Department of short memory: The original Charles James exhibit | Bleader

Department of short memory: The original Charles James exhibit

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You might be surprised to hear that the big Charles James exhibit at the Chicago History Museum isn't the first Charles James show to come to town. In all the hoopla surrounding the current show, there's been little if any mention of a pretty terrific exhibit of James's sumptuous creations (complete with catalog and posters) that ran from the end of April to mid-September, 1983, at none other than the Chicago Historical Society, now the Chicago History Museum. James, son of a Chicago heiress and an Englishman, opened a millinery shop in Chicago in 1926 and from there went on to become a couturier to the world's wealthiest women, living in London, Paris, and New York, where he eventually died, mostly forgotten, in the Chelsea Hotel. Here's the story I wrote about him for the Reader—it's worth checking out for the photo alone.

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