Costume Council of the Chicago History Museum

Costume Council of the Chicago History Museum Our purpose is to support the Chicago History Museum as a leader in the documentation and interpretation of the history and the art of costume.
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Founded by Mrs. Phillip K. Wrigley in April 1974, the purpose of the Costume Council is to support the Chicago History Museum as a leader in the documentation and interpretation of the history and the art of costume. Through the Costume Council’s efforts, the Museum has been able to maintain and grow a thriving collection. The support they provide helps the Museum’s Conservation Lab ensure that the beauty and historical integrity of each piece will be protected and preserved. The Costume Council is proud to present what has grown to be one of the world’s premier collections, with pieces dating from the 1720s to today.

Founded by Mrs. Phillip K. Wrigley in April 1974, the purpose of the Costume Council is to support the Chicago History Museum as a leader in the documentation and interpretation of the history and the art of costume. Through the Costume Council’s efforts, the Museum has been able to maintain and grow a thriving collection. The support they provide helps the Museum’s Conservation Lab ensure that the beauty and historical integrity of each piece will be protected and preserved. The Costume Council is proud to present what has grown to be one of the world’s premier collections, with pieces dating from the 1720s to today.

It’s Wednesday, and that means it’s time for a Costume Collection Spotlight! .Boots (no label).Gift of Mrs. Fred R. Hube...
11/04/2020

It’s Wednesday, and that means it’s time for a Costume Collection Spotlight!
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Boots (no label)
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Gift of Mrs. Fred R. Huber
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Clothing and accessories in the 1890s were often comprised of materials which resembled furnishing textiles; specifically, rich dark colors and sumptuous materials, including velvet, silk brocade, and gilding. These ornate, high-button style boots feature a black, kidskin vamp and baby French heel. The vamp is adorned with a cut-out pattern of rhododendron leaves underlaid with gold leaf. The shaft is comprised of dark red, silk satin brocade and features a scallop-edge closure with brass buttons. During this time period, a change of lacing style from front to side came into vogue. This, along with the use of button closures instead of laces, accentuated the delicate contours of the female foot and ankle.
Mrs. Alexander Fiddes Rattray Greig, née Hannah M. Rattray, wore these extraordinary boots to a reception hosted by Mrs. Potter Palmer, in honor of the newly completed Potter Palmer mansion at 1350 N. Lake Shore Drive, in 1883. Mrs. Rattray Greig was the daughter of David Rattray and Euretta Stuart, who came to Illinois from New York in a covered wagon around 1837. Her husband, A.F. Rattray Greig, was a CPA who held several prominent positions at Chicago companies as an auditor and accountant #chm #costumecouncil #chicagocostumecouncil #chicagofashion

It’s our Wednesday Costume Collection Spotlight! Issey Miyake (Japanese, 1938 - )Gift of Laura Barnett SawchynThis stunn...
10/28/2020

It’s our Wednesday Costume Collection Spotlight!

Issey Miyake (Japanese, 1938 - )

Gift of Laura Barnett Sawchyn

This stunning evening dress is comprised of three layers of polyester in varying shades of blue. It is made from one inner sheath with a long, rectangular piece of cloth wrapped twice around the body and secured with a series of buttons at the left side. The permanently pleated polyester fabric, a trademark of Miyake’s, was achieved by sandwiching the completed garment between layers of paper and feeding it into a heat press. The finished product clings to the body, allowing for flexibility of movement while flattering the natural curves of the wearer.

Issey Miyake was born in Hiroshima, studied in Tokyo, and worked in Paris and New York City. He returned to Tokyo in 1970, where he founded the Miyake Design Studio. He was inspired by French fashion designer Madeleine Vionnet, who often draped designs using a single piece of cloth, and Isamu Noguchi, a Japanese American artist and landscape architect.

This dress was worn by Laura Barnett Sawchyn, a former Costume Council president, to an evening event in Chicago in 2008. It was featured in the 2008 exhibition Chic Chicago: Couture Treasures from the Chicago History Museum.

The Costume Council's Head-to-Toe Annual Appeal is here! This year, the Costume Council’s annual appeal is committed to ...
10/23/2020

The Costume Council's Head-to-Toe Annual Appeal is here! This year, the Costume Council’s annual appeal is committed to making this collection more accessible through preservation and digitalization, but we need your help.
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We are seeking to raise $25,000 by December 31, 2020, to make CHM’s costume collection more accessible for all to enjoy and learn from. Funds will also ensure its continued preservation for generations to come.
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To give now, please visit the link http://www.chicagohistory.org/head-to-toe

Thank you for your consideration and support of the CHM Costume Council.

