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The Costume Council Celebrates Marchesa Co-Founders


Premiere Presidents’ Circle Honors presented to Georgina Chapman and Keren Craig

Celebrate the co-founders of Marchesa, Georgina Chapman and Keren Craig, as the Costume Council of the Chicago History Museum presents them with their first-ever Presidents’ Circle Honors on Wednesday, October 25 at the Women’s Athletic Club.

Join Event-Chair, Kathleen Haines-Finley, and co-chairs Michelle Bibergal, Sherrill Bodine, Paula Borg, Annette Findling, Heather Farley Ingram, Judy Lockhart, Mark Olley, and Pauline Kurtides Sheehan as they honor these rising stars of haute couture in a ceremonial luncheon that begins at 11 a.m.

The Presidents’ Circle Honors is a new initiative of the Costume Council, to honor designers who are currently making an indelible mark in the fashion world. The award is in honor of the 14 former presidents of the Costume Council.

British born Georgina Chapman and Keren Craig have built a fashion empire defined by elegant eveningwear and one of a kind couture designs. The duo met at Chelsea College of Art and Design in London. Chapman’s draping and design expertise paired with Craig’s textile creations resulted in a business partnership and the establishment of Marchesa in 2004.

With the extravagant and eccentric fashion icon and Italian heiress Marchesa Luisa Casati as their muse, their beautifully crafted runway collections and accessories line fuse exquisite detailing with supreme femininity. Coveted not only by celebrities, but by women of all ages, Marchesa continues to be the centerpiece of iconic red carpet moments and high-end fashion alike. Based in New York, the Marchesa collections are presently available worldwide.

The luncheon will feature a silent auction, raffle and in-conversation with the night’s honorees. Joining the honorees on stage are Ken Downing, senior vice president and fashion director of Neiman Marcus, and Petra Slinkard, curator of costume at the Chicago History Museum.

Immediately following the luncheon all guests are invited to Neiman Marcus, Michigan Avenue to view the Marchesa Spring 2018 trunk show with Chapman, Craig and Downing.

The Costume Council acknowledges the support of its in-kind sponsors Neiman Marcus, Michigan Avenue, Laurent-Perrier champagne and the Lenox Corporation.

Tickets start at $200 and tables at $2,000. All proceeds benefit the Costume Council of the Chicago History Museum. For more information, please contact Ishan Johnson at 312-799-2118 or at More information is available online at


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.  Through the support of the Costume Council, the Chicago History Museum has maintained a thriving costume collection and operated a conservation lab that manages and sustains this critical aspect of our holdings.

Many artifacts in the Museum’s collection were made by Chicago’s dressmakers, milliners, and manufacturers.  The costume holdings encompass a number of items worn by prominent Chicagoans and Americans.  Some unique pieces include personal items belonging to Abraham and Mary Todd Lincoln, Michael Jordan’s basketball uniform, and Mahalia Jackson’s choir robe.  The earliest pieces include suits worn by George Washington and John Adams.  The Museum’s extensive couture holdings, ranging from Charles Worth gowns to the innovative designs of Yohji Yamamoto, have earned an international reputation.


The Chicago History Museum is situated on ancestral homelands of the Potawatomi people, who cared for the land until forced out by non-Native settlers. Established in 1856, the Museum is now at 1601 N. Clark Street in Lincoln Park, its third location. As a major museum and research center for Chicago and U.S. history, the Chicago History Museum strives to be a destination for learning, inspiration and civic engagement. Through dynamic exhibitions, tours, publications, special events and programming, the Museum connects people to Chicago’s history and to each other. To share Chicago stories, the Museum collects and preserves millions of artifacts, documents, images and other items that are relevant to the city’s history. The Museum gratefully acknowledges the support of the Chicago Park District on behalf of the people of Chicago. 

Chicago History Museum Sharing Chicago Stories