October 23, 2011
Well it was some months ago now but London Burlesque Week 2011 was marvellous fun, the closing night at the Coronet Theatre showcased some of the most beautiful burlesque bombshells the world has to offer! For photographs be sure to take a look at Sin Bozkurt’s album for the most stunning photographs of the night. I even managed to get snapped myself:
If you want to be in with a chance of competing at Chaz Royal’s next venture, The World Burlesque Games then apply here by January 5th.
Just a quick post this time around (p.s. did you notice the fake Betty bang in the picture? It’s since become a reality!) but there should be news on its way regarding future collaborations and all sorts of things I think might interest you.
For now though, ta-ra!
April 18, 2011
Only a limited time to go before Burlesque Week hits town! Head to their website to see the full line-up and pick up tickets.
International performers, top London venues, the best-dressed audience and a guarantee that you will have plenty to whoop and cheer about. This will be my 5th London Burlesque Week (formerly the London Burlesque Festival) and already I’m getting excited to see what’s on offer. From the Opening Gala (this year on a boat!) to the talent filled Finale, April 26th-30th will have the best variety of Burlesque you’re likely to see in the UK until next year! This year there’s even a Boylesque night for the ladies (or gents) who’ve tired of glittery bosoms and prefer their performers with a little more hair. The only question to ask yourself now is what to wear? Well dress + heels + stockings + vintage up-do is a favourite (perhaps a suit for the gentleman? although both options I would say are not gender specific!) corsets, wiggle skirts, fascinators and stoles are all in abundance so feel free to embrace your glamourous and truly fabulous self for what could be the best night out you’ll have all year!
Oh the memories!
See you there,
March 22, 2011
Huzzah! Have actually won something! @EEJewellery on Twitter ran a tournament to coincide with the launch of their Spring/Summer 2011 Look Book and I was lucky enough to be named one of the winners!
To celebrate I shall be wearing my Eclectic Eccentricity locket this evening…
p.s. Difficult to tell in the picture but how d’you like the new hair?
March 20, 2011
Work has begun on a new routine which will one day become part of a collection that I’m planning to assemble. The photo below doesn’t exactly give much away but feel free to make a guess regarding the possible theme…
If it gives any further indication my ‘non-plussed’ look is an attempt as passing for vulnerable…
More news and sneak-peeks to come, (albeit perhaps a little more glamourous…)
February 22, 2011
I have been querying amongst other things whether or not to go for the chop for a little while now so decided it best to have a test run. Below are a few pictures of my “fringe” though I’ll invariably feel the need to re-do before heading to work this evening. Yesterday’s attempt I must say was a darn sight better but of course as is always the case without a resultant photograph! So here are a few snaps including my (perhaps not entirely successful) ‘homage’ to the Queen of the Bang, Bettie Page.
If you’re wanting to try this at home I suggest finding yourself a hair foundation (generally a net sausage kind of affair, or you could cut up a ‘doughnut’ if need be), which you can unpick, unroll and sew to an adequate size; then selecting the front section of hair you want to use in order to make your ‘fringe’, sectioning neatly up top with a comb, simply hold the foundation at the ends of the hair and begin rolling under until you reach the position you want your ‘fringe’ to be in. Pin either end (can be tricky but not impossible), pinning into the foundation for neatness. Today I simply went for a half ponytail and a bow but this look can be set off wonderfully with pin curls or victory rolls pinned close to the hairline and finished with flowers or jewels.
Happy banging 😉
January 5, 2011
So 2011 has kicked off and the resolutions are ‘go’. Whether you’re sticking to them like glue or you’ve fallen off the wagon a few (dozen) times there’s still chance to make a few more. The resolutions I propose I guarantee you’ll find a lot more fun than locking the chocolates away and steering clear of the cocktail hour!
1. So you’ve bought a beautiful vintage hat/ gloves/ parasol / dress but it’s been sitting in your wardrobe because there’s nothing to wear it with? This year it shall go to the ball! Do some research online, watch some old films or flip through some fashion books and decide just what you need and in what colour to make your item shine. Once you’ve drawn up a sketch of your ideal ‘look’ then turn to sourcing the rest of your outfit; charity shops as well as vintage and new could well yield the appropriate items. And don’t forget what the wonders of dye and new buttons can do!