Gents Tailor Alberts suit, c. 1975. This eye-catching suit was purchased by Benjamin B. Green-Field in India. The ensemble comprises a jacket of raw silk printed in a palmetto pattern in shocking pink, purple, and red, a purple silk skirt woven with gold metallic yarn with fan, leaf, flower, and diagonal stripe brocade, and purple raw silk trousers with needlepoint bands down the sides of the legs and around the waist. Known as the "Mad Hatter" of Chicago for his Bes-Ben hat company, Green-Field wore this ensemble for the last time at the first annual Donors’ Ball held at the Chicago Historical Society on November 17, 1978. Green-Field donated this suit to the Museum, along with numerous Bes-Ben hats and many other items from his personal wardrobe.
#chmcostumecouncil #costumecoucil #fashion #museum #preservation #headtotoe #chicagomuseum #chicago #suit #chicagomensfashion #chicagomenswear #chicagohistorymuseum

Costume Council of the Chicago History Museum's cover photo
10/21/2020

Costume Council of the Chicago History Museum's cover photo

Costume Collection Spotlight Mariano Fortuny (Spanish, 1871-1949)Gift of Dr. & Mrs. Robert E. CarrollThis beautiful, blu...
10/21/2020

Costume Collection Spotlight

Mariano Fortuny (Spanish, 1871-1949)

Gift of Dr. & Mrs. Robert E. Carroll

This beautiful, blue silk Delphos dress was purchased by Mrs. Robert E. Carroll (née Harriet Bermingham) for her wedding trousseau in 1950. The evening dress is trimmed at the sides with Murano glass beads, which act as weights, and was initially sold twisted into a rope and coiled into a 9-inch cube. All Delphos dresses included care instructions, which involved storing the dress in the same manner in which it had arrived. If the pleats came out, the owner had the option of sending the garment back to have the pleats reset.

The Delphos dress was first created in Venice around 1906 by Spanish-born Mariano Fortuny, an artist, designer, and inventor; and his French wife, Henriette Negrin, who was both a designer and textile artist. The simple, column-shaped dress of finely pleated silk was derived from the classical Greek chiton, and was originally intended as informal dress meant to be worn in the privacy of one’s home. Fortuny became famous for the narrow pleated silk fabric, which was gathered by hand and set by applying heat. The exact process was kept such a secret that it has still never been fully duplicated. Although he owned a patent for heated ceramic rollers, it is likely that these were merely employed in the final stages of setting the pleats.

The Delphos dress continued on in popularity even after Mariano Fortuny’s death in 1949. The gowns have remained collector’s items ever since. The Chicago History Museum’s costume collection includes six Delphos dresses in a range of colors and silhouettes. Many of the garments were purchased and worn by Chicago women decades after they were originally made. This particular version was featured in the Chic Chicago: Couture Treasures from the Chicago History Museum exhibition in 2008.

Today’s Costume Collection Spotlight. Marshall Field & Company.Gift of Mrs. John P. Bent.Mrs. Kersey Coates Reed (née He...
10/08/2020

Today’s Costume Collection Spotlight
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Marshall Field & Company
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Gift of Mrs. John P. Bent
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Mrs. Kersey Coates Reed (née Helen Shedd) wore this exquisite, off-white silk satin gown to her wedding on November 25, 1911. The bodice has an over-layer of silk lace and netting which has been adorned with strands of pearls and pearl, bow-shaped appliques. The three-quarter lace sleeves are cuffed in pearls, as well. The skirt has a net over-layer that features a floral lace pattern and additional pearls and appliques. The gown is further embellished with rhinestone buckles and clips throughout. As was the fashionable silhouette for eveningwear at the time, this gown features a full décolletage; a straight, natural waist; no bustle; and a columnar skirt.
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The wearing of a wedding gown, rather than one’s best dress, is a relatively new custom. At the start on the twentieth century, women of means began dressing for specific occasions. However, the purchase of a wedding gown, which would be worn but once, was a privilege for only the very wealthiest of women. This gown was featured in the 2010 exhibition I Do! Chicago Ties the Knot. #chicagocostumecouncil
#chicagohistorymuseum #chm

