Entertainer Bobby Short was anxious to get into the Linea Pitti clothes he had chosen to model in "The Best of Washington" fashion show Thursday. On the way to the Washington Hilton he ripped his gabardine trousers getting out of a taxi.

Short was one of the dozens of "name" models in the third annual luncheon, which was expected to raise more than $80,000 for the Capital Children's Museum. He was also one of the most experienced, having first played the piano for a May Co. fashion show in California in the 1940s. "In those days they put a screen between me and the runway when the models appeared in intimate apparel," Short said, laughing.

Short, who has been appearing at Charlie's Georgetown for the last two weeks, usually wears custom fitted blazers from Italy. "I'm a conservative cat, but I love the ease and comfort of this Gianni Versace sweater and shirt," he said, referring to the outfit he was modeling.

The audience, however, seemed to be paying more attention to who the models were than to what they were wearing. Some were wives of White House officials and Cabinet members, including Susan Baker, Carolyn Deaver, Suzanne Block, Joan Clark and Nancy Rosebush. But it was the televison news personalities -- Kathleen Sullivan, Arch Campbell, Renee Poussaint, Jim Berry and others -- and former Redskin Larry Brown who were quickly recognized and applauded by the audience of about 1,200. They cheered the fancy footwork of Lady Marjory Wright, wife of Sir Oliver Wright, ambassador from Great Britain, and a 5-year-old Michael Jackson lookalike, Tony Williams.

Following the final sequence, Anthony Quinn and his wife, Iolanda Addolori, took a quick trip down the runway. She was wearing jewels from Black, Starr & Frost; he gave some of his recognizable "Zorba" waves and poses, and the audience loved it.