|Born||Main Rousseau Bocher
October 24, 1890
|Died||December 27, 1976|
|Education||studied art at the University of Chicago and the Chicago Academy of Fine Arts|
|Awards||bronze plaque on New York City's Fashion Walk of Fame|
Main Rousseau Bocher (October 24, 1890 - December 27, 1976), also known as Mainbocher, was an American couturier best known for the eponymous fashion label he founded in 1929. Although often pronounced "Man-bo-shay," his name is pronounced "Maine-Bocker."
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Bocher was a native of Chicago, where he studied at the Lewis Institute, now the Illinois Institute of Technology, and the Chicago Academy of Fine Arts. He served in intelligence during World War I and stayed in Paris after the war, working as a fashion illustrator for Harper's Bazaar, as Paris fashion editor for Vogue (1922-1929), and eventually became the editor-in-chief of the French edition of Vogue in early 1927. Main Bocher's decision to become a couturier grew out of his years as editor at Vogue; he realized that his critical eye and his feeling for fashion might also serve him as a designer.
Mainbocher's innovations include the short evening dress; the famous beaded evening sweaters; the strapless evening gown; bare-armed blouses for suits; the costume-dyed furs (black mink and black sealskin); novel uses for batiste, voile, organdy, piqué, linen, embroidered muslin; the waistcinch; mantailored dinner suits; bows instead of hats; the principle of the simple dress with lots of tie-ons (shirt-like aprons, changeable jackets); the sari evening dress; the "bump" shoulder (a sort of modified leg-o'-mutton sleeve) on suits and coats; the evening version of the "tennis dress" a white evening dress with "V" neck and stole); the revival of crinolines; the rain suit.
In 2002, Mainbocher was honored with a bronze plaque on New York City's Fashion Walk of Fame in the legendary garment district.