As vice president and fashion director of Broadway department stores, Lee Hogan Cass catered to tastes of L.A. women who were breaking barriers in button-up professions.
It was the heyday of the power suit — of padded shoulders, trussed-up necks.
But by the mid-1980s, Cass had had enough.
What about pleats? Textured fabrics? Vintage Chanel with braid trim?
In a 1985 book she co-wrote, Cass argued that it was time for women to ease the rigid standards for professional dress then in vogue. Softer, more feminine and varied workplace looks were suitable, even for lawyers and executives, she said. As for "gray, navy and camel," why should working women be...