Lace in Fashion
Feb
4
to Jan 1

Lace in Fashion

Lace has been a sign of style and elegance since the sixteenth century. From fine luxury garments worn by royals and the aristocracy to machine-made fashions for the everyday, our brand new exhibition for 2017 will reveal both the techniques and the top names that have made lace such an enduring fashion trend. Featuring 50 historic treasures and designer dresses, Lace in Fashion draws on the riches of the Fashion Museum collection to showcase the skill and seduction of this fashionable fabric.

Lace in Fashion is the culmination of a two year project to catalogue the Museum’s extensive archives of lace dating from the 1500s to the present day, supported by Arts Council England. Assisted by expert volunteers from the Lace Guild, we have been able to revaluate how lace is used in the Fashion Museum collection and uncover its journey from craft to catwalk.

The oldest object in the exhibition will be a smock dating from around 1580 with Flemish bobbin lace on the sleeves and collar, one of the earliest pieces in the Fashion Museum collection. Another of the Museum’s rarest treasures will also appear in the show: the Silver Tissue Dress which dates from the 1660s is trimmed with exquisite parchment lace, a rare and delicate fabric made using tiny strips of parchment or paper wrapped in silk.

Other highlights include a navy blue lace dress worn by actress Lea Seydoux in the James Bond film Spectre, which has been loaned to the Fashion Museum by Australian design duo Lover, as well as elegant evening gowns by top fashion names Balmain, Balenciaga and Molyneux.

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Native Fashion Now
Feb
17
to Sep 4

Native Fashion Now

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From the National Museum of the American Indian

From vibrant street clothing to exquisite haute couture, Native Fashion Nowcelebrates the visual range, creative expression, and political nuance of Native American fashion. Nearly 70 works spanning the last 50 years explore the vitality of Native fashion designers and artists from pioneering Native style-makers to maverick designers making their mark in today's world of fashion.

Featuring contemporary garments, accessories, and footwear spanning a variety of genres and materials, this exhibition features designers who traverse cross-cultural boundaries between creative expression and cultural borrowing. From one of Patricia Michaels' (Taos Pueblo) finale ensembles from the reality television series Project Runway to Jamie Okuma's (Luiseño/Shoshone-Bannock) dramatically beaded Christian Louboutin boots, and innovative works made from Mylar, vinyl, and stainless steel, Native Fashion Now underscores Native concepts of dress and beauty, which are inextricably bound to identity and tradition in a rapidly changing world.

Image: Orlando Dugi (Diné [Navajo]) and Troy Sice (Zuni), The Guardian—Bringer of Thunder, Lightning and Rain handbag, 2013. Courtesy the National Museum of the American Indian.

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Across Japan
Mar
4
to Sep 3

Across Japan

From Mode Museum Hasselt:

The fascinating innovations introduced by the Japanese avant-garde
designers and their younger peers in combination with newer Western interpretations of the ‘Japanese’ aesthetics make up the core of Across Japan. At the same time, the show seeks to illustrate that this concern with Japan in the West is nothing new and has a long tradition going back to the seventeenth century. In Across Japan this unique cross-fertilization between Japanese and Western fashion is explored through a set of themes and a selection of noteworthy silhouettes supplemented with visuals aiming at pinpointing the peculiar nature of it. 
 
Designers and fashion houses represented are amongst others Paul Poiret, Balenciaga, Rudi Gernreich, Hanae Mori, Kenzo Takada, Issey Miyake, Kansai Yamamoto, Rei Kawakubo, Yohji Yamamoto, Junya Watanabe, Maison Margiela, Ann Demeulemeester and Iris van Herpen.

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Sara Berman's Closet
Mar
6
to Sep 5

Sara Berman's Closet

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From the Metropolitan Museum of Art

The meticulously organized, modest closet in which Sara Berman (1920–2004)—an immigrant who traveled from Belarus to Palestine to New York—kept her all-white apparel and accessories both contained her life and revealed it. Inspired by the beauty and meaning of Berman's closet, the artists Maira and Alex Kalman (who are also Berman's daughter and grandson) have recreated the closet and its contents as an art installation.

