Start of a Superstar
Tina began her career with a trend she’ll wear for five more decades: lots and lots of sparkle.
The ankle-length hemline on her white curve-hugging dress with glittery purple streak, worn in 1964, is tame by Tina standards, but it shows that she’s always brought the glitz to the stage.
Shimmy and Shake
By 1969 she found her signature style: tiered fringe dresses with the shortest possible hem.
Case in point? She wore a nearly identical outfit on the The Ed Sullivan Show in 1970.
As she topped the charts (seen here in 1971) her hemlines kept getting shorter and shorter and the shocking slits were all her idea. “Tina didn’t have any money at the time; she’d buy these really cheap evening gowns in jersey [material] when she was in Europe and bring them in,” Bob Mackie, the designer of sparkly white dress told Billboard. “I’d stand in front of the mirror with her and would just start cutting. She’d say ‘a little higher here,’ and I’d cut and then we’d pull it open and tack it down.”
Tina Did it First
Before “naked dresses” became standard on the red carpet, Tina was the trend-setter, wearing plunging, sheer, cutout naked dresses on stage.
She Was a Showgirl
She wore another Bob Mackie creation in Las Vegas in 1977: a cutout corset with exposed sheer bra and no pants.
Tina’s legs are legendary thanks to outfits like this red tattered bodysuit that showed them off.
Bob Mackie created this infamous costume in 1978 that he said “sparkled like dynamite” for her nightclub act. “We made this big feathered back-piece that goes on her shoulders for her entrance,” Mackie said. “Nobody’s as exciting on stage as Tina. She’s just a whirling dervish of excitement.”
Tina launched a major comeback in the ’80s after her split from husband and musical partner, Ike Turner, with her glitzy rock ‘n’ roll shows. But one thing stayed the same: She wore slits so high they went past the top of her thigh.
She’s never been so covered up (in a loose white button-down, tie and high-waisted mom jeans in 1984) and looked so sexy.
If you couldn’t tell by the embellished denim jacket, fishnet tights and sky-high hair, the year was 1985 and Tina was trying out all the trends.
Moves Like Jagger
In 1966, Tina helped Mick Jagger out with his onstage choreography by teaching him the Pony and “some hip movements backstage.” And when they teamed up to perform at Live AID in 1985, he had all the right moves.
Tina collaborated with her friend, legendary designer Azzedine Alaïa, with looks for her album cover, videos, photoshoots and the red carpet. And when she attended his 1989 fashion show she said that his clothes are, “unlike anyone else’s clothes; very special. It’s not easy to wear Azzedine’s clothes … but you have to try them on sometimes just to get the feel of it, just sort of get an attitude in his clothes. You become very French actually.” We’d say she wore this skin-tight cutout LBD like a Parisian pro.
Tina helped usher in the mom jean craze in the ’90s, by giving them a spin on the stage of her Foreign Affair tour in 1990.
Still Got It
At 56, she performed at Wembley Stadium in 1996 wearing a lace-trimmed sparkly slip dress.
Jump For Joy
Tina wore a glamorous black lace jumpsuit on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno in 1997.
Time went on, but Tina’s signature style remained, as evidenced by this completely-sheer jumpsuit worn to accept the NRJ Music Awards in Cannes in 2000.
Beyoncé and Tina teamed up for an epic duet of “Proud Mary” at the 2008 Grammy Awards. Bey channeled the star in her signature sparkly mini dress, while Tina kept rollin’ with a high-shine corset and dangerously tight leggings.
Tina celebrated her friend, designer Giorgio Armani, when he won his Legion D’Honneur award in 2008, wearing a beaded culotte jumpsuit that dazzled from every angle.
Not many people can whip out a sparkly mini red dress with extra high-cut slits inspired by a look they previously wore decades earlier, and that’s because no one else is like Tina, who wore a sparkly red mini at her 50th Anniversary tour in 2008.
At the Giorgio Armani fashion show in 2012, she’s still wearing the style that started it all — shimmer, shine and sparkles.
All That Glitters
Tina surprised the audience with an emotional speech after opening night of Tina – The Tina Turner Musical, the acclaimed show based on her life, in New York City in November 2019. Joining Tony-nominated actress Adirenne Warren onstage, who portrays Tina in the show, the icon dazzled the crowd in her long-sleeved glittering gold gown.
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