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Glamorous Hollywood Gowns From ’30s, ’40s To Be Displayed At Chicago History Museum

Dresses from major designers, including Chanel and Valentina, will be shown at the exhibit.

The Chicago History Museum will showcase glamorous fashion from the '30s and '40s for an exhibit that starts in April.
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CHICAGO — Fashion fans can dive deep into old-time Hollywood’s glamorous clothes at a new Chicago History Museum exhibit.

The exhibit, called Silver Screen to Mainstream, will feature clothes from major designers like Chanel, Valentina and Paul du Pont, with this being the first time some of the dresses and costumes will be on display. The exhibit will look at how Hollywood fashions and costumes from the 1930s and ’40s influenced everyday Americans were coping with massive changes during the Great Depression and World War II, according to the museum.

“Through the dark days of the Great Depression, Hollywood costume design inspired an enthusiastic response from American women, which gave birth to a new wave of American style,” said guest curator Virginia Heaven.

Some of the outfits that will be shown were worn by Chicago women. They, like other Americans, were able to experiment with fashion more easily and cheaply during the ’30s and ’40s due to the emergence of the zipper and manmade textiles, according to the museum.

The exhibit opens April 8 and ends Jan. 20, 2020, at the Chicago History Museum, 1601 N. Clark St. The exhibit is included with regular museum admission, which is $19 for adults, $17 for seniors and students and free for Illinois residents who are 18 or younger.

The museum is open 9:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Mondays and Wednesday-Saturday, 9:30 a.m.-9 p.m. Tuesday and noon-5 p.m. Sundays.