My ‘Big Burlesque Day Out’ fun!

Elle Du Jour at Big Burlesque Day Out 2014

Elle Du Jour with her beautiful purple fans

After Lea Rice’s lovely guest blog post about London Burlesque Festival‘s Big Burlesque Day Out last year, I was very excited when one of my Foxy Burlesque students shared a Facebook message about booking a stall at this year’s event.

Me and my Foxy Burlesque stall

Me and my Foxy Burlesque stall!

To be honest I wasn’t quite sure what to expect, but booked a stall and decided I needed to make sure what I had on offer was different from everyone else. I wanted to promote Foxy Burlesque courses and workshops etc, but decided to sell a couple of things too, so opted for my Foxy Burlesque DVD ‘Take It Off’ and some gorgeous burlesque cupcake toppers care of my wonderful friend Kirsty Low from CakeyBake Ltd.

Chaz Royal & Betty D'Light

Chaz Royal & Betty D’Light

The day was held at Conway Hall in the Holborn area of London, so really central and I have to say, it was a truly lovely way to experience London Burlesque Festival. You get a hall full of gorgeous burlesque stalls with items to browse through and purchase, plus a great line up of festival performers strutting their stuff on stage.

 

Chaz Royal is the man behind London Burlesque Festival and his beautiful Mrs, performer Betty D’Light, is the lady behind The Big Burlesque day Out. It’s her ‘baby’ and she did a fantastic job organising and hosting.

Artwork by Madams Pinups

Artwork by Madams Pinups

My fellow stall holders had some wonderful things to share and sell, from stunning burlesque art by Madams Pinups, Rian Hughes, Saffron Reichenbacker, to accessories and beautiful sparkly pasties by Yurei, Scandalicious, Noir Collective.

Plus vintage clothing and lingerie by Pimp My Pants, through to bespoke costume designers including NIXON Point, Chameleon Couture and Miss Odelia Opium and even the fabulous Burlesque Baking book by Restoration Cake.

And while supping prosecco and spending a very rare day out with my hubby we met some lovely people and sold a good number of DVD’s and toppers and got to enjoy the fab performances too.

Burlesque Baking book by Restoration Cake

Burlesque Baking book by Restoration Cake

There were 10 different burlesque performers putting on the show of which my favourites were:

1) Elle Du Jour, all the way from Dallas, Texas who came on stage in a beautiful blue satin cape which doubled as isis wings.  She then danced beautifully with huge purple ostrich feather fans, before finishing her act doing the splits!

2) Violet Blaze, who is taking the burlesque world by storm at the moment, literally had us all eating out of the palm of her hands.  She was AWESOME!

Colette of Colette & Willy

Colette of Colette & Willy

3) Colette & Willy, a rare duo, were just captivating.  Willy playing the accordion and telling a story of the beautiful Colette as she tantalised us all with her beautiful fan dancing.

4) And last, but very much not least was the wonderful Bruise Violet. We have seen her perform a few times now and she is always a real treat to see.  A proper cheeky minx! So cheeky in fact that at the end of her dance she held up her fans to cover herself and pulled off her pasties and cstring and threw them off!

Pasties by Yurei

Pasties by Yurei

What a great day!

Thanks so much Betty D’Light!  It was a great success!

So if late night London performances are tricky for you to get to and back from, last train panic etc, I highly recommend you look out for next year’s Big Burlesque Day Out. You really can’t go wrong. xx

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Blitz Party!

Annie and Carlo at The Blitz PartyWhen my very beautiful and lovely Maidstone Foxy Burlesque student Annie Prosser, told me about her night out at The Blitz Party recently, I knew there would be lots of people interested in hearing about it, so I was delighted when she agreed to do this guest post for me. Thank you Annie! x

Blitz Party buntingOnce a month on a Saturday night in the brick arched streets of Shoreditch you’d be forgiven for thinking an era of old had returned as tea dress clad gals and uniformed chaps wait patiently, beside the sand bags, for the start of the Blitz Party. And last month to celebrate my birthday I joined theses eager enthusiasts for a night back in time.

Blitz Party swing bandA well-established London theme night this may be, however, like many others it is not. Once inside, the Blitz Party offers an authentic and atmospheric night that any vintage devotee would be proud to attend. With Spitfire as the ale of choice and bright bunting to set the mood all that is left is to get the guests dancing. Music on the night is a mixture of well-known classics and super live entertainment from an exquisitely turned out swing band. It was hard not to move my excited feet to each jazz filled beat!

Blitz Party LondonIt didn’t take long to loose all memory of the oyster card I’d travelled with, the iPhone map that had directed me to the venue or the website I had bought my ticket from – Blighty were fighting and I was cheering them on. As the air raid sirens sounded and the cocktails were sampled it turned into a night like no other. Conversations with new friends started over uniforms, I had found an immaculate wartime QARANC uniform at the War and Peace show months before for the occasion, and finished with talk of relatives and history – all of which fitted beautifully with the mood of the night.

