Category Archives: Bassey News

Isabell Kristensen

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A few weeks ago there was a programme on  Chanel 5 about the inhabitants of Monte Carlo.  One of them is Isabell Kristensen who designed many of Dame Shirley Bassey’s gowns. Isabell has shops in London and in Monte Carlo. Below you can watch the video and Isabell speaks about Dame Shirley at 19:25. Isabell also designed the golden dress Dame Shirley wore for her fabulous performance at the Oscars in 2013

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Danish fashion designer Isabell Kristensen remembers distinctly the moment she first met longtime idol Shirley Bassey in 1993. “I walked up to her at a cocktail party in London, took a deep breath, and said, ‘I designed a gold dress for you,’ and then offered her my card,” she recounts.

“I made such a scene telling her how much I admired her music it must have been so embarrassing for her. But she promised to come to my boutique at Beauchamp Place.”

Five days later, in walked the Goldfinger singer to Kristensen’s newly opened Knightsbridge shop. After browsing for 20 minutes, Bassey left saying she’d be back with her agent.

On cue, the songstress returned the next day and purchased 32 dresses in one go. “She was so happy she began to sing. She still sings to this day when she tries on clothes in my shop.”

Bassey kick-started the Isabell Kristensen (IK) label. “When I told her I was going to hang her first check on the wall for good luck, she replied, ‘Oh no you don’t! Put it in the bank because there will be many more to come.’ ”

Bassey has been a client, and friend, ever since and the pair has worked together for performances, most recently at last year’s amfAR Gala in Los Angeles, the 2014 Royal Variety Show, the 2013 Oscars and the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee in 2012. Six foot and blessed with model measurements, Kristensen could be mistaken for a Bond girl. She has dressed Katy Perry, Nicole Kidman, Kate Winslet, Cher and Tina Turner. “Liza Minnelli funnily enough approached me at a party in London and asked where I got my dress from. Two days later she was being fitted in my Knightsbridge boutique.”

Kristensen’s career began when she won a fashion design competition in London and was sponsored at the ‘Clothes Show Live,’ the first fashion exhibition available to the public. The positive response led to the launch of her own line, now a family-run business with her only son Martin (she has three daughters) heading up business development.

The decision to open her shop in Monaco came in 2000.

“I will never forget when I first visited Monaco, asking the concierge at Hotel Hermitage where I could have a dress made sur-mesure. He laughed, ‘Madame you’ll have to go to Paris, London, or Milan.’ ”

Her exquisite boutique on rue Princesse Marie de Lorraine on the Rock features talented members of the atelier team who specialize in embroidery and beadwork. “We were the first to produce couture within Monaco, and are still the only business that makes its clothing within the Principality.”

A Monaco resident, Kristensen, who was Maid of Honor at Princess Charlene’s wedding in 2011, has created several gowns for Her Serene Highness, as well as her daughter, Princess Gabriella.

Last year the Isabell Kristensen Couture House took part in Paris Fashion week for the first time.

“Our ateliers are currently in London and Monaco, so we cannot legally claim Haute Couture status as per the regulations of the Fédération de la Haute Couture et de la Mode,” explains Kristensen. “To be recognized as Haute Couture, you must have a full-time atelier in Paris that employs at least fifteen staff, regardless of the quality of workmanship and sewing craft considerations.”

As an independent Couture House, the cost to put on a regular prêt-a-porter show during fashion week is eye-popping. “It’s not uncommon to hit six figures.”

The IK Couture label, whose designs can be viewed on BBC’s Strictly and ITV’s Dances on Ice this season, is working to establish its third atelier in Paris to secure the Haute Couture status.

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“Shirley still sings when trying on my dresses,” says Kristensen, pictured with Dame Bassey in 2018.

