this winter Kevin and I had a Friday off before our Lake Geneva weekend. We decided to spend it in the city. In addition to checking Smoque off my bucket list we went to the Chicago History Museum (CHM) to check out the special exhibits. The head of the exhibits at CHM was my professor for an exhibits class a couple of years ago and had told me earlier in the fall about the fabulous Mainbocher exhibit that they were working on so I was excited to finally get a chance to see it.


As the curatorial team says of Mainbocher was a man who really should not have become a successful high fashion designer. A kid from the west side of Chicago neighborhood of East Garfield Park Mainbocher started his career at Sears, Roebuck and Company.




Following the his time in the Army in Paris Mainbocher settled there becoming a fashion illustrator for Harper’s Bazaar followed by his move up the ladder at French Vogue. 



He then opened up a salon in Paris but moved it to New York before the Nazi invasion. We loved seeing all the different pieces that he designed. Not just haute couture but there were Girl Scout uniforms and military uniforms as well.




One thing I always appreciate in a good museum exhibit is the interactive. There was a blank canvas dress form and we were able to design our own couture dress! Kevin got really into it and enjoyed making this crazy outfit.






Making Mainbocher is a must visit for those fashion geeks, those who just enjoy beauty and everyone in between. It's at the Chicago History Museum until August 2017 so you've got some time to get your butt there! 

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