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  • Lacrystal Parker

Without Little Richard, would Lizzo exist? Would Lil Nas X? Would the Rolling Stones?

The true story of fashion icon and music legend Little Richard known for sequined kaftans on TV and tie-up blouses on stage, is apologetically told in the documentary Little Richard: I Am Everything. Photo courtesy of Magnolia Pictures.


Director: Lisa Cortés

Producers: Robert Friedman, Lisa Cortés, Liz Yale Marsh and Caryn Capotosto

Executive Producers: Dee Rees, Mike Powers, Anita May Rosentstein, Gus Wenner, Jason Fine, Amy Entelis, Courtney Sexton

Featuring interviews with Mick Jagger, Billy Porter, John Waters, Tom Jones, and more


The true story of fashion icon and music legend Little Richard known for sequined kaftans on TV and tie-up blouses on stage, is apologetically told in the documentary Little Richard: I Am Everything. Photo courtesy of Magnolia Pictures.


Rock and roll legend Lil Richard, also known as Little Richard, is known not only for his music but also for his flamboyant and unique fashion sense. His style was bold, daring, and unapologetically eccentric, making him a true fashion icon of his time.


Little Richard whose government name is Richard Penniman was a man of many talents and made fashion choices that made many people uncomfortable but at the same time changed the face of rock and roll fashion.


“Rock n’ roll is the American idiom, our most enduring export, the lifeblood of our pop music.

It’s also our cultural war zone, from the scandal of Elvis’s pelvis to outrage over Lizzo playing

James Madison’s flute,” said Director Lisa Cortés, an Academy Award® nominated and Emmy-winning producer and director. Award-winning and professional flutist Lizzo played U.S. President James Madison’s crystal flute from the 1800s and was chastised by conservatives citing that she was desecrating an American artifact. Madison, by the way, was a slave owner.


Little Richard’s gender fluid fashion influenced Jimi Hendrix, Keith Richards, Steve Lacy, Prince, A$AP Rocky and more.

Photo courtesy of Magnolia Pictures.


“As Mick Jagger ruefully admits in the film, Little Richard did it first. First to wear mascara; first

to strip his shirt off; first to play with gender norms,” said Cortés. “Little Richard, I Am Everything is as

entertaining and thought-provoking as the man himself, and like Richard Penniman, aims to

reshape the very culture from which it arises”


The 98-minute documentary Little Richard: I Am Everything will be released in theaters nationwide with one-night-only screenings on April 11, and hit digital and on-demand on April 21.


Rock & Roll Hall of Famer Little Richard sported a towering pompadour with a curly fringe, which became his signature look. Photo courtesy of Magnolia Pictures.


“Tracing Richard Wayne Penniman’s path from 1930s Macon, Georgia through underground

Black drag clubs to segregated concert halls and international fame, the film rejects

simplification, giving Little Richard his due both as a revolutionary and as a deeply conflicted

artist navigating tensions of race and sexuality more heated today than during his rise,” said Cortés.


One of the most notable aspects of Lil Richard's fashion statement was his hair. He sported a towering pompadour with a curly fringe, which became his signature look. His hair was often adorned with sparkly headbands or colorful scarves, adding to his already eye-catching appearance.


Lil Richard was also known for his colorful and flamboyant stage outfits. He often wore bright and vibrant suits, adorned with sequins, feathers, and glitter. His outfits were often tight-fitting and showed off his slim figure, which he was proud of.


Apart from his stage attire, Lil Richard's off-stage wardrobe was equally impressive. He was often seen wearing loud and colorful shirts, paired with tight-fitting trousers and loafers. He also loved to accessorize with sunglasses, rings, and bracelets, adding even more flair to his already flamboyant look.


Lil Richard's fashion statement was a bold and daring reflection of his larger-than-life personality. His unique and flamboyant style continues to inspire and influence fashion trends even today, making him a true fashion icon and legend. He died in 2020 at the age of 87.


Marie Y. Lemelle, MBA is a global public relations consultant, playwright and film producer.

Her IG: @platinumstarpr


published by LaCrystal Parker






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