Thank you for joining us for this year’s 2020 #CMFA's Spotlight series! We hope you’ve enjoyed revisiting our ten previo...
09/20/2020

Thank you for joining us for this year’s 2020 #CMFA's Spotlight series! We hope you’ve enjoyed revisiting our ten previous Superstars and learning about their accomplishments since their first win. This fantastic group of Chicagoans not only continue to impress us with their style and fashion, but inspire us with their incredible character and generous spirit.
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‼️You have until September 25th to donate and enter the raffle. Click the link http://www.chicagohistory.org/CMFA2020 to learn more ‼️ Thank to you all of you who have so generously supported already.
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#costumecouncil #ChicagoMensFashionAwards #ChicagoHistoryMuseum #givingbackisalwaysinstyle

Last, but certainly not least, our final #CMFA Superstar: Kareem Wells - Musician and Activist. Kareem is a past 2019 wi...
09/18/2020

Last, but certainly not least, our final #CMFA Superstar: Kareem Wells - Musician and Activist. Kareem is a past 2019 winner who is not only active through his personal non-profit, the K.W.O.E Foundation, but through multiple organizations throughout the city.
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Check the link below to learn more about Kareem and all of the ways he is giving back to the Chicago community http://www.chicagohistory.org/CMFA2020
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Remember, you can purchase raffle tickets or donate to the #CMFAs throughout the week using the link in the bio.
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#costumecouncil #ChicagoMensFashionAwards #ChicagoHistoryMuseum #givingbackisalwaysinstyle

Happy Friday! Today we present to you our ninth #CMFA Superstar: Daryl Sneed - Designer & Entrepreneur. Daryl Is a past ...
09/18/2020

Happy Friday! Today we present to you our ninth #CMFA Superstar: Daryl Sneed - Designer & Entrepreneur. Daryl Is a past 2019 winner who founded SOUNDOFF in 2016, and has recently been focusing on supporting local and independent businesses through this initiative.
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Check out the link below to learn more about Daryl, his inspirations, and how he bridges his profession and his philanthropy http://www.chicagohistory.org/CMFA2020
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Remember, you can purchase raffle tickets or donate to the #CMFAs throughout the week using the link in the bio.
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#costumecouncil #ChicagoMensFashionAwards #ChicagoHistoryMuseum #givingbackisalwaysinstyle

Our eighth #CMFA Superstar is David Sanchez - Model and Talent Agent. David is a past 2018 winner who began his career i...
09/17/2020

Our eighth #CMFA Superstar is David Sanchez - Model and Talent Agent. David is a past 2018 winner who began his career in fashion when he was visiting Chicago, and was scouted by a modeling agency outside of Michigan Avenue’s H&M.
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Check out the link below to learn more about David, and how he became an entrepreneur, CEO, talent agent and educator http://www.chicagohistory.org/CMFA2020
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Remember, you can purchase raffle tickets or donate to the #CMFAs throughout the week using the link in the bio.
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#costumecouncil #ChicagoMensFashionAwards #ChicagoHistoryMuseum #givingbackisalwaysinstyle

Happy Thursday! Today we present to you our seventh #CMFA Superstar: Gary Metzner -  Fine Art Auctioneer. Gary is a past...
09/17/2020

Happy Thursday! Today we present to you our seventh #CMFA Superstar: Gary Metzner - Fine Art Auctioneer. Gary is a past 2019 winner who has raised over $50 million dollars for organizations as a charity auctioneer.
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Check out the link below o to learn more about Gary and how he combines his passion for work and philanthropy. http://www.chicagohistory.org/CMFA2020
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Remember, you can purchase raffle tickets or donate to the #CMFAs throughout the week using the link in the bio.
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#costumecouncil #ChicagoMensFashionAwards #ChicagoHistoryMuseum #givingbackisalwaysinstyle

Our sixth #CMFA Superstar is none other than Dr. Julius Few - Surgeon and Philanthropist. Dr. Few is a past 2016 winner ...
09/16/2020

Our sixth #CMFA Superstar is none other than Dr. Julius Few - Surgeon and Philanthropist. Dr. Few is a past 2016 winner who has recently been focusing his time on his foundation, Few Initiative for Children, which, during the pandemic, has been providing PPE and sanitizer to at-risk communities in addition to its tremendous work.
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Check out the link below to learn more about Dr. Few, including what his personal style choices are outside of the operating room. http://www.chicagohistory.org/CMFA2020
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Remember, you can purchase raffle tickets or donate to the #CMFAs throughout the week using the link in the bio.
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#costumecouncil #ChicagoMensFashionAwards #ChicagoHistoryMuseum #givingbackisalwaysinstyle

