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‘History of the Bra: From Push-Ups to Protest’ Webinar

December 4, 2020 @ 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm

Can’t make it live? Register and get access to the full replay for one week!
New York Adventure Club | www.AdventureClub.com

From two handkerchiefs sewn together in the mid-1800s to Victoria’s Secret bullet bras of the mid-1900s, the story of the bra is one of pushing up, strapping down, lifting, and separating to fit different ideals of beauty and comfort throughout history. It’s time to explore how this distinctly feminine garment not only became an essential component of women’s undergarments, but more importantly reflected the role of women in a changing society.

Join New York Adventure Club as we explore the evolution of the bra and its connection to beauty ideals throughout the centuries.

Led by fashion historian Caroline Elenowitz-Hess, our virtual look at one of human culture’s most unique garments will include:

  • Ancient Roman mosaics showing the precursor to the sports bra
  • How the bra (or “bust-supporter”) became a niche alternative to the corset, which remained fashionable until the early 20th century
  • How technical innovations changed how bras functioned and fit, and where the A, B, C, D cup sizing system came from
  • Why feminists in the 1960s and ’70s were labeled “bra-burners”
  • The evolution of the “bullet bra” from Marilyn Monroe to Madonna
  • The modern debate of bras being a symbol of both sexy and sexist

Afterward, we’ll have a Q&A with Caroline — any and all questions about the bra are welcomed and encouraged!

Can’t make it live? Don’t worry, you’ll have access to the full replay for one week!

See you there, virtually!

*Immediately upon registering, you will receive a separate, automated email containing the link to join this webinar

**For the best possible viewing experience, please ensure you’re using the latest version of your internet browser — Google Chrome is the most compatible. Exact technical requirements and a webinar user guide will be shared in the automated confirmation email upon registration.

***A full replay of the experience will be available to all registered guests for up to a week

About Caroline

Caroline Elenowitz-Hess is an independent fashion historian based in New York City. Caroline worked for several years as a fashion designer before pursuing her MA in Fashion Studies from Parsons. She previously received a BA in English Literature from Yale University and an AAS in Fashion Design from FIT. Most recently, Caroline has been a curatorial intern at the Costume Institute at the Metropolitan Museum of Art and at the Museum at FIT. Her research is focused on definitions of femininity in the twentieth century in France and the United States.


“Fascinating topic with an interesting history. Great presenter! I learned so much.” -Lindsay

“The speaker was amazing! Really knowledgeable and engaging.” -Alexandra

“Speaker was excellent and the information she provided was very interesting.” -Paula

“Lot of information about all the history, with extra details and “fun fact”, everything was clear, nice questions/answers session” -Mathilde

“Caroline’s presentation was very informative and engaging. I loved seeing examples of bras throughout the years and how they changed with the latest fashions.” -Heather

“I liked the insight and expertise of Caroline. Her presentation was gorgeous, properly credited and pleasingly academic.” -Jeannene

“Interesting facts. Host was very knowledgable and kept things moving” -Miriam

“Detailed and knowledgeable history about this garment, very interesting.” -Roberta

“Caroline has fabulous knowledge of history and her photos and illustrations were perfect in her talk” -Suzanne

“Super informative, great slide show. Caroline is clearly very expert!” -Jenny


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Categories: Arts, Virtual