Behind the scenes at "Making Mainbocher"

Kit's Merin Guthrie is part of a long tradition of making clothes to measure. Couture clothing is the most exclusive- and usually expensive- form of this tradition. I had the chance to find out a little bit more about one couturier (someone who makes couture clothing), Mainbocher, at the Chicago History Museum. I typically think of French designers when I think of couture, and while Mainbocher sounds French, his given name was actually Main Bocher, and he was from Chicago. How funny is that?!

Back in June, I went to a behind the scenes event for Museum members. We got to see where the museum does some of its conservation and talk to some of the conservators. They were preparing an exhibit of dresses by Mainbocher that I recently got a chance to see. I enjoyed getting a peek into the process, and then getting to see the finished exhibit, which had some cool interactive elements.

And some more of the lovely dresses. The pictures are chronological, and then there are girl scout uniforms, a nurse-trainee uniform, and a series of uniforms Mainbocher designed for the WAVES, the women's arm of the Navy during World War II.