Love to Love You: Donna Summer

Thursday, May 17, 2012

It seems that these times of our lives have introduced us to many a legend who have come and touched us in their special way, and when they leave us, we remember how poignant their expression of Creativity has indeed left its mark and truly moved us. With over 130 million records sold, 31 #1  International hits, it is really no wonder that there is almost no one who hasn't heard "the Voice of a Decade" or The Queen of Disco, or, simply Ms. Donna Summer.
For me, Donna Summer embodied a style and charisma that could not have come from any other time except the 70's. I remember dancing with my Mom in the kitchen to "Try Me I Know We Can Make It" (which is still my absolute favorite Donna Summer song for various reasons and 18 minutes of pure disco sensuality) and I fondly remember always hearing Donna playing in our house all the time. I grew up listening to her voice, and kept growing up listening to it and being influenced by the messages coming through her voice even as an adult. It was through her voice that I learned many things about my self and about love, beauty, and style.
As a fashion/style icon, Donna had a style about her that was strong, courageous, and vibrant. The legendary fashion photographer, Francesco Scavullo definitely saw this in her and she was one of his most photographed subjects (see my pictorial tribute below). I will never forget that brown sequined disco dress she slips into to perform "Last Dance" in the movie "Thank God Its Friday". In that moment we learned that's how you do sexy and confident at the same time: it become a signature look not only for her but for countless women in the Disco era, and beyond--all you have to do is look at Tom Ford to see her fashion influence translated for our modern time--that alluring, seductive, sultry, amber-scented, confidently strong woman that Donna Summer put a look and face to for an international audience who would express their self to the world by following her cue. 

from "Once Upon a Time" album cover photographed by Francesco Scavullo 1977

from "Once Upon A Time" album art 1977 photographed by Francesco Scavullo

Barbra Streisand and Donna Summer from "No More Tears (Enough Is Enough)"  single album art
 photographed by Francesco Scavullo

photographed by Francesco Scavullo 1980

Donna Summer as Marilyn Monroe photographed by Francesco Scavullo 1976

photographed by Francesco Scavullo while performing in New York 1978

photographed by Francesco Scavullo 1978

 The cue that I have personally followed that Donna taught me comes from "Try Me I Know We Can Make It",
 "I just wanna show you love and make it all time..."
This is something I do every day and I learned its wisdom coming through the voice of Donna, as that is what she did with her gift and creativity. She showed us all Love. 
Thank You and Rest Peaceful.


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