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Flower fashion show raises money for Garfield Park Conservatory

Garfield Park Conservatory Alliance board chairwoman Margo Morris (left) president EunitRushing. | BRIAN KINYON PHOTOS

Garfield Park Conservatory Alliance board chairwoman Margo Morris (left) and president Eunita Rushing. | BRIAN KINYON PHOTOS

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Updated: April 28, 2012 8:11AM

Last summer, hailstorms damaged more than 60 percent of the Garfield Park Conservatory’s greenhouse glass, setting the folks at the West Side institution immediately into motion to raise the money they would need to restore the landmark building to its former glory. On Friday night, more than 300 partygoers gathered at Venue One, 1044 W. Randolph, to sip cocktails and enjoy a flower-themed fashion show at the annual fund-raiser Fleurotica. The benefit helped the conservatory get $80,000 closer to its goal.

Many guests took the theme to heart, putting on floral frocks and pinning buds into their updos, and began the evening with acai libations and snacks from local eateries including Wishbone and Harry Caray’s. Notable names spotted among the crowd included Margo Morris, board chairwoman of the Garfield Park Conservatory Alliance; fashion designer Borris Powell and NBC5’s LeeAnn Trotter, who emceed the evening’s program. Also worthy of note were the cast of an upcoming Chicago-based, salon-focused reality show, who could be seen — followed by their camera crew, of course — mingling with guests and chatting with each other over drinks.

Later, the crowd was ushered upstairs and seated for the runway show. All designs donned by models were created by Chicago florists and made entirely out of natural materials. Stunning gowns and flirty miniskirt ensembles were created especially for the event and made their way down the catwalk, many eliciting oohs and aahs from onlookers. The “Best in Show” award, chosen by a panel of in-the-know judges, went to Lance Larson from Blumgarten and Co. for his one-of-a-kind creation.

Tickets began at $150, but VIP packages went for $225 and included premier show seating and a filled-to-the-brim swag bag.

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