Monday, February 18, 2008

In Celebration of Couture and Black Society

This Vivienne Westwood gown hasa waistline defining corset bustier asymmetrically draped with contrasting striped silk satin taffeta and worn atop a floor sweeping trumpet bottom evening skirt.
Italian designer Oppio glams-up a pair of patch pocket jeans and matching denim jacket with an intricate embroidery of golden rickrack and beaded appliqu├ęs that accent a stonewashed green tint and a pair of gold wedge heel sandals from Baby Phat.

This Emanuel Ungaro peplum cut zipper front jacket of Crocodile and Mongolian lamb exotically accessorizes a classic pair of pinstripe pants worn with a ruched silk-jersey bustier.

Last night, TV One aired a wonderful documentary on The Ebony Fashion Fair. The annual celebration of style and fashion is celebrating its 50th Year in 2008. The re-broadcast is scheduled to air again this Friday (check your local listings).

The documentary really gives a rich historical perspective of how groundbreaking this type of event was/is for the Black community. The documentary's contemporary spin not only dealt in the challenges Mrs. Eunice Johnson (Producer and Director of the Ebony Fashion Fair) faced with staging a production of this magnitude, but also addresses how America has come full circle in terms of excluding Black models from the runway.

I was deeply moved and impressed with how she leveraged her personal, professional, and social networks in order to make the event successful. She also used her own money to purchase the haute couture pieces that appeared in the show in the early years (yes...I was shocked by this as well).
We own her all of the credit for introducing Sistas to Chanel, Fendi, Valentino, YSL, and Gucci.
Mrs. Johnson also successfully launched Fashion Fair Cosmetics which spurred other companies to launch 'ethnic cosmetics' lines.

What was always nice about The Ebony Fashion Fair is that Johnson Publications allows the event to be showcased as a fundraising activity for many of our BSE organizations including the sororities, the fraternities, the Links, Jack & Jill, the Girlfriends, Chums, Moles, and others. The show was traditionally a time for us to gather together in our best outfits and enjoy a spectacular event.

Consider attending the show if it rolls through your town. The clothes are really smashing this year!

Or you can buy some Fashion Fair Cosmetics as a nod to the great legacy The Johnson Family has created for us in this country. They were the first to show all aspects of the Black experience in America and taught many of us that Black is truly beautiful.