I was intending on doing this weeks post about shorts, but the weather turned. More importantly, the world also turned this week and it’s been a tough one for a lot of people. You’d have to have been living under a rock to not have been affected in some way by the events in the US and the issues they have raised. I like to think this year will be remembered as the time people really woke up to racism. To that end, shorts seemed a little frivolous this week, so I have decided instead to shine a light on seven black women who all have the most amazing style.
I’ve done a few of these Style Crush Sundays before, but not for ages, so if you enjoy this one, I will do some more in the future. I’ve chosen these women for all different reasons. Some of them you will be familiar with and some you might not…
Going back to the late sixties / very early seventies to start off with. You may not be too familiar with Marsha Hunt, but she was an icon around that time. She became famous for her turn in ‘Hair’ the musical, which was famous, according to my mother, because ‘everyone got naked and audience joined in’. She also went on to have a recording career (and a child with Mick Jagger). My mum was friendly with Marsha as she worked for a music promotions company and she was one of their clients. The style? Think Kaftan Maxi Dresses, Prairie Blouses, Dungarees and beautiful natural afro hair.
TRACEE ELLIS ROSS
I guess it might have been more obvious to pick Diana Ross, Tracee’s more famous mother, but her style is a bit too sequins and leather for me. Tracee has a style that is much more accessible. Obviously the red carpet styles are different, but it’s her everyday style that I love. Double Denim, Boiler Suits, a great taste in trainers. A lady after my own heart that’s for sure. I look to her as a woman who’s the same age and size as me and still hailed in all the best dressed lists. An inspiration.
I actually did work with Diana Ross quite early on in my career. She had a single out when I worked for EMI and she came over to the UK to promote it. We did one of those ITV ‘Audience With…’ shows. Remember them? When the best celebrities in the audience were the cast of Corrie and maybe, if you’re lucky, Christopher Biggins. We were only to address her as ‘Ms Ross’. Her dressing room was full of wigs on disembodied heads, my boss made the mistake of walking in without properly knocking and got an eyeful of a fully naked wigless ‘Ms Ross’ screaming at her to ‘Get Out!’…Happy Days.
LISA BONET & ZOE KRAVITZ
Lenny Kravitz’s album ‘Let Love Rule’ was the absolute soundtrack to the late summer of 1989. The year I finished my GCSEs and had that first teenage sense of freedom. We listened to that album on repeat, and the following Spring me and my friends scored tickets to his gig at what was then the Town and Country Club in Kentish town. God, I loved that time and that place. But aside from Lenny, it was his wife Lisa Bonet that we all aspired to look like. She was (and still is) so gorgeous, and she bagged our hero! Total Boho goals. Their daughter Zoe Kravitz is equally as cool, but it will always be Lisa who captured our teenage style hearts.
NICOLA ST LOUIS
Nicola is someone I’ve followed (in a non creepy way I hope) on Instagram for a few years now. I don’t even know how I came across her, but I’m glad I did as her style inspires me all the time. Nicola is a creative who works in visual display for retail companies, but it’s her eclectic mix of sportswear, high end and high street clothes that just get me everytime. I hold her completely responsible for me buying a pair of mens Gucci Socks and wearing them with my oldest Nike Air Max trainers. She literally always looks cool. You should follow her on Instagram @thestlouisreviews
All hail the queen of monochrome. Janelle Monae, for those of you who haven’t heard of her is a US recording artist and actress. Rumour has it she was working with Prince on new music just before he died. I still miss Prince. I saw him live twice, once in 1988 and once a few years ago at the Roundhouse. Both were up there in my ‘Best gigs of all time’ list. One day I might tell you the story of how I taught him a new dance move (no really„, but it sounds more exciting than it is, I never actually met him). I know most of us can’t get away with Janelle’s slick quiff and a bow tie, but we can look to her use of striking black and white outfits and take some inspiration from that.
Karen is one of my major inspirations for starting this blog. her blog WhereDidUGetThat is one I’ve been reading for years. Long before I discovered Instagram, I discovered Fashion blogs. A lot of them have fallen by the wayside and become much more focused on Instagram, but I still love the idea of having your own space on a blog. Karen has continued to keep up her blog, alongside moving onto YouTube and Instagram.
When I first started out writing this blog, she gave me the space to write guest spots on hers. Something that really helped me to get into the groove of writing. Her style is impeccable, she rocks a puff sleeve dress like no-one else, the Queen of NY thrift shops and the person responsible for my love of a wide leg jean and a Gucci Loafer.
Let’s hope the weather improves next week as I’m definitely doing shorts. Although It seems to be slim pickings right now. Hopeful some more summer stock comes in this week.
On another note, I am raffling off my beloved Gucci Bag (only used 3 times!) for charity. I felt like I had to do some small thing, and for me to give up that might actually do more good than having it stuck in a box for who knows how long. The link to enter is here. All proceeds go to Show Racism The Red Card.