Style Heroine

Warhol muse. Electronica queen. Androgynous glamazon. Seductive actress. Postmodern being. Grace Jones. From Jamaica to Syracuse to New York City, Grace rocketed to international fame by capitalizing on her intense, unique look and ability to adapt to the trends of the moment. She started on the public circuit as a model in New York City in the early '70s. She wasn't your average beauty model. Her incredibly strong features and over the top facial expressions were something new for the industry. Modeling took her to Paris and back, and while she made more connections within the entertainment industry she made moves on attaining a record contract. By carefully considering the nightlife scene, she set her laser beams on electronic music, a genre that was just beginning to emerge. She signed with Island Records in 1977 and released three disco/electronic albums -- Portfolio, Fame and Muse -- which played nonstop in nightclubs and gained her a devoted gay following. During her research of the nightlife scene she managed to meet and subsequently become a muse to Andy Warhol, the king of Studio 54. Warhol photographed her incessantly and even lent her his longtime artistic collaborator, Richard Bernstein, to create the album art for her records. This was just the beginning. The '80s were Grace's decade. She owned it. Adapting to the New Wave scene she renovated her look and barreled head on into the world of androgyny. A square cut hairdo and super power bitch shoulder pads, Grace's unforgettable look made her into an icon. Coming in at almost six feet, her strong features and beautiful dark skin tone set her apart from the crowd. Her 1980 album Warm Leatherette was critically acclaimed and soared to the top of the UK charts, still today holding one of the highest record singles "Private Life." Throughout the '80s and '90s she continued to release popular music, with her image driving her success. In collaboration with Jean-Paul Goude, she reinvented herself into a multitude of stage characters, a la Bowie. Her flat top haircut became a sensation with black men and her look was a serious influence in the burgeoning cross dressing movement. Grace's style is arguably more well known than any of her music or acting work, and current artists including Lady Gaga and Rihanna cite her as influence. A domineering, powerful image of utter humanity, she stood between man and woman, masculine and feminine. She dressed for each day, not each event, and singularly brought an entirely fresh presence to the fashion world. [caption id="attachment_8941" align="aligncenter" width="470" caption="Grace at the age of 63. SIXTY THREE!"][/caption] [caption id="attachment_8945" align="aligncenter" width="393" caption="Grace Jones, left; model Amber Rose, right"][/caption] [caption id="attachment_8948" align="aligncenter" width="472" caption="Amber Rose yet again on Jones' jock"][/caption] [caption id="attachment_8950" align="aligncenter" width="274" caption="Gaga goes Grace"][/caption] [caption id="attachment_8951" align="aligncenter" width="472" caption="Rihanna, Jones"][/caption] [caption id="attachment_8952" align="aligncenter" width="334" caption="ICON"][/caption] [caption id="attachment_8954" align="aligncenter" width="594" caption="2006"][/caption] [caption id="attachment_8956" align="aligncenter" width="530" caption="A Vogue Italia spread borrowing from Grace's style"][/caption] [caption id="attachment_8968" align="aligncenter" width="357" caption="Grace's face net"][/caption] [caption id="attachment_8969" align="aligncenter" width="800" caption="Tyra Banks' almost two decades later"][/caption]