Claire McCardell Statue Raised
The Frederick Art Club, comprised of all women, charted a pathway over two years ago to erect a female statue in Frederick. The Frederick Art Club selected Claire McCardell, a woman born and raised on Rockwell Terrace, a graduate of Hood College, and an internationally renowned fashion designer in the early twentieth century, who seemed like the perfect fit. On October 17, 2021, this vision supported in part by the Ausherman Family Foundation was finally realized as the statue has now been erected at its proper place along Carroll Creek.
Claire McCardell’s clothing designs revolutionized women’s fashion. She made clothes comfortable, convenient, stylish, casual, yet classy. She focused on having the clothes fit the woman rather than the woman conforming to the clothes. She added zippers and buttons to the front of dresses to make it easier for women to dress themselves.
One of her influences was the Second World War which made many fabrics and supplies scarce. To overcome this battle, she replaced leather belts with fabric ones that women could tie around loose dresses at their waist, truly accentuating their features.
She popularized ballet flats as a comfortable shoe choice. Most importantly, she brought larger pockets to women’s clothing. Pockets are easily visible in her statue, as she stuffs her hand into one of them while she leans on her mannequin.
The sculptor, Sarah Hempel Irani, and the Frederick Arts Club see Claire’s statue as a place for school trips, art class drawings, and presentations, not to mention tourism. The arrangement allows for all to sit and appreciate and read a short information panel about Claire, her influence, and her presence in Frederick. Check out the statue for yourself on Carroll Creek on the bank between the entrance to Idiom Brewery and the McCutcheon’s Apple Products parking lot.
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