“With an influx of specialty stores and international boutiques, fashion on Michigan Avenue really exploded in the ’70s and ’80s,” says Petra Slinkard, curator of costumes at the Chicago History Museum. “Chicago saw an opportunity to redirect the city’s energy back downtown after the post-WWII exodus to the suburbs. It is a compelling story, and one that many Chicagoans saw firsthand.”
Even if they missed it, beginning Nov. 15, local residents can relive the rise of one of the world’s great shopping districts, as Slinkard and her colleagues present Chicago Styled: Fashioning the Magnificent Mile. The exhibition will feature 26 iconic ensembles—including standouts from Gucci, Versace, Chanel and more—a number of which were donated by members of the Costume Council (its support has helped the museum develop the world’s second-largest costume collection).