The Jazz Emporium

Let's get our Vintage on!

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Sassy Bearcat of the Week – Josephine Baker


So talented a singer was Josephine Baker that she was the main inspiration for Shirley Bassey. So striking and hypnotic in her dancing performances and style was she that she became the muse to countless artists including F. Scott Fitzgerald, Pablo Picasso and Christian Dior – and Ernest Hemmingway who described her as “… the most sensational woman anyone ever saw.”





So socially and politically minded was she that she she was recruited as a spy for the allied forces, using her celebrity status to smuggle vital information crucial to the French resistance during the German occupation of France in WW2. So sharp was her civil consciousness that after Martin Luther King’s death, his wife approached Josephine with the request that she take King’s place as the leader of the movement. Such a responsible family figurehead was she that she turned it down in protest that her children ‘…were too young to lose their mother.’

She had 12 adopted children from multi-ethnic backgrounds which she named her “Rainbow Tribe” – Angelina Jolie has nothing on her!


For these reasons alone there need be no further argument as to why Josephine is this week’s sassy bearcat. More than her style – her presence alone seemed to radiate what the jazz hopes to emulate even to the minutest degree; an embracing of oneself and others around you. She exudes the carefree liberal nature of the 20s and glamour of the 30s, crazying up her stage outfits with huge feather hats (or nothing at all!) and accompanied at all times by her pet cheeta who sometimes escaped and terrorized the audience.



What a woman; especially bearing in mind aged 12 she was sleeping rough in the slums of St Louis, scavenging from bins and dancing on street corners. Well, we certainly think she’s some woman. And with a single glance at her infamous Banana Dance – her confident and outlandish character wouldn’t give two hoots if you disagreed…



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Sassy Bearcat of the Week: Jayne Min aka Stop It Right Now

I’ve probably mentioned before the awesome Jayne Min, the sharply dressed blogger behind the equally awesome blog Stop it Right Now. Jayne is this week’s Sassy Bearcat not only because I am a tad obsessed with her high-fashion meets skater girl cool style, but because of her excellent post on consumerism and why fashion blog envy shouldn’t leave you maxing out your credit cards. All pics belong to Jayne Min obvs.


Guest Post by Jessica James: Oh yeah, Redheads!

I have been in love with redheads since Disney’s 1989 release of “The Little Mermaid.” Is it so wrong that I want to have luscious red hair, beautiful voice and a tail? Since I was a child, I have wanted to be a ginger so so so bad, but never thought it would suit. Oh how wrong I was, just you wait and see.

In no particular order, the following is a list of amazing and admirable characters. Incidentally, these folks all possess a fiery mane.

Ariel (The Little Mermaid)

Joan (Mad Men)

Pippi Longstocking


Anne of Green Gables

Peter Pan

Ron Weasley (Harry Potter)



Strawberry Shortcake

Jessica Rabbit (Roger Rabbit)

Jessica (True Blood)

Since I was not naturally born one of these fiery individuals, I thought that dating ginger men would possibly satisfy this thirst. No, this did not prove to be a problem solver. In fact, it encourages the green monster of hair resentment and jealousy.

My mother has trained/brainwashed me into thinking that I am always and forever a blonde. So for 27 (almost 28) years, I have not deviated from this set course. Och, I take that back, I did have a two wee teeny pink highlights last year. Needless to say, Mummy dearest did not approve of these. Unfortunately, I have not been at all adventurous or original with my hair. My clothing is a different matter, as my personal style has grown and developed significantly over the last few years. I think it was high time for the ol’ hairdo to follow suit. Plus, redheads are very ‘pinup’ and look amazing in so many hues, including purple!

As it so happens, a couple of weeks ago, a good friend asked me out of the blue if I had ever considered going red. The answer is YES, everyday of my miserable blonde haired existence. But I just did not think red would ever suit my complexion and me. Apparently, I just needed a third party to validate this ginger desire of mine. With a wee bit of encouragement, I bought a box of hair color. This was going to be a gigantic step for me. But you only live once, right? The desired effect was not exactly achieved on this first round, but I considered myself well on the road. The color appeared browner/mahogany, as opposed to the amber that was illustrated on the cheap cardboard box. I was pleased, but treated it as a ‘transition’ style.

After a week, my hair was ready for a trip to the professional beauty supply shop for some hardcore chemicals. There, I put my complete trust in my good pal who has no training whatsoever in hair and beauty. The pair of us wandered cluelessly around the shop, and I believe the sales girl may have been doubtful of the likelihood of our success. An hour later, under the confident and nimble fingers of Piotr, I turned into a proper ginger. Success!! It is such a dramatic and welcome change, and I am constantly catching myself in the mirror and think….yes, that’s me. It’s a necessary reaffirmation of my identity. On the plus side, I’m having more fun as a redhead than I ever did as a blonde. So there!

[Editor – loving the new look Jess :)]

Have you guys gone through a style transformation lately?

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Sassy Bearcat of the Week: Style Like U edition

Style Like U, oh how I love thee!

If I recollect correctly Style Like U was the catalyst for the conversation, between Jazzine & I, that eventually led to this here emporium opening many moons ago. For those that have never stumbled upon it, for shame. Style Like U offers regular mini films about the stylish people on the planet (well mostly centered around New York). Not only do you get to glimpse into these people’s wardrobes, you get to hear enchanting stories about their lives and why they dress the way they do.

I like that alongside designers, industry names, models and musicians you will find ordinary folk who just happen to have a penchant for being dapper. So I thought for this edition of Sassy Bearcat of the Week I would share a few of my favourite Style Like U videos. A word of warning, disappearing down the rabbit hole of Style Like U will result in a) coveting designer goods b) an itching to go thrifting c)  a jonesing to customize all your clothes and d) a desire to move across the pond.

Open your (style) mind and get inspired….

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Sassy Bearcat of the Week: Grimes

Grimes Aka Claire Boucher has been tickling our collective fashion bone for a few months now. Not only do we love her spooky electro pop and her awkward dancing, but style-wise it’s her effortless thrown together look that is quite inspiring, a mixture of girly vintage pieces and tough-grungy ones. The addition of a dyed blunt fringe and full eyebrows on such a delicate physique completes the style juxtaposition. Ah, I so desperately would love to own her sequined/studded (I’m not quite sure) hoodie from the video Oblivion.

Could you pull off the Grimes look?

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Sassy Bearcat of the Week + an ASOS Sneak Peek!

To celebrate the launch of our ASOS Marketplace for this week’s Sassy Bearcat of the Week we’ve scoured the best street-style blogs to share with you the gangsters and molls slaying it on the street right now.

Hot dungarees @ The Satorialist

Black and minimal @ Stitches, Fabric & Soul

Zips are the best detail right now @ Jak & Jil

Preppy Androgyny @ Guerrisms

90s silver minimailsm @ The Jazz Emporium ASOS marketplace shop


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Sassy Bearcat of the Week: Robyn

As you no doubt know that although The Jazz live off a meaty diet of rock n roll and electro, there are times when we like to abandon the pure lifestyle and stuff our faces/ears full off cheesy junk food pop. That doesn’t mean we aren’t still discerning, Robyn is a pop artist but her songs are definitely way better than normal radio fodder. And her style is off the hook, it is so not pop! Her style is brilliant mix of vintage 90s pieces and contemporary designers. She clearly dresses for herself not for what she thinks her audience wants (underwear if you go by what every other pop darling is wearing) which is a very The Jazz thing to do. That is why Robyn is this week’s style icon. Do check out her sometimes stylist Decida’s blog it’s trés trés cool. On to the looks…

Ps. Flat forms rock!