February 5th, 2013
Black History Month, Blacks in Fashion
Black History Month on the Fashion Bomb: Billie Holiday’s Influence on Fashion
By Claire

With a crown of flowers in her hair, Billie Holiday or Lady Day, as she was called, captivated audiences with her jazzy voice and distinctive sound.
Born Eleanora Fagan Gough in 1915, Billie adopted her stage name from an actress she admired at the time, Billie Dove, and the musician Clarence Holiday, her alleged father.

Sticking to a neutral color palette, Billie made her endlessly elegant stage looks her own with rows of pearls, instances of statement chandelier earrings, occasional turbans, and moments of dark lips.
billie holiday turban
billie holiday downtown beat
The Philadelphia native also exuded glamour off the stage with fur coats, make-a-statement hats, and artistic earrings.
billie holiday fur
billie holiday hat feather
billie-holiday earrings
Holiday’s singular style has been played out on the silver screen by Diana Ross, who was cast as Billie in the film Lady Sings the Blues.
billie holiday diana_ross_LSTB

Soul singers such as Christina Aguilera, Queen Latifah, and Beyonce have also channeled the jazz icon.
queen latifah as billie holiday
christina aguilera billie holiday

Magazines have also crafted editorials to salute the songstress, with Paula Patton embodying Holiday’s essence for Glamour magazine, and model Chanel Iman belting her soulful tunes for Peter Lindbergh in Harper’s Bazaar.


She was a wonderful talent, whose style was as unique as her voice.
Billie-Holiday-1954-lgn getty
billie holiday mister
billie holiday fashion style
See her sing here:

Stay tuned for more!

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27 Responses to “Black History Month on the Fashion Bomb: Billie Holiday’s Influence on Fashion”

  1. RHONYC says:

    in love with Billie since hearing ‘Strange Fruit’ in 9 1/2 Weeks!
    this post just gave me LIFE!!!
    4eva Lady Day. ;-*

  2. Martinique_Fr says:

    I’m really LOVING this series of Black History Fashion Bomb! Great Post!

  3. jeda says:

    I love the simplicity of it all, beautiful

  4. ANGELICA says:

    Awesome post!

  5. DIOR*SWEETS says:

    Simplistic beauty… elegance…. timeless….

  6. Madpet says:

    Timeless indeed!!

  7. Faith says:

    Love Billie!

  8. mi manning says:

    she was sharp! love the off the shoulder dress…I’d rock it today!

  9. Marthe says:

    Love this post!

  10. justme says:

    These post. :)

  11. tt says:

    yes! keep the black history/fashion posts coming claire. love it!

  12. Alex says:

    The first picture is everything

  13. Jei says:

    Yesss!! Love these posts! Can’t wait to see who’s next!

  14. Taj says:

    Great post and she was beautiful

  15. Bre Bre says:

    Strange Fruit was such a revolutionary song and she wasn’t afraid to sing it! My favorite song of the time, love and adore Lady Day <3

  16. itsjustme says:

    much respect, ms. holiday.

  17. TVF says:

    Thank you so much for this series of Black History posts, very inspiring.

  18. binks says:

    Such an beautiful and talented lady so sad we lost her way to soon.

  19. Yashi says:

    Love it……………. Claire, can you do one of these segments on Grace Jones I live for her high top fade?!

  20. Mesa says:

    @yashi I believe she did a post on her last year! It was dope. Idk if its In the archives though…but this woman was remarkable.

  21. Dyanna says:

    Being a life-long Lady Day fan, I LOVE this post! Thanks Claire!!

  22. Jade says:

    Black history month could not be represented better. Thank you Fashion Bomb Daily!

  23. Awsome Job FB! Thanks for adding the clip…..

  24. hotmama says:

    True class, Not one mainstream black artist has exhibited that type of class in a long while. all this booty shaking and gyrating is classless and disgusting.

  25. Moni says:

    Great post! Loving it Claire, but one error (not your fault, listed on websites inaccurately as well) Lady Day was not born in Philadelphia, she actually states in her book “Lady Sings The Blues” (movie based on book -great read by the way) that she was born in Baltimore.

    Can’t wait to see who’s up next.

  26. Anonymous says:

    Wish the pics of Moniq’ at the Oscars were added here she channeled Billie to the T.

  27. GBaby says:

    Great post!! Love this

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