Crystal Lake woman's wearable art creations on display in St. Charles

St. Charles exhibit set to run through March 21

Wearable art creations by 92-year-old Dyllis Braithwaite of Crystal Lake will be on exhibit at the Fine Line Creative Arts Center in St. Charles.
Wearable art creations by 92-year-old Dyllis Braithwaite of Crystal Lake will be on exhibit at the Fine Line Creative Arts Center in St. Charles.

Timeless, one-of-a-kind, classical art creations you can wear, designed by 92-year-old Dyllis Braithwaite, will be featured in “Dyllis Braithwaite – We Love What You’re Wearing!” an exhibit at the Fine Line Creative Arts Center in St. Charles.

Braithwaite, a longtime Barrington resident who recently moved to Crystal Lake, will be on hand for the opening reception from 2 to 4 p.m. Saturday. The show runs until March 21.

On view will be 40 of her wearable art creations. Powerful colors, patterns and textures are mixed with dynamic garments to create a myriad of inspiring ideas, according to a news release.

Braithwaite was born in 1927 on a dairy farm in New Hartford, Connecticut. The youngest of five children, she learned to appreciate beautiful fabrics from her mother. After graduating from the University of Connecticut in home economics education, she married and taught home economics at her alma mater, Gilbert High School, in Winsted, Connecticut.

A few years later, Braithwaite and her husband moved to Barrington, where she managed Finn’s Fabrics for a short time before buying the business and transforming the store into a fabric haven for the Chicago area.

Over the next 40 years, Braithwaite created her wearable art wardrobe, published two books about her work – “Oh! I Love What You’re Wearing,” Volumes I and II – and continues to turn heads wherever she goes, according to the release.

It said she possesses a legendary gift for selecting beautiful fabrics, creating wearable art and inspiring others to find their own creative voices.

In 2015, Braithwaite was recognized as a Lake County Illinois Woman of Distinction. Both she and her husband, attorney Bill Braithwaite, to whom she has been married since 1951, were selected to be featured in the Barrington Area Arts Council publication “Lives with Passion.” They have three children and five grandchildren.

Designer Andrea Reynders, professor emeritus at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, shared her take on the artist.

“Dyllis Braithwaite has style,” Reynders said in the release. “It was evident the moment I met her in her marvelous shop filled to the brim with the most wonderful fabrics.

“Walking into this wealth of silk and wool, linen and cotton was like a dream to me – it was all quality … [and] an outstanding collection of what the best designers were using in their collections. … She is a brilliant example of individuality – of someone taking such pleasure in cloth and wearing it as art. Dyllis is a traffic-stopper.”

If you go

WHAT: “Dyllis Braithwaite – We Love What You’re Wearing!”

WHERE: Fine Line Creative Arts Center, 37W570 Bolcum Road, St. Charles

WHEN: Reception from 2 to 4 p.m. Saturday; gallery open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday; exhibit runs until March 21

COST: Free

INFO: 630-584-9443 or fineline.org

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