I’ve had many styles and looks over the years..no doubt my solo debut looks from the late 80’s are what many emulated back then and continue to with variations of it present day. My thing was black girls, Latin girls and other ethnicities could be edgy, funky and different too. Before it was a thing, vintage or thrift store pieces have always played a role in my personal style and pairing high end pieces with those others may consider as bargain bin. Sunglasses have also always been a staple in my wardrobe, not to mention the signature jumbo hoop earrings. In my in progress memoirs, I cover the politics of being a black girl who didn’t fit the box for the many in R&B, radio (why is she dressed like that?) and media and with some fans. It’s an interesting subject to reflect upon and to have pushed past and in my own way, broken through some of those obstacles.
Fast forward to 2019 and moving into the new decade it’s a good idea to continue to repurpose clothes, mend, buy second hand – it’s good for the environment and your wallet. Always donate, consign, mix it up and be you.
Working the skirt and handheld fan was inspired by flamenco dancers as a child and later the delicate use in Japanese culture. My collection is ever-growing from gifts to those I purchase in my travels..as well as custom.
Jody Watley – Ebony Magazine. Trendsetter. Soul Train…I even had a handheld fan brooch for extra detail.
A staple at my live shows. Often imitated over the years.
By always doing my own thing, keeping to myself, and just not being afraid to be different for the most part has always made me feel like a bit of an outcast – I’ve always been comfortable with that for the most part.
I’ve seen the popularity of the hand-held fan grow over the decades, and those who try to emulate or imitate me make use. It’s an art form if used properly.
Sharing this from the fan page jodywatleystyle on Instagram – Jody Watley; 1993 Us Weekly. Photography Jon Ragel. Make-up by Collier Strong. Styling Jeannine Braden and Jody Watley. Hair by Jody Watley.
‘Soul Survivor’ interview feature talking about my ‘Affairs of The Heart’ –when magazines were interested in what you had to say about your music, writers cared enough to do their homework.. and focus was not celebrity gossip or how many social media followers you had.
It was an cool to be a part of the “People Magazine 50 Most Beautiful Summer 1990” issue needless to say (actress Michelle Pfeiffer was on the cover). I believe true beauty radiates from the inside out and honestly having smarts is higher on my list though being in the entertainment industry there is a level of superficial so I get it. In my interviews it’s always been key to get that across, not just being a ‘pretty face.’ The feature makes mention of my godfather music legend Jackie Wilson who will finally be honored with a Star on the Walk of Fame in Hollywood September 4, 2019.
In this opportunity it’s noted that I was ok with my crooked bottom teeth..they are still crooked though I could easily have them straightened. Perhaps I will before all is said and done but they don’t bother me and are a part of being distinctly me. Imperfections are a part of who we are, it’s also what I replied recently to someone trolling me on Facebook who mocked me for my bottom teeth ‘you have enough money – why don’t you get your teeth fixed, people are talking about you behind your back..” Sure, we are all works in progress and if definitely fix or work on what needs improvement if it makes you feel better about yourself – go for it but don’t let society or certain standards make you feel less than or inferior in any way. You decide – I decide.
Going with short hair was also a statement in itself and somewhat rebellious in it’s own way..it’s not about my hair but my artistry and quest to always be what and who I want to be at any given time – not who and what other’s want to define or box me into. The short hair was not received well at the time with fans, or my record label. As an artist and a human being most of all, it’s often challenging to hold on and fight to be who you are and want to be while others may only see you one way and try to keep you marginalized to their vision.
This was also around the time I was photographed by legendary Herb Ritts for the GAP groundbreaking ‘celebrity’ ad campaign ‘Individuals Of Style’ – loved this session. Herb Ritts was so kind and easy going. Any intimidation I may have felt going into the session melted away as soon as I met him. We shot in natural light on the rooftop of his Hollywood studio, I wore my own denim jeans and Doc Martens, customizing the white GAP t-shirt to suit me, just a simple snipping off of the sleeves. Peter Savic, another legend in the fashion and celebrity hairstylist..actually he’s a master of hair, an artist not just a stylist worked with Herb Ritts often but it was a first for us. Wanting to do something fresh, modern and bold but not sure what – Peter suggested short and so we agreed on the pixie cut and he knocked it out of the park! An image from this session was also used for my “Precious Love” single…as well it was around this time I was nearly booed off the stage and received heavy backlash after by my only performance on the Soul Train Awards…that’s another post entirely. I do touch upon being black and forward thinking as an artist back then, the politics of the music business .. in my work in progress memoir.
