Chicago Styled: Fashioning the Magnificent Mile

Chicago Styled: The Magnificent Mile

Image: The Chicago Museum

Michigan Avenue is the be-all and end-all of the Windy City. The 13-block stretch, which runs from the banks of the Chicago River in the south to Oak Street in the north, is the home of Bulgari, Tiffany & Co., Chanel and Louis Vuitton. It also happens to be the celeb-infested stomping grounds where you can rub elbows with Ashton Kutcher and Mila Kunis at Hub 51 while noshing on Martha’s carrot cake, or spy the Obamas chowing down on a slab of prime beef at Chicago Cut Steakhouse. 

The Chicago History Museum is paying tribute to the city’s one-stop shop with a new exhibit entitled Chicago Styled: Fashioning the Magnificent Mile, starting November 15. The show will present more than 26 handpicked designer ensembles that are directly connected to the area and reflect the changing times of Mag Mile, from Blum’s Vogue in the 20s to the arrival of high-end department stores like Neiman Marcus. The exhibition will begin in the mid-50s with a black James Galanos cocktail dress and end in the early 90s with a Christian Lacroix lace jumpsuit with a silk chiffon skirt.

The Chicago History Museum is well-versed in the world of fashion. In 2006, the art hub ran Dior: The New Look featuring 23 dresses (all worn by Chicago women) in the designer’s iconic 50s silhouette. Three years later, the museum curated a show to document the style of Bertha Honoré Palmer, known as the queen of Chicago society in the late 1800s. The eponymous exhibit opened on what would have been the Victorian grand dame’s 160th birthday. Most recently, Charles James: Genius Deconstructed saw success in 2011/2012 and so did Inspiring Beauty: 50 Years of Ebony Fashion Fair, which became the museum’s largest exhibit to date, exploring the dynamic history of the traveling fashion fair. 

Chicago Styled: Fashioning the Magnificent Mile is scheduled to run from November 15, 2014 to August 16, 2015.