Audience members check out the style of Amelia Schmidt.

Audience members check out the style of Amelia Schmidt.

Photo by Patricia O’Blenes


Fashion show is a historic event

By: Maria Allard | Farmington Press | Published July 28, 2021

 Jennifer Yu models her red skirt and flat straw hat.

Jennifer Yu models her red skirt and flat straw hat.

Photo by Patricia O’Blenes

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FARMINGTON — There was beauty everywhere you looked during the historic fashion show July 11 at the Governor Warner Mansion.

Held outside on the front porch on a rainy evening, the show went on as local residents modeled fashions from the 1770s through the beginning of the 20th century. All proceeds will benefit restorations and general maintenance at the mansion.

The Governor Warner Mansion is a Victorian Italianate structure built in 1867 by P. D. Warner, the governor’s father, and it is furnished in late Victorian style. The house, on almost three acres, is surrounded by gardens tended by the garden auxiliary group.

Many fashion show models were from reenactment groups that tour Michigan and are part of the festivities at other local places, including Greenfield Village in Dearborn. Others included private residents who love making period costumes.

“I think it turned out very well,” said Mary-Jeanne Shore, the interim director of the Governor Warner Mansion. “We counted there were 99 paying customers on-site. I think everyone was very happy and enjoying it.”

As for the historic dresses, suits and accessories, “they were breathtaking,” Shore said. “The detailing, the pleating and the actual hand-work were gorgeous.”

Some attire was daywear, and the audience members were also treated to evening flair. There were a lot of “oohs” from the crowd. The evening also included food, beverages and a raffle.

Katherine Stefl does curator work at the mansion and volunteered as one of the fashion show organizers. Stefl remembers visiting the mansion on field trips as a child.

“They have a unique responsibility to educate about local history,” Stefl said. “The museum holds so many artifacts.”

She and Shore brainstormed ideas to come up with fundraisers. Stefl said this was the first historic fashion show to benefit the mansion.

“It went so well,” Stefl said. “We had planned on 30 tickets to be sold, and we sold over 95. It definitely was amazing to have the history community come out and be so excited and supportive. Once the show got going, it was very exciting.”

For more information on the Governor Warner Mansion, visit www.ci.farmington.mi.us and click on the Parks and Recreation link under the City Services tab.

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