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Published Aug. 27, 2005

The annual Ebony Fashion Fair in Tampa and St. Petersburg is as close as most of us can get to the runways of Paris, Milan, London or New York.

This year's featured designer is Fusha, a.k.a. Marie Claudinette Jean, a native of Haiti, who is married to singer Wyclef Jean. Her celebrity clients include Mary J. Blige, Ja Rule, Whitney Houston and, of course, her husband. The tufted chiffon skirt, above, worn with a rhinestone-link mink vest, is one of her designs.

There will be lots of familiar names on the runway _ Bill Blass, Versace, Dolce & Gabbana, Yves Saint Laurent, Oscar de la Renta, Bob Mackie, Karl Lagerfeld _ along with dozens of designers from the United States, France, Italy, Japan, Great Britain and Canada.

The show is arranged in two acts, all set to music. Act I's "scenes" are called Floral Arrangements, Primary Colors, Those Jeans and A Trace of Lace; Act II includes Vacation Splash, Fur Real, Socializing and Colors of the Night.

The 46th annual fashion fair arrives at 5 p.m. Sunday at Tampa Theatre, 711 Franklin St. Tickets are $30 for adults and $15 for students. (813) 229-8117. The show returns to the Tampa Bay area at 8 p.m. Feb. 2 at St. Petersburg's Mahaffey Theater. $30. (727) 892-5767.