For thousands of years, our outfits have represented our wealth, status, and power. For centuries, our fashion has been a representation of who we are. Through our clothes, we can tell stories about our lives, our values and the way the world affects us.
The suffragists of the Edwardian Era (1890-1920) are now known as well-dressed, upstanding members of society, and that was in no way unintentional. By taking feminine ideals of the time, such as the Gibson Girl, and associating them with a new kind of woman, the suffragists brought their ideas to life. Through fabric and thread, an entirely new pathway has been paved for the modern woman.
“Fashion and Femininity: The Rise of Women’s Power at the Turn of the Century” opens Friday, June 2 from 5-7pm and will be on view through August 27. Join the Shaker Historical Society and Shaker Heights High School Senior Project student Elliot Rendall as we explore the fashion of the turn of the nineteenth century woman—and the politics behind her choices.
About the Curator: Elliot Rendall is a graduating 2023 Senior of Shaker Heights High School. They have a longstanding love of historical fashion, and the politics that come with it. They have been sewing since they were young, but started making skirts, dresses, and historical pieces during quarantine. Elliot is incredibly passionate about women’s rights, and has been for a long time. They are planning on a career in computer science and was a student in Shaker’s Career Technical Education program for robotics. In their free time, they love reading, crocheting, and making jewelry.