5 Books to Read About Mainbocher
5 Books to Read About Mainbocher
On August 15, I'm teaming up with Medici Museums to present an evening of fashion experts, icons and history in collaboration with the Waldorf Astoria.
This two-part event begins at the Chicago History Museum (5:30-7pm), where I'm joining some of the city’s top fashion bloggers – The Petite Diaries, Stile.Foto.Cibo., and The Color Palette included -- to lead scavenger hunts and flash tours of Mainbocher, “America's First Couturier,” a twentieth-century tastemaker who dressed royalty and celebrities, inspired Dior’s “new look”—and put the chic in Chicago.
Part two takes attendees to the Waldorf Astoria’s new concept Petit Margeaux, the brainchild of celebrity chef Michael Mina (7-9pm). This fashion-forward hotel, with its Dior-inspired tiled lobby floor and Chanel-influenced chandelier, is the perfect backdrop for a beauty bar, complimentary cocktails from beverage partner Ketel One, and featured hors d'oeuvres by Petit Margeaux.
Don’t wait! Grab your pals, get your fashionista on, and purchase your tickets today!
Can't wait for the fun to begin?? Check out these five books (the pickings were slim - there aren't many books published about him, so you'll definitely want to learn about him at this event!) about Mainbocher and other American fashion designers and tastemakers:
Making Mainbocher: The First American Couturier
By Petra Slinkard
If you're just going to read one book about Mainbocher, this should be the one! It is written by the costume curator at the Chicago History Museum, Petra Slinkard, who also curated the exhibit we'll be exploring during the event! It can be purchased at the Chicago History Museum or online using the link above.
If you're interested in the broader topic of American designers, then this is the book for you. It focuses on 5 notable American designers including Adrian (known for his costume designs for The Wizard of Oz,) Mainbocher (a Chicago-born fashion designer,) Claire McCardell (credited with creating American sportswear.) Norman Norell (the first American fashion designer to launch his own perfume...can you imagine this ever NOT being a thing??) and Pauline Trigère (known for her impeccable tailoring and creative ideas.)
Maybe the high-end, art-as-fashion, impeccably well-made designers are what interest you. If that's the case, you'll want to read Couture, the Great Designers by Caroline Rennolds Milbank. From Charles Frederick Worth to Chanel and Schiapparelli, this book will introduce you to the who's who of high fashion.
Published in 1980, this book profiled 23 current and historic fashion designers. It is a very brief introduction to some fashion names you know and some you don't. If you aren't sure you want to spend a lot of time reading up on historical fashion figures, this book is the perfect brief introduction to see if you enjoy the topic.
Last but not least, The Way She Looks Tonight by Marian Fowler. If you're more interested in the fabulous women who wore the fabulous designs of people like Mainbocher, then you'll want to choose this book. It focuses on 5 fashionable women: former first lady Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, actress and singer Marlene Dietrich, Duchess of Windsor Wallis Simpson, novelist Elinor Glyn, and Empress Eugenie of France.
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