A century of fashion

Published 12:00 am Saturday, April 17, 2010

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1913 was the founding year for the Study Club of Andalusia. But it was also a pivotal year in fashion.

“Society’s ideal beauty standard of maturity gave way to youthfulness and freedom,” Lenora Johnson said. “Skirts became straighter and shorter. In fact, they left the floor never to touch it again!”

Johnson, a member of the Study Club, presented a fashion show to club members Thursday, saying she “took a mole hill assignment and made a mountainous task of it.”

With the help of Kathy Windham, Johnson put together a fashion show that represented each of the decades in the Study Club’s almost-100-year history.

Some of the clothes worn were vintage and others were presented in the style of the decade, she said, adding that she shopped in thrift stores in a 100-mile radius of Andalusia and admitting she enlisted the help of a seamstress or two.

From the defiance and “shock value” styles of the 1920s to the war-inspired more practical clothes of the 40s and the power suits that appeared in the 1970s, models took club members back in time.

And “looking back in time” is mostly what fashion has done in the past few decades, Johnson said. “The 1980s was a decade of consumerists and this was good for fashion,” Johnson said. “Self image classes taught that you were what you wore.”

And it was the first decade in which fashion looked to the past, she said.

The 90s were also a remake, but they were a “toned-down” response to the decadence of the 80s, Johnson said.

Models included Nancy Smith, Sydney Brunson, Carson Posey, Barbara Posey, Maria Thigpen, Kim Baumgartner, Alejandra Scruggs, MaryAnn Johnson, Oksana Couch, Gloria Short, Anna Bay McCord, Sherry Frazier and Janet Brantley.