2. Maybe you’ve been interested in Burlesque for a while but you’ve still not been to see a show? Rather than relying on YouTube and the Cinema why not make it a resolution this year to pop down to your local Burlesque night and really see what it’s all about? There’s nothing like the woop and cheer of a live show to bring the performances to life, the buzz in the air is well worth the cover charge and it’s a perfect excuse to wear that new outfit you’ve been working on. If you’re in London then take a chance to see some of the best in Burlesque at Chaz Royal’s London Burlesque Week 2011, details to follow, an event which I make every single year, last year meeting and watching the stunning Catherine D’Lish!
3. Get reaccquainted with some old friends and make some new ones. Marilyn, Audrey, Betty and Rita have been sitting on the shelf just waiting to brighten your day with chic and sequins. If you’re in need of a little inspiration then the gestures, the make-up, the hairsyles and most definitely the fashions are there in all the old classics. If you’re looking for a change then do your homework and find some new favourite stars, the forties and fifties were full of them! Here’s a few films (old and new) to get you started:
Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day – Amy Adams, Frances McDormand
It Started in Naples – Clark Gable, Sophia Loren
Bringing Up Baby – Katherine Hepburn, Cary Grant
The Seven Hills of Rome – Mario Lanza
Golddiggers of ’33 – Carole Lombard, Ginger Rogers
Cover Girl – Rita Hayworth, Gene Kelly
Gigi – Leslie Caron. Louis Jordan
The 39 Steps – Robert Donat, Madeline Carroll
4. Get caught up on some fabulous reading* with Dita’s ‘Burlesque and the Art of the Teese/ Fetish and the Art of the Teese’, Liz Goldwyn’s delightful coffee table book ‘ Pretty Things: The Last Generation of American Burlesque Queens’ and ‘The Queens of Burlesque’ by Len Rothe. Michael Prior’s ‘Titzen and Blitzen’ also has a whole host of photographs from London Burlesque Festival 2008 (see if you can spot me in the sleeve!!).
*looking at pictures of beautiful costumes/poses/ladies and sighing wistfully…
5. Always wanted to perform? Wondered what it’s like even just to try in the bedroom? Make this the year that you give it a go and find a local workshop or regular class near you. You needn’t spend a fortune and you may just discover the performer in yourself. Plus dancing around with a load of lovely ladies is possibly the best way I’ve ever spent a weekend, feather boas flying, red lipstick air kisses, satin gloves strewn across the floor and laughter tearing through the air!
Above all lovelies, I hope you find this your best most glitziest year yet,
December 30, 2010
It’s simply been too long! Since there’s so much I could have written about since our last meeting, I’ll cut to the chase and tell you what I should have been writing about:
I should have told you about Sinners Playground @ The Horn in St Albans
I should have told you about The Vintage Emporium off Brick Lane
I should have told you about Frisky and Mannish’s Christmas Mess…age
But of course, having the excellent taste that I attribute to all my readers I’m sure you don’t need me to tell you about them at all! So let’s skip all that in favour of something of a more personal (and one hopes) a more informative note;
Since raiding the dressing-table drawers of my mother as a little girl, suitably admiring her honey-scented pale lipstick from the Sixties and caking on enough ridiculously dark foundation that I fumbled into my first dealings with ‘fake-tan’; make-up and the beauty products that aid their application have been my utter undoing. Now whilst I have done my reading on vintage beauty products favoured for decades by luminescent young beauties with a penchant for red lipstick and a victory roll, I do not profess myself to be an expert and so instead will stick to telling you about some of the products and techniques that I find work for me (since in that I am an expert!).
Starting as I do with a blank canvas, I will begin with a post dealing with some of those products that help us cleanse, tone, moisturise and do some of the camouflaging that our base will thank us for. In terms of facial washes L’Occitane make a delightfully airy foam wash that cleanses deeply but gently, though sensitive/ dry skins be wary of over use and be sure to moisturise well afterward. If you do find your wash too drying then try a few alternatives to get the balance between clean and dried-out-sponge. As a quick fix Champney’s Moisture Mask and Soap and Glory’s Energy Balm help give your skin a lift. My current daily facial wash is Soap and Glory’s Face Soap Vitamin C daily detox (no soap despite the name) followed by a light Garnier day cream, (Avene make great products for a sensitive face) too rich a cream and my skin can become overwhelmed and my pores clogged.
