LONDON BURLESQUE WEEK 2011 from Boris Conte on Vimeo.

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!

(c) Master Daivd @londonfetishscene.com

(c) DJ $uave

Oh the memories!

See you there,

Tiara x

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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…)

 

Tiara x

Resolutely New this Year

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,

Tiara x

 

 

Man’s Best Friend…

October 19, 2009

…looks a little something like this:

(c) Derek Bremner 2009

(c) Derek Bremner 2009

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.

Things to Shake and Do

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,

Adieu x

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.

(c) Derek Bremner

(c) Derek Bremner

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.

(c) Boris Conte

(c) Boris Conte

Cigarette Girl

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.

Rally the troops!

May 8, 2009

Please my darlings – do your bit in helping save Burlesque from the evil clutches of the Empire… well, Government. If you haven’t read about the ban in Camden Council then I refer you to my previous post (that bit before the pictures for those of you with bad memories!) There is currently an online petition which takes a few seconds to complete, in the hopes that this Burly-Q ban won’t spread like a plague of rabbits (very pleased with myself there for avoiding yet another joke about swine flu!).

For those of you in need of a bit more information, take a gander at this:

Under Section 25 of the proposed “Policing and Crime Bill 2008-2009” Burlesque will potentially be eradicated due to the requirement of a “Sexual Encounter Entertainment License” even though there is no nudity in burlesque (as described in section 25) it has been stated by certain boroughs already that the element of the removal of part of you clothing constitutes as stripping and therefore requires a license, although you are able to appear in front of an audience partially clothed you are not allowed to remove any item of clothing in front of an audience in order to achieve this state without the aforementioned license. We would like this loop hole in the act removed to ensure that performances that involve the removal of part of your clothing and do not result in nudity will not require licensing.” – Tricia Cox, Petition Creator

And for gawd sakes – SIGN NOW!

petition

Mud for Brunch

May 5, 2009

Let’s start at the very beginning… it’s a very good place to start!

Well my darlings, first and foremost let me offer my apologies for not getting back to you sooner! I have been a very busy bee as of late and alas, my blogging responsibilties have been put on hold for far too long.

So… what have you missed? Well, my first performance of the year took place on the 31st of March at Annie’s Bar in Kentish town (prior to the rather infuriating ban on Burlesque by Camden Council – an issue which I will be coming back to!). Here are some pictures courtesy of Diane Lowe at Neolestat which would have been illegal if taken only a month later!*

(c) Diane Lowe

(c) Diane Lowe

(c) Diane Lowe

(c) Diane Lowe

*NOTE THE AMAZING MAGIC FLOWERS – THEY OPEN… AS IF BY MAGIC!

I also got to perform my ‘Blooming Marvellous’ act at the Burlesque Brunch @ Last Days of Decadence, April 12th (this time with the mud I’d forgotten on the 31st!). It was a really lovely atmosphere and the fabulous Tricia Cox was there selling her beautiful hats and fascinators (I picked myself up a wonderful turquoise and silver hair slide that just happened to match my outfit perfectly!). It has to be said I was a tad nervous performing on the same bill as the splendiferous Vicky Butterfly, but luckily there was cake and tea enough between us that the gulf between my silly little gardening act and the beauty and grace of her Swan Bride seemed severely lessened!

Popping over the road with Rae Jenkin (who was there selling pasties to the Burly-curious), we wandered into ‘Time for Tea’, run by the delightfully mustachioed Johnny; a darling place for afternoon tea on the weekends. All in all a rather lovely day, finished off somewhat successfully by dinner with friends.

Next off my lovelies I shall recount to you my adventures at the London Burlesque Festival and cap it off with my latest news; but for now, this young lady is in need of her beauty sleep! x

Blooming Lovely!

March 22, 2009

Well I suppose it’s about blooming (now there’s a pun if ever I heard one!) time, that I started telling you all about my next gig. A week today (that’s Sunday the 29th of March) I will be performing on the bill of a new burlesque night run by the retro-fabulous DJ Suave! And not only will your £7 ticket gain you entry into the gorgeous Annie’s Bar in Kentish Town for a night of BurlyQ and cabaret;  you’ll also be among the first to see my brand-spanking-new Springtime act!

Think pink… think flowers… think gardening mishaps! My new act is a jolly homage to the wonders of gardening in the Spring, and what better way to celebrate the sunshine than by popping along to join us?

promo1

For your tickets and more details about the event please visit DJ Suave’s Myspace.

See you there? x

Did ya miss me…?

March 6, 2009

It’s been a very long Winter indeed, but in the words of the great Miss Dolly Parton I can see the light of a clear blue morning and my darlings it is ushering in a fabulous Springtime just brimming with BurlyQ! But before we get ahead of ourselves I think it best to have a quick blitz through some of the marvellous things I’ve been up to during my unforgivable absence.

  • Watching the marvellous Stella Plumes compere the ‘Wizard of Oz’ inspired evening at Festival Hall last year and meeting the adorable Amelie Soleil in the process. Did you make it along? Entry was free and the performers, sublime!
  • Travelling to Bath on a whirlwind adventure and being fortunate enough to catch the Billy Travilla exhibit at the Fashion Museum. For those of you who don’t know – he was the very clever man that dressed Marilyn in ‘Gentlemen Prefer Blondes’ amongst others, and created the iconic white halter-neck dress for ‘The Seven Year Itch’. The curator was an absolute sweetheart and gave us all the gossip about the man himself. Did you know the orange dress worn by Miss Monroe in ‘Gentlemen Prefer…’ was so heavily boned that it could stand up by itself?! And the craftsmanship fantastic. As for size 16….? Not a chance!
  • Attempting my first Lindy Hop class and doing none too badly… though I was told by two different partners that I was bouncing first too much and then not enough! What is the right level of bounce required in order to Lindy Hop? That aside it was good fun (though changing partners every two minutes made it tricky), and ultimately the friend I enlisted to come along with me came down with a case of two left feet and swiftly gave up.
  • New Year’s Eve I joined some very lovely people at Madam JoJo’s for the London Burlesque Social Club’s celebration, and got to see two wonderfully talented friends perform; Miss Dolly Blow-up and Miss Ruby Rose. Along with a plethora of equally-talented Burlesque beauties, including Slinky Sparkles and Kiki Kaboom (watch out for her at this year’s LBF, we think she’ll do well!).

*Note the black hair which mysteriously came and went*

*Note the black hair which mysteriously came and went*

Ruby and I

All in all my darlings it may have been a rollercoaster of a year but for every trough there’s been a peak, and those are the things to focus on. I believe Audrey Hepburn had a similar outlook on life; you go through your struggles and once you’re out the other side you get your reward… though pardon me for paraphrasing.

As for what’s next you’ll have to wait just a little longer to find out, though I promise not to leave it so long next time! Yes indeed it seems that Winter is finally creeping back to Narnia and all the beautiful flowers are starting to thaw out in the Springtime sun. Think I’ll go join them.

Tiara x