Be bold if you feel like it – be you – live your life!! Wattage!
I believe this is 1980 for RightOn! Magazine, a feature on my style – in this case hair. This is around the time of Shalamar ‘Three For Love’ album. The style came about because of not wanting to braid to the ends because the unbraiding would be more time consuming. It was unique at the time.
Very proud of the resilience I continue to have, the woman and artist I grew to be – still trying to be the best ME I can be no matter what. I’m full of gratitude, healthy and happy fast forwarding decades later living life and going beyond what I ever dreamed initially to create new ones.
Always choose to believe in yourself and keep growing – never get stagnant or lose faith.
When such things were based on achievement and not social media numbers. This was my second feature in Rolling Stone, this time more of a concept fashion and style feature being paired with an unlikely subject. The photo session took place in the Florida Everglades..I was so nervous, needless to say there were alligators in the water popping in and out, but it was all about the shot and being fierce. The crew did consist of a safety team and wranglers if needed. It didn’t take long to get the right take!
“If Jody Watley is looking for a new love, Roland Martin can certainly help her with the bait. She’s Jackie Wilson’s godchild, the ex-Shalamar chanteuse who’s already angling for her second Top 10 single as a solo artist. He’s the Jack Nicklaus of bass fishing, nine time Angler of the Year and sixteen-time winner of the Boss Angler Sports Tournament, and he’s rolling in the dough. He’s also the host of his own TV show, appropriately titled Fishing with Roland Martin.
Rolling Stone Issue 510 October 8, 1987, Fall Fashion “The Sporting Life.” Cover: Bono
Jody Watley Coat & Black Cashmere Dress: Stephen Sprouse Purple Pumps Arlene Laz Marca
Photography: Victoria Pearson ‘Don’t You Want Me’ — funky, trendsetting style. 1987-88 Classic.
Photography: Jon Ragel for Us Magazine – Elegance. 1993 Intimacy era.
I’m me with each project..I’m also a different me with new goals, emotions and inspirations as life dictates my soul and spirit to reflect through my art and music – never wanting to be a pop star.. just an artist and a woman at peace within herself for the choices I make at any given time…always evolving.
New Day – New Week – New Month.
“Always find your best light and shine from the inside out – live YOUR best life, it’s yours -don’t let the world get you down.” Wattage!!
JUNE 22 – Blue Note Napa “An Evening Of Love, Jazz and Soul” – Tickets
JULY 19 – Summerstage Corporal Thompson Park, New York
JULY 20 – Bethesda MD “Celebrating 30 Years of Real Love” Bethesda Blues and Jazz Club : Tickets
AUGUST 17 – Atlanta GA with Jeffrey Osborne Mable Barnes House Amphitheater
AUGUST 31 – Rewind Funk & Soul with Morris Day & The Time and more Sacramento CA – Thunder Valley Amphitheater
SEPTEMBER 7 – Blue Note Hawaii “Unplugged” : Tickets
OCTOBER 13 – With Tony! Toni! Tone! Detroit Soundboard Motor City Casino
OCTOBER 19 – San Antonio Texas TBA
DECEMBER 13 – with Peabo Bryson, Oleta Adams and Ben Vereen “Colors Of Christmas” McCallum Theatre Palm Desert CA
DECEMBER 14 – with Peabo Bryson, Oleta Adams and Ben Vereen “Colors Of Christmas” Cerritos Center for Performing Arts, Cerritos CA
Get the current single “Good Good Reason” with Brian Power and other recent releases Jody Watley as well as Jody Watley & SRL – available at all digital outlets
Follow my Artist Page on Spotify! Check out my playlists and lots of Jody Watley Music.