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Zelda Wynn Valdes – In Celebration of Icons – On their shoulder’s we stand!

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In our celebration of Black History Month, which is simply every day and every month in the eyes of LACE. We have in the past years events celebrated icons. This year we were asked why was this added to the event and was surprised that we did this?

 

This is why, we was celebrating a designer called Zelda Wynn Valdes.

Zelda Wynn Valdes (1905-2001) was an African American fashion and costume designer whose career spanned 40 years. Working in the centre of the American fashion industry, Valdes began her career as an assistant to her uncle in his White Plains, New York tailoring shop. In 1948, Zelda opened her own boutique, “Chez Zelda,” on Broadway in New York City, making her the first African-American to own a store on the coveted street.

The niche she occupied was quite particular: exquisitely finished special occasion coutures. She created wedding gowns, evening and cocktail dresses, and other luxurious ensembles. She dressed the entire bridal party at the 1948 wedding of Marie Ellington and Nat “King” Cole, an event that brought together the upper stratum of black society in New York.

Valdes had an established clientele especially among notable female entertainers and other prominent women within the black community. Her curve-hugging creations were worn and loved by a host of Hollywood’s biggest starlets during the 1940s and 50s, including Joyce Bryant, Dorothy Dandridge, Josephine Baker, Ella Fitzgerald, Mae West, Eartha Kitt, and Marian Anderson. She also dressed the wives of famous black celebrities, including Nat “King” Cole and Sugar Ray Robinson. Unlike some other designers who exclusively created “costumes” versus “fashion”, Valdes moved between the two modes and her clients appreciated that as they ordered clothes for performance and also for their private wardrobes.

Valdes is perhaps best known as the designer of the original Playboy Bunny costume. She caught the attention of Playboy’s Hugh Hefner and he commissioned Zelda to design the first-ever Playboy Bunny costumes. And history has proven, the low-cut, skin-tight, sexy outfits are an iconic symbol of seduction and allure, forever ingrained in pop culture.

Zelda Wynn Valdes was one of the founders of the National Association of Fashion Accessory Designers, an industry group intended to promote black design professionals in a time when the fashion industry reflected the segregation of American society.

In 1970, Zelda was approached by Arthur Mitchell to serve as the head costume designer for his then newly-established performance company, the Dance Theatre of Harlem. She spent 18 years with the dance company and retired at the age of 83. Zelda Wynn Valdes died at the age of 96 in 2001.

We honour you as an Icon of our time!

LACE NEWS:
If you come across any of your creation’s and you have not been credited correctly, please get in touch with us as we do not wish to offend anyone, this page is intended to give information of what we do and what is going on around in Africa fashion and Education. We are creating awareness of information in one area to emerging designers and public to get inspired by. Much Love LACE…..

Source: Wikipedia.org  and Research

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James Brown – In Celebration of Icons – On their shoulder’s we stand!

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James Joseph Brown (May 3, 1933 – December 25, 2006) was an American singer and dancer. The founding father of funk music and a major figure of 20th-century popular music and dance, he is often referred to as “The Godfather of Soul”. In a career that spanned six decades, Brown influenced the development of several music genres.

Brown began his career as a gospel singer in Toccoa, Georgia. Joining an R&B vocal group called the Avons that later evolved to become The Famous Flames, Brown served as the group’s lead singer. First coming to national public attention in the late 1950s as a member of the singing group The Famous Flames with the hit ballads “Please, Please, Please” and “Try Me”, Brown built a reputation as a tireless live performer with the vocal group The Famous Flames and his backing band, sometimes known as the James Brown Band or the James Brown Orchestra.

Brown’s success peaked in the 1960s with the live album Live at the Apollo and hit singles such as “Papa’s Got a Brand New Bag”, “I Got You (I Feel Good)” and “It’s a Man’s Man’s Man’s World”. During the late 1960s, Brown moved from a continuum of blues and gospel-based forms and styles to a profoundly “Africanised” approach to music-making that influenced the development of funk music. By the early 1970s, Brown had fully established the funk sound after the formation of The J.B.’s with records such as “Get Up (I Feel Like Being a) Sex Machine” and “The Payback”.

 

Brown also became notable for songs of social commentary, including the 1968 hit “Say It Loud – I’m Black and I’m Proud”. Brown continued to perform and record for the duration of his life until his death in 2006 from congestive heart failure.

