Hatpins and Hemlines

Hatpins and Hemlines is a themed, fun musical fashion show created by Terry Willingham.
We feature interesting and historically accurate clothing fitting the show's theme, set to live music from the era of the clothing being shown - modeled and performed by singer Holly Prather. Terry presents the show with lively and funny narration, giving the history of the clothing, the era it was from, and the experiences of the people who would wear it!
Audiences rave about the interactive show. The fashions and music are the talk of the town for days afterwards!

Available Shows

We have eight different shows available, with more being created all the time!
  • Hundred Years of Fun and Fashions
  • The USO Years
  • Bootleggers, Gangsters & Babes
  • Soda Pop Hits of the 50's
  • The Groovy 60's
  • Holly Jolly Memories
  • The Best of Broadway
  • Brides & Superstition
Terry and Holly

History of Hatpins and Hemlines

Terry writes about how Hatpins and Hemlines came to be, and describes what the show contains:
Terry with Holly in 1800's dress
I started Hatpins and Hemlines in 1999 after my husband had a stroke, and I needed another income - without another eight-hour-a-day job.
As an activity director for many years, my senior ladies were asking for entertainment with a fashion show atmosphere. I knew what I was looking for, but I couldn't find a suitable show in a price range that I could afford in my department. As a result, I created the Hatpins and Hemlines show.
After coming up with the name, I started researching history on women and fashions, and how women have contributed to the world throughout time. My first show would be a historical fashion show.
Holly in bathing suit
I combed through all the neighborhood thrift stores and rummage sales, trying to find exact clothing from each of the eras I wanted to feature. When I could not find an item, I would work with friends to design and create the outfits from patterns of the era we were presenting. Next came shoes, hats, gloves and accessories!
It took five years to collect all of the outfits and accessories I would need for the show. Finally, I was ready. I printed flyers, and presented my first show to a class of graduating activity directors at Cuyahoga Community College. It was a huge success! Flyers in hand, I visited 65 nursing homes, telling them all about the new show!
Terry showing bathing suit
The first year, we started with one or two shows a month. Once I presented my show at the annual activities coordinators' conference in Columbus, the name Hatpins and Hemlines started to become well known, and we grew quickly!
The first shows were done with models of all ages: my grandaughters (ages 7 through 15) along with two adults, with background music playing. That all changed in 2007 when I met Holly, and the fashion shows transformed with the addition of her live singing!
Hatpins and Hemlines has now been producing musical fashion shows for twenty years, with eight different themed shows available - and more being created all the time!

Hatpins & Hemlines

(216) 246-9773