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  • Costumes By Deborah

The Jazz Centre UK

My design is a contemporary interpretation of an iconic 1920s style flapper dress, this dress incorporates the Gardenia flower as an emblem of an iconic face of the past from the Jazz era.

One evening in the 1930s prior to going on stage , Billie Holliday was given a big white Gardenia by her cloak room assistant. Holiday wore it that night to cover a previously burned section of her hair. she liked wearing the flower so much that she began to put a Gardenia in her hair before every performance.

Gardenias are beautiful, delicate white flowers with a potent scent that symbolise purity and gentleness, sensuality, glamour, femininity, love, and joy. The floral applique detailing on the front of the dress represents Billie Holiday's gardenia emblem. The dress is structurally made up of individual panels heavily trimmed with sparkle. With its low cut back, ostrich feather and dangle beaded hem, this dress brings the flapper silhouette to life.

This dress will be displayed for public viewing at the Jazz Centre UK inside the Beecroft Gallery in Southend on Sea. It will also make an appearance at The 100s club in London (the oldest jazz club in England), for the celebration of a hundred years of jazz and faces of the past, directed by the renowned Jazz musician Digby Fairweather who is now the creative director of the Jazz Centre UK.


Deborah Wingfield


The Peter Cushing


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