Brown recorded 16 number-one singles on the Billboard R&B charts. Brown also holds the record as the artist to have charted the most singles on the Billboard Hot 100 which did not reach number one on that chart. Brown was honoured by many institutions including inductions into theRock and Roll Hall of Fame and Songwriters Hall of Fame. In Joel Whitburn’s analysis of the Billboard R&B charts from 1942 to 2010, Hot R&B Songs, James Brown is ranked as number one in The Top 500 Artists. Brown is ranked seventh on the music magazine Rolling Stone’s list of its 100 greatest artists of all time. Also according to Rolling Stone magazine, Brown is reported to be the most sampled artist of all time, being sampled 2x more than the second most sampled artist, Public Enemy. The mayor of Cincinnati proclaimed December 22 as James Brown Day.

We honour you as an Icon of our time!

LACE NEWS:
If you come across any of your creation’s and you have not been credited correctly, please get in touch with us as we do not wish to offend anyone, this page is intended to give information of what we do and what is going on around in Africa fashion and Education. We are creating awareness of information in one area to emerging designers and public to get inspired by. Much Love LACE…..

Source: Wikipedia.org  and Research

Ella Fitzgerald – In Celebration of Icons – On their shoulder’s we stand!

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Ella Jane Fitzgerald (April 25, 1917 – June 15, 1996) was an American jazz singer often referred to as the First Lady of Song, Queen of Jazz and Lady Ella.

While Fitzgerald appeared in movies and as a guest on popular television shows in the second half of the twentieth century, her musical collaborations with Louis Armstrong, Duke Ellington, and The Ink Spots were some of her most notable acts outside of her solo career.

These partnerships produced recognisable songs like “Dream a Little Dream of Me”, “Cheek to Cheek”, “Into Each Life Some Rain Must Fall”, and “It Don’t Mean a Thing (If It Ain’t Got That Swing)”.

Apparently in the 50s a popular nightclub Mocambo in Hollywood were Frank Sinatra made his Los Angeles debut in 1943, and it was frequented by the likes of Clark Gable, Charlie Chaplin, Humphrey Bogart, Lauren Bacall and Lana Turner. Ella Fitzgerald was not allowed to play at Mocambo because of her race. Fortunately for Ella, she had a powerful and unlikely benefactor, Marilyn Monroe, who of one of her biggest fans made a telephone call to the nightclub that quite possibly changed the path of her career for good into sending the elevator back down for her.

“I owe Marilyn Monroe a real debt…it was because of her that I played the Mocambo, a very popular nightclub in the ’50s. She personally called the owner of the Mocambo, and told him she wanted me booked immediately, and if he would do it, she would take a front table every night. She told him – and it was true, due to Marilyn’s superstar status – that the press would go wild. The owner said yes, and Marilyn was there, front table, every night. The press went overboard. After that, I never had to play a small jazz club again. She was an unusual woman – a little ahead of her times. And she didn’t know it.” – Ella Fitzgerald

Fitzgerald had an influence on Monroe as well, but years prior to the Mocambo phone call. Monroe was studying the recordings of Fitzgerald, it was rumoured that a vocal coach of Monroe instructed her to purchase Fitzgerald’s recordings of Gershwin music which she listened to it a numerous of times in a row. Continued study of Fitzgerald actually revealed that Ella turned Monroe into a relatively solid singer for about a decade, but those years were overshadowed by her famous “Happy Birthday, Mr. President,” tribute song to JFK in 1962 and her dress-lifting gusts of wind plus her movies.

In 1993, Fitzgerald capped off her sixty-year career with her last public performance. Three years later, Ella died at the age of 79, following years of decline in her health.

After her passing, Fitzgerald’s influence lived on through her fourteen Grammy Awards, National Medal of Arts, Presidential Medal of Freedom, and tributes in the form of stamps, music festivals, and theater namesakes.

We honour you as an Icon of our time!

LACE NEWS:
If you come across any of your creation’s and you have not been credited correctly, please get in touch with us as we do not wish to offend anyone, this page is intended to give information of what we do and what is going on around in Africa fashion and Education. We are creating awareness of information in one area to emerging designers and public to get inspired by. Much Love LACE…..

Source: Wikipedia.org  and Research