The Ebony Fashion Fair Experience

Over the weekend, my husband and I ventured down to Raleigh to visit the NC Museum of Art to see the wonder that is the Ebony Fashion Fair Exhibit. The exhibit closes this week, so if you’re in the area and you’re a fan of fashion and history I encourage you to see it.

The exhibit began with a look at the evolution of African American fashion over the last five decades, spanning from the 60s to the 2000s.

Homage was paid to the founder of Ebony Fashion Fair, Eunice Johnson (pictured here). The exhibit showcased a dress worn by Mrs. Johnson.

Taking time to admire this piece worn by the creator of Ebony Fashion Fair, Eunice Johnson

The exhibit showcased some of the statement pieces that were included each year in the Fashion Fair. These pieces were meant to bolster the decadence of the Fashion Fair, but weren’t necessarily ready-to-wear.

Mrs. Johnson often partnered with designers who offered pieces which incorporated precious materials such as fur and leather. These pieces were meant to appeal to the more affluent buyer.

Mrs. Johnson showed the fellas love too, draping them in beautifully designed pieces.

Mrs. Johnson acknowledged the fact that people with darker complexions were discouraged from wearing bright colors. However, she dressed her models in bright, vibrant colors directly discrediting that notion.

Mrs. Johnson obliged when consumers requested to see models who represented the average American, including shapelier models in the shows.

The increasingly more provocative and intricate designs, popularized by celebrities, were also on display.

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The lettering on this gown was made completely out of buttons. The front of the gown (not pictured) bore a face, also made out of buttons.

Take a look at some of the other stunning pieces on display.

The exhibit also offered footage such as interviews with the Fashion Fair Models where they described their first experience traveling to the Jim Crow Era South.

Listening in on an interview with Fashion Fair models as they describe their first time seeing “White Ladies Only/ Colored Women” bathroom signs during a visit to the South.

Overall, it was a very enlightening experience! Especially in the climate of the world we currently live in, it makes it a bit easier to grasp the gravity of what Eunice Johnson accomplished in an industry that did not welcome her. She was truly an innovator in the arena of fashion, and I appreciate her contribution to the fashion industry.

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As always, if you have any questions, comments or suggestions, talk to me! If you like what you see, subscribe below!

Talk soon! πŸ’‹

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