October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month and Oak Parkers can enjoy a unique art exhibit showing symbols of feminine strength in select shop windows.
Hand-decorated bras, created by students in Dominican University's apparel design and merchandising department, have been designed to celebrate powerful attributes of Roman and Greek goddesses.
The project was conceived by Eden DeGenova, owner of Baubo's Garden, a Forest Park lingerie boutique as a way of raising awareness by displaying what DeGenova calls "powerful images of femininity."
"The goddesses universally present women as empowered, wise beings and symbols of inner strength. To me, they represent all of the women who battle breast cancer every day of their lives," DeGenova said in a news release.
Multi-colored Indian corn pops out in the window of Nora's Shoe Shop, 103 N. Oak Park Ave. Surrounded by dried cornstalks, it looks like alot of other autumnal decorations until you realize it's actually a bra symbolizing the Demeter, the goddess of the harvest.
"Customers have been coming in talking about it, because it's festive and tasteful. It brings women together to share and laugh. If we can laugh about it, we can talk about it," said Gina Antoni, assistant manager at Nora's.
A few doors down at Anana's Boutique, 109 N. Oak Park Ave., you'll find a bra adorned with dried flowers and feathers atop clumps of dried moss honoring Gaia, more commonly known as Mother Nature.
Across the street at Chameleon, 130 N. Oak Park Ave., Hestia, the goddess of hearth and home is honored with a hot pink satin bra, studded with brass dots and trimmed with gold ruffles.
Owner Nick Heitzman said the displays "are thoughtful and really from the heart".
At Muse, 106 N. Marion St., the goddess Artemis is saluted with one of the most striking designs — strips of leather are sewn with thick thread into a bustier and trimmed in animal fur. Hanging from crossed silver spears, the elements combine to represent the virgin goddess and huntress.
Installations can also be seen along Madison Street in Forest Park at Baubo's Garden, Briolette Beads & More, Skincare Company and Spa, Heels, Chix With Stix, Afkara, Gallery Etcetera, M Santana Boutique, Fantastic Sam's, Camille et Famille, and Boulevard Fine Art.