Spring fashion show supports Warner Mansion

By: Sherri Kolade | Farmington Press | Published May 3, 2017

 Representing the 1940s is Erica Reaves, of Farmington, in a yellow-studded dress with a hat, during a spring fundraiser fashion show for the Governor Warner Mansion at the Huron River Hunting and Fishing Club in May 2015.

Representing the 1940s is Erica Reaves, of Farmington, in a yellow-studded dress with a hat, during a spring fundraiser fashion show for the Governor Warner Mansion at the Huron River Hunting and Fishing Club in May 2015.

File photo by Deb Jacques

FARMINGTON/FARMINGTON HILLS — It’s all about fashion.

And bringing together a community of history buffs, style aficionados and Warner Mansion supporters.

The ninth annual Spring Fashion Show and Luncheon will take place May 18 at Glen Oaks Country Club, 30500 W. 13 Mile Road in Farmington Hills. Doors open for the event at 10 a.m. and a pre-show will be held at 11:45 a.m.

“We do a little pre-show that is usually a lot of fun,” said Jean Schornick, mansion volunteer coordinator.

“That is something we did last year that people enjoyed,” she said, hinting at a surprise. “We’re hoping to do that this year.”

The fashion show outfits are contemporary, with a few pre-show outfits geared to hit your funny bone. Vendors will also be at the event.

In fashions by Milford-based The Clothing Cove, a number of models, including a mother-and-daughter duo, will strut their stuff during the event.

Anna Durham — programmer for Farmington Hills’ Adults 50 and Better Division — and her mother, Farmington resident and mansion docent Joyce Hagen — are participating in the fashion show. Durham has never attended the fashion show, while Hagen was in it for the first time last year.

Durham said in an email that she is looking forward to shopping at The Clothing Cove.

“I have gotten to know several of the women that volunteer at the Warner Mansion through my mother, who also volunteers there,” she said. “I love learning about the history of  Farmington and Farmington Hills, and I want to support the Warner Mansion.”

She added that the fashion show will be a fun way to help support the mansion, and when it comes to fashions, she doesn’t cleave to a particular era. 

“I think it would have been really fun to live in the 1920s and dress like the characters in ‘The Great Gatsby,’” Durham said.

Hagen said that as a fairly new resident to the city of Farmington, she attended her first mansion summer porch party series last year and met mansion volunteers and representatives. 

“It seemed like a good place to come get to know people, socialize and learn about Farmington history,” the history major said, adding that she was asked to be in the fashion show last year and this year too.

Hagen, who purchased a dress at The Clothing Cove for her granddaughter’s wedding, said the store has some “beautiful things.”

“They have lots of fun clothes,” she said, adding that the mansion was and still is a hub of community activity. “I think it is pretty fascinating to think that a governor lived here … and conducted business out of here for the state of Michigan.”

Schornick said that last year, 170 people attended the show, and organizers are hoping to have at least that many this month.

Events like the fashion show help finance the historic home of the state’s 26th governor, Fred Warner. The mansion was recently able to afford to pay for some repairs, which the city also helped finance. The mansion contributed $53,000, and the city gave $43,000 toward the repairs, Schornick said.

Starting this month, the work will begin on the mansion, to be wrapped up in about eight weeks, Schornick said.

“What they are doing is shoring up the foundation at the back of the house,” she said, adding that the house was originally built around 1867, and between 1890 and 1910, Warner put an addition on the back of the house. 

“The addition is where the problem is because the addition is pulling away from the main part of the house, and the foundation that the addition was built on is not as solid as the rest of the house.”

That part will be shored up to prevent any more damage from happening to the house, Schornick added.

“The fashion show is one of our major fundraisers to help with this renovation.”

Tickets for the event cost $45 and are available through May 12 at Farmington City Hall, 23600 Liberty St. in Farmington. Tickets cannot be purchased at the door.

For more information, call the Farmington City Clerk’s Office at (248) 474-5500, ext. 2225.

The Governor Warner Mansion is located at 33805 Grand River Ave.