Hooray for Hollywood!

The Chicago History Museum presents Silver Screen to Mainstream: American Fashion in the 1930s and ’40s.

By Elise Hofer Shaw

April 29, 2019 10:00 AM

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The Chicago History Museum presents Silver Screen to Mainstream: American Fashion in the 1930s and ’40s, an exhibit featuring 30 ensembles that explore how the glamour of the silver screen influenced and shaped American fashion during an era that was bookended by two major crises: the financial crash of 1929 and the devastation of World War II.

From dressmaking at home to haute couture—and featuring garments from Paris, New York, Chicago and Hollywood by designers such as Chanel, Vionnet, Valentina, Paul du Pont, Howard Greer and Adrian—visitors will be introduced to a time when sophisticated design lent a perception of stability as the nation grappled with its reinvention.

Silver Screen to Mainstream: American Fashion in the 1930s and ’40s is running at the Chicago History Museum through Jan. 21, 2020. chicagohistory.org

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Gold lamé brocade evening dress with rhinestones, circa 1937, by Bergdorf Goodman