Friday, 18 March 2011 10:11


Written by  ClaraBerg

There are some who might laugh at the idea of Seattle as a fashion capitol, but in 1954 John Doyle Bishop claimed that the city would certainly rank as one of the best dressed in the country. Bishop was the owner of an exclusive womens shop in Seattle from about 1945 until his death in 1980. With impeccable taste and a charming and flamboyant personality, Bishop was one of the most respected arbiters of style in the city. While the memory of him and his chic store is unforgettable for many Seattleites who lived in the city at the time, it is difficult to find information about him these days. I first learned about John Doyle Bishop when I was a volunteer at MOHAI. The museum has some fantastic garments that were sold in his store and everything I heard about him and his business was fascinating. When I moved to New York to attend graduate school in fashion history and museum studies, I kept thinking about Mr. Bishop and wishing I knew more about him. It was wonderful to learn about fashion in Paris, London and New York, but I kept wondering how it translated to my hometown. When it came time to chose a topic for my masters thesis, I couldnt think of anything more fitting than unearthing John Doyle Bishops story. Ive found out quite a bit from interviews, newspapers, books, and digital resources, but I could still use some help. Do you have a John Doyle Bishop story? Did you shop at his store? Do you have any objects, ephemera, or records that are connected to him? If so, I would love to hear from you! Please contact me at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. . (edited to add: Since writing this post Clara has started work at MOHAI and is still interested in hearing JDB stories. You can email her at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. )

P.S. This is a great time to be discussing Mr. Bishop because he is perhaps best remembered for his connection to the Seattle St. Patrick's Day Parade! Read more here. Clara Berg is a Seattle native who volunteered and worked at MOHAI before moving to New York City to pursue and M.A. in Fashion and Textile Studies: History Theory and Museum Practice at the Fashion Institute of Technology. She has interned at the Costume Institute at the Metropolitan Museum of Art and currently works in the FIT Library in the Special Collections and Archives Department.

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