I hope that I have time to catch the "Chicago Ties the Knot" exhibit at the Chicago History Museum when it opens next month. The description sounds excellent:
Featuring more than fifty garments and other cherished heirlooms that make the Big Day so memorable, this exhibition is the first in-depth look at the Museum’s vast collection of wedding costume. Arranged chronologically starting with the frontier bride and early items of courtship, the exhibition illustrates not only the change in fashion but also how wedding traditions have changed over the past one and fifty hundred years, noticeably marked by industrialization and the rise of the middle class.I loved Chicago History more than any topic I've ever studied in school. How lucky is this couple who won a free Ultimate Wedding? That groom is the whip.
Beginning in the mid-nineteenth century, designs from the newly established houses of haute couture began to influence middle-class fashion and became an affordable option to many Americans. The department store rode this wave of economic growth, and the city’s iconic Marshall Field and Company single-handedly ushered in the era of the retail bride with the introduction of the first bridal registry in 1924. Between the Great Depression and the Second World War, bridal trends saw their greatest changes. Today, wedding gowns reference the past—seen in hoop skirts and corseted bodices—but with an unparalleled sense of individuality and extravagance.
Each garment on view in the exhibition is from a Chicago wedding and shows a cross-section of the city’s diverse people, from a shop girl’s handmade cotton-and-silk dress to a Jewish socialite’s Givenchy gown. Remarkable examples of complete wedding ensembles include gowns, veils, shoes, "setting-out" outfits, and lingerie, plus bridesmaid and mother-of-the-bride dresses.
While I'm there, I'll check out the Lincoln Park Block-by-Block exhibit and wander by all of my old streets in the giant map.
But first, I must carve out some time to go to the Matisse exhibit at the Art Institute. I can't wait to see it.