Naked dresses and thigh-high splits: Tina Turner’s most iconic fashion moments of all time
The powerhouse singer was also a trailblazing fashion icon, known for her love of bedazzled minidresses, fringe galore and daringly high splits.
By Dani Maher
THE NEWS of Tina Turner’s death has shaken the world today, as we mourn the loss of one of the most powerful voices of the past century.
Turner was beloved for her high-octane performances and her multitude of hit songs, from “Proud Mary” to “River Deep – Mountain High”, which earned her the title of “Queen of Rock ‘n’ Roll”. But she was also known for the outrageous looks she would don each time she took to the stage, which grew bolder and bolder throughout her career as she embraced naked dresses, tinsel fringing, showgirl-inspired gowns and of course, her signature voluminous ’80s blowout. That fashion growth was not merely for show: In her photo book That’s My Life, she credited her bolder fashion choices made her feel “stronger, more confident, happier, [and] loved.”
Tina Turner’s best fashion moments
The houndstooth suit
For a recording of the television show “Ready Steady Go!” in 1966, Turner donned this eye-catching houndstooth suit, pairing it with slouchy leather boots and oversized sunglasses.
The sparkling, pearl-encrusted mini
As her stardom grew ever bigger, Turner’s style evolved. By the end of the ’60s she had found her new look: Sparkling minidresses, often covered in fringes of beads. Here, she takes to the stage of LA’s iconic Greek Theatre with Ike in 1971.
The Mackie flame dress
Captured here in the late ’70s, Turner takes to the stage wearing an extravagant showgirl look by Bob Mackie. Mackie created two of these flame-inspired looks for Turner and fellow ’70s icon Cher, when they performed together on Cher’s show in 1977. The vibrant orange turkey feathers were added on to the look when Turner took to the road as a solo performer later that year.
The showgirl era
After splitting with her abusive ex-husband Ike, Turner was more liberated than ever — and that extended to her sartorial choices. Performing in Las Vegas in 1977 and embracing the local showgirl aesthetic, Turner donned this silver and white look with its cut-outs and nude illusions.
The lingerie look
In 1978, for her first solo performance in London since splitting from Ike, Turner went all out in this Mackie lingerie look with a singular stocking, plenty of fringing and bedazzling, and a lacy exposed bra — showcasing plenty of trends that are all the rage right now.
The ripped look
Another iconic London look from 1983, this shredded dress demonstrates how Turner’s style grew ever more sensual — embracing ripped fabrications and extreme thigh-high splits, a look she championed herself.
All tied up
In the mid-’80s, Turner continued to experiment with her style, embracing a more masculine look with relaxed shirts, tight leather pants and loosely knotted ties.
The naked minidress
Proving that the naked dress is a decades-enduring phenomenon, Turner became a fan of nude illusion looks — like this moment from 1990.
The Versace mini
For her “Wildest Dreams” tour in 1997, Turner wore this Gianni Versace shimmering minidress, lined with black lace and featuring the brand’s iconic Medusa logo on the slip straps.
The red hot mini
Even in her late ’60s, Turner was harnessing her sensuality in her signature skin-baring look. Here, she dons a sparkling red mini with thigh cut-outs, inspired by a dress she had worn decades earlier.