Josephine was a natural and excellent dancer and at a very early age, she found notoriety and success in the Parisian music halls of the day. At just fourteen years of age she landed her first part in a play at the Booker Washington Theatre and was an immediate hit becoming known as the ‘funny girl’ by the audience due to her quirky performance style. Further success came for her in New York and there she was discovered by a Parisian talent scout which lead to her moving to Paris where she found fame and fortune. Of course Josephine’s talent was key to her success, but her costumes were pretty impressive too!
As Josephine’s fame and wealth grew so did her amazing wardrobe. Many pieces were discovered in trunks in the cellar of her French Chateau and can be seen displayed there.
Her unique and very sensual form of dance is a part of her great appeal. Within two years of moving to live in Paris, Josephine was offered a part in the revue show at the Folies Bergère . It was in these shows that the most iconic of her costumes was seen her famous banana skirt.
This iconic costume piece along with many other pieces of clothing belonging to Josephine is displayed at her former home; the Chateau de Milandes in France.
Another wonderful piece of Josephine’s costuming is often on display in her former Marrakech home; Riad Star. The dress is a wonderful sequinned piece, it is owned by Lucie and Mike Wood. Lucie and Mike bought the dress in a Paris auction and it is as you would expect a riot of sequinned, swirls and colours. With a tiny waist and an ample bust, this dress gives us an idea of the proportions of the great lady who once wore it.