Generations of Hoosiers remember visiting downtown Indianapolis to see the latest fashion at the iconic L.S. Ayres department store.
Now, fashion nostalgia and Indiana history merge for one final weekend at the Indiana Historical Society’s newest interactive storytelling exhibit, “You Are There: That Ayres Look.”
The exhibit will be open for the last day Saturday.
Guests can see virtual dress display mannequins on monitors, which show changing fashion, patterns, colors, hemlines and silhouettes of the decades that comprised what became known as “That Ayres Look.”
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Guests also can interact with costumed actors representing historical real-life characters from 1959, such as owner Lyman Ayres II, Ayres Fashion Bureau Director Elizabeth Patrick and Ayres model Bea Fatout. IHS has also created videos showing the Ayres story — including the business, family, fashions and shopping experience.
The exhibit includes historical photographs, documents, artifacts and videos that provide a multifaceted illustration of the company and its innovations. IHS will also display original items borrowed or donated from individuals and additional clothing and other pieces on loan from the Indiana State Museum.
Guests will learn about the early growth of the company, the Ayres family, the company culture that focused on customer service respect for its employees and the lasting memories L.S. Ayres made for people during the holidays; as well as the Ayr-Way store that was a forerunner of future discount retailers.
Another included Ayres tradition was the Ayres cherub, currently on loan from Downtown Indy for the duration of the exhibit.
You Are There: That Ayres Look is presented by Ayres Foundation Inc. and Nancy Ayres with support from other area philanthropic organizations.
The History Center is at 450 W. Ohio St., along the canal in downtown Indianapolis.
For more information about admission and other IHS programs, call 232-1882 or visit indianahistory.org.