Admittedly there are few people in Seattle's style history that can be referred to as icons. We have no big-name Chanels, nor Vreelands, but what we do have is a Bishop. John Doyle Bishop, to be precise.
The charming tastemaker owned an upscale downtown women's store from 1945 until his death in 1980. His exclusive 5th Avenue shop (think Mario's in the 1950s) carried all the chicest fashions alongside John Doyle Bishop originals. His craftsmanship and tailoring, as well as his flamboyant personality, were celebrated.
To illustrate, after his death on October 19, 1980, Seattle Times style editor Marilyn Kirkby wrote:
"He could be self-admittedly outrageous. At least, the Seattle Police thought so when they arrested him on several occasions for painting green stripes down Fifth Avenue on Saint Patrick's Eve. On one occasion, after being released from jail, he went right out and painted shamrocks in the doorways of the 13 Coins. With characteristic aplomb, he told reporters that he didn't mind being arrested; it was the spoiling of his 'artwork' that bothered him. 'After all, I didn't murder anyone, or rob a bank or start a riot,' he said cheerfully."
During the month of what would be his 100th birthday—and fittingly close to St. Patrick's Day—the Museum of History and Industry's costume and textile specialist Clara Berg will host an afternoon presentation on the life and contributions of the shop owner.
Following the lecture, guests will be treated to an up-close look of some of Bishop's garments from the MOHAI costume collection.
Enjoy this afternoon of Seattle style history on Sunday, March 24 from 1 to 3 at the MOHAI Microsoft Lakefront Pavilion. Admission is $10 for the general public and $5 for museum members, students, and Irish Heritage Club members. Purchase tickets online here.