When you think of iconic black beauty, Diana Ross will always come to mind. Like many stars, she came from humble beginnings. She was born and raised in Detroit, in a working class neighborhood. However, she did not let growing up in a housing project deter her dreams. She excelled in high school and at the age of 15, she joined Mary Wilson and Florence Ballard to form the singing group The Primettes. The Primettes auditioned for Motown’s president Barry Gordy in 1960, and in 1961 he signed the group under the condition that they change their names. They eventually settled on The Supremes. In the early years of the group, Ross served as the group’s hair stylist, make-up artist and seamstress. The Supremes’ mainstream success, paved the way for future African American singers to have a voice on a global scale.
The Supremes would go on to become one of the most commercially successful vocal groups in American history, with 12 number one singles on the Billboard Hot 100. Diana Ross was the lead vocalist, and in 1967 Berry Gordy, renamed the group Diana Ross and the Supremes. It appeared that Diana was being groomed to be a headliner, and eventually she went solo in 1969. One of the first things Motown did to establish Diana as a solo performer, was have her introduce a new Motown act: The Jackson 5. Diana released her first solo record in 1970, which included the hit, “Reach out and Touch (Somebody’s Hand).”
Ross also ventured into acting. Her first major movie was Lady Sings the Blues, in which she portrayed the legendary blues singer Billie Holiday. Her performance garnered her a Golden Globe Award and an Academy Award nomination. She would later go on to star in Mahogany with Billy Dee Williams and in the classic film The Wiz alongside her friend Michael Jackson. Besides music and movies, Diana also stared on Broadway, and no one can forget her iconic Super Bowl XXX performance in 1996. (When you see Beyonce on tour in her tight blue jumpsuit, we know who she got it from.) When her releases with The Supremes and as a solo artist are combined, Ms. Ross has sold more than 100 million records worldwide, and in 1993 she was named the most successful female music artist in history, by the Guinness Book of World Records for her solo work and for her work with The Supremes.
Diana Ross’ love life has always been the subject of much speculation. In 1965, Ross became romantically involved with Berry Gordy. The affair lasted several years and in August 1971 they had their only child together, Rhonda Silberstein. In January 1971, two months into her pregnancy with Rhonda, Ross married music executive Robert Ellis Silberstein. Ross had two daughters With Silberstein, Tracee Joy born in 1972 and Chudney Lane Silberstein born in 1975. Ross and Silberstein divorced in 1977.
Diana met her second husband, Norwegian billionaire shipping magnate Arne Næss, Jr. in 1985. They married the following year. Their wedding took place in a 10th century church in Switzerland. It allegedly cost $1 million and approximately 240 guests were in attendance. Ms. Ross wore a timeless embroidered white satin dress with a long white veil of antique Belgian lace, and Stevie Wonder sang “I Just Called to Say I Love You” at the reception! Ross and Naess eventually had two boys Ross Arne and Evan Olav. They divorced in 2000; however, Ross still considered him the love of her life and she was devastated when Næss was killed in a mountain climbing accident in 2004.
Diana Ross is a constant source of inspiration, from her lyrics, to her soothing vocals, to her hair, fashion and humanitarian work, she shows that a true diva should be fabulous, talented and caring. Today we take a look back at some of Ms. Ross’ iconic looks, and show how you can get incorporate her glamorous style on your wedding day.
Diana was never afraid to take the plunge and show off her mid-section. This daring look can be achieved for the bride who is not afraid to be a little risqué. We love these bridal gowns from Badgley Mischka and Berta Bridal.
Fringe, Feathers and Fur
Diana is never afraid to dress up an already spectacular gown with fur, feather and fringe. We are seeing these elements in bridal gowns by St. Pucchi, Reem Acra , Oscar de la Renta, Mark Zunino , and Ralph Lauren .
St. Pucchi Reem Acra
The Pants Suit
In the 1970’s, Diana knew how to make a pant suit look feminine and sexy. Believe it or not, pant suits are all over bridal runway shows. Many brides are considering changing into a comfortable, yet fashionable suit for their reception. We love these suits by Sarah Jassir, Alfred Angelo, Oscar de la Renta, Jason Wu, and Rivini.
The Cap Veil
Instead of a traditional veil why not wear a vintage Juliet cap, or a cap veil. Diana is gorgeous in her sequinned cap. If you are into this unique head adornment, you will love these looks by Johanna Johnson.
Thank you Ms. Ross for all of the years of inspiration.