SweetLeigh

A Sustainable Life. Make Magick.

Character Study: Denise Huxtable

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Oh my GAWD! The television show A Different World just showed up on Netflix to stream in its entirety! Leave it to Netflix to get me waxing nostalgic! A Different World was a great show that showed a diversity of Black people going to college that had never been seen before. Such a great funny show. And yes it had a lot of lesson episodes, because college kids are still kids, growing up.If you haven’t seen it check it out!  It was the the spin off of a little show called The Cosby Show that starred Lisa Bonet as Denise Huxtable going to historically Black Hillman College. Oddly enough I had been planning on donig a DH tribute anywho so can’t give them all of the credit! So Cool! Marathon is pending. But first we have to talk about Lisa or actually, Denise.

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Denise Huxtable was my first Alternative Black Girl. I later learned that she was almost every teenage girl’s favorite 80s TV style icon!  Not to mention just plain cool girl. Never mean, always cool. even when she was riled up. spoke her truth and kept it real. Vanessa was a little more shrill(!) in her early days but cool too as she became a teenager! #justsayin. Denise’s wardrobe full of Japanese designer pieces, prints and fabulous asymmetrical voluminous clothes screamed Bohemian art chics unite! Most of all it said Be your own fabulous self. And although there were plenty of outfits I would gladly have worn out of that closet, It wasn’t just about the sense of style that she had! Denise just resonated ease and confidence.That’s what we all admired, her ability to be that easy, that confident, AND that unique. Even if its total mythology, we still do!

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Apparently we have Costume Designer Sara Lemire to thank for the unique and extremely stylish Huxtables. In a 1987 Interview with the Philadelphia Inquirer. “With Lisa, I would have gone much more outrageous with the hair and hats, but I don’t have much control over the hair,” says Lemire, 44. (Other people are in charge of hair and makeup.) “Lisa always had great taste and liked great things. For me, it was like dressing myself if I was 20 years younger.” Can you imagine if she did what she wanted to do with Denise’s look??  Gush!

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Fun Fact: Lisa Bonet had eloped with musician Lenny Kravitz on November 16, 1987, announced that she was preggers in early 1988. A pregnant college freshman was not what the producers of A Different World had in mind, so she was fired! Of course she was rehired back on The Cosby Show for Season Five. Of course, she was outfitted in even bigger oversize jackets and loose-fitting patterned shirts until she conveniently went away to  Zaire to work with a photographer. When she came back from Africa, she was Denise Kendall, wife of a Navy officer and her wardrobe took another fabulous turn, as did her hair! Different as it should be but still fab. As always not afraid of perception and a stylin Icon. Who never took herself too seriously.

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Denise Huxtable and all of the Huxtable women were in fact Style Icons of not only the time, but forever! I love how the Philadelphia Inquirer piece ends. It is still so very relevant: ‘ “Most of all, Lemire keeps exploring the power of television, how it affects clothing and clothing affects characters and viewers. “I look at a lot of television and can’t understand what the costume designers are doing,” she says, shaking her head. “It looks like a lot of people have forgotten that it’s a visual medium.” ‘ So Freakin’ True, almost 30 years later!  I LOVE You Denise! No worries there will be a Lisa Bonet Style Icon post in the near future! I got you.

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For amazing Denise Love check out HuxtableHotness on Tumblr and a google search will hook you up like it did me. Thanks gawds I have responsibilities!

xoxo
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Author: sweetvanessaleigh

I am Vanessa Leigh, maker, writer and witchy goddess in training.

12 thoughts on “Character Study: Denise Huxtable

  1. I’ve always loooooved Denise! She was not afraid to be herself and she rocked everything she wore like a true rockstar

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