This exhibition will represent Berman's life from 1982 to 2004, when she lived by herself in a small apartment in Greenwich Village. In her closet Berman lovingly organized her shoes, clothes, linens, beauty products, luggage, and other necessities. Although the clothing is of various tints—including cream, ivory, and ecru—it gives the impression of being all white.

With its neatly arranged stacks of starched and precisely folded clothing, the closet will be presented as a small period room in dialogue with The Met's recently installed Worsham-Rockefeller Dressing Room from 1882, which will feature clothing from the 1880s of the type that Arabella Worsham, a wealthy art patroness, might have worn. Despite vast differences of scale and ornament, and the separation of 100 years, the two rooms show there were similarities between the life stories of Berman and Worsham (c. 1850–1924). Both began as women of limited means who, by their own ingenuity, created new lives for themselves in New York City.

Image: Sara Berman, age 74 in Rome, Italy. Courtesy the Met's exhibition catalogue, Sara Berman's Closet.

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Margiela – The Hermès Years
Mar
31
to Aug 27

Margiela – The Hermès Years

From the Mode Museum

From 31 March 2017 to 27 August 2017, MoMu is displaying Belgian stylist Martin Margiela’s Hermès collections from 1997 to 2003 for the first time. As well as this, the tribute exhibition also explores the relationship during these years between these collections and his own label, Maison Martin Margiela. Groundbreaking deconstruction and timeless luxury – the two worlds of designer Martin Margiela – are the starting point of the exhibition ‘‘Margiela – The Hermès Years’’.

Tickets to this exhibition can be purchased here

Image (courtesy MoMu): HERMÈS “Losanges” Spring/Summer 2003 - photo Nathaniel Goldberg | MAISON MARTIN MARGIELA Spring/Summer 1989 - photo Raf Coolen - graphic design Jelle Jespers

 

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Rei Kawakubo/ Comme des Garçons: Art of the In-Between
May
4
to Sep 4

Rei Kawakubo/ Comme des Garçons: Art of the In-Between

From The Met:

The Costume Institute's spring 2017 exhibition will examine the work of Japanese fashion designer Rei Kawakubo, known for her avant-garde designs and ability to challenge conventional notions of beauty, good taste, and fashionability.

Featuring approximately 150 examples of Kawakubo's womenswear for Comme des Garçons, from the early 1980s to her most recent collection, objects will be organized into eight aesthetic expressions of interstitiality in Kawakubo's work: Fashion/Anti-Fashion, Design/Not Design, Model/Multiple, Then/Now, High/Low, Self/Other, Object/Subject, and Clothes/Not Clothes, illustrating the designer's revolutionary experiments in "in-betweenness"—the space between boundaries. 

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The World of Anna Sui
May
26
to Oct 1

The World of Anna Sui

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From the Fashion & Textile Museum:

Anna Sui is the classic American fashion designer. From Detroit to New York, her signature rock-n-roll romanticism reinvents pop culture for every new generation. Since her first catwalk show in 1991, Sui has shaped not only the garments, textiles, accessories, beauty and interiors which comprise her design universe, but also the course of fashion history. The World of Anna Sui features over 100 looks from the designer’s archive, presenting a roll call of archetypes from Surfers and School Girls to Hippies, Mods and Punks. This is the first time an American designer has been the focus of a retrospective exhibition in the UK.

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Balenciaga: Shaping Fashion
May
27
to Feb 18

Balenciaga: Shaping Fashion

From the V&A:

This exhibition examines the work and legacy of influential Spanish couturier Cristóbal Balenciaga, with over 100 pieces crafted by ‘the master’ of couture, his protégées and contemporary fashion designers working in the same innovative tradition.

Image credit, Cristóbal Balenciaga at work, 1968, Paris, France. Photograph by Henri Cartier-Bresson. © Henri Cartier-Bresson/Magnum Photos.

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Force of Nature
May
30
to Nov 18

Force of Nature

From the Museum at FIT:

Force of Nature is a unique exhibition that explores how the beauty and complexity of nature have inspired fashion designers for centuries. More than a survey of decorative flora and fauna, this exhibition reveals the natural world as a source of ideas and symbolism in fashion design. Approximately 95 objects are presented in a manner that demonstrates the deep interconnectedness between fashion and the natural sciences. Spanning the 18th century to the present, Force of Nature features garments, accessories, and textiles from the permanent collection of The Museum at FIT.

