Gender
Male
Born
Oct 24, 1890
Chicago, Illinois, USA
Died
Dec 27, 1976
Designer
Comments
Mainbocher (born Main Rousseau Bocher) was an American couturier who operated fashion houses in Paris and later New York from the 1930s through the 1960s. He is best known for designing Wallis Simpson's wedding dress and trousseau for her 1937 marriage to the former Edward VIII (the Duke of Windsor) which was photographed by Cecil Beaton.

Mainbocher was a native of Chicago, where he studied art at the University of Chicago and the Chicago Academy of Fine Arts. He served in the Army in the first World War and stayed on in Paris after the war, working as a fashion illustrator for Harpers Bazaar and later as a fashion editor for French Vogue.

In 1929, he established his own fashion house, designing expensive, elegant haute couture dresses and gowns for an exclusive clientele, and charging them for the privilege of viewing his collections. He designed much of the Duchess of Windsor's wardrobe, naming a color, Wallis blue, for her, and created the first strapless evening gown.

In 1939 , he relocated his business to New York on 57th Street next to Tiffany's, and continued to design for generations of discerning women of means like Gloria Vanderbilt through the 1960s.

After he achieved fame for dressing some of the world's most famous women, Mainbocher was commissioned to design the costumes for Mary Martin in the 1943 Broadway musical One Touch of Venus and for Ethel Merman in the 1950 musical Call Me Madam.

Mainbocher and twenty-three other American fashion designers were honored with bronze plaques on New York City's "Fashion Walk of Fame" in the legendary garment district.
Tiny Alice (Dec 29, 1964 - May 22, 1965)
  • Gowns by Mainbocher
PlayOriginal
The Sound of Music (Nov 16, 1959 - Jun 15, 1963)
  • Mary Martin's clothes by Mainbocher
MusicalDramaOriginal
The Great Sebastians (Jan 04, 1956 - Jun 02, 1956)
  • Miss Fontanne's dresses by Mainbocher
PlayMelodrama ComedyOriginal
Blues, Ballads and Sin-Songs (Oct 04, 1954 - Oct 16, 1954)
  • Miss Holman's gown for Act I: Mainbocher
PlayConcert SoloOriginal
The Prescott Proposals (Dec 16, 1953 - Apr 03, 1954)
  • Costume Design by Mainbocher
PlayComedyOriginal
Kind Sir (Nov 04, 1953 - Mar 27, 1954)
  • Costume Design by Mainbocher
PlayComedyOriginal
Wonderful Town (Feb 25, 1953 - Jul 03, 1954)
  • Miss Russell's costumes designed by Mainbocher
MusicalComedyOriginal
Point of No Return (Dec 13, 1951 - Nov 22, 1952)
  • Costume Design by Mainbocher
PlayOriginal
Not for Children (Feb 13, 1951 - Feb 17, 1951)
  • Costume Design by Mainbocher
PlayComedyOriginal
Call Me Madam (Oct 12, 1950 - May 03, 1952)
  • Miss Merman's dresses by Mainbocher
MusicalComedyOriginal
The Smile of the World (Jan 12, 1949 - Jan 15, 1949)
  • Costume Design by Mainbocher
PlayOriginal
The Leading Lady (Oct 18, 1948 - Oct 23, 1948)
  • Costume Design by Mainbocher
PlayOriginal
Dunnigan's Daughter (Dec 26, 1945 - Jan 26, 1946)
  • Costume Design by Mainbocher
PlayOriginal
Dream Girl (Dec 14, 1945 - Dec 14, 1946)
  • Costume Design by Mainbocher
PlayComedyOriginal
Foolish Notion (Mar 13, 1945 - Jun 09, 1945)
  • Miss Bankhead's costumes by Mainbocher
PlayComedyOriginal
Over 21 (Jan 03, 1944 - Jul 08, 1944)
  • Miss Gordon's clothes by Mainbocher
PlayOriginal
One Touch of Venus (Oct 07, 1943 - Feb 10, 1945)
  • Miss Martin's gowns by Mainbocher
MusicalComedyOriginal
Blithe Spirit (Nov 05, 1941 - Jun 05, 1943)
  • Dresses for Miss Wood and Miss Corbett from Mainbocher
PlayComedy FarceOriginal

Tony Award®

 

Best Costume Design

1956 | Nominee  | The Great Sebastians
Costume Design by Mainbocher

FIND OUT WHERE

Search where Mainbocher and
are credited together
are credited together