Costume and Textile Gallery
Chicago Styled: Fashioning The Magnificent Mile ®
Open November 15, 2014–August 16, 2015
Long before North Michigan Avenue was known as the Magnificent Mile, it was called Pine Street. With the completion of the Michigan Avenue Bridge in 1920, North Michigan Avenue quickly became a desired location for high-end shops. Real estate developer Arthur Rubloff, an early champion of North Michigan Avenue credited with coining the moniker “Magnificent Mile,” envisioned it as “the nucleus of a Greater Chicago.”
Chicago Styled features more than twenty ensembles from the Museum’s costume collection to tell the story of the growth of this landmark district. The garments hail from a wide range of retailers: independent boutiques; high-end designer shops; and luxury department stores. The clothes and the buildings on the Mag Mile were considered cutting-edge and innovative and had a symbiotic relationship. As more upscale retailers flocked to the area, developers built impressive structures fit to house them—the John Hancock Center was the area’s first example of a large-scale, mixed-use building, and Water Tower Place was one of the nation’s first and largest vertical malls.
Set against a shifting cityscape, pieces by noted designers such as Norman Norell, Adolfo, Christian Lacroix, Yohji Yamamoto, and Chanel evoke memories of the Mag Mile and the stylish people who shopped there.
Chicago Styled is sponsored by the Costume Council of the Chicago History Museum and lead corporate sponsor BMO Harris Bank.