LOSING THE CORSET & WINNING THE VOTE: How a Fashion Revolution Re-Shaped the Modern Woman

Many events were canceled in the Suffrage Centennial year of 2020 because of the pandemic, but we’re not cancelling women’s history or learning about the fashion that shaped it! Cornelia revised her presentation to include the fascinating storyline of what happened after women got the vote! “LOSING THE CORSET & WINNING THE VOTE: How a Fashion Revolution Re-Shaped the Modern Woman”.

With entertaining stories and hundreds of historical images, Cornelia explains in her presentation how, in the seven-decades-long campaign for the vote, women considered costume as “political armor.” Suffrage leaders encouraged followers “to use their style to further the cause—to be the most elegant ladies in the public sphere.” Sharing ways in which women “dressed to protest”, Cornelia sets the tone of a time and place in history—and what women wore while changing it! 

When women got the vote in 1920, fashionand the worldturned upside down. Women escaped their limited domestic sphere,” un-clinched their waists, flaunted their bare legs, bobbed their hair, and a “New Woman” emerged to celebrate life and liberty! “The new fashions were seen as a visual language of liberation,” wrote fashion historian and author Valerie Steele, “and women eagerly seized on the idea of ‘freedom.’”

King Louis XIV of France said that “fashion is the mirror of history” and in Cornelia’s storyteller imagination, she reveals how the most entertaining “history lessons” can be told through the mirror of  “Who-Wore-What-When-and-Why.” ~

[Email Cornelia Powell for more information about her presentations for your group]

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