Posted in Alicia Keys, Althea Gibson, America Ferrera, Billie Holiday, Chanel Iman, Currently Reading, Dolores Huerta, First Lady, Glamour Magazine, Gracing Pages, LINDSAY LOHAN, MADONNA, Michelle Obama, Paula Patton

Gracing Pages: Glamour Magazine Honors American Icons

Paula Patton as Billie Holiday

Paula Patton as Billie Holiday

As an aspiring singer, Holiday suffered sexual abuse, struggled with a drug habit and encountered racism everywhere. But the late Lady Day—one of the first African American women to sing with an all-white orchestra—translated all of that pain into some of the most achingly personal songs ever recorded. (Download “Strange Fruit,” which she sang at her 1948 Carnegie Hall concert, and listen for yourself.)

“You can imagine that women at home hearing her songs on the radio felt her vocalizing their emotions and their struggles.”—Paula Patton, 33, of the upcoming drama Push, wearing Holiday’s trademark gardenia in her hair

Chanel Iman as Althea Gibson

Chanel Iman as Althea Gibson

After years of playing segregated tennis, the late Althea Gibson tore down the color barrier of competition in 1950, when, at age 23, she became the first African American to compete in major U.S. championships—and, in 1957, the first to win Wimbledon. In her crisp whites, “the Jackie Robinson of tennis,” as she was known, won 11 major titles.

“She showed women…you can be sweaty, be gorgeous and do a great job.”—Chanel Iman, 19, cohost of MTV’s House of Style.

America Ferrera as Dolores Huerta

America Ferrera as Dolores Huerta

A fierce advocate for migrant farmers, Huerta cofounded, with César Chávez, what became the United Farm Workers of America. In 1975 she played a critical role in enacting policies that allowed workers to bargain for better wages and conditions. Today, at age 79, Huerta continues to be active—last year she campaigned for Hillary Clinton’s presidential run.

“She saw her own opinion and voice as [something as] powerful as any man’s.”—America Ferrera, 25, of ABC’s Ugly Betty, holding a sign that reads “strike” in Spanish

Lindsay Lohan as Madonna

Lindsay Lohan as Madonna

In 1984 Madonna told American Bandstand host Dick Clark that her dream was to “rule the world.” Months later she was on her way—her album Like a Virgin skyrocketed to number one on the Billboard charts. She’s been a pop-culture powerhouse ever since, and last year, Sticky & Sweet was the highest-grossing tour by a solo artist ever.

“When I was little, every day after school I would come home and put in her The Immaculate Collection disc and karaoke to it around the whole house.”—Lindsay Lohan, 22, of the upcoming film Labor Pains, re-creating Madonna’s 1984 MTV Video Music Awards performance of “Like a Virgin”

Alicia Keys as First Lady Michelle Obama

Alicia Keys as First Lady Michelle Obama

Not only is Obama the first African American filling the position, but she’s already making best-dressed headlines for a style that ranges from couture to J.Crew. Raised in Chicago, Obama, 45, powered on to Princeton and Harvard Law School before beginning a career during which she met, mentored and married our current President. Hail to our newest smart, opinionated, chic First Lady!

“She has worked hard for everything she’s accomplished, and done so with grace and humility. So many women and girls can identify with her story.”—Alicia Keys, 28, whose most recent album is As I Am.

Source: Glamour Magazine

“These images are amazing!” I’m going outt o buy this issue. This is going to be one-of-a-kind.” For more on the magazine check out Glamour.com.

Posted in Barack Obama, Designer Love, Exclusive!, fashion, Fashion Designer, Fashion News, First Lady, Inauguration Day, Isabel Toledo, Jason Wu, Michelle Obama

Fashion News: Michelle Obama Shines in Jason Wu

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Tuesday morning was a promising day for a young fashion designer, Jason Wu. He was well-respected in certain fashion circles. But by Tuesday night, he became a household name.

Jason Wu’s place in history is all sewn up thanks to First Lady Michelle Obama, who donned his white chiffon gown for the inaugural balls.

Fashion Designer, Jason Wu
Fashion Designer, Jason Wu

The 26-year-old Taipei-born New Yorker’s rapid rise to fame makes him the second designer from the Big Apple to hit the national spotlight on Inauguration Day.

So … who is this guy?

The onetime doll designer was reportedly introduced to Obama by Vogue editor-at-large Andre Leon Talley. She later wore a dress by the designer for a Barbara Walters special just before the presidential election.

Despite his low profile, Wu has earned quite a following among the fashionista set for his hourglass silhouettes and flowing fabrics.

Vogue editrix Anna Wintour even attended his last show, lending a serious nod of approval from the fashion community.

Wu, whose dolls sell at F.A.O. Schwartz, debuted his first runway collection in February 2006 and has shown off his wares in subsequent seasons – albeit in some of Fashion Week’s smaller venues.

Odds are, that’s about to change.

The budding star has been recognized for his talent, nabbing the Fashion Group International’s Rising Star Award for women’s ready-to-wear last year.

Wu told Us Weekly that he didn’t know that Obama had chosen his dress for her husband’s big night.

“I found out when the whole world found out,” he said. “I said, ‘It looks white. It looks like mine…’ I had a box of pizza and I nearly fell over. I was sitting there with my friends, and they were screaming.”

Wu’s big moment comes on the heels of fellow New Yorker Isabel Toledo’s rise to national consciousness.

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The first lady kicked off Inauguration Day in a pale yellow wool brocade dress and coat by the then-little-known designer.

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The outfit “was made for Michelle with extra warm linings sewn into the [inner linings] so that she wouldn’t freeze,” Toledo’s husband told the Daily News.

A spring version of the dress – which will retail for around $1,500 – will hit Barney’s in March.

Wu’s goods are also currently available at upscale stores such as Saks Fifth Avenue and Neiman Marcus – and have popped up on rising stars like Leighton Meester, Joy Bryant and Kerry Washington.

Oh, and the first lady – just in case you didn’t hear.

Source: [NY Daily News]