Okay so this one isn't really directly related to fashion, but Bianca Jagger is an eternal style icon and a whole mood when it comes to the glitz and glamour of the seventies. The Nicaraguan model and ex wife of Mick Jagger was a fixture at the notorious Studio 54 Night Club and a fashion goddess and muse for many designers. This night took place on her 27th birthday (only a week after the celebrity playground had opened), draped in a slinky red off the shoulder Halston dress curls popping, Jagger mounted the horse that was there specifically for her celebration. It was widely though that she entered the club on the horse but she later debunked that myth and said the horse was already inside when she decided to climb on it. The images are so raw and beautiful and put Jagger on my style radar at an early age.
If you ask me to name my top 5 favorite fashion designers and brands, depending on my mood, memory and the moment, my answer may vary, but I can tell you that Alexander McQueen will be in the top three of that conversation. The man was a creative genius, a visionary (before that word got slutted out by the media) and an artist. We can talk about his designs- the shapes, influences and stories he told through fabric, silhouettes and tailoring, his provocative ad campaigns or his bad boy image, but I want to concentrate on McQueen's shows. They were legendary and more of a moving art installation instead of just models walking out in his clothes. The themes, locations, set design, and hair and makeup- even model casting (ahead of his time featuring body positive models) were all thought out and well presented. In 1999, he featured a spinning model (Shalom Harlow) being sprayed by menacing looking robots merging fashion and technology for the first time in front of alive fashion audience. McQueen also put supermodel Kate Moss in hologram form for his 2006 show in one of the most beautiful and infamous fashion show moment in history.
Rihanna debuted at a time when pop and R&B was teaming with singers that all had a freshly scrubbed pretty girl next door to the MTV studios look. And it did work for a while, but it wasn't pushing her career anywhere. Not until that haircut. You know the one- The "Good Girl Gone Bad" cut, aka this generations "The Rachel" given to Riri by the talented celebrity hairstylist Ursala Stephens right before her third album dropped. Everybody from hood girls, to edgy business women and rural soccer moms who read US Weekly all put their own spin on Rihanna's bold cut. This strategic move immediately pushed Rihanna into the forefront and EVERYBODY took notice and wondered what she would do and wear next. She became a fashion,style and beauty darling and muse overnight signing major deals with designers, brands and cosmetics before taking the reins and building her own fragrance, fashion and beauty empire.
This one moment changed the American fashion game and Black models were at the forefront. What started off as a fundraiser to raise money for the Palace of Versailles to be restored in Paris, quickly became a fashion competition between old money French fashion houses (Yves Saint Laurent, Pierre Cardin, Emanuel Ungaro, Christian Dior, and Hubert de Givenchy) who had set the trends and been the voice of fashion since the very beginning and the new American designers who were just finding their voice (((Oscar de la Renta, Stephen Burrows, Halston, Bill Blass, and Anne Klein, who brought along her assistant, Donna Karan). The Americans brought a total of eleven Black models, (Pat Cleveland, Bethann Hardison, Billie Blair, Jennifer Brice, Alva Chinn, Norma Jean Darden, Charlene Dash, Barbara Jackson, China Machado, Ramona Saunders, and Amina Warsuma) a huge number even today who SHUT SHIT DOWN!! Those models danced and glided in American sportswear and put on a SHOW... sadly when they came back home they were still severely underused, not even receiving a consideration of thanks until decades later when the Huffington post awarded them all in 2011 with the Huffington Post Game Changer Awards honored the African American models of Versailles with the Style Award. There have been several documentaries and an excellent in depth book about the moment written by author and fashion journalist Robin Givhan, but sadly no known actual footage of the show.
Who won the Best Hip Hop video of the year at the 1999 VMAs? Who knows and who cares, because the moment before the award was presented mattered to me the most. Singer Mary J. Blige, Queen of Hip Hop Soul stood next to rapper Lil Kim the Queen Bee who was decked out in an electric purple wig and fully covered in a purple crystal covered one sleeve jumpsuit with the exception of that boob that came to present as well. After hugging Mary, Queen Mother Diana turned and gave a healthy and hearty jiggle to Kim's purple pastied tit in the most motherly fashion and asked her what's that?! I almost lost it- Mahogany is one of my favorite fashion movies starring Diana and Lil Kim influences my hair and fashion still till this day. It was just a legendary moment to have witnessed on television and one of my favorite fashion moments of all times.
Are any of my top five fashion moments on your radar? Can you share your favorite moments in the comments?