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when she left behind Brooklyn for a $5

Time:2018-08-27 21:07Shoes websites Click:

Which trip become Paris Couture

Bill Eppbridge’s photographs for LIFE magazine capture the magical trip, orchestrated by Vogue’s Diana VreelandAugust 16, 2018

TextOsman Ahmed

There’s never any doubt that Barbra Streisand is a star. So she sang, when she left behind Brooklyn for a $5,000-a-week stint on Broadway in Funny Girl, a musical portrayal of the legendary Fanny Brice: “Cause I’m the greatest staaaaar / I am by faaaaaar / but no-one knooooows it!”

A new Rizzoli tome, Becoming Barbra, offers an unprecedented look at the beginning of Streisand’s career – one that saw her travel to Europe for the first time and become an haute couture client and Vogue cover girl. Between 1963 and 1966, a period of immense cultural change, photojournalist Bill Eppridge captured the meteoric rising of her star at a pivotal point for LIFE magazine. The rest is history.

Eppridge himself was a photographer who was often at the centre of popular culture – his most famous pictures are those of the assassination of Robert F. Kennedy, and he would capture war zones, Woodstock and the Ku Klux Klan over the course of his career. The book follows the young Barbra from her beginnings in New York, where she shops at thrifts stores, smokes cigarettes, does her own hair and lives in a cluttered Lennox Hill apartment above a seafood restaurant; one of Eppridge’s photos shows her singing while she’s doing her laundry in the bathtub, which was located in her kitchen.

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© Bill Eppridge

Fast forward to 1966 and Streisand was “a star in full orbit,” as Eppridge writes. Babs had shed a few pounds, had her hair cropped into a geometric Sassoon-esque bob and wore strings of pearls with chubby fur coats. By this point, she was recording her bestselling album Je m’appelle Barbra with Columbia Records, as well as her primetime Color Me Barbra television show, for which she had a $5 million contract.

At just 23, Streisand had risen to become the undisputed queen of musical comedy, television and records. Every one of the seven records she had made sold over a million copies; she earned $50,000 per concert appearance; for nearly two years she pulled in standing-room-only audiences for a $5,000-a-week stint on Broadway in an otherwise undistinguished musical, Funny Girl, which she would go on to turn into a Hollywood film and take home a cool $1 million for, as well as an Oscar for Best Actress.

Streisand and the rest of the 1960s Jet Set were chronicled in The Beautiful People, Marilyn Bender’s infamous exposé of 1960s celebrity culture in all its profligate, trivial and gripping glory. In her one-woman television spectacular in March 1965, Streisand incorporated a nine-minute segment of fantasy at Bergdorf Goodman. “She sang and flitted about the shop in the most opulent, throwaway chic by Emeric Partos, the custom fur-designer, and Halston, the milliner,” wrote Bender. “The singer gave assurance that she really belonged in Bergdorf’s.”

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© Bill Eppridge

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