Carlene Farber makes her way to the stage in her Victorian-era dress and parasol during the Ebell Club fashion show Saturday.

Vintage & Vogue: Santa Paula Ebell show a hit with varied fashions

April 05, 2017
Santa Paula News

An array of models showed an even wider array of fashions at the unique Ebell Club Victorian & Vogue Fashion Show & Tea, where vintage met the latest clothing trends.

Victorian fashions shared the venue with contemporary togs from Chico’s when the First United Methodist Church’s Wesley Hall filled to capacity with guests eagerly looking forward to the April 1 show.

Several guests wore hats including Angela Brinkhoff, who wore her great-grandmother’s wedding chapeau, a close-fitting creation delicately ringed with seed pearls.

“I don’t know how it stays on,” Brinkhoff replied when asked if the hat, barely peeping over the crown of her head, was attached, “it just does!”

Ebell Club President Lynda Hartson offered welcoming remarks noting the group’s appreciation for the sold out crowd for the fashion show that, in turn, benefits the Santa Paula High School Band.

“Our purpose is raising money for the band,” whose members acted as tea servers and raffle prize runners for the event, the latter also benefiting the band, “so your money is not going to waste!

“I hope you have a wonderful time and consider joining the Ebell Club,” that Hartson said meets monthly and whose gatherings include local field trips to unique destinations.

Elegantly attired Victorian fashion maven Carol Beckerdite, famed for her hat creations and others with a retro vibe, presented the models in the fashion show that included entertaining commentary on living in the Victorian era.

The Victorian era was the period of Queen Victoria’s reign, from 1837 until her death in January 1901. It was considered a long period of peace, prosperity and refined sensibilities.

“I love this era,” Beckerdite told the guests, “it was truly a feminine and lovely era…”

She noted that the Ebell Club in Santa Paula was founded in 1913, becoming the ninth in the state. 

Rita Rudkin, Vera Earhardt, Carlene Faeber and Beckerdite herself modeled a variety of fashions from the Irish lace and linen, silk flower-laden days of Victorian fashion, from elaborate tea dresses and visiting outfits for daywear to minimalistic — but still modestly covering all limbs — swimwear. Parasols carried by the ladies were themselves works of art with more silk flowers, lace and embroidery.

Ebell members themselves modeled the contemporary Chico’s fashions and included Susan Elder, Norma Jean Marley, Chris Murray, Peggy Russell, and Laura Staben. 

The Chico’s fashions were also appreciated by the crowd who enjoyed the playful spring and summer looks, as well as their stark contrast to the Victorian days where even a glimpse of shoulder would have been considered racy, but under certain circumstances a modest nighttime display of bosom was allowed.

June Taylor of Chico’s introduced the models wearing cold shoulder shirts, crop pants, a variety of “amazing colors, styles and fun fabrics” among the dozens of fashions that showed the versatile offering of Chico’s, famed for its resort wear and carefully detailed jackets.

For more information about the Ebell Club, call 805-407-7345 or 805-479-9479.


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