Anyone who thinks fashion shows have gone out of style has not been to an Ebony show. This year or any other.
Last night was the 21st annual Ebony Fashion Fair, which played to enthusiastic crowds at two performances at the Kennedy Center. Sponsored by the Continental Society, the show was a benefit for the D.C. Society for Crippled Children, the D.C. Association for Retarded Children, the School Shoe Fund, The Black Student Fund and several other charities.
What separates the Ebony show from the rest of the crop, which have been decreasing in popularity for some time, is that the Ebony show is strictly entertainment, with a small amount of hustle for the products of the Johnson Publishing Co., which produces the traveling show.
The clothes, chosen without any regard for price, are picked for their showmanship - just how they will look as they are paraded and danced across the stage by 10 female and two male models. No one is expected to buy the clothes; they are not for sale.
While the show includes many of the expected names such as Halston, Stephen Burrows, Mary McFadden and Anne Klein, several less familiar designers are also included - this year, Richard Assatly, James Daugherty, Enzo Russo and Antonelli.