Style Heroines: Lena Horne

Lena Horne (1917-2010), who died yesterday, was one of THE most beautiful, elegant and stylish stars of the 1940s and beyond. Here’s a selection of my favourite images of her, kicking off with this still, from the all-star, Technicolor, MGM movie Thousands Cheer (1943).

In Thousands Cheer, Lena combined sultriness with sophistication as she sang Honeysuckle Rose with the Benny Carter band. In 1943, she also starred in two all-black musicals: Cabin in the Sky and Stormy Weather. She was at her sexiest in Stormy Weather- as this picture of her in a slinky gown designed by Helen Rose (some of whose work is currently on display in the Grace Kelly exhibition at the V&A) – shows.

I’m not sure where the next photo was taken but it highlights just how refined Lena Horne was – oh, and what exquisite taste she had in evening wear …

Ditto for this one ..

And offstage/screen, Lena Horne didn’t disappoint with her sartorial choices, as this photo from the late 1950s demonstrates.

And here she is in action, in Thousands Cheer, wearing one of the loveliest, most striking dresses of the 1940s, and singing with the Benny Carter band:

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