Canadian-Australian author and former model Tara Moss led a 1950s catwalk at the Mining Exchange on Saturday.
She and news presenter Jacinta Tynan spoke on the Mining Exchange stage about how fashion can empower women.
Ms Moss, who has a vintage fashion blog, told the audience there was “no such thing as bad bodies, only bad clothes”.
“Fashion is constantly changing, the styles are constantly changing and there’s this expectation that somehow our bodies will just change with the fashion,” Ms Moss, who prefers the fit of fashion from the 1940s and 1950s, said.
“The beautiful thing about vintage is you’re not trying to be fashionable, you’re trying to be stylish.
“You’re looking at clothing that suits who you are.”
She and Ms Tynan modeled pieces from Charlotte Smith’s Darnell collection, which includes more than 8000 pieces from 1720 to contemporary ware.
Ms Smith’s collection began with her godmother – Pennsylvanian Quaker Doris Darnell – in the 1930s.
Each piece came with the story of the person who first wore it.
The collection was split between Ms Smith, who inherited it in 2004, and the Shippensburg University Fashion Archives.
“My godmother’s friends started giving her things but every time they would give her something, they would give her the story too about where they wore it or what had happened so she was not only accumulating fashion but she was also really recording social history through people’s personal stories,” Ms Smith said.
Her godmother “treasured other people’s treasure”, Ms Smith said.
“My godmother is a Quaker and Quakers aren’t meant to covet fashion but she said it wasn’t so much today’s fashion she was coveting, she loved the idea that another woman had worn it and had the story behind it so she was way before her time.”