Chicago Styled: Fashioning The Magnificent Mile®

Chicago Styled: Fashioning The Magnificent Mile®


The Chicago History Museum explores the development of North Michigan Avenue into one of the country’s most recognized and celebrated destinations for upscale fashion in the exhibition Chicago Styled: Fashioning The Magnificent Mile® . More than 20 ensembles from the Museum’s costume collection, dating from the late 1950s to the late 1990s, tell the story of the rise of the Magnificent Mile through the stores and designers that transformed the street into an international fashion destination. Highlights include stunning designs by Norman Norell, Adolfo, James Galanos, along with gorgeous contemporary works by Gianni Versace, Christian Lacroix, Yohji Yamamoto, and the House of Chanel.

From the mid-1970s through the present, the curatorial staff at the Chicago History Museum and the Costume Council of the Chicago History Museum made concerted efforts to collect contemporary styles, concentrating on acquiring clothing purchased in or made in Chicago. The selection of vibrant garments from the Museum’s collection illustrates the story of North Michigan Avenue as one of Chicago’s most desirable locations.

City planners envisioned North Michigan Avenue as a new shopping district to rival State Street. While the presence of distinguished independent Chicago dress shops such as Blum’s Vogue, Stanley Korshak, and Martha Weathered added significantly to the prestige of the Avenue in 1920s and 1930s, the street blossomed in the second half of the 20th century. With the completion of major projects like Water Tower Place in 1975, one of the country’s first vertical shopping malls, high-end department stores such as I. Magnin, Neiman Marcus, and Bloomingdale’s opened their doors, adding more glitz and glamour to this already fashionable district.

Home to three shopping centers, more than 50 flagship stores, and countless international and designer, high-end labels, Chicago’s Magnificent Mile is currently one of the world’s premiere shopping destinations with more than 20 million visitors each year.

“The Costume Council has worked with the Chicago History Museum’s curatorial staff for four decades to develop the costume collection into a rich resource for understanding the history of Chicago and its citizens,” said Petra Slinkard, Curator of Costumes and Chicago Styled. “In honor of their support, the Museum’s upcoming exhibition Chicago Styled: Fashioning the Magnificent Mile explores one of our city’s many exceptional stories through the presentation of stunning and noteworthy garments collected during this period.”


The Chicago History Museum, a major museum and research center for Chicago and American history, is located at 1601 North Clark Street. The Museum can be reached by CTA buses 11, 22, 36, 72, 73, 151, and 156. Parking is conveniently located one block north of the Museum at Clark and LaSalle Streets (enter on Stockton Drive). Admission to the Museum is $14 for adults with audio tour, $12 for seniors/students with audio tour, and free for children 12 years and younger. Please call 312.642.4600 or visit us The Chicago History Museum is affiliated with the Chicago Historical Society and gratefully acknowledges the support of the Chicago Park District on behalf of the people of Chicago.


Kiran Advani | SKOOG Productions | 312.635.8220 |
Frances Hathcock | Chicago History Museum | 312.799.2161 |