A few years ago, fashion designer Jennifer Butler found herself locked out of the Fairfield Public Library on a Friday, surrounded by other would-be patrons who also were incredulous the library was closed.

"It was during tough economic times and the library staff was on furlough," she recalled.

Determined to help the library avoid such measures, Butler decided to cut through the red tape by taking scissors in hand and designing a fundraiser for the town -- a fashion show of her latest styles.

Butler has been doing this for a few years, and at 8 p.m. Thursday, she will present her Spring 2015 collection for women, men and girls at Fairfield Public Library's Bruce S. Kershner Art Gallery, 1080 Old Post Road.

The evening will begin with refreshments and hors d'oeuvres, followed by a runway show (featuring several librarian models) when the library closes at 9 p.m.

Butler said the event will be particularly festive this year with the addition of a special guest: New York fashion illustrator Jennifer Lilya will sign copies of her new book, "Fashion Illustration Art: How to Draw Fun and Fabulous Figures, Trends and Styles." Lilya, who was raised in Fairfield, worked at the Fairfield Public Library during high school and college. She attended the Fashion Institute of Technology, studying fashion illustration. Among her clients are Dolce & Gabbana, Saks, Barneys and Neiman Marcus.

Another hometown touch, said Butler, will be that all finger foods will be prepared by the Falcon's Nest, the restaurant and catering class at Fairfield Ludlowe High School. Jewelry will be provided by Jennifer Brown, hair and make-up by H Salon, photography by luciophotography and flowers by Bridge Floral.

Proceeds from ticket sales will be donated to the library, she said.

"The Fairfield Public Library is such a great cultural asset" for the region, she said. "We all need to do what we can" to ensure its future.

And what can fashion buffs expect to see from Butler's studio: "Well, it won't be sunshine and flowers," she said, laughing.

"It not a typical spring show. It's very graphic, with strong colors. Lots of black and white ... it's a bit of a departure" from the norm.

Tickets will be available at the door for $60; $50 in advance by telephone, 203-256-5768 or by email, jen@jenniferbutler.com. Tickets also are available at the main library and the branch at 1147 Fairfield Woods Road.

For more information, call 203-256-3160 or visit www.fairfieldpubliclibrary.org.