Today we present to you our fifth #CMFA Superstar: Andrew Caruso - Luxury Retail Specialist. Andrew is a past 2018 winne...
09/16/2020

Today we present to you our fifth #CMFA Superstar: Andrew Caruso - Luxury Retail Specialist. Andrew is a past 2018 winner who is constantly inspired by travel, people on the streets, rock stars and sophisticated gentlemen.
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Check out the link below to learn more about Andrew, his inspirations, and what his favorite accessory is. http://www.chicagohistory.org/CMFA2020
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Remember, you can purchase raffle tickets or donate to the #CMFAs throughout the week using the link in the bio.
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#costumecouncil #ChicagoMensFashionAwards #ChicagoHistoryMuseum #givingbackisalwaysinstyle

Our fourth #CMFA Superstar is Rino Burdi - Designer & Entrepreneur. Rino is a past 2019 winner who comes from several ge...
09/15/2020

Our fourth #CMFA Superstar is Rino Burdi - Designer & Entrepreneur. Rino is a past 2019 winner who comes from several generations of master-craftsmen, which is where he found his passion for design.
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Click the link to learn more about Rino, the person who inspires him the most, and what he’s doing to help his design community during the pandemic http://www.chicagohistory.org/CMFA2020
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Remember, you can purchase raffle tickets or donate to the #CMFAs throughout the week using the link as well.
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#costumecouncil #ChicagoMensFashionAwards #ChicagoHistoryMuseum #givingbackisalwaysinstyle

Our third #CMFA Superstar is Joshua Blake Carter - Dancer & Choreographer. Joshua is a past 2017 winner who moved to the...
09/15/2020

Our third #CMFA Superstar is Joshua Blake Carter - Dancer & Choreographer. Joshua is a past 2017 winner who moved to the Windy City 11 years ago after he spent summers training with Giordano Dance Chicago.
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Click the link to learn more about Mr. Carter and what he’s doing to help other artists and performers in the community today http://www.chicagohistory.org/CMFA2020
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Remember, you can purchase raffle tickets or donate to the #CMFAs throughout the week using the link as well.
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#costumecouncil #ChicagoMensFashionAwards #ChicagoHistoryMuseum #givingbackisalwaysinstyle

Our second #CMFA Superstar is Mark Bundra - Sports Entrepreneur. Mark is a past 2016 winner who launched ALL IN 8 years ...
09/14/2020

Our second #CMFA Superstar is Mark Bundra - Sports Entrepreneur. Mark is a past 2016 winner who launched ALL IN 8 years ago to support young athletes with their personal and athletic goals.
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Check out the link below to learn more about Mark, the best advice he’s ever received (hint: it’s from his mom), and how he’s using ALL IN to further the conversation around diversity, equality, and inclusion http://www.chicagohistory.org/CMFA2020?fbclid=IwAR1L3nHXGoO183QwVXmSi7oIDv5L7MpVkGBvHfWO-JWqRZDo5oEFdG8fC_4
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Remember, you can purchase raffle tickets or donate to the #CMFAs throughout the week using the link in the bio.
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#costumecouncil #ChicagoMensFashionAwards #ChicagoHistoryMuseum #givingbackisalwaysinstyle

It’s time to reveal our 10 #CMFA 2020 Superstars! Beginning with our first of 10: Lee Allison - Designer & Entrepreneur....
09/14/2020

It’s time to reveal our 10 #CMFA 2020 Superstars! Beginning with our first of 10: Lee Allison - Designer & Entrepreneur. Lee is a past 2018 winner who took a leap from investment banking and advertising to begin his career in fashion in 1995.
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Check out the link below to learn more about Lee and how he has been using his passion and talent for design to give back to the community and beyond http://www.chicagohistory.org/CMFA2020
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Remember, you can purchase raffle tickets or donate to the #CMFAs throughout the week using the link as well.
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#costumecouncil #ChicagoMensFashionAwards #ChicagoHistoryMuseum #givingbackisalwaysinstyle

Costume Council of the Chicago History Museum's cover photo
08/06/2020

Costume Council of the Chicago History Museum's cover photo

We are thrilled to announce the 5th annual Chicago Men's Fashion Awards Superstars, where we will celebrate ten past #cm...
07/30/2020

We are thrilled to announce the 5th annual Chicago Men's Fashion Awards Superstars, where we will celebrate ten past #cmfa winners. Taking place from September 14-20, 2020. Mark your calendars and stay tuned, there's a lot more coming!

