Friday, July 31, 2009

Vintage Photo of the Week

The breathtaking model, author and entrepreneur, Naomi Sims on the October 1969 cover of Life magazine.


Friday, July 24, 2009

Vintage Photo of the Week

James VanDerZee
Portrait of Girl with Fancy Dress, 1938

A little diva in training!


Friday, July 17, 2009

Vintage Photo of the Week

When most people think of Ethel Waters, images of the "mammy" characters she portrayed in movies such as "Pinky" and "Cabin in the Sky" come to mind. However, there was another side to Ms. Waters that we never got a chance to see.

During her vaudevillian days, Ms. Waters cut a striking figure, earning the nickname "Sweet Mama Stringbean" for her tall and svelte physique. She was sassy and glamorous on stage, wearing elaborate costumes adorned with feathers and sequins, as she sang such hits as "Stormy Weather" and "Suppatime". This photo gives us a glimpse of Ms. Waters of just how attractive she was.

For more info on Ethel Waters, check out Jazzateria.


Saturday, July 11, 2009

Dontatella Versace Dresses The Jacksons

This shot is reminiscent of En Vogue's Funky Divas album cover.

(Photos: Getty Images)

As I watched Michael Jackson's Memorial Service on Tuesday, between the laughter and the tears, I couldn't help but notice how fabulously chic the Jackson family looked. The beautiful yellow silk ties the brothers wore, the sharp hats the sisters donned (Miss La Toya worked that hat!) classy and elegant. Well, the woman behind their ensembles was none other than Donatella Versace:
Why Donatella Versace Was Chosen to Dress the Jacksons at M.J.'s Memorial

by Kate Scheyer
July 8, 2009, 1:07 PM

The Jackson family’s grief may be personal, but if they were going to mourn in front of the world yesterday at Los Angeles’s Staples Center, they were going to do it in style. So Michael Jackson’s sister Janet Jackson contacted Donatella Versace and asked her to outfit the entire clan.

Donatella herself is no stranger to public mourning, having lost her brother Gianni Versace, founder of the Versace fashion house, in 1997. It was Gianni who first collaborated with Michael, back in 1983; the designer was still an up-and-comer, and the singer was already a superstar in need of an ensemble worthy of a duet with Paul McCartney (“Say Say Say”). The unusual black-and-white-checked tailcoat Gianni whipped up must have pleased Jackson, as he continued to wear Versace both on- and offstage throughout his life. Several of Michael’s iconic, military-inspired costumes, as seen in both the Dangerous and HIStory tours, were Versace creations. Michael also liked his women in Versace: Janet wore the label onstage during her recent Rock Witchu tour, and Lisa Marie Presley appeared in campaigns for Versace’s offshoot label Versus during her marriage to M.J.

For Tuesday’s memorial, Donatella created more fittingly somber numbers than the frogged gold jackets and bodysuits her brother designed for Michael decades ago. The Jackson men were outfitted in sharp black suits and subtly golden ties. When it came to the women, Donatella couldn’t help but add some Versace flair, apparent in the sassy wide brim of Latoya’s hat and the subtly revealing sheer panels of Janet’s black sheath. In a move that was both Versace flash and poignant homage, the men displayed a single white glove as they carried Michael’s fittingly flamboyant gold casket. (Source: Vanity Fair)
But I'm not surprised that the Jacksons were so well put together. Even in times of tragedy, we (Black folk) always put our best foot forward. I remember when my 102 yr-old grandmother passed, there were so many fur coats at her funeral, I thought PETA was gonna roll up in the church!

Friday, July 10, 2009

Vintage Photo of the Week

Usually, when we see photos of the late Coretta Scott King, she's either at an event, giving a speech or by the side of her husband, the late Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. . So, seeing this photo of her singing is a treat!

Not many people know that prior to marrying the Rev. Dr. King and becoming a civil rights activist, Mrs. King was an accomplished singer, earning a scholarship to the New England Conservatory of Music in Boston. She also used her talent to raise money for the Civil Rights Movement:
In December 1956 she performed a concert in New York as a fundraiser for the Montgomery Improvement Association that became a model for the Freedom Concerts that later took place. King mixed narration, poetry, and music to recount the story of the boycott. She continued to perform these concerts over the rest of her life, later adapting the model for such special occasions as the annual commemorative service that takes place in Atlanta on the Martin Luther King Jr. birthday holiday. (Source: The New Georgia Encyclopedia)

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Serena Wins Wimbledon!

(Photo: Getty Images)

Congrats to the 2009 Wimbledon Champion, Serena Williams!

Serena beat big sis, Venus, in two straight sets to claim her 3rd Wimbledon title and her 11th Grand Slam singles title. She now holds three of the four major titles: Wimbledon, the Australian Open and the U.S. Open.

The Williams Sisters are known for their innovative fashion sense, and Miss Serena didn't disappoint. She collected her trophy wearing a white, double-breasted mini-trench, with gathered pleats on the sides and in the back. Très chic!

But Venus didn't go home empty handed. Later, the tennis divas teamed up to win their second straight Wimbledon doubles title.

(Photo: Getty Images)