Wednesday, March 18, 2015

History of Style: Amelia Earhart

Looking back at some photos of American aviator Amelia Earhart shows that she was a fashionable and glamorous woman. Tall and slender she wore designs by designer Elsa Schiaparelli and was always conscious of her image when flying and when out on the town.

Amelia demonstrated her entrepreneurial streak by debuted her clothing line in 1934 know as "Amelia Earhart Fashions". Her first creation was a flying suit with loose trousers, a zipper top and big pockets. In addition to her work as a designer, she also appeared in fashion spreads in Vogue and served as an editor at Cosmopolitan. Quite an interesting lady!

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Labelle: The Early Years

Before Patti LaBelle, Nona Hendryx and Sarah Dash became known as Labelle and one of the greatest girl groups of the 1970's, all three women - along with Cindy Birdsong – were members of one of the greatest girl groups of the 1960's, "Patti LaBelle and the Bluebelles".

With Cynthia "Cindy" Birdsong, Patti formed The Ordettes and by 1961, the two school friends had hooked up with Wynona "Nona" Hendryx and Sarah Dash - singers from The Del Capris, a rival female group - to form The Bluebells.

In 1962, the group began working with producer/arranger Bobby Martin and the initial result was the hit "I Sold My Heart To The Junkman," a Top 20 pop and R&B hit credited to The Bluebelles but - the story goes - actually recorded by another group, The Starlets. Whatever initial confusion may have surrounded that first release, it was unquestionably Patti's recognizable powerhouse vocals that were featured on "Down The Aisle," "You'll Never Walk Alone," and "Danny Boy," the three hits that first bore the name "Patti LaBelle & The Bluebelles" which appeared on the charts between late 1963 and early 1965.

Building a reputation as a dynamic vocal outfit who brought energy and excitement to their live performances, Patti and The Bluebelles spent their first few years building a solid R&B base by performing on the "chitlin circuit," a series of theaters in cities like New York, Chicago, Washington D.C., Atlanta, Detroit, Baltimore, and Philadelphia that featured package shows with hit R&B stars of the day.