Style Heroines: Billie Holiday

Jazz legend Billie Holiday has always been a heroine of mine – mainly for her sensational singing, which was by turns gut-wrenchingly moving and terrifically uplifting, but also for her distinctive style.

She was born 95 years ago – on April 7th, 1915 – so now seems a fitting time to pay tribute to the style of Lady Day. Here are a few of my favourite images of her, starting with one of the many 1940s photos of her with her signature gardenia.

The gardenia wasn’t her only form of headgear, though, as this stunning photo, probably taken in the late 1940s, shows.

The style of hat that Holiday was most often photographed wearing, however, was the turban.

Here’s another photo I’d never seen  before – of a particularly chic-looking Holiday. Dig the crazy earrings!

In the mid-late 1950s, in the years running up to her premature death in 1959, Holiday adopted a long, sleek ponytail as a key part of her look. Here it is in action, in the  fantastic Fine and Mellow number from the 1957 Sound of Jazz TV programme..

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