Monday, November 11, 2013

Monday Morning Inspiration

 One of the wonderful things about living in Chicago, is having such wonderful museums at our fingertips. The Chicago History Museum is truly a gem. They have an extensive costume collection and the exhibits that they do are always incredible. At the moment and until January 5th, they are showcasing a lovely exhibit entitled, Inspiring Beauty, Fifty Years of Ebony Fashion Fair.

The Ebony Fashion Fair began in 1958, and over the next 50 years the traveling fashion show blossomed into an American institution that raised millions for charity and helped Johnson Publishing Company reach audiences.
Show organizers overcame racial prejudice to bring the pinnacle of Europe’s premier fashion to communities that were eager to see, in real time and space, a new vision of black America that was the hallmark of Ebony and Jet magazines. Eunice Johnson took over as producer and director in 1963, and under her direction, the traveling show took on new heights as she expanded her cachet and power within fashion circles.
Inspiring Beauty: 50 Years of Ebony Fashion Fair recreates the experience of the Ebony Fashion Fair through the story of Mrs. Johnson and more than 60 garments from icons of the fashion industry such as Yves St. Laurent, Oscar de la Renta, Pierre Cardin, Emanuel Ungaro, Christian Lacroix, and Patrick Kellyamong others.

Can you imagine walking into a cocktail party in this piece?!!! WOW!
Last week I shared with you some of the work of Yves St. Laurent. You can just imagine how excited I was when I walked in and saw this dress only inches away from me.

 Incredible with detail below.

 This is an incredible Bill Blass ensemble. The stole is lined in fur.

  Oscar de la Renta. The embroidery is unbelievable.
Another statement piece!
 Jean Patou from Fall/Winter 1987-87.

I was disappointed when I saw this picture in the catalog as this is not the mannequin that it is on in the exhibition. In person this was much more spectacular. Still fun and once again, a true notice me piece.

 Can't you just imagine wearing this in some European ski resort? Hey, a girl can dream!!!

 The back of the dress.
 The front of the dress.
And detail of the buttons. Now you know what you can do with all those extra buttons!!!

 I especially loved these two pieces.
 I wish you could see this piece in person as my crummy picture does not do it justice.
 Amazing use of an African print fabric.
 The epitome of luxury.
 Hanae Mori. The kimono is hand painted.
 Matching outfits!
If you have an opportunity to come to Chicago before January 5th, I HIGHLY recommend a trip to the Chicago History Museum. The exhibit is well worth seeing. The exhibit catalog is well worth owning. There is quite a bit on the history of the Johnsons and the impact that the couple had on the publishing industry as well as Mrs. Johnson's impact on fashion.  You can find the catalog here in the museum's store, http://shopchicagohistory.com/a560/seasonal/inspiring-beauty-50-years-of-ebony-fashion-fair.html
Wishing you all a wonderful week. Maybe try wearing something that's just a little over the top. Life is just too short not to have a little fun with our clothes.

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  1. Oh some great fashion inspiration for sure. I certainly envy you your proximity to Chicago proper. I have flown in JUST to visit the museums there and it is well worth the trip. Hey, the food is pretty good too, although I'm still not a fan of those deep dish pizza's! :)

    1. We have lots of other pizzas too!!! I must admit that I'm not a big of of the true deep dish pizza either.

  2. Thanks for this Monday morning inspiration. I do live in Chicagoland and recently asked a friend to go to this exhibit. I am sooooo ready!!!!

  3. I was lucky enough to see it twice!

  4. Oh, wow, I am in love with the Bill Blass outfit. I'd totally wear it, too. And The black/white wrap dress, minus the pouffy thing. Thank you for sharing!

  5. Oh it must have been amazing to see. I love the pale pink gown and the Bill Blass ensemble as well as that fabulous gray and camel jacket with the fur-lined hood. WOW! Thanks so much for sharing these amazing photos.

    1. The gray with the fur hood was my favorite I think. Love the peplum and the puffed sleeve with all of the embroidery detail.

  6. You are right, life is too short not to have fun. These clothes are sure fun.

  7. What an incredible exhibit. Wish I could get there to see it. Thanks for sharing

  8. Eye catching minis - literally! There are some stunning pieces in the exhibition.

  9. First: Chicago was the city that I love most in the USA. I had the opportunity to went on summer and winter time, and in any of the season the city was amazing.
    Second: I pinned that cocktail orange dress this week, and had said the same thing: WOW, I need to sew these one.