Eunice Johnson, co-founder of Ebony Magazine with her husband, ran a fashion tour for 50 years. The Chicago History Museum is exhibiting select outfits from this fashion fair, and if you live near or in Chicago, you can't miss this!
This exhibit had some of my favorite fashion designers, such as Dior, Yves Saint Laurent, and Alexander McQueen (the McQueen gown was from when he was designing for Givenchy). My favorite outfit was the Picasso dress by Yves Saint Laurent. It was colorful but tame at the same time. The Dior pieces were a bit of a disappointment. A gray coat from when Marc Bohan was at Dior was very bland, and looked like it could be designer by anybody. A metallic and embroidered jacket by Dior was a better example of the Dior style, but it was much too embellished for Christian Dior's liking.
The exciting part of this exhibit was the variety of designers that aren't the most popular, but still amazing. There were many Japanese designers and African American designers, who had designs just as good if not better than some of the more famous designers in the exhibition. A bridal gown by Manuel Ungaro was beautiful, very Valentino with it's prominent red flowers, but restructured in a very McQueen- like way. I also liked a Nina Ricci purple outfit, which consisted of a purple rouched jump suit and cape. Rare is the jump suit that doesn't make you look like you traveled back to the 80's in a time portal!
The most striking part of it all was the way the shows were done. The models smiled, laughed... and there were normal weight! None of them were super skinny, and some of them (gasp!) were plus sized. What fashion show actually does high end plus sized clothing? And they used African American models! Even now, that's a very rare thing. The Ebony Fashion Fair showed the world that no matter what size or color or ANYTHING, you can wear beautiful clothes and look great at the same time.