Guests enjoying the Tea and the beautiful grounds of the Teague Mansion. Pictured left to right: Mirika Petrasca, Petra Quintero, Maria Aguirre, Carolyn Bowker, Grace Burkhardt, Manisha Ropeka, Tracy Burkhardt, Carol Beckerdite and Carlene Faerber. (Photo by Samuel Petrasca)

Teague Mansion backdrop for Victorian Tea and Fashion Show

July 30, 2010
Santa Paula News

Guests were treated to a special Victorian fashion show and high tea at the historic Teague Mansion in Santa Paula on Saturday, July 10th. Participants sat in the elegant sunken garden, surrounded by English box hedges and Italian Cypress trees, as they sipped on tea and enjoyed a special lunch of chicken salad, cucumber and deviled egg sandwiches, along with buttercup Waldorf salads, catered by Main Course, and delightful handmade desserts by Cheryl Amestoy of Ojai. The tables were beautifully set by local residents using their personal fine china, flatware and crystal, with their handmade table centerpieces being offered at Silent Auction during the event.

As guests dined, they were entertained with a lovely Victorian Fashion Show. Nine models and wore period outfits portraying the Victorian era which lasted from approximately 1940 to 1919, in fashions made popular by Queen Victoria of England.

Guests were invited to imagine stepping into a Jane Austen novel from eighteenth century England as they viewed elaborate parasols on parade, trimmed in lace, beads and rosebuds, and such special items as authentic eighteenth century garden hats, trimmed in cabbage roses and hydrangeas.  Garden hats were originally worn to play croquet on the grass or recline in the orchard hammock. Velvet jackets were elegant, along with vintage lace blouses, and long flowing lace and taffeta skirts, which were designed to be worn to a Grand Ball. One model wore a Victorian wedding dress in ivory, trimmed in lace and ribbons, with a long flowing train.  A bouquet of lilies tied in pink ribbon spoke of her devotion to her groom.

There were many picture hats trimmed with flowers, vintage trim and antique ostrich feathers, beaded purses hung from the wrist or shoulder and some models sported gloves or shawls. One particularly beautiful vintage shawl was apricot-colored and lavishly embroidered with rose and green flowers and edged in ivory fringe. Little Grace Burkhardt surely stole the show in her charming peachy-pink Carmeuse silk dress with lace overlay and a pink cameo designed to reflect the beauty of her dewy youth. One of the most special models was Ms. Manisha Ropeka, who modeled her lovely Victorian purple hat, ecru blouse, and long black skirt.  Her lavender jewels were from India.  Manisha did her modeling in her wheel chair, “We called her our special queen in her chariot with silver wheels.” advises fashion show coordinator Carol Beckerdite.

Keynote speech was by Carol Beckerdite who spoke of true femininity and modesty, noting that true beauty comes from within and flows from the heart.  She also spoke about the history of Victorian Fashion and included many humorous notes about bloomers, hoop skirts, etc.

Also included was a boutique that featured hats, vintage and new jewelry, china, purses and perfumes.

Strains of classical music filled the air and many enjoyed viewing the massive English Tudor Mansion that was built in 1923 for Charles Collins Teague.  It was designed in the English Revival style by the firm of Roy A. Wilson and Edwin Thorne. It surely is Santa Paula’s Castle On The Hill.  Owner Jackie Hamilton graciously opened her home for the event to benefit the Boys and Girls Club of Santa Clara Valley that serves the cities of Santa Paula, Fillmore and Piru.

The Boys and Girls Clubs of America do a great job of keeping kids off the street, as they engage in sports, arts and crafts, and academic pursuits.  Many have learned leadership skills, character, health and life skills that have stayed with them their entire lives. Patty Harrison, current Boys and Girls Club President, Sheila Tate, CEO, and Tammy Hobson, board member and Chair of the Boys and Girls Club Fundraising Auxiliary, were in attendance and all spoke.

Rosemary Pace introduced the models and the Fillmore “S” Club members, young girls from the teen organization sponsored by Soroptimist International of Fillmore, served the tea and food. ARC of Santa Paula provided the shuttle service from the Santa Paula Depot to the mansion on the hill.

All in all, it was a beautiful day to long remember.  And most importantly, all proceeds will go to Boys and Girls Club of Santa Clara Valley.

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