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The Making of Mainbocher at the Chicago History Museum

October 31, 2016




On Monday, October 24th I had the pleasure of attending a private event for the debut of “The Making of Mainbocher” exhibit at the Chicago History Museum. We were taken on a tour by the museum’s curator Petra Slinkard where we learned, in great detail, about Mainbocher who is actually from the Westside of Chicago!  Yes that is correct he is a local!  His entire story is truly an interesting one that not only my fellow fashionista’s will enjoy but it’s one for all.


Who is Mainbocher you ask? Main Rousseau Bocher (1890–1976) grew up on Chicago’s West Side, and was educated at John Marshall High School and the Lewis Institute (a precursor to the Illinois Institute of Technology). Bocher transformed his interest in the arts into a fashion empire serving royalty, Hollywood icons and the social elite. As stated on his plaque on New York’s Fashion Walk of Fame, “Mainbocher was known for the understated elegance of his couture clothing.”




Mainbocher served in the military during World War I, and decided to stay in Paris after the war where he began working as a fashion illustrator for Harper’s Bazaar. He was also the Paris fashion editor for Vogue (1922-1929), and eventually became the editor-in-chief of the French edition of Vogue in early 1927. Main Boucher’s decision to become a couturier grew out of his years as editor at Vogue, and after he asked for a raise and was denied one.  He then figured that if he could write about fashion, he could surely design as well, and it seems he was correct!


Well, I do not want to give too much of my fellow Chicagoan’s story away but I do encourage you to go check it out!

After our tour, we celebrated the fashion designer’s birthday which is actually October 24th by attending a private USO party with music by the Lakeside Pride big band ensemble, and of course—birthday cake! Many of the guests were dressed up 1940s style to pay homage to his military background and WWII uniform designs. It was truly a treat!




The exhibit is there until August 20, 2017 I strongly recommend you add it on your to do list!

For further details check out link below:







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