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A matter of style: Defining the Westport 'Look'

Updated 1:52 pm, Monday, October 15, 2012

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  • Two young women model fashions Friday night at the "Dressing Up -- Westport Style" program sponsored by the Westport Woman's Club and Westport Historical Society. Photo: Meg Barone / Westport News freelance
    Two young women model fashions Friday night at the "Dressing Up -- Westport Style" program sponsored by the Westport Woman's Club and Westport Historical Society. Photo: Meg Barone

 

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Yesterday's fashion met today's style trends Friday at the first celebration of fashion's evolution in Westport over the years.

The Westport Woman's Club was the setting for "Dressing Up -- Westport Style," an event held in collaboration with the Westport Historical Society. It featured a fashion show, demonstrations, hair stylists, makeover artists and fashionable food from local culinary establishments.

"We've never done this before," said Leah Sherzer, first vice president of the club and chairwoman of the programs committee.

Penny Pearlman, a member of the Women's Club said the event exceeded their expectations. "We hope this is the beginning of a tradition," she said.

People were particularly pleased with the vintage fashion show presented by Vintage Virtuosa, a vintage clothing and accessories shop in downtown Westport, and with the information shared by Westporter Harriet Mays Powell, editor-in-chief of "The Look Now," an award-winning fashion magazine.

Against the backdrop of a half-dozen vintage outfits from the historical society's collection, Powell offered tips and trends related to fall and spring fashions to the audience of about 200 people. She said burgundy and green colors are in vogue this fall, as are lady-like structured bags and fur accessories. "Faux fur if you want to be politically correct," said Powell, who began her fashion career working for several magazines from editor to senior editor positions, including Glamour, New York Times Magazine, Fashion of the Times and Elle.

Looking ahead to spring, Powell said black and white will be "a huge trend in all the fashion capitals," whether in stripes or polka dots. And as far as hemlines go, there are no rules; "Whatever suits your style." Those who want to mirror European fashions should lose the Ugg boots, wear with minimal makeup and wrap a scarf around their neck nonchalantly, according to Powell, who just returned from Paris Fashion Week.

"It was a fun night out on a Friday night with the girls," said Nancy Potter of Westport, who enjoyed the glamor and eclectic fashions.

The show included pre-teen and teenage girls in fashions from Dress Code, a downtown Westport clothing store, as well as fashions from Body Talk.

"It was perfect for Westport. There are so many fashionable ladies here who care about fashion, and it's very nice to have the young girls come with their moms," said Amanda Burns, curator of Vintage Virtuosa.

Sue Gold, executive director of the Westport Historical Society, called the event a superb concept.

"It showcased some of our historical costumes from our collection and it brought together young and old to embrace the world of fashion," said Gold, who was one of the models of the antique pieces from Vintage Virtuosa. It was also an opportunity to incorporate some local clothing stores and have people model those contemporary fashions, she said.

Dorothy Robertshaw, a member of the Dressing Up -- Westport Style Committee, said organizers were not sure immediately how much was raised, but 100 percent of the proceeds will go to charitable causes. Half will go to the Westport Woman's Club scholarship fund and the rest will be shared with local non-profit organizations.