Last week I finally had the chance to see the Impressionism, Fashion & Modernity exhibit that is making the final stop on it’s tour at the Art Institute. I have enjoyed Impressionism since studying it in high school, and one of my favorite museums I’ve ever been to is the Musee D’Orsay in Paris (the first stop of this exhibit’s tour). The exhibit features amazing works of art from Manet, Cassat, Desgas (just to name a few) along with actual garments from that time period that reflect the Parisian styles portrayed in the paintings. I was amazed out how similar they could find dresses suitable to be displayed next to the paintings until I realized about halfway through that the style back then was pretty homogenous, everyone essentially wore the same thing.
This dress is only one in the exhibit that is the actual one in the painting, the artist had it preserved. Check out that print-mixing!
Photo courtesy of The Art Institute
The exhibit also touched on how department stores were coming into existence, and how that affected fashion and how people dressed and shopped. They even had old catalogs–complete with fabric samples! Can you imagine having your J.Crew catalog coming with samples?
The exhibit runs through September 29th, and I highly recommend it for anyone who is in the Chicago area. It is extremely well curated, not to mention fascinating. You’ll also breathe a sigh of relief that we no longer have to wear corsets. Au Revoir!