The inspirational dancers behind the dresses...Josephine
The dresses have always been named after inspirational, iconic women, ever since the label started 10 years ago, and now it’s part of our ethos and branding. It’s a fashionable homage to great, creative women who helped to shape our world today in their artistic spheres and our brides love to hear their stories too.
The second instalment, is about none other than the amazing Josephine Baker. She was the most photographed woman in the world in the twenties, talented, beautiful and powerful. An incredible lady, who did so much, gave so much and inspired many. Her on-stage image was provocative, exotic and controversial, but she lived life with dignity, grace and class.
Josephine Baker wore slinky, bias cut style dresses, making her the perfect inspiration for one of our most loved styles, the Josephine dress, which has been in the collection ever since the label started ten years ago. It’s a contemporary take on the elegant Art Deco style with bias cut, fine silk, and a luxurious drape. The dress exudes old Hollywood glamour and the low draped cowl back back brings just enough of the Baker sexiness to make the bride feel a little more daring.
Josephine Baker was an international superstar before the likes of Aretha Franklin, Whitney Houston, and Beyoncé, rising to fame during the 1920’s and 30’s in Paris, France. Once homeless, she enter the world of vaudeville and performed in Paris, France. She was one of the first African American women to star in a major motion picture. Her most notable costume was a skirt made of artificial bananas and she often performed on the Parisian stage with her pet cheetah, Chiquita. Her famous banana dance coincided with the Exposition des Arts Decoratifs, which gave birth to the term “Art Deco”. She was the most photographed women of the twenties, rivaling Gloria Swanson and was great friends with fellow style icon, Grace Kelly. In 1951 Grace famously left the Stork Club when Josephine was refused service.
Not only was she a style icon, she fought for civil rights, helped the French Resistance during World War II and was the only female to speak at the March on Washington for Jobs, Justice and Freedom next to Martin Luther King Jr in 1963 when she was 57 years old. Long before Angelina Jolie’s and Madonna’s of our world, Josephine Baker adopted 12 children from around the world because she couldn't have her own children, named them her Rainbow Tribe and raised them all in a castle.
She was a muse for painters, designers and sculptors, including Ernest Hemingway, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Pablo Picasso and Christian Dior. Ernest Hemingway called her Ernest Hemingway called her “the most sensational woman anyone ever saw”.