Turner Classic Movies (TCM) In the Spotlight With Harlem’s Legendary Fashion Designer b Michael

July 15, 2022

Afew months ago we reported the collaboration with TCM and b Michael.

On Monday, July 11th, 2022, TCM In Spot LIght interviewed the legendary b Michael who was a great friend and fashion designer for Harlem diva Cicely Tyson this month.

What was the first movie you fell in love with?  

Imitation of Life (1959) with Lana Turner, Juanita Moore, and Sandra Dee. The story has so many layers.

I also love the fashion (as Lana Turner’s character became successful) and of course, the dramatic funeral.

What artist or figure has been most influential in your life? 

Cicely Tyson. We shared a special connection, as a muse and fashion designer. We often say, “Givenchy had Audrey Hepburn and b Michael has Cicely Tyson.”

What is one skill people would be surprised to know you have? 

I have an ear for music— as a young man I was a choir director.

What is the first thing you do in the morning?  

Exchange daily affirmation with my husband, Mark-Anthony. Turn on meditation music, to which I meditate or read, followed by a cup of coffee. 

How do you relax during stressful times? 

If I’m home I watch a vintage film, usually one I’m familiar with. Otherwise, I relax by dining out with live music at one of our favorite places in New York for live music “Sugar Bar” opened by legendary singer-songwriters, husband and wife duo Nick Ashford and Valerie Simpson… Ashford and Simpson.

What is your favorite movie moment? 

Selfishly, seeing Whitney Houston wearing my designs for her character, in the film Sparkle, released in 2012. Whitney passed in February of 2012, before the August 2012 release date.

“Being a part of TCM’s “Follow The Thread” is a personal metaphor of my work and love for fashion and film.” -B Michael

Whitney was confirmed to attend my New York fashion week show in February 2012. We left Whitney’s front row seat empty to pay homage.

Which movie do you watch when you need to escape?  

Something funny with exciting clothes— top of that list: Auntie Mame, starring Rosalind Russell and Peggy Cass.

What’s your perfect double feature?  

The Godfather trilogy.

What’s one movie you enjoy watching with your friends/family? 

The Wizard of Oz. Growing up it was an annual family movie night. I still love it!

What movie would you describe as “perfect” in every way? 

Guess Who’s Coming Dinner (1967) approached a progressive topic with a cast of acting greats that make us listen.

Starring the film classic duo, Katherine Hepburn and Spencer Tracy; Katharine Houghton, Isabel Sanford, and the incomparable, Sidney Poitier.

What was the last film that made you cry or laugh? 

The Opposite Sex (1956) made us laugh. Starring June Allyson, Joan Collins, Ann Sheridan, Joan Blondell, Ann Miller, and many others.

It’s a remake of The Women (1939). Both films are based on Clare Boothe Luce’s original 1936 play.

What movie have you watched so often that you can quote it? 

There are several: Lady Sings the Blues, starring Diana Ross and Billy Dee Williams; Funny Face, starring Audrey Hepburn and Fred Astaire; The Women (1939) great cast led by Norma Shearer, Joan Crawford, and Rosalind Russell. 

Get more information on story on TCM.

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