On display through August, 2017, the Chicago History Museum’s newest exhibit, Making Mainbocher, is a peek at the life and work of Main Rousseau Bocher, an American fashion designer with significant ties to the Windy City.
Main Bocher grew up on the city’s West Side, attending John Marshall High School and the Lewis Institute (now Illinois Institute of Technology). The majority of his career, however, was spent in New York or Paris, where in 1929 Main Bocher would become “the first American courturier” under the label – and conveniently French looking name – Mainbocher. Continue reading →
One might call it a Labor Day tradition: a gathering of many hands, a pitcher of sangria, and an unreasonably large quantity of tomatoes in a Rogers Park kitchen for the annual Canapolooza. In case you missed it, this is what happened:
“So, Lauren, do you feel different now that you got married?!?”
“Meh. Not really.”
I mean, that’s how it’s supposed to be right? The person you profess to spend forever with (in public, no less) should theoretically be the same person you knew the day before you did that.
But if I’m being really honest, there’s a tinge of contentment and joy that is, in certain moments, wonderfully overwhelming. It doesn’t hurt, I suppose, that our wedding was totally kick ass. Unfortunately, that means you’re going to be living through it on this blog for as long as I feel like it. Fortunately, I have really talented friends and some great documentation.
Since my visit to Union Station in Kansas City, I’ve had a hankering for a long train ride, and when I found out that Amtrak could get me to Austin for the Dance/USA conference for less than the cost of a plane ticket I decided to go for it.
You’re probably either really jealous or think I’m really ridiculous.
At one point in history, the train was THE way to get there, wherever there is, and aside from the extra leg room, for me, it’s a blast to get a taste of what life was like before planes became an accessible way to travel. Our country is littered with magnificent buildings posing as train stations, and despite my home city’s inability to use Union Station efficiently, departing for a long ride from there transports you to a classier time before neck pillows and body scanners. Continue reading →
Simplicity is elusive, but oft sought by us humans, particularly the overworked, underpaid, overtired generations who rely on the technology of incredibly complex devices to do the simplifying for us. I go back and forth between a desire for and abjection of technology, craving life off the grid in the middle of nowhere, meanwhile blogging about it and managing it with online budgeting tools.
I’ve always had an affinity for old things. I love vintage appliances, Aqua Net, and Betty Crocker’s Cookbook. My tastes are at odds – I’m drawn to a time period that was intensely focused on convenience, but today feels like a simpler time in which kids went out to play, Mom cooked dinner, and astronauts did math by hand. Lately I’ve been wondering: if I was an adult in the 50’s, instead of the 10’s, would I be nostalgic for a “simpler time,” before cars, refrigeration, and lightbulbs? If I lived in the 1910s instead of the 2010s, would I tout indoor plumbing as an extravagant, unnecessary construct built by a generation seeking only to protect its own interests and indulge a desire for convenience? Continue reading →