Image Credit, Alexander McQueen, Plato’s Atlantis collection, Spring 2010, England, museum purchase.

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Spanish Costumes: Darkness and Light
Jun
21
to Sep 24

Spanish Costumes: Darkness and Light

From Paris Galliera: 

This exhibition is part of the Palais Galliera’s Spanish Season. It opened with “Balenciaga, oeuvre au noir” (‘Balenciaga, working in black’) at the Musée Bourdelle (8 March–16 July 2017) and will close with the first Paris retrospective of work by Mariano Fortuny, at the Palais Galliera (4 October–7 January 2018).

Of all French writers, Victor Hugo was probably one of the greatest lovers of Spain. From June to September this year, his former house, the Maison de Victor Hugo, will be hosting a remarkable selection of traditional Spanish costumes borrowed from the collections of the Museo del Traje, the Museum of Costume and Ethnological Heritage in Madrid. For the first time in Paris, we will be able to admire the skills and ingenuity of the craftsmen and craftswomen who, between the end of the 18th and the beginning of the 20th century, made the forty or more costumes and accessories on display. These pieces used to be catalogued simply as examples of folk costumes, but the delicacy of the work and their extraordinary variety, have inspired the greatest Spanish couturiers, including Balenciaga.

These are clothes that reflect regional life, they express the soul of the Spanish provinces: the Canary Islands, Andalusia, Catalonia, Mallorca, Aragon, Castile, Salamanca ... They are emblematic of a trade, of a social or cultural group, a specific place, or the religious beliefs of their original wearers, but their sheer creativity strikes us today with unprecedented force.
The collection is juxtaposed with a large selection of photographs by José Ortiz Echagüe (1886-1980) – an engineer by training, whose great passion was photography. From Spanish Morocco, to the provinces of his native country, his sharp but benevolent eye captured the full beauty of the landscape, the monuments, the local inhabitants and their rituals.

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Sonia Delaunay. Art, design and fashion
Jul
4
to Oct 15

Sonia Delaunay. Art, design and fashion

From the Museo Thyssen:

The Ukrainian artist Sonia Delaunay (1885-1979) was a key figure in the Parisian avant-garde. Together with her husband, the painter Robert Delaunay, she undertook an artistic adventure based on contrasts of colour and the dissolving of form through light that led towards abstraction.

Sonia Delaunay. Art, design and fashion is the first monographic exhibition on the artist in Spain and aims to reveal the full extent of her multi-disciplinary artistic practice. Paintings and designs for clothes and textiles will be shown alongside her innovative collaborations with poets and set designers. The exhibition will also pay particular attention to the period when the artist and her family lived in Madrid, arriving there exactly 100 years ago.

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Christian Dior: Designer of Dreams
Jul
5
to Jan 7

Christian Dior: Designer of Dreams

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From the Musée des Arts Décoratifs:

The Musée des Arts Décoratifs is celebrating the 70th anniversary of the creation of the House of Dior. This lavish and comprehensive exhibition invites visitors on a voyage of discovery through the universe of the House of Dior’s founder and the illustrious couturiers who succeeded him: Yves Saint Laurent, Marc Bohan, Gianfranco Ferré, John Galliano, Raf Simons and, most recently, Maria Grazia Chiuri.

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The House of Dior: 70 years of Haute Couture
Aug
27
to Nov 7

The House of Dior: 70 years of Haute Couture

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From NGV:

In celebration of the seventieth anniversary of the House of Dior, one of the world’s most prestigious couture houses, the National Gallery of Victoria presents The House of Dior: Seventy Years of Haute Couture.

Exclusive to Melbourne, this exhibition is a collaboration between the NGV and the House of Dior and includes a sumptuous display of more than 140 garments designed by Christian Dior Couture between 1947 and 2017.

The House of Dior explores the story of the fashion house through a series of themes, featuring works by the seven designers who have played key roles in shaping Dior’s renowned fashionable silhouette: Christian Dior, Yves Saint Laurent, Marc Bohan, Gianfranco Ferré, John Galliano, Raf Simons and Maria Grazia Chiuri.

