Week #37 – Impressionism, Fashion and Modernity Exhibit at the Art Institute of Chicago

My Ciocia (“aunt” in Polish) Andrea has worked at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago since I can remember, for many years as the Dean of the Fashion Department. So when she offered to show me around the museum’s new fashion exhibit, I couldn’t say no!

The exhibit pairs Impressionist paintings with dresses and accessories from the time period in a way that is both reflective and inspiring.

We couldn’t take photos, so I’ll tell you a little bit about what I saw and learned:

  • Each room has a theme. My favorite was the park room, with faux grass, park benches, and outdoor sounds. Not to mention beautiful garments.
  • Just like today, women dressed to stand out. The elite would go to milliners and have their clothes custom made to mimic the latest fashions from Paris.
  • When you look at the exquisite detailing of the dresses, notice the petite size and construction. The dresses don’t allow women to raise their arms above their shoulders…because they didn’t have to. Also, notice how the dress shape accentuates a tiny waist.
  • There’s something for men too! One room dedicated to the sophisticated suits and military wear.

That’s all for now because I want you to experience it for yourself!

Please, don’t miss this exhibit, open until September 29. I went over my lunch hour and felt rushed, so give yourself a bit of time. Enjoy!

(Thanks, Chuch!)

Art Institute of Chicago Impressionism, Fashion, and Modernity Exhibit
111 South Michigan Avenue
The Loop

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