When the time came for the night to end the rush of emotions I felt confirmed that it wouldn’t be too long before my victory rolls and stockings made their way back to the Blitz Party again.

Tea lights at The Blitz Party

Make sure you check out The Blitz Party website.  It’s looks amazing!  The next event is their NYE party.  Not a night to be missed, I imagine! Grab your tickets now, while you can!  Oh and if you do make a plan to get to one of their fab evenings make sure you get yourself to a Foxy Burlesque Vintage Make-up Workshop and Vintage Hair Workshop first, so you can truly look the part! x

(Black and white photos taken by Paul Hyland.  Colour photos taken by Annie)

The Cashmere Sale!

The Cashmere Sale Ponchos

Well it certainly seems like winter is well and truly here. Time to snuggle up in lovely warm clothes. But, let’s be honest, how glamourous and sexy does your winter wardrobe make you feel? Well worry not, I have the solution: The Cashmere Sale!

I was very lucky to recently be asked to model for this fabulous new business, so I have seen and worn these beautiful clothes and accessories and they are VERY special.

I knew I needed to spread the word, so I asked Emma Sharp, the founder, to answer a few questions for me.

The Cashmere Sale PonchoHow did ‘The Cashmere Sale’ come about?

Its all thanks to my brother really. He is a wonderfully gifted designer who sells under his own label ‘William Sharp‘ to Harrods, Harvey Nichols and Fortnum & Mason in the UK as well as various other stores around the world. I have watched his business grow over the years and then one day I suddenly had an idea for my own business. I approached my brother and asked him whether I could buy any remaining stock at the end of the season so that I could sell it at private events at a discounted price. Thankfully he thought it was a great idea and so The Cashmere Sale was launched!

Emma Sharp founder of The Cashmere SaleWhat is your background?

I have always worked for national newspapers or magazines. For the last 10 years I have worked for the biggest publisher in the UK, working across magazines such as Marie Claire, Woman & Home and most recently Horse & Hound. I have always taken great pride in my career but once my husband and I moved out of London and started a family, I found it more and more difficult to give both my job and my family 100%. I could never get the balance right and a demanding job in London with a long commute meant that I barely got to see my son during the week. I had my 2nd child nearly a year ago and that’s when I decided to say a fond farewell to my career in London and officially launch The Cashmere Sale

The Cashmere Sale TopsWhat are your aims for the business?

I really want to get the right balance between work and home life, although I often wonder whether that’s possible! My business is fairly seasonal, so most events are arranged between September and February. I love getting to know my clients and really enjoy the intimacy of doing sales at people’s houses. Many woman arrive, a little stressed, clearly thinking about all the things going on at home, but as soon as they are handed a glass of wine and then glance over at the abundance of cashmere filling the room, they relax and really start to have fun. It’s all about shopping in a relaxed and comfortable environment and treating themselves to a little bit of luxury that makes them feel and look great.

The Cashmere Sale Top and Hat Laura LawtonWho are your customers?

My brother is so clever. He designs clothes and accessories for women from 18 to 80. In my opinion that’s why the William Sharp brand is so successful. The range of appeal is reflected in my customers who are wonderfully varied, but they all share one thing – an appreciation and passion for good quality, timeless cashmere! I really enjoy watching someone pull on a poncho or wrap a scarf around their neck. They suddenly start smiling and almost wriggle into the comfort of the cashmere. That’s when I know that they’ve found something they love.

How can people get to see your products?

I do corporate events and private events, but I will be exhibiting for the first time at the Wealden Times Mid Winter Fair at Bedgebury Pinetum from 21st – 23rd November which I’m really excited about as the setting looks amazing.

The Cashmere Sale Pink ScarfSo what are your personal favourites?

I absolutely love the cashmere ponchos. Wear them with skinny jeans and knee length boots for a super cool, super sexy look or with a pair of flats to be casual and stylish. The great thing is that you always look good! When I was heavily pregnant I wore my poncho every day when I commuted up to London. Despite feeling fat and very unattractive a lot of the time, I always walked with my shoulders back and my head held high because my fabulous grey poncho always made me feel better

I love the bright scarves with the subtle crystal design on them. They make a fantastic Christmas present for anyone as they are so ageless. However, I do think that we focus so much on everyone else at Christmas, that sometimes it’s important to treat ourselves too!

Well, Emma, I couldn’t agree more!

Ladies, you all deserve at least one item! GO SHOP! 🙂

http://www.thecashmeresale.co.uk

The little gem on your High Street!

Foxy Burlesque at Tunbridge Wells Vintage FeteTunbridge Wells