The exhibition narrates the rich history of the fashion house, including Christian Dior’s early influences, the design codes synonymous with the House of Dior, insights into the Dior atelier workrooms, the role that accessories have played in expressing the complete Dior look and the milestones of its six successive designers following Christian Dior’s sudden death in 1957.

Highlights include examples from Christian Dior’s iconic spring 1947 New Look collection, magnificent displays of Dior’s signature ball gowns and evening dresses, as well as designs from the inaugural couture collection of the House’s first female head designer, Maria Grazia Chiuri.

Dior’s unique and longstanding affinity with Australia is also examined, including the historic Spring1948 fashion parade at David Jones, Sydney, where models wore fifty original creations by Christian Dior. This was the first complete Dior collection to be shown outside of Paris.

Image credit, Christian Dior, Paris (fashion house), Raf Simons (designer), autumn−winter 2012 haute couture collection, Photo © Patrick Demarchelier/Licensed by Art+Commerce.

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Fortuny, A Spaniard in Venice
Oct
4
to Jan 7

Fortuny, A Spaniard in Venice

From the Paris Galliera: 

Mariano Fortuny y Madrazo (1871-1949) was the son of the Spanish painter Mariano Fortuny y Marsal (1831-1874) and, like his father, he started out as a painter. He moved to Venice in 1889 and his name has always been associated with that city. His highly eclectic tastes encompassed engraving, photography, furniture and lighting design, as well as stage design and stage lighting. In 1906, he turned his attentions to fabrics, with his “Knossos scarf” made of silk, printed with motifs inspired by Kamares pottery from the Minoan period. His dress designs liberated the female form. He reinterpreted the styles and motifs of Ancient Greece, the Middle-Ages and the Renaissance, and he created timeless, unwaisted pieces with soft, straight-hanging lines.

Fortuny would turn every fabric into a uniquely magnificent piece with subtle reflections of light. In the gowns worn by such legendary women as Countess Greffulhe and her daughter Élaine, Eleonora Duse, Ellen Terry, and Oona Chaplin, visitors can admire his carefully researched prints made from metallic powders on silk velvet, with their Byzantine, Japanese and Persian influences. The Mariano Fortuny exhibition is an invitation into the soft, shimmering world of a prolifically inventive designer who was a zealous advocate for liberating the female form, and a believer in the ultimate luxury: comfort. A total immersion in timeless elegance.

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Louise Dahl-Wolfe: A Style of Her Own
Oct
20
to Jan 21

Louise Dahl-Wolfe: A Style of Her Own

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From the Fashion & Textile Museum:

Louise Dahl-Wolfe (1895–1989) is one of the most important women photographers of the 20th century. Her work in the thirties, forties and fifties brought an informal and contemporary approach to fashion that had enormous influence on Richard Avedon, Irving Penn and the other great photographers who followed. A uniquely American artist, this is the first major survey of her work in the UK and is timed to coincide with a resurgence of interest in female photographers. The exhibition features over 100 photographs spanning three decades, from 1931 to 1959, and presents the work of couture designers Chanel, Balenciaga and Dior, as well as American fashion innovators Claire McCardell and Clare Potter. 

The exhibition will also present a significant body of portraiture by Dahl-Wolfe. These portraits capture literary figures such as W.H. Auden, Christopher Isherwood, Jean Cocteau, Edith Sitwell, Colette and Carson McCullers. She also documented fashion designers; and a major portfolio of Hollywood stars from Bette Davis, Orson Welles and Vivien Leigh in the 1930s to James Cagney and Veronica Lake in the 1940s.

A key focus of the exhibition is Dahl-Wolfe’s 22 years as the leading contributor to Harper’s Bazaar, from 1936 to 1958, working with editor Carmel Snow, legendary fashion director Diana Vreeland and the designer Alexey Brodovitch. ‘From the moment I saw her first colour photographs, I knew Bazaar was at last going to look the way I had instinctively wanted,’ declared editor Carmel Snow. 

