Seriously, this is my dream to do something like this. This fills me with so much joy, you have no idea!


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4. Josephine Baker (The Swinger)

Few Americans better exemplified the Art Deco aesthetic than Josephine Baker: long, sleek, sculptural and unmistakably Modern. Now a centenary exhibit tells the story of how an African-American street urchin, under-appreciated in her native country in her lifetime, became an international star and helped define a style. Baker (1906-75), born in St. Louis, grew up poor, black, limber and ambitious. She was still a teen when she joined a dance troupe and left for Paris, where the French were mad for anything associated with Africa, and the Art Deco movement was about to explode in the world arena. Sexually liberated and reveling in her own body, Baker caused an immediate sensation by dancing naked except for a banana skirt. One famous 1929 shot by glamour photographer George Hoyningen-Huene depicts Baker, naked but for a long cloth and strands of beads draped in front of her, as a living Art Deco sculpture. “She helped popularize Art Deco, and she epitomized the style — her look was extremely sleek and almost machine-like, her hair like a cap,” says Olivia Lahs-Gonzales, director of the Sheldon Art Galleries in St. Louis and curator of Josephine Baker: Image & Icon, on view through Aug. 26. (The exhibit goes to the National Portrait Gallery in Washington, D.C., starting Nov. 23.) Baker was just as fabulous with her clothes on: Courted by designers and even architects, she turned herself into one of the world’s first style celebrities, in keeping with the Art Deco celebration of the new and rejection of tradition. The Art Deco style favored an industrialized, streamlined look characterized by elegance, strong geometries, polished surfaces and use of black and white. Starting after World War I, it dominated decorative art, fashion, jewelry, textiles, furniture design, interior decoration and architecture, and it continues to have influence today.

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The Women of Beetlejuice;1988.

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Angelina Jolie for Disney Maleficent campaign ϟ

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Life lessons from Willam (source: bitchSpray)

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Laverne Cox on her Time Cover: “This is way bigger than me.”

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