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HomeFashion7 Key Looks From Whitney Houston: I Wanna Dance With Someone

7 Key Looks From Whitney Houston: I Wanna Dance With Someone

Die-hard Whitney Houston fans will instantly recognize the opening scene from director Kasi Lemmons and writer Anthony McCarten’s Whitney Houston: I Wanna Dance With Somebody. It shows Houston (played by Naomi Ackie) from behind, in a black velvet turtleneck gown with a sparkly cape skirt and updo, about to appear in the 1983 began performing at the American Music Awards. Known today as “The Impossible Medley” (she sang show tunes like “I Told You I Won’t Go” and her hit “I’ve Got Nothing” 10 minutes), it was a defining moment in the singer’s 30 year career. This outfit only emphasizes her indelible performance and talent. She’s a total star.

Immediately after this shot, the viewer is teleported back to 30. Houston met Robin Crawford, played by Nafessa Williams, who would become Houston’s lover, then assistant and creative director. The scene where the couple meets by chance in their neighborhood before their big break in Houston is very liberating and sets the tone for what’s to come. (They actually met as counselors at summer camp.) The late icon’s accolades include some six Grammys, two Emmys and 16 Billboard Awards. But as these humanizing scenes come, this isn’t a movie primarily about pop star Whitney Houston. This is a movie about the human Whitney Houston.

Charles Antoinette, the costume designer behind the project, explains that this distinction is one of the most important points. The talent behind the costumes in Judas and the Black Messiah, Somebody, Antoinette has experience bringing real people to screen. However , retelling the singer’s story on film has its own complications — not least in capturing the lesser-known, original image of Houston, whom his loved ones call Nippy. “I watched a documentary [that] talked about how [Whitney] played Whitney Houston on stage and Nippy at home,” Antoinette said. “So I really try to show it in the costumes.”

Below, Antoine Nate walks

Vogue through some of Ackie’s looks, which visually depict Houston’s rise to the top before her untimely death.



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