Dame Shirley Bassey and Sir Tom Jones lead star tributes to ‘iconic’ Queen following her death

(FROM ITV)

Sir Tom and Dame Shirley among the well-known faces meeting the Queen during her Diamond Jubilee in 2012.Credit: PA Images

Sir Tom Jones and Dame Shirley Bassey are among a number of Welsh superstars to pay tribute to the Queen following her death at Balmoral Castle on Thursday.

Sir Tom said the monarch had been “a constant presence and inspiration throughout” his life. Dame Shirley Bassey said she will miss the Queen “deeply.”

The UK is beginning a period of mourning to remember the life of longest reigning sovereign in British history.

Sir Tom, 82, said on Twitter: “Queen Elizabeth II was a constant presence and inspiration throughout my life. She was a reassuring force in difficult times, her dedication was faultless and her commitment to duty was unrivalled. “I am honoured and blessed to have witnessed her reign. My deepest sympathies to the Royal Family, and gratefully I say, long live the King.” ‘An unstoppable force’

Dame Shirley Bassey, 85, said: “There is a reason why Her Majesty The Queen was admired not just at home but across the world. Through triumph and adversity, her devotion to our country has spanned eras of unprecedented change. “In all that time she remained steadfast, dignified, inspirational. Her courage was mighty, her example iconic. She was an unstoppable force. “Your Majesty, from the bottom of my heart I thank you for all that you have done. I shall miss you deeply. Dame Shirley Bassey.”

Charles will now turn his mind to matters of state as he begins his first full day as the nation’s new monarch having spent much of his 73 years in preparation for the role.

The Queen’s affection for the ‘shining spirit’ of the Welsh people
The Queen visited Wales on many occasions with her last being in October 2021 to open the sixth session of the Senedd.

She insisted on being present in person for Royal Openings of Senedd sessions, even when officials suggested that she delegate it to the Prince of Wales.

Dame Shirley’s Favourite songs

Today the re-post of an old blog made by Peggy. She ran this blog from approximately 2006 till 2008 till her passing.

I came across this the other day:

Dame Shirley Bassey’s favorite songs are:

“Fever” by Peggy Lee

 

“The Wonder Of You” by Elvis Presley

 

“Back To Black” by Amy Winehouse

 

“Have I Told You Lately” by Rod Stewart

“Night Fever” by The Bee Gees

“I’ve Got You Under My Skin” by Frank Sinatra

“We Don’t Need Another Hero” by Tina Turner

 

“The Man That Got Away” by Judy Garland

 

and “All By Myself” by Céline Dion.

(Source: BBC Radio 2″Tracks of My Years”).

I knew about the Sinatra and Peggy Lee ones but the others are surprising.

Thanks to Gary

James Bond Rejected Songs and Rarities

A few months ago I received, what must be, a very rare 4 CD set of James Bond Rejected Songs and Rarities. I googled it but could not find other copies of it. Below you can listen to all the Shirley Bassey related songs.

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Anthony Newley Goldfinger Demo 1
Anthony Newley Goldfinger Demo 2
Shirley Bassey Goldfinger single version
Shirley Bassey Mr. Kiss Kiss Bang Bang
Dionne Warwick Mr. Kiss Kiss Bang Bang
Dame Shirley Bassey No Good About Goodbye
Peter Serafinowicz Goldfinger

Shirley Bassey reflects on her ‘James Bond’ theme tunes (from Far Out Magazine)  Continue reading……..

No Good About Goodbye was not a rejected theme for `Quantum of Solace` Continue reading…….

Before Tom Jones was chosen for the title track of this Sean Connery classic, the title song was called ‘Mr Kiss Kiss Bang Bang’, and was sung by Dionne Warwick.
When there were concerns about Warwick’s delivery, it was later re-recorded by Shirley Bassey. However, both versions were not released until the 1990s.
The song was removed after United Artists requested that the theme song contain the film’s title in its lyrics. When it was planned to use the Warwick version in the end titles, Shirley Bassey sued the producers, leading to neither version being heard. Continue reading……..

More about the recording of Goldfinger CLICK HERE