The Way We Wore: Exploring Chicago's Fashion History

Illustrious Chicago women reminisce about their favorite frocks

Misha Davenport

If clothes make the man, then it follows that dress makes the woman. Or woman makes the dress. After all, garments aren't merely swatches of cloth sewn together.

The Chicago History Museum's exhibit "Chic Chicago: Couture Treasures from the Chicago History Museum" features some 80 garments (from a collection of more than 50,000 textile artifacts) showing what Chicagoans were wearing, why they wore them and what they say about who we are.

We spoke with several women who opened up their closets to tell a part of Chicago's fashion history:


She is: Owner and manager of Laura Barnett Designs and a former president and current member of the Costume Council of the Chicago History Museum.

She donated: A pleated, polyester evening gown by Japanese designer Issey Miyake.

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