frances-baker

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Some other facts about Josephine Baker (Freda Josephine McDonald)

  • She first married at the age of 13
  • She danced alongside Ethel Waters at the Plantation Club in New York City
  • She tried to bring her career to America in 1936 but the racism forced her back to France
  • She was a member of the Free French forces during WWII
  • She also worked for the French Resistance during WWII. She smuggled messages in her underwear and music sheets.
  • She was awarded the Croix de Guerre and the Legion of Honour for her work with the French military
  • She was married 4 times
  • She adopted 12 children from around the world
  • She attended the March on Washington and was one of the speaker’s
  • In 1973 she finally got to perform at Carnegie Hall in NYC
  • Princess Grace of Monaco was a friend of Josephine Baker
  • Josephine Baker died in her sleep of a cerebral hemorrhage on April 12, 1975 at the age of 69
  •  Over 20,000 people attended her funeral procession in Paris
  • May 20th is Josephine Baker Day as declared by the NAACP because of her Civil Rights work

Sources: wikipedia

Model with choice of books to read. Frances Baker’s handprinted fabrics in the A/W 2012 lookbook.

“My ultimate goal is to make clothing that is practical as well as beautiful: simple, comfortable dresses that you can love and wear over and over again. It is these kinds of items that you want to hold onto forever that I try my very best to design for Frances Baker.” 

Model reading in A/W 2012 collection from Frances Baker by Melbourne-based designer, Josie Ryder.

“I have often heard people say that Australian style tends towards the relaxed and easy-to-wear. I know that personally I favour relaxed shapes and comfortable styles to wear myself, and I think that comes through a bit in the clothes I make for Frances Baker too.”

Josephine Baker, a Woman with Eclectic Talents

For our fifth article in our World War 2 series we move to Josephine Baker, a dancer, singer, spy, mother, and bisexual woman. It is a rare for us to be able to so clearly identify a historical figure, but with some help from her son, historian Jean-Claude Baker, we can. Born in America June 3, 1906, in St. Louis, Missouri,  Baker’s life was never without it’s share of obstacles. Josephine Baker, however, wasn’t familiar with the word “stop”, she worked as an entertainer, an activist, a military woman, and a mother, and did not rest.  Summarizing her life in a brief, concise, and full manner is next to impossible, but we will have to do our best.