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fashion after Fashion
Apr
27
to Aug 6

fashion after Fashion

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From the Museum of Arts and Design (New York, NY):

In 2015, fashion trend forecaster and authority Li Edelkoort declared “the end of Fashion as we know it,” and in her “manifesto for the next decade” provided “ten reasons why the fashion system is obsolete.” In doing so, she echoed a sentiment shared by fashion industry insiders, journalists, pundits, and scholars alike—from reporter Teri Agins, author of the 2000 book The End of Fashion, to fashion theorist Barbara Vinken, who coined the term “postfashion” to describe the contemporary zeitgeist. As the world of fashion continues to evolve, the term “fashion” itself demands redefinition. fashion after Fashion takes up this call, seeking a new understanding of fashion that accommodates a wider range of practices and ideologies. 

The exhibition presents the work of six designer teams who are thinking—and making us think—about fashion anew. Featuring some of the most innovative work being produced in the context of contemporary fashion, fashion after Fashion focuses on commissioned, site-sensitive installations to offer an experience that is as immersive and affective as it is mentally stimulating. It presents fashion as an expanded field of practice that is determined by concept and context, and whose practitioners work collaboratively and creatively between and across areas of design and art. 

fashion after Fashion is co-curated by Hazel Clark and Ilari Laamanen in collaboration with the Finnish Cultural Institute in New York and Parsons School of Design, The New School, New York, with support from MAD’s Assistant Curator Barbara Paris Gifford and Curatorial Assistant and Project Manager Angelik Vizcarrondo-Laboy.

Image courtesy MAD Museum.

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Dalida, Une Garde-Robe de la Ville à la Scène
Apr
27
to Aug 13

Dalida, Une Garde-Robe de la Ville à la Scène

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From The Galliera

The Palais Galliera pays homage to Dalida with an exhibition of her wardrobe, which was recently donated to the museum by her brother Orlando. Dressed by the greatest designers both on and off-stage, in haute couture or in prêt-à-porter,Dalida has remained an immensely popular star. Her wardrobe always followed the movements of fashion, but it also reflected her artistic development.

Dalida was a touching and impassioned figure and she has remained an immensely popular star. The Palais Galliera pays homage to her with an exhibition of her wardrobe, which was recently donated to the museum by her brother Orlando. She was a fervent lover of fashion and prepared to wear everything: from 1950s New Look dresses by Jacques Esterel to a Balmain’s seventies pinafore dress; she was chic and understated in Loris Azarro, dazzling in sequined disco outfits by Michel Fresnay in the 1980s, classical and timeless in Yves Saint Laurent rive gauche, and then there was Jean-Claude Jitrois who said dressing Dalida was ‘like dressing the stars for the Cannes Film Festival’.

Dressed by the greatest designers both on and off-stage, in haute couture or in prêt-à-porter, Iolanda – Miss Egypt, with the dynamite looks, became Dalida and had a huge hit with Bambino at Bobino, wearing a Hollywood-style red, strapless gown designed by Jean Dessès. This is the dress that sets the tone of the exhibition; it greets the visitor in the Museum’s salon d’honneur, setting the scene for the singer’s early career and her rise to fame: little dresses, stage dresses, photographs, record albums, the ethnic looks and the hippie looks. Dalida was archetypally Mediterranean – sunny and tragic, with a languorous drawl to her voice. A clearly defined waist, shapely hips and bust, her bare shoulders, the small of her back – everything about her was dazzlingly beautiful. And sophisticated. Her stage dresses, her make-up were like a second skin – she was born to perform. The show business side of her wardrobe is displayed under the gilded frescoes of the grande galerie: exotic gowns, leather, black and gold, and then, in the west gallery (galerie Ouest), the clothes she wore off-stage – set out in a display of pure Parisian elegance: coats and capes, in black and gold and leather. 

Her wardrobe always followed the movements of fashion, but it also reflected her artistic development. As her career progressed, she sang beautiful versions of songs by songwriters whose work drew out her great sensitivity and also her brittle quality. The young girl from Cairo, who had dreamed of being a film star, saw her dreams come true; her beauty transferred flawlessly to the silver screen. And so, the exhibition ends in the salle carrée with film costumes and screenings of extracts from her movies.

