Satin-Clad Stars and a Slithering Snake Do a Runway Charity Strut

updated 05/09/1983 at 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 05/09/1983 01:00AM

It was the weirdest wedding. Their gowns were cut from sooty-black silk. The 14 bridesmaids—Lorna Luft, Betty Buckley, Donna Pescow, Maureen Mc-Govern among them—clutched bouquets of baby's breath tied with ebony-hued ribbons. And the groom, Tommy Tune, didn't kiss the bride; he dragged her away by the satin chains on her wrists. Celia Weston of Alice summed up the ceremony: "It's a portrait of emotional bondage."

The "wedding," of course, was make-believe. It was actually the finale to the 1983 Tony Chase Celebrity Fashion Show, held April 23 to benefit Partnership for the Homeless, an organization that provides temporary shelter to many of the 40,000 men and women living on New York City streets. Chase, 31, a pigtailed designer whose clients include Diana Ross, Elizabeth Taylor, Mick Jagger and Morgan Fair-child, was moved to create the event because of the plight of a homeless woman who lives in the streets near his former apartment: "In Greenwich Village there's this woman, Mary. She touches me. For years, she's survived. I had to use my talents to help her."

The celebs who showed up to model Chase's extravagant ensembles included Chita Rivera, Gwen Verdon and May Pang. Tommy Tune whisked in late with an exhausted Twiggy in tow—just in time to swagger down the runway as the masterful groom. Encased in black leather breeches, knee-high boots and a samurai's headband, he captured the essence of the evening: "Theatrical is the word. Very theatrical."

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