The style of the day in 1954 | Courtesy of Frazier History Museum
The style of the day in 1954 | Courtesy of Frazier History Museum

You don’t have to be a fashionista to know that women’s fashion in politics and business has significantly changed throughout the years. Hillary Clinton’s power suits would never have been an option for Eleanor Roosevelt, who often chose to wear one-piece dresses and skirts down to her ankles.

This topic is the focus of a discussion organized by the Frazier History Museum in honor of Women’s History Month. “Claiming Space: Women and Fashion” will examine how a woman’s fashion choices affect her success in politics and business and will be held Monday, March 7. The event is a partnership between the Frazier and the Kentucky Historical Society.

The discussion will be led by Heather French Henry — former Miss America and currently the Commissioner of the Kentucky Department of Veterans Affairs — and Dr. Jennie Woodard, who teaches women’s gender and sexuality studies at the University of Maine. And Dr. Amanda Higgins, associate editor of the Register of the Kentucky Historical Society, will moderate.

The two speakers will share their own experiences with fashion and examine how fashion has changed throughout the years as women continue to fight for equality. French Henry designs and markets a line of evening gowns and cocktail dresses, so she’ll bring that perspective to the table. Meanwhile, Woodard often speaks on the juxtaposition of class, gender and fashion and will most likely mention the subject of a book she’s writing — Elizabeth Hawes, a high-end fashion designer from the 1930s.

“Claiming Space” begins at 6 p.m. on Monday, March 7, at the Frazier History Museum, 829 W. Main St. Tickets are $5 for non-members, and there will be appetizers and a cash bar. RSVP here.

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Sara Havens
Sara Havens is the Culture Editor at Insider Louisville, known around town as the Bar Belle (barbelleblog.com). She's a former editor of LEO Weekly and has written for Playboy and The Alcohol Professor. Havens is the author of two books: "The Bar Belle" and "The Bar Belle Vol. 2."