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Judith Leiber: Crafting a New York Story
Apr
4
to Aug 6

Judith Leiber: Crafting a New York Story

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From MAD:

Judith Leiber spent sixty-five years in the handbag industry, from an apprentice in Budapest to the owner of an internationally renowned handbag company based in New York City. As the only female pattern-maker, and with the unusual ability to make a handbag from start to finish, Leiber brought a distinctly European training and skill set to the United States, where handbags were made with assembly-line skill division. This allowed her not only to succeed as a designer, but also to revolutionize the meaning of handbag craftsmanship for the American consumer.

Leiber’s handbags run the gamut from finely crafted leather pieces and textile-based bags, to the fantastical Swarovski crystal–encrusted creations for which she is most well known. Inspired by a life-long admiration of art, travel, and opera, Leiber’s bags include Art Deco–influenced hardware; materials such as Lucite and seashells; references to the artwork of Piet Mondrian, Georges Braque, and Sonia Delaunay; and collaboration with Faith Ringgold on a collection of handbags inspired by her quilts.

As Leiber’s reputation flourished, designers and suppliers sought her out, offering interesting materials, particularly textiles. Thus, many of her handbags are constructed with obis from Japan, Parsi ribbons from India, and fabrics from Iran and Africa. From the earliest days of her company, Leiber pushed the boundaries of handbag design—innovation that is epitomized by her famed sparkling minaudières, a technique that began as a solution to a damaged metal frame, and was then catalyzed by the design of her imaginative animal and food clutches to become fashion staples for First Ladies and celebrities alike.

Judith Leiber: Crafting a New York Story tells the tale of this illustrious craftswoman, designer, and businesswoman. The exhibition includes handbags that encompass the history of her eponymous company, which Leiber founded in 1963 at the age of forty-two, through 2004, when she designed her last handbag. Although biographical in nature, the exhibition also explores the gendered significance of the handbag in twentieth-century Western culture, and the centrality of immigrant entrepreneurship in the fabric of New York.

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Counter-Couture
Mar
2
to Aug 20

Counter-Couture

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From MAD:

Counter-Couture: Handmade Fashion in an American Counterculture celebrates the handmade fashion and style of the 1960s and 1970s. Often referred to as the hippie movement, the Counterculture swept away the conformism of the previous decade and professed an alternative lifestyle whose effects still resonate today. Moved by the rejection of a materialist and consumerist interpretation of the American Dream, Counterculture youths embraced ideals of self-sufficiency and self-expression. Against the backdrop of the Vietnam War protests and the civil rights movements, hippies, flower children, and idealistic young people shunned the cultural standards of their parents, embraced the struggle for racial and gender equality, used drugs to explore altered states of consciousness, and cultivated a renewed dimension of spirituality.

The pursuit of a personal style proved a transcendental tool toward self-realization, enlightenment, and freedom from conventions. Counter-Couture exhibits garments, jewelry, and accessories by American makers who crafted the very reality that they craved, on the margins of society and yet at the center of an epochal shift. The works on display encompass the ethos of members of a generation who fought for change by sewing, embroidering, quilting, patch-working, and tie-dyeing their identity. Putting the handmade at the center of their daily revolution, they embraced and contributed to establishing a craft and folk sensibility in a seminal moment for the development of American Craft.

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Making Mainbocher: Main Rousseau Bocher
Oct
22
to Aug 20

Making Mainbocher: Main Rousseau Bocher

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From the Chicago History Museum:

The Chicago History Museum explores the life and legacy of an enterprising Chicagoan who rose to the heights of the fashion world in its newest costume exhibition, “Making Mainbocher: The First American Couturier,” opening Saturday, October 22.

The exhibition features nearly 30 garments from the Museum’s permanent collection. Enhanced by fashion illustrations, photography, oral histories and video, the ensembles reveal the story of a remarkable man and his journey to become the first American working as a couturier in Paris.

“By examining the steps taken by Main Bocher to achieve great success as a couturier, this exhibition introduces visitors to the extraordinary career of Main Bocher and invites them to get know him as an arbiter of early- to mid-twentieth-century style,” said Petra Slinkard, curator of costume, “This exhibition is the first of its kind, dedicated to the study and presentation of the work of Mainbocher.” 

Image courtesy the Chicago History Museum.

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