Black History Month on the Fashion Bomb: Billie Holiday’s Influence on Fashion

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
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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.
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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.
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billie holiday fashion style
See her sing here:

Stay tuned for more!


Claire Sulmers is the publisher and founder of Fashion Bomb Daily, the #43 most influential style blog in the world.