The Costume Council of the Chicago History Museum: The Costume Ball and Fundraiser

This signature black-tie ball is being revived for the first time in over ten years. The Ball will celebrate the opening of Charles James: Genius Deconstructed.

Friday, October 21, 2011
Chicago IL

The Costume Council of the Chicago History Museum‘s signature black tie ball launched in the 1970s, the Council hosted the Donor’s Ball to help acquire new garments into the Museum’s costume collection.

You’re invited to join us for an exclusive preview inside Charles James: Genius Deconstructed, a unique look at the life and work of one of America’s greatest fashion icons. Self-taught, yet possessing a balance of artistry and technical skill unmatched within his time or since, James created only 200 designs, but his innovative approach left an indelible mark.

Charles James (1906-1978) is widely regarded as the only American designer to have worked in the pure tradition of haute couture and was described as the greatest couturier of his time by the elite Parisian design world. He began his fashion career as a milliner, opening three shops in Chicago before moving to New York in 1930.

The very same evening, the Costume Council will also honor one of today’s most acclaimed international couturiers, Mr. Rucci of Chado Ralph Rucci. As part of the gala event, Mr. Rucci will be presented this year’s Award for Design Excellence.

Exclusive Auction Prizes

Silent auction items include items donated by Jimmy Choo, Ferragamo, Alexis Bittar and Kimberly McDonald, as well as a style consultation donated by Julie Watson Style, among several other items centered around fashion. The live auction features two exclusive fashion packages, including runway tickets to New York Fashion Week donated by Neapolitan Collection, hotel accommodations provided by Hyatt, VIP admittance and drinks at JIMMY at The James Hotel and lunch for two at the famed The Lambs Club at the Chatwal Hotel. A striking diamond necklace from Pomellato and highly sought after‚ orange Hermès Birkin bag are the evening’s two raffle items.

Event features cocktails, dinner, silent and live auctions, dancing in the tent-covered Uihlein Plaza with DJ Kiss and exhibition preview. Helen Harvey Mills, whose mother was one of Charles James’s muses, is the evening’s Honorary Chair.

TICKETS: $500 or $1000; tables of ten are $5,000 and $10,000. Raffle tickets are $100 for single tickets and $500 for six tickets.

Funds raised from this event will enable the Chicago History Museum to continue to enhance the public’s understanding of Charles James and provide thoughtful insight into the Museum’s costume collection.

The Costume Council is a diverse group of businesswomen and civic leaders spanning multiple generations and is led by Costume Council President, Nena Ivon, who was recently appointed after a longtime career as fashion director for Saks Fifth Avenue’s Michigan Avenue store. The Council supports the Chicago History Museum as a leader in the documentation and interpretation of the history and the art of costume.

The Chicago History Museum serves as a unique national resource for the preservation, interpretation, and understanding of history through the collection, examination and documentation of costume. The Costume Council proudly supports the collection, which has grown to be one of the world’s premier costume collections with over 50,000 pieces dating back to the 1720s, and is the second largest costume collection in the United States.

Cocktails and Exhibition Preview
Six o’clock

Dinner and Dancing with Music by DJ Kiss
Eight o’clock

Event Honorary Chair

Helen Harvey Mills

Event Co-Chairs

Robin Loewenberg Berger
Catherine Eberle
Lawrie Weed

Chicago History Museum
Clark Street at North Avenue
1601 N. Clark St.
Chicago IL


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