The solution? A facial steamer is a worthwhile investment for skin problems and blocked noses alike, though take care when steaming with a chest infection as you could very well make it worse. I use two drops of Tea Tree oil for a great purifying steam and one drop of Olbas oil for a cold. Steaming works on opening your pores (great when they’ve been blasted by pollution and slathered in creams and make-up). To close them up again use an astringent (witch hazel swabbed over the face will do if you don’t mind the medicinal smell) or take the opportunity of using a face mask with lots of yummy nutrients and vitamins that will really absorb into the skin. It’s also a great time to pluck eyebrows!
When it comes to removing make-up at night I always use Simple Eye Make-up Remover and at a push Johnson’s Baby Lotion (for heavens sake not oil!) makes for an effective and inexpensive cleanser. Another favourite is L’Oreal’s DeMaq Milk to Toner make-up remover which makes light work of even grease-paints. For those who want a more luxurious method of removal, Soap and Glory’s Fab Pore Hot Cloth Cleanser is a must. Those suffering with redness may find using Eucerin’s Anti-Redness Night Cream helps to calm skin, having used it in the past I’ve found the results so good I’ve almost been afraid to wash my face in the morning!
Now, I’m quite fortunate that I don’t suffer from a great many spots (though blemishes I feel is a much nicer word) so when I am afflicted by such an affront to my pursuit of perfection I wage an all-out war against them!
First up, if they can be squeezed they will, though if not then so much the better as a good steam and a cube of ice may well be their salvation; as to the former however, once squeezed I’ll apply a good dose of Garnier’s SOS pen which contains salicylic acid to purify the blemish site and dry it out but good; be warned though as it can become very sticky on your face. When it reaches the stage where the surface of the skin is flat aside from an unsightly sticky patch, I begin the second wave of the attack, a bombardment of Sudocrem! Rubbed daily into the blemish with a heavy-duty treatment before bed (lovers and dark-coloured pillow cases beware!), continue until all sight of the blemish is gone, though it may look worse before it gets better as it becomes saturated with the Sudocrem, this is still the solution I swear by for effective combat.
As with most treatments it’s really a question of trial and error to tailor a routine that works for you, and as skin changes the products that it needs will undergo countless overhauls. The best way to test out products (though admittedly their long-term effects or grievances will not be apparent) is to use trial sizes before investing in the full-size versions to give you some idea as to how they will react with your own skin. I honestly couldn’t list half the beauty products I’ve tried out over the years, not to mention the money wasted buying lotions and potions in full-size that were used a handful of times before being shelved. Never underestimate the powers of a hot wet flannel and an ice cube to brighten the complexion!
One essential piece of advice passed down from my mother is to always apply the same to your neck as you do to your face, who wants a youthful face atop a scaly old neck? Not me certainly! Remember to take care of your skin and apply all methods of beautification with caution, I like to think a lot of the mistakes have been made for us in the past but our granddaughters may yet think the same of our generation, so tread with care!
More to follow…
October 19, 2009
…looks a little something like this:
Taken at The Glitter Room just the other week. Had great fun performing the same routine just the other night for Twisted Cabaret; live music, buzzing atmosphere and an appreciative audience all make for one happy puppy.
October 6, 2009
So where have I been? Where haven’t I been? Woof… To begin with I had a rather fabulous evening at Beyond The Cabaret’s Midnight show @The Tigers Rear just the other week. Come to think of it… where were you? London’s highest quality cabaret show, Time Out’s Critics Choice; and yet my darlings, without the publicity it deserves there were far too few to enjoy it. If you haven’t heard about this night check out their website and head on over to the next event possible! It’s situated right next to Tiger Tiger on the Haymarket (London) – right down the alley to the left-hand side of it. I have to say it’s one of the best night’s entertainment I’ve seen in a long time, and surely it beats the other alternative on a Wednesday night; getting ripped off at some crummy club only to listen to some techno rubbish and watch drunk people attempt to not fall over.
Check out the acts – read the fabulous reviews about them (Frisky and Mannish are one of my absolute favourites) and book your tickets! It’s only a matter of time before one of the best kept secrets in Cabaret becomes a sell-out. Trust me my darlings, I’ve seen my fair share of the Burly-Q and Cabaret to know that this one is one to watch out for… and if I don’t see you there at the next one I shall be very cross indeed.
