Ebony Fashion Fair: Fierce and Fabulous
Call it a diva’s candy store. Or at least a highly desirable closet.
The 51st annual Ebony Fashion Fair hit the Tampa Theatre stage tonight, dazzling a near-capacity crowd that came to support a local charity and learn what’s hip in high fashion.
There was the show, and there was the show within it. All of it was totally fabulous.
First, the main attraction. The models strut the stage wearing American, French, Italian and Bolognese. They twirled in couture grunge, man-styled tailoring and tribal patterns. They worked the hottest colors of the season: fire-engine red, mustard yellow, silvery gray. Plus lots and lots of purple.
There was the beautiful: Sleek and sexy gowns by Carolina Herrera and Marc Bouwer.
The scandalous: A haute couture, see-through gown by Sarli, with black beads strategically covering the svelte model’s girly bits. But barely.
The odd: Jean-Louis Scherrer gloves that looked like skunk tails. Or paws, in this case.
Then, the other attraction — the audience. Women navigated the brick street outside in their stilettos. They wore plunging necklines, cobweb stockings with purple booties, an orange dress with matching heels and purse.
Buccaneers linebacker Derrick Brooks, whose namesake charity hosted the event, wore a white suit, black shirt and white tie. His wife Carol’s white dress, black belt and black and white beaded jewelry complemented the glamorous look. Black and white ensembles were big on the runway, too.
So were ruffles, furs and feathers. Orange feather and gray fur coat, anyone?
P.S. If you missed the fun (and I'm not exaggerating, it was FUN), check out the event Monday at 8 p.m. at the Coliseum in St. Petersburg. Go to ebonyfashionfair.com for more details.
~ Deal Diva Colleen
(Photos: Times photographer Willie J. Allen Jr.)