Pretty Powerful: The History of Fashion – October 22 2- 4 pm

Place: Grafton Library Community Meeting Room

Co-Sponsors: Grafton Historical Society & Grafton Public Library

Most people have lots of historic fashion moments happening right in their own closets.  After all, fashion designers are always bringing styles back.  The Grafton Historical Society and Grafton Public Library are betting that some folks will enjoy wearing, talking about and learning more about retro fashion and what fashion tells us about the values of the people wearing it.  They are throwing a Retro Fashion in Your Closet event at 2:00-4:00 on Saturday Oct.  22 in the Community Room at the Grafton Public Library.  Participants are invited to raid their own closets to find some clothing that has retro elements.  Think high waisted jeans, frilly blouses, goth clothes, steampunk outfits, 1990s hip hop attire, gingham picnic shirts, etc.

Historian Dr. Charlotte Haller from Worcester State University will explain what style changes over the decades have said about the people wearing the clothing.  Dr. Haller will draw on her work as curator of the exhibit Pretty Powerful that was on display last year at the Worcester Historical Museum.  “One of the reasons why fashion designers may take inspiration from the past is that power that clothes have to define an era so compellingly.” Haller explains. 

“I’m really excited about the interactive nature of this fashion event,” Pam Hollander, Grafton Historic Society program planner, said.  “I love the idea that a mixture of younger and older people from the area will get together dressed up in clothing that references an earlier time period.”  Each of the style elements from earlier times can be associated with a certain aesthetic or even values and beliefs.”

The Grafton Historical Society Museum, at 71 Main Street, in South Grafton, has a collection of historic clothing that the public can come and take a look at during open museum hours.  There are garments worn by women and men, as well as some children’s clothing.  “Our clothing collection ranges from the early 1800’s through the mid 1900’s with some special attire like wedding gowns, cheerleading outfits, scouting uniforms,  very early bathing suits, along with one band uniform that is very patriotic” explains Nancy Therrien, President of the Grafton Historical Society.  “The average daily outfits reflected the moral culture of each time period.”

For more information about the event, contact Pam Hollander at or call the Historical Society at (508) 320-1173.

This program was funded in part by the Grafton Cultural Council, a local agency that is part of the Mass Cultural Council, a state agency.