As for me, if you’ve been keeping up with my Twitter updates (Follow me!) then you’ll know I performed on Sunday at East Croydon’s ‘The Glitter Room’. It was the return of my Diamond Dogs routine, revisited and updated, with a few sexy twists – pictures to follow – and seemed to go down rather well. I’ll be bringing it out again on the 17th Oct for an event aimed at raising money for Stonewall’s ‘Some people are gay. Get over it.’ campaign. Check their website for more information on how they’re trying to combat homophobia.
Now then, due to the infrequemcy of my postings (and apologies for that but I always find myself so busy!) here are some things to keep you occupied until we meet again:
- WATCH – ‘Miss Pettigrew Lives For a Day’, a charming film with gorgeous costumes and a fabulous soundtrack – it’s one of those films I keep going back to when in need of a girly, vintage fix.
- GO SEE – ‘Beyond The Cabaret’s’ next show – you will not regret it, and you will laugh your head off!
- READ – ‘The Song Is You’ by Megan Abbott – steeped in the sultry glamour of fifties Hollywood, this is a stylistic murder mystery well worth a look.
- MAKE – yourself a fascinator, a corsage, anything that makes you feel a little bit gorgeous and lets you unleash your creative side – they’re simple enough to put together – just gather together some feathers, ribbons, fake flowers, sequins; whatever you have lying around, and make youself something to match your favourite outfit. Then put it on, pour yourself a cocktail… and remember how amazingly fabulous and talented you are. If you feel you have a knack for it – why not try a workshop.
- WEAR – a pair of seamed stockings (not tights) during the day. Best worn with suspenders and the idea that you are Sophia Loren placed firmly in your head. No-one need know what’s hiding underneath your skirt, but you can let them guess as you adjust your seams!
- TAKE A PEEK AT – ‘The Chap’ Magazine. This month’s issue (you can catch it once every two months from any reputable and half-decent newsagents) features pictures from the reknowned ‘Chap Olympics’ and articles not only to inform, but to thoroughly entertain the discerning reader. Whether Chap or Chapette, get your hands on the latest copy, and see if you don’t find yourself becoming a regular subscriber.
Well then darlings, as the French have it,
June 24, 2009
As always my darlings I have a great deal to tell! You will have undoubtably seen (my dear avid readers) that I performed on June 7th at the Glitter Room, and am well aware how abominable I have been in not letting you know beforehand so you could have come along and joined in all the fun. It was quite a lovely evening, though with the premiere of all my acts I do get a little nervous; and I’m afraid I was taking things off well before I was supposed to and getting a darn sight flustered too I must admit. But cest la vie as the French have it, and it shall be marvellous the next time I dare say.
Now then lovelies, hands up who made it along to the opening night of ‘Beyond the Cabaret‘ at Tigers Rear? And if not my darlings, then why not? It was a simply divine evening with a riot of entertainment that saw me both awe-struck and laughing heartily well into the night. It was a stellar line-up; Vicky Butterfly, Des O’Connor, The Puppini Sisters and Frisky and Mannish to name but a few – with Des on hosting duties for the first show and the absolutely knock-your-socks-off-fabulous Kiki Kaboom compering the second. I was on hand as cigarette girl, giving out sweets and flyers (I had my photo taken with passers-by about 6 times in total!) and thoroughly enjoying the show. Boris Conte was on hand taking some delightful photographs, one of which I will share along with my own.
The cigarette girl costumes were again down to the sewing skills of Emma Threadneedle, who of course made the gown for my ‘La Vie En Rose’ act (pictured above).
For those of you wishing to enrich your lives with a little of the best cabaret London has to offer, do try to make it along to the Tiger’s Rear for the next installment – I had a ridiculously good time, never have I laughed so hard sober!
I am all too aware that I am yet to do my write-up on this year’s festival (I’m envisaging yet another page of photos a’la 2007 at this rate!) but I shall be on the case following my return from Glastonbury; where I intend to get very muddy and go see the Puppini’s again I liked them so darned much! Also on my return I will give you details about a very special Burlesque event, intended to raise awareness of all this Camden nonsense, and undoubtably a picture of me looking soggy in a field somewhere wearing a rather terrific hat. With so much to look forward to my darlings I know you will be back, and I’ll be ever so happy to have you.