Around 1925, Charles James—a feisty young man—was sent from England to his mother’s birthplace, Chicago. His parents lined up a job with energy magnate Samuel Insull, but wild child James decided to open a hat store at 1209 North State Street. This began James’s relationship with Chicago. The museum would come to own 18 pieces by James, who became widely influential in women’s fashion. “The exhibit breaks down his design method to understand why he’s unique and still relevant today,” says John Russick, the Chicago History Museum’s director of curatorial affairs.
“Charles James: Genius Deconstructed” runs through April 15 at Chicago History Museum.