Party with the Wilder Women Fashion Flaunt Fundraiser

Join the dedicated Women of the Wilder Museum at the Fashion Flaunt Fundraiser on Thursday, May 30, from 5 to 8 p.m. at the Wilder Museum in Irvine. This fabulous evening event will feature a parade of local young women modeling stunning ball gowns of the 1950s and 1960s created by the once famous Hollywood designer, Paul Palmer.

Palmer fought in WWII and later attended Southeastern University in Washington, D.C., earning a degree in radio broadcasting. While working in Maryland, he met William Schnell, a native of Youngsville, and the two moved to California. Palmer became interested in fashion designing and he began his successful career in 1958 by creating a dress for a neighbor. The two men went on to form The House of Dorell, a haute couture fashion design house in Los Angeles, California. He designed dresses for the famous stars of the Jet-set, including one gown for Jacqueline Kennedy.

According to an interview with Mr. Schnell in 1993, Palmer created his fashions from muslin without a pattern before the actual gown was made. He used luxurious fabrics of velvet, imported metallic laces, chiffon, and gold lames, and hand-sewed the gowns personally with intricate details. His designs were featured at spring and fall fashion shows at the Beverly Hilton and the Beverly Wilshire Hotel, and several Hollywood boutiques also sold his gowns. Disliking the mini-skirt fad of the 1970s, Palmer ended his fashion career but was involved in many other activities and benefits that included assisting the needy. Palmer retired to Youngsville with his companion prior to his death in 1989.

This exotic affair will offer delightful entertainment by two prominent stars of the 1960s; “The King” and “Lucille Ball!” Come see what antics “Lucy” performs and listen to “Elvis” croon away his famous songs. Enjoy beverages, a light dinner, and a unique dessert that will send you back to the era of the drug store soda fountains. After dinner make a bid on the mysterious Auction of the Purses. Items and services for the Auction of the Purses have been generously donated by local businesses including Docksiders Kinzua LTD (Docksiders Cafe), Allegheny Cellars Winery, Kondak’s Market, Thornes Bi-Lo, Curves, Hairworks, Downtown Nail Salon, Presents & Posies, Fox & Sons Excavating, LLC, Legends Restaurant, Styles Unlimited, Pizza Hut and Bowlaway Lanes.

This event is a fundraiser for the Wilder Museum of Warren County History. Donations are greatly appreciated and will assist in supporting the operating expenses of Wilder Museum of Warren County History throughout the season. The museum is located at 51 Erie Ave., Irvine. For reservations, call 723-1795 or email