Axios Chicago

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🌞 Welcome to Axios Chicago Sunday!

  • It's our leisurely exploration of arts, culture, food, nature, history and other subjects that define the city we live in.

🎷 Sounds like: "Doin' It Right Now" by Von Freeman.

🎂 Happy birthday to our Axios Chicago member Idalmy Carrera-Colucci!

Today's newsletter is 823 words — a 3-minute read.

1 big thing: Costume Council turns 50

Evening cape believed to have been worn by Mary Todd Lincoln to Ford's Theater. Photo: courtesy of Chicago History Museum, ICHi-032071. Green plaid gown. Photo: Chicago History Museum, ICHi-066127

For the past 50 years, the Chicago Costume Council has helped the Chicago History Museum build one of the nation's premier costume collections.

The big picture: The collection is a valuable resource for fashion history research and provides a window into how Chicagoans have dressed throughout the decades.

  • It dates to the 1700s and features 50,000 objects, including Civil War uniforms, suits worn by George Washington and a cape believed to be worn by Mary Todd Lincoln.
A gray beaded dress, back of a yellow dress with ruffles and pink dress on mannequins. An orange skirt and cropped jacket suit on a mannequin.
Dresses designed by Mainbocher. Photo: Courtesy of Chicago History Museum, ICHi-183084. Christian Dior dress and jacket. Photo: Courtesy of Chicago History Museum, ICHi-088526

Flashback: In the 1970s, curators from the Met and Fashion Institute of America were so impressed by the museum's collection that they suggested creating a council of volunteers to help the museum acquire more items and fundraise.

  • The Chicago Costume Council first gathered in 1974, led by socialite Helen Wrigley, who used her connections to get big designers like Ralph Lauren to attend costume council fundraisers.
Back of Walter Payton jersey on a mannequin.
Walter Payton's Bears jersey. Photo: Courtesy of Chicago History Museum. ICHi-066521

Zoom in: The archive goes beyond military gear, period pieces and couture.

  • "As we were collecting Dior gowns, we were also collecting football uniforms," as well as books, and illustrations from designers, collections manager Jessica Pushor tells Axios. "We were also collecting United uniforms and a McDonald's uniform."

How it works: Most of the items are donated, and Chicago Costume Council assists families willing to donate their clothes to a museum rather than sell to The RealReal or an auction house.

!980s beige colored men's suit on mannequin.
Men's suit ensemble by designer Willi Smith. Photo: Courtesy of Chicago History Museum, ICHi-178973

What's next: Anyone can view the collection online, but museum visitors will get to see it up close when "Dressed in History: A Costume Collection Retrospective" opens at the museum on Oct. 19.

💭 Carrie's thought bubble: A fashion lover could spend days drooling over this collection, not just because of the beautiful dresses, but in my case because it features 1950s nurse's uniforms — probably like what my grandma wore!

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2. Photo of the day: Ernie Banks' 500th

Ernie Banks marks his 500th home run, hit May 12, 1970, at Wrigley Field. Photo: Warren Wimmer/Icon Sportswire/Corbis/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

⚾️ Fifty-four years ago today, Ernie Banks hit his 500th home run as a member of the Chicago Cubs.

  • Only 28 major leaguers in history have accomplished this feat, and only five have done it with just one team.

Of note: Banks' 512 home runs places him second in Cubs history, trailing only Sammy Sosa.

3. Staff picks: Cheap summer shows

Jonathan Knight, Joey McIntyre, Donnie Wahlberg, Jordan Knight and Danny Wood of New Kids on the Block during "The Mixtape" tour in 2022. Photo: Paras Griffin/Getty Images

This week, Live Nation ran a $25 promotion for upcoming shows.

  • The gimmick was designed to get people in summer seats, acknowledging the rising costs of tickets, especially for big summer concerts.

Friction point: By many accounts, the buying process was laborious at best.

We'll step in. Here are our recommendations for cheap shows to check out this summer:

🎤 Carrie: I'm going full circle. The first concert I went to was New Kids on the Block, and NKOTB, Paula Abdul and DJ Jazzy Jeff are in Tinley Park in June. Fun … or depressing?

🌭 Monica: I am so bummed that Fitzgerald's American Music Festival, featuring The Jayhawks and Old '97, is already sold out.

  • So I'll try standing outside the fest's music tent on Roosevelt Road listening to the music from the sidewalk with a Lucky Dog in my hand.

🍗 Justin: This isn't a music show, but a live taping of the YouTube sensation "Hot Ones." Who wouldn't want to watch a celebrity eat really hot wings?

  • It's free to attend this late-summer mystery show, but you have to snag tickets through a ticket drawing.

4. Kaufmann quiz: Chicago Mothers

Photo of two women playing characters in a TV show
From left: Bern Nadette Stanis and Esther Rolle of "Good Times" in 1977. Photo: CBS via Getty Images

Hi, it's Justin. Happy Mother's Day!

In honor of today, I thought the best way to pay tribute to our collective mothers is to have you guess a series of questions about them.

Take the quiz here.

📫 If you get a perfect score, reply to this email with a screenshot of your results and you'll win free tickets to next week's Axios Office Hours at The Hideout! Plus, a shout-out in the newsletter next week.

  • Congrats to Andrea D., Billy K., Jill B., Lou T., Paul M., John S., Susan M. and Michael W. for scoring 10/10 last week!

5. Comment section: Airbnbs and steakhouses

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Each week, we ask you for your thoughts on our wide variety of stories.

Recently, we wrote about how Airbnb is trotting out a new "icons" listing that would offer up short-term rentals at famous places around the world.

  • We asked which Chicago places should be on the list. Here's what you said.

Sarah B.: "May I suggest the ladies' bathroom at the Drake Hotel Tearoom? I remember thinking each stall compared favorably to the apartments I lived in as a grad student."

Sandy R.: "Leaning Tower of Pisa in Niles on Touhy. Tagline: A great slant on a place to stay."

And last Sunday, we wrote about Chicago's new steakhouses and asked for your favorites:

William K.: "We love Fioretta. Everything there is top drawer. Friendly staff. Every entrée was delicious."

  • Yes, but: "The martinis arrived at our table half full. If they want to compete with the big boys (Gibsons, Chicago Cut, RL, Rosebud on Walton, etc.), they need to offer big boy martinis."

📫 Got something to say about our stories? Reply to this email and let us know!

Edited by Lindsey Erdody and copy edited by Rob Reinalda.

🤗 Carrie wishes Suz a Happy Mother's Day! And apologizes for thinking LAST weekend was Mother's Day, but they celebrated together anyway.

🍳 Monica is cooking up a couple of quiches this morning for her mom, Ingrid, and wishing all moms and mother figures a fantastic day.

🕯 Justin wishes a Happy Mother's Day to his mom and all the others in his family. He will also use this day to remember the mothers who aren't with us anymore. To Yvonne and Catherine, especially.

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