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.

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.

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

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

So what is my mantra again? Well… (and feel free to join in with me):

“A picture is worth a thousand words…”

So bearing that in mind my darlings rather than rant on and on about the things I’ve been up to during my overly long absence I thought I’d share with you some pictures instead.

First up – remember me telling you oh-so-long ago that I premiered my Diamond Dogs act at Smooch Rocks? Well at long last I have a snapshot to show you and give your eyes a rest from all that red I’m normally trussed up in!

(not quite as ‘fluffy’ as my other routines)

If you want to see the reveal… you’ll just have to come see the show!

Photos (c) Zerrin

The next picture isn’t a performance pic – but an example of how I made it through Glastonburly in style thanks to my Mahni Dare headress:

And last but not least, a couple of photos courtesy of James Reynard at The Sensual Image of my Billet Doux act, taken at the Cabaret and Burlesque Meetup.

Right my lovelies, I promise to put together a proper blog post soon with info about upcoming acts etc… but very busy bee at the moment so hoping these will keep you occupied for now!



Full Shimmy Ahead!

June 18, 2008

Well my darlings, how’s tricks? I don’t know about you – but I have been busy busy busy! First up I’ve been getting together my Myspace so please come and add me as a friend as it is a very slow business! Still need to work on the aesthetics but it’s just somewhere to direct people to for now… And more pictures coming as and when I perform!

As for that, I will be performing my act ‘Billet doux’, which had it’s premier at The Amersham Arms; as part of the Cabaret and Burlesque Meet-up on July 3rd on Brick Lane. Of course, no Smooch Rocks this month so you’ll have to miss out on the PVC for a little while… Here’s a little teaser of what to expect on the 3rd though:

So what can we deduce from these pictures? Well there’s a glove and a man and a chair involved… but I won’t say in which order… Expect a couple of differences though… namely the man (I just get bored once the presents wear off!) and a couple of changes that come with time and practice. So if you want catch my act or catch up with me about some unpaid bills(!) then I will be performing and generally loitering around the Vibe Live at the Truman Brewery on BrickLane on Thursday the 3rd of July!

Right then – enough plugging out of the way… Although I must add I will be in possession of my fab new MOO business cards, with a different picture on each (I like to think of them as old-school cigarette cards… Adelaide Adams anyone?) and all with my contact deets for potential bookers and promoters. If that sounds like you then be sure to get there sharpish and choose your favourite!

In other news I have completed my degree in Acting for Stage and Media… entering the big scary world of actual proper jobs (which are harder to find than you might think!) so if you don’t hear from me for a while I’m probably out on the streets somewhere singing torch songs for cash… Ah the joys of being a penniless performer!

Rita!

June 10, 2008

Ok my lovelies – so they’ve been a long time coming but here are some of the shots from my Rita Hayworth photo shoot…

So not as good as the real thing (Ms. Hayworth was a stunner!) But the inspiration was there… Whaddya think?

Tiara x

As promised to all those lovelies that voted for me (click here and vote if you haven’t already!) here are some pictures of last night’s performance – which you should have all seen by the way!:

Me and my man… ahhh… So we arrive on the stage so I can show off my new outfit and he goes and sticks me with a bill for it all! Of course with no cash in my wallet I have to give it all back to him. Just as well he prefers me without my clothes on!

Anyone for dessert…?

May 31, 2008

Right my lovelies, at last I have the time to fill you in on all the latest gossip and BurlyQ news I have to offer. So first up let me tell you about a food blogging event I got involved with on the 18th of May…

Food2.0 Nom Nom Nom at the Cookery School on Little Portland St. saw corporate bloggers, food bloggers, gadget bloggers and your obligatory Burlesque blogger getting together in teams of two to create the yummiest three course meal you could think of! Working with the lovely Miss L J Rich – TV presenter, blogger and musician extraordinaire; we came up with a fab, veggie menu (yes it can be both!) . Here’s what we made:

To start we had a Tricolore salad with sliced Beef tomatoes, fresh leaves from the farmers market, mini mozarella balls and a honey and balsamic dressing.

Next up the main course: Chocolate oyster and closed cup mushrooms in a creamy garlic sauce served on potato rosti with fresh asparagus and spinach puree…

Then to finish we had Toffee Apple Meringue Pie…

For anyone dying to see pictures, recipes and a video of the day, go over to our page at Nom Nom Nom and while you’re there why not vote for us to win, on the right hand side of the screen?

If you haven’t seen this picture already (over 1000 views on Flickr alone) then here’s a shot of me rolling out my pastry taken by Chris Osburn over at the Londonist;

Food and glamour darlings… what more could you want?

It really was a great event (if not a little more stressful than expected!) and big kudos go out to Annie Mole and TrustedPlaces.com for pulling it all together. Action Against Hunger also got involved with the event, a charity that is doing stellar work all over to globe to stop starvation and get food to those that need it. It was very humbling having spent the day surrounded by food… to know that so much we take for granted. At the end of the day the charity held a raffle, and wanting to help out as much (or as little) as I could – I scraped together the last of my cash for a line of tickets. And I won… A hamper filled with lots of lovely fairtrade and organic produce. Getting the thing home from central London though was a whole other story!

And I must also say a big thank you to L J for putting together our wonderful YouTube video and taking control of our page, as I have been rubbish and busy due to finishing my degree. So thanks again honey, you’ve been a superstar!