Today I am in Washington DC. I stood where some highly significant individuals have stood before me, the most memorable being Martin Luther King Jr when he made his ‘I Have A Dream’ speech during The Civil Rights movement back in August 1963. This weeks Style Icon just had to be the legendary Josephine Baker. Josephine Baker was the only woman to speak at the March on Washington. Josephine Baker was an American-born French dancer, singer, and actress with some serious style.
Josephine was born in Missouri, USA in 1906 and became a citizen of France in 1937, she was given nicknames like the “Bronze Venus”, the “Black Pearl”, and the “Créole Goddess” her success as a singer and dancer throughout the 30’s meant she became a muse for authors, painters, designers, and sculptors including Langston Hughes, Ernest Hemingway, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Pablo Picasso, and Christian Dior!
Josephine Baker is perhaps best remembered as a glamorous showgirl in 1920s and ’30s Paris with legendary dance moves. Back in the 1920’s the Art Deco movement boomed around her, she was elegant, exuberant and exotic. Baker had a pet cheetah named Chiquita and a panache for nude portraiture. With her pencil-thin brows, slicked-back hair and dark lip color, her look epitomized and defined the beauty aesthetic of that period.
“the most sensational woman anyone ever saw.”
–Ernest Hemingway on Josephine Baker
The Fabulous Times