Josephine Baker may be widely recognized for her titillating "banana dance," for which she donned a costume made up of 16 bananas strung into a skirt. (Remember Beyoncé's homage to the late singer-actress in her "Déjà Vu" video? And Prada's Spring 2011 collection tribute?) However, we want to take a look back at Baker's jazz age beauty.
Throughout history, entertainers of color have been scrutinized because of their physical features. Baker's waif figure and dark skin made her a direct target while touring the United States as a vaudeville act. But it was these very characteristics (and her talents, of course) that made the Missouri-born star a Parisian sensation in the 1920s.
In the photo below, we see a young Baker reveling in her newfound fame as part of the legendary dance troupe, La Revue Nègre. With her slicked-down hair, smokey eyes and dark lips, she was the epitome of flapper girl style. We may not be able to shake it like Miss Josephine Baker did, but we can easily add elements of her vintage glamour into our style today.
How Josephine Baker kept it jazzy:
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