Willoughby Senior Center hosts Fashion Through the Decades show

Nov. 8—Nearly a 100 people turned out to travel through history with the help of some stitching and fabric during a recent event hosted by the Willoughby Historical Society.

The Nov. 5 event at the David E. Anderson Senior Center in Willoughby saw 40 fashions from the 1930s to the 1980s being modeled by local volunteers. It included finger sandwiches and sweet treats served on crystal and china.

Many guests, including Sandy Mausar, came dressed for the occasion.

"As soon as I said I was going to tea my husband said I needed a hat," Mausar said. "So here we are with our hats on. Willoughby is a great place and it's wonderful to support things in the Willoughby area. It seemed like a fun event so here I am and it's very lovely. The food is good and I'm looking forward to the show.

"I just said I'm surprised they trust us with their real china, it makes it very special. The teas are wonderful too."

Sharon Fujs, vice president of the historical society, said that the turnout was more than expected and that she hopes to do similar events in the future.

"We will do it again," Fujs said. "The girls were amazing, and my stylist, who really stylized the models and the outfits, did a fantastic job."

Lissa Marie, the stylist for the event, has been working as a designer for 30 years. She says that modern looks have started to bring back older vintage styles which made creating a show through the ages interesting.

"I make custom wedding dresses and I also do vintage wedding gowns," Marie said. "I've been collecting and restyling for years. Some of these fashions were donated to us by The Little Red School House and some of the people from the committee and their family members so we decided to just throw together some of our favorite finds.

"Some of the modern pieces have come back to replicate the older styles," she added. "So, we mixed and matched. But we didn't have a hard time, I think people hold onto their collective styles. The girls were all professional about how they fit and how we put things together. I think we all made it work the best we could."

Styles included bellbottoms, poodle skirts, throwback sweater skirt combos and even 1980s tights.

Some fashions had more personal attachments for those that were in attendance than others. One of which — a candlelight-colored 1930s wedding dress with silk finishings — had an impact on Kathy Carroll. Her mother wore the dress at her wedding in 1930, and Carroll was surprised to see the dress as she lost track of it many years ago.

She told model Bethany Husni the story of the dress after the fashion show.

"I didn't know it was going to be in the show — you look beautiful in it," Carroll told Husni. "She (Carroll's mother) was going on cruises, and she couldn't afford a wedding dress and cruise clothes. So that's why it's this color so she could wear it at night at dinner."

"They tracked her dress down; I didn't have it," she said. "We had donated the dress to a wedding shop in Downtown Willoughby that sold vintage dresses and they went out of business. I never knew what happened to her dress.

"The lady that owned the shop donated all these clothes and it included this dress."

A raffle for baskets of goods was also held at the end of the fashion show which went toward the $5,600 total that was raised to benefit the Willoughby Area Welcome Center, located at 2 E. Spaulding St.. The center has information about the history of Willoughby and also hosts some artifacts from its past as well.