Meet a 1920’s American ‘it’ girl in Paris
Josephine Baker was a trailblazer for women of color, and women in general. With laser thin eyebrows and ruby red lips, she was alluring during an era when women were encouraged to downplay their sex-appeal. She was a civil rights activist who left America in protest–moving to France and becaming Paris’s sweetheart. Josephine was also one of the first notable celebrities for adopting many children, of different races. Revered for her work as an entertainer, Josephine celebrated her 50th anniversary in show business courtesy of Prince Rainier, Princess Grace, and Jacqueline Kennedy
Onassis, who famously sponsored a retrospective revue starring Josephine at Bobino music hall in France. Today, she is often overlooked for her show biz contributions–she’s an actress, singer, and cabaret dancer–as well as a style icon, with a quintessential flapper look. When you look at the style and persona of celebrities today such as Diana Ross, Lady Gaga, and Rihanna–her style influence is undeniable. After all, she was flamboyant and risqué–what starlet could resist paying homage to her. In honor of her would-be 111th birthday, here is a prediction of her faves in fashion and beauty, some interesting facts about her life, and image gallery.
Fashion and Beauty Predictions
If Josephine Baker was a young starlet today, these are the designer confections I predict would be on her radar.
Dinosaur Designs Mineral gold-filled resin earrings | Elizabeth and James Nirvana black solid perfume | Agent Provocateur Reno embellished silk-blend satin and tulle underwired bra and brief | Dolce & Gabbana Printed textured-leather tote | Jimmy Choo ‘Annie’ sequin and feather-embellished satin sandals | Christian Louboutin Silky Satin lip colour in ‘Miss Loubi’
Did You Know …
- that in 1947, Josephine Baker bought Château des Milandes, home to the of the lords of Caumont in the 15th Century. She lived there with her 12 adopted children.
- that in 1939, after a racists review in “Time” magazine, Josephine Baker left New York for Paris and eventually became a legal citizen of France and gave her American citizenship.
- that in 1939, Josephine Baker became a French military spy and collected intel about German troop locations. She was also awarded the honorary rank of lieutenant in the Free French Air Force for raising money for the French war effort.