Bold Brows And Beautiful Gowns: The Standout Beauty And Fashion Moments From Aretha: Genius

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Aretha Franklin genius

Source: National Geographic/Richard DuCree / National Geographic

Presented By National Geographic Genius: Aretha

On March 21, National Geographic will premiere their much-anticipated anthology series based on the life and legacy of Aretha Franklin, the Queen of Soul. Genius: Aretha stars Emmy award-winning actress and Grammy award-winning singer Cynthia Erivo in the third season of the series. Viewers will have the chance to learn the untold stories of the woman behind the tunes we know and love, from her beginnings, her loves, learning of her musical genius, her rise in the industry, and her place in pop culture as an iconic singer and activist.

Among other things, Franklin was also a trendsetter — from head to toe. We’re talking “great gowns, beautiful gowns.” She’s had so many iconic style moments, including her hair and makeup choices, and they were recreated and brought to life in Genius: Aretha. To get ready for Sunday night’s premiere, check out some of the stunning style moments that come from Erivo’s portrayal of the soul legend. Lots of furs, flips and fierce makeup to take us back in time. Get into these fashions!

And be sure to tune into the eight-episode series, airing two episodes over four nights starting on March 21 on NatGeo.

Aretha Franklin genius

Source: Richard DuCree / National Geographic

Wearing a signature Aretha Franklin-inspired hairstyle, Erivo is pictured in a shimmering gold gown and coordinating gold accessories next to actor Malcolm Barrett. He plays Ted White, songwriter and Franklin’s first husband. He co-wrote the classic “Think.”

When it comes to the hair done for the series, stylist Coree Moreno was tasked with doing justice to Franklin’s classic looks. It was a responsibility he tells us he relished.

“Aretha wasn’t afraid to push boundaries, and at 27, I wasn’t around to see it for myself, so this was a great opportunity for me to represent Aretha’s hair looks properly,” he says. “‘Hairstory’ in the making. At this point, my Aretha reference game is the strongest.”

Aretha Franklin, played by Cynthia Erivo, and Ted White, played by Malcolm Barrett off stage prior to a performance. For Erivo, hair by Coree Moreno. Makeup by Terrell Mullin.

Aretha Franklin genius

Source: Richard DuCree / National Geographic

Everyone knows the Queen of Soul loves a good fur (or feather). Erivo, who plays Franklin, is captured in a candid moment after one of the singer’s performances. She’s sporting a one-of-a-kind blue fur, as well as that signature hairstyle and spot-on Franklin ‘brows circa the Aretha Now era.

The bold eyebrows and other makeup looks you’ll see here, were done by makeup artist Terrell Mullin.

“Knowing this era and being a true Aretha fan, this was a great experience for me,” he says. “Being able to bring iconic old school looks to the modern-day audience, in a chic way, was a true pleasure.”

Aretha Franklin, played by Cynthia Erivo, relaxes after a performance. Hair by Coree Moreno. Makeup by Terrell Mullin.

Aretha Franklin genius

Source: Richard DuCree / National Geographic

Erivo is seen wearing a soft bob, which was another go-to look for Franklin around the time of “Natural Woman,” and a stunning embroidered red and purple dress in a candid shot from the series. Where can we get our hands on those earrings?

Aretha Franklin, played by Cynthia Erivo. Hair by Coree Moreno. Makeup by Terrell Mullin.

Aretha Franklin genius

Source: Richard DuCree / National Geographic

Franklin, who wore many hats including fashionista, was also, as previously stated, an activist. As she once said, “I know you got to disturb the peace when you can’t get no peace.” Erivo is pictured here, holding the Black power fist as Franklin, and sporting a mean leather jacket and dress, and afro wig.

Aretha Franklin, played by Cynthia Erivo. Hair by Coree Moreno. Makeup by Terrell Mullin.

Aretha Franklin genius

Source: Richard DuCree / National Geographic

While belting her heart out singing one of Franklin’s classics, Erivo wears a black ribbed turtleneck, patterned blazer, button earrings and beaded, stacked red necklaces. There goes that signature wig again!

Aretha Franklin, played by Cynthia Erivo, recording at Fame Studios in Muscle Shoals, AL. Hair by Coree Moreno. Makeup by Terrell Mullin.

Aretha Franklin genius

Source: Richard DuCree / National Geographic

Captured in a colorful printed top with a matching jacket and a formidable afro, Erivo as Franklin stands next to actor Courtney B. Vance. He plays Franklin’s father,  C.L. Franklin, a notable Baptist minister.

Aretha Franklin (R), played by Cynthia Erivo, stands by and supports her father C.L. Franklin, played by Courtney B. Vance, as he talks to reporters in front of his home. For Erivo, hair by Coree Moreno. Makeup by Terrell Mullin.

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