Street View 105: Impressive fashion at the Art Institute

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Street View is a fashion series in which Isa Giallorenzo spotlights some of the coolest style seen in Chicago.

Blogueur de mode
  • Isa Giallorenzo
  • "Blogueur de mode" Jean-Paul Brunier and curator Gloria Groom

Meet Jean-Paul Brunier, a "blogueur de mode*" supposedly from 19th-century Paris—he says he traveled through space and time to celebrate the opening of Impressionism, Fashion & Modernity. Next to him is Gloria Groom, the curator of the exhibit that's finally made its way to Chicago and is opening today at the Art Institute.

*Jean-Paul's street style blog, Impressions and Fashion, is a very tasteful photographic documentation of trendy Chicagoans.

So what does fashion have to do with impressionism? A lot, according to the breathtaking new exhibit. By the time impressionists came into the scene, the proliferation of department stores, sewing machines, style magazines and a growing middle class made fashion accessible and highly reflective of its own time—which was exactly what those artists were after. Modernity. Nothing like fashion to express what's going on.

Here are some pieces from the show, which is huge, well curated, and really worth checking out:

Portrait, 1876, by James Tissot
  • Portrait, by James Tissot, 1876

July: Specimen of a Portrait, by James Tissot, 1878
  • July: Specimen of a Portrait, by James Tissot, 1878

American Day dress, 1878/80, made of white cotton batiste
  • American Day dress, 1878/80, made of white cotton batiste

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The Millinery Shop, by Edgar Degas, 1879/86
  • The Millinery Shop, by Edgar Degas, 1879/86

Summer dress for young woman, c 1860
  • Summer dress for young woman, c 1860

The Sisters, by Berthe Morisot, 1841
  • The Sisters, by Berthe Morisot, 1841

Portrait of the Marquise de Miramom, by James Tissot, 1866 - notice the fabric sample from her peignoir.
  • Portrait of the Marquise de Miramom, by James Tissot, 1866 - notice the fabric sample from her peignoir.

Eat your heart out, Sartorialist!
  • Eat your heart out, Sartorialist!

Édouard Manet, by Henri Fantin-Latour, 1867
  • Édouard Manet, by Henri Fantin-Latour, 1867

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Real fake grass!
  • Real fake grass!

In the Conservatory, by Albert Bartholomé, 1881
  • In the Conservatory, by Albert Bartholomé, 1881

Very same dress worn by Madame Bartholomé in the painting.
  • Very same dress worn by Madame Bartholomé in the painting above.

There's much more at Impressionism, Fashion & Modernity, opening today and running through September 22nd.

See more Chicago street style in the Chicago Looks blog.

All photos by isa Giallorenzo.

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