Archive for December 4th, 2010

The Chicago History Museum ran a hugely popular exhibit called “Chic Chicago” for about a year starting in September 2008.  I was the lucky caricaturist.  What!!  A caricaturist for such an elegant affair!?  Yes, moi.  I do elegant when elegant I see.

“Chic Chicago” was an exhibit of sixty-four historic gowns from the 1850’s to the present.  All gowns had been designed for and worn by Chicago society ladies who then donated the gowns to the museum.

Women of all ages came in droves, alone or more often in clusters of three or four, as in “ladies who lunch.”  Little girls were tickled pink to see themselves portrayed in these sophisticated gowns . Tourists, of course, also visited in great numbers from all over the world and for them, I’m guessing, this was an extra treat.  The treat was not just seeing the exhibit, but then to wander downstairs and get a caricature by a fairly well known Chicago artist.  I was set up in the spacious, light-flooded gift shop.  The drawings were free.  After assuring the visitor that this was indeed the case,  I asked in what gown she would like to be drawn.  We had postcards of the gowns at hand to refresh the memory and to tickle the imagination.  I can’t describe to you how much fun this was–for the visitors and me.

More on this truly fabulous gig in future posts.

The  small sampling in this post starts with Alison (above) wearing the “Delphos” gown in pleated silk by Mariano Fortuny of Italy, 1948

Next is Alana, age 12, wearing the “Infanta” evening gown (glass beads, silk net) by Charles James, USA, c. 1952

Then Amanda in an evening gown by Charles Frederick Worth, France c. 1884.

Avis, hobbling in now,  is wearing the “Sorbet” evening gown (silk satin and glass beads) by Paul Poiret, France 1913

To conclude this introduction to “Chic Chicago,” Cardi enters in the red evening gown attributed to Marcelle Chaumont, Fance c.1938

See also, www.khilden.com

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