Don't miss out! Tickets to Dressing Barbie, a presentation by Carol Spencer, on August 15th, are selling fast and we kin...
07/28/2020

Don't miss out! Tickets to Dressing Barbie, a presentation by Carol Spencer, on August 15th, are selling fast and we kindly ask that you RSVP and purchase your ticket by August 5th. See you there! Click this link to register 👉 https://bit.ly/3030H1G

Costume Council of the Chicago History Museum's cover photo
07/11/2020

Costume Council of the Chicago History Museum's cover photo

Costume Council of the Chicago History Museum's cover photo
06/15/2020

Costume Council of the Chicago History Museum's cover photo

The Costume Council of the Chicago History Museum invites you to a special event "Dressing Barbie": A presentation by Ca...
06/15/2020

The Costume Council of the Chicago History Museum invites you to a special event "Dressing Barbie": A presentation by Carol Spencer on the influences of history & the Barbie doll. Join us for this Zoom presentation and buy your special interactive, Barbie-themed box including a signed book. $100 admission price. Click 'events' on the left side of our page to purchase your ticket today!

05/01/2020
Virtual tour of Christian Dior: Designer of Dreams

Fascinating inside look at the DIOR exhibit.

If you are usually one to spend your weekends visiting exhibitions and soaking up culture, then you may be feeling at a bit of a loss this month, as we all s...

03/09/2020
The Business of Fashion

A true visionary and talented man.

Jean Paul Gaultier captivated the fashion world throughout his 50 year career, before bidding farewell to the haute couture runway last month. Learn more about the designer's journey in fashion: https://bit.ly/2U3S82L

An event not to be missed, mark your calendar fashionistas !!
02/24/2020

An event not to be missed, mark your calendar fashionistas !!

What is the piece of clothing you have to have this spring season?#springfashion #designer #womensfashion #runwayfashion...
02/16/2020

What is the piece of clothing you have to have this spring season?
#springfashion #designer #womensfashion #runwayfashion #designer #costumecouncil

Very sad, I was always looking forward to see his new show every season.
01/18/2020
The Business of Fashion

Very sad, I was always looking forward to see his new show every season.

Just in, Jean Paul Gaultier has announced his next show will be his last.

The relationship between illustrator and fashion designer can be very important when the illustrator has to visualize th...
01/11/2020

The relationship between illustrator and fashion designer can be very important when the illustrator has to visualize the concept and idea of the designer, then the sketches can be send to pattern makers to make it a reality.

Designer: Charles James 1906-1978
Illustrator: Antonio Lopez 1943-1987

Copyright © Chicago Historical Society, published on or before 2014, all rights reserved.

12/31/2019
The Business of Fashion

Fascinating look at the making of the "Red Rose"gown from Alexander McQueen.
#couture #alexandermcqueen #designer #redcarpet #gowns #hautecouture

Sarah Burton's red Rose dress is one of the centrepieces at a new exhibition at Alexander McQueen's flagship store in London. Watch how the dress was created below, and learn more about the creative director here: https://bit.ly/2q6WuuU

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1601 N Clark St
Chicago, IL
60614

General information

The costume holdings, which includes articles of dress connected to Chicagoans (including items made by Chicago's dressmakers, milliners, and manufacturers) as well as examples of early American attire, is comprised of well over 50,000 objects, including men's, women's, and children's clothing, and accessories. The earliest costume pieces, dating from the 18th century, include suits worn by George Washington (1793) and John Adams (c. 1780). The collection also has a number of items that belonged to Abraham and Mary Todd Lincoln, as well as clothing worn by prominent Chicagoans, including items such as former Mayor Jane Byrne's inaugural suit (1979), Michael Jordan's Chicago Bulls uniform (1989), and gospel singer Mahalia Jackson's choir robe (1959). In addition, the Museum has an extensive designer collection ranging from rare examples of Paul Poiret creations to the innovative designs of Yohji Yamamoto.

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Dressing Barbie - A Presentation by Carol Spencer Live