At the post-show party for the 51st Annual Ebony Fashion Fair , held at Morgan State University's Murphy Fine Arts Center, it became apparent that it wasn't just the show that has a proud history.
When the Baltimore Alumnae Chapter of the Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Inc. began hosting the touring fashion show more than 50 years ago, the chapter already had a 44-year jump on it. And for many of the party's guests, the history of both was a personal one.
"It's awesome. I've been coming since I was in the fifth grade. That was our first Ebony fashion show," said the sorority's past president, Gwendolyn Lindsay. "It's for our scholarships. So I continue to come back and sell tickets to make sure we have enough money for the students that we sponsor to go to college. That's what brings me back."
"It's an event where we shape our attitudes. We feel good about ourselves. ... We also reward the good work that people in our community are doing," said Betty Clark, a Baltimore City schoolteacher.
For honoree Janice Jackson, executive director of Women Embracing Abilities Now, her history with the show had just begun. "Wonderful. Fabulous. This was my first [time at the show]. But it won't be my last," she said.
Team Sizzle : If ever a party deserved to be called a "bash," this was it. Hundreds of guests showed up for "The Bash," the party that kicked off the First Team Sizzle Celebrity Weekend, hosted by Baltimore Raven Terrell Suggs. As people arrived at Silo Point, they got their first hint that this might be a lot more than your average party.
Partygoers were greeted outside by fire breathers and a caged baby white tiger. Inside, they were directed to one of two rooms: the main party or the VIP Lounge. In the main party room, an aerialist performed above the crowd, a disc jockey played dance music and big screens provided games and videos. The VIP Lounge was a vision in white: White tulle swags and curtains created smaller lounge areas with white sofas and settees and dramatic white feather arrangements.
Local guests such as actor Charles Landry and his wife, Denise Landry, senior vice president of Emergent BioSolutions, just enjoyed taking in the scene. There were Suggs and teammates such as Ray Lewis, Willis McGahee, Corey Ivy and B art Scott.
And then there was the multitude of interesting out-of-towners, like actress Jill Marie Jones, who had flown in from Los Angeles because of the weekend's beneficiary: The William E. Proudford Sickle Cell Fund. "I have a couple of family members who have sickle cell," Jones said.
A couple of guests from New York City seemed to enjoy the change of pace. "There's definitely a different, better vibe here; more of a laid-back attitude," said model Miguel Perdomo.
At midnight, as the bash went into high gear, another model, Erica Bigger, expressed surprise at the early hour. "Oh, this is nothing compared to New York. There, the party doesn't get started until 2."