I am beyond excited to share the news that the Costume Council of the Chicago History Museum’s new costume exhibition Making Mainbocher The First American Couturier opens Saturday, October 22, 2016. The image above is the cover of the catalog of the exhibition, the first monograph on the designer. Main Rousseau Bocher (1890-1976), a Chicagoan, is probably best known, to the general public, for designing the Duchess of Windsor’s wedding dress in 1937 and the iconic corset photographed by Horst and immortalized by Madonna in her Vogue video. Known for understatement his refined garments were perfect for his Chicago clientele Everything in the exhibition is from these elegant ladies. I will be doing a review on the book on Tuesday and the exhibition next Friday..
I was fortunate to visit the Costume Collection wth Hamish Bowles several years ago when he was in Chicago to do a presentation for the Costume Council. Hamish is a devotee of Mainbocher and asked to see some of his pieces in our Collection. What we saw was amazing and I took some very candid photos. You will see some of these pieces in the Collection (I’ll feature them unveiled next Friday). I took some shots of the insides of the garments and the labels as well as some of the sketches that accompany our extensive holdings and that will also be shown in this exceptional exhibition.
Nena with Hamish Bowles
Sketch of gown featured in exhibition
I love seeing the inside construction of garments it is always a fascinating way to look at clothing.
True couture detail of the gown in the sketch
Gown displayed for examination (also same as in the sketch)
Sketch for hand beaded butterfly chiffon gown
Notice the hand stitchingAnother hand beaded gown on silk faille
The handcrafted lining of the garment
Interactive section of exhibition (we love to include interaction with our exhibitions we are after all in a technological age but thankfully Haute Couture still exists where craftsmanship prevails much as it did in Mainbochers time!)
Accessories and wig waiting for their close up
Exhibition under wrapsJoin us for the unveiled mannequins and experience this truly one of a kind exhibition.
All photos taken by Nena Ivon on an iPhone
For more information on this and other exhibitions at the Chicago History Museum, the Costume Collection and The Costume Council visit http://www.chicagohistorymuseum.org
Cover image courtesy of the Chicago History Museum http://www.chicagohistorymuseum.org
Catalog available from the Chicago History Museum Store http://www.chicagohistorymuseumstore.org