Over my very dear friend Sabrina’s birthday, I had the opportunity to spend a few delightful hours at the Chicago History Museum. Admitting that I've never been there feels like sacrilege, but it's the truth. Of the many beautiful and interesting exhibits, one (very predictable) display caught my interest: the work and life of America’s first couturier, Main Boucher.
Sidebar: After typing that sentence, I find it imperative to note that I have never written the word “couturier” in my life, and generally do not give a hoot about "couture fashion". Main Boucher, however, has proven to be an exception (forcing me to, yet again, face the anti-conformist hypocrisies that I sometimes am guilty of believing) . Truly an artist of many media, what I found most striking about Boucher, were actually his drawings and paintings. As a struggling, multi-faceted artist myself, I often feel the burden of focus-- how does one choose a favorite child, or give enough time to only one creative outlet? Seeing the variety of Boucher’s work was so encouraging, in reminding me that a successful creative is one that focuses on expression regardless of medium, and is at peace with fluidity.
On a more practical note, it was quite fun to see that some of Boucher’s beautiful gowns actually resemble ones that I have in the shop! It's a bittersweet realization, as I imagine many people swoon and idealize these museum dresses, but fail to see the value and identical quality of vintage specimens that they could purchase from any number of sources-- people are peculiar, but such is life. I must say, one of my favorite details of the exhibit (that I didn't capture well in the photos) was the way the curators stylistically taped the feet of the manikins to symbolize shoes! Very clever, indeed!
Something that I and both of the ladies I went with, mused over, was what amazing fun it would be to work on some of the exhibits we saw! The artistry involved was undeniable. All in all, I definitely left the museum a bit starry eyed, brimming over with renewed enthusiasm for my own creative pursuits. Isn't it amazing how God can use such unassuming things to refresh our hearts? Over and over, I hear him whispering freedom to me-- that that is his main desire for me, and for all people. That fear (whatever of) would not cripple or hold us back, because he can make good even out of failure-- so how can we justify fear of failure? We cannot. I cannot. And so, all that we can do is to choose freedom. Freedom in our individual forms of expression, to use them from a place of joy and pure wholehearted-ness. Freedom to disregard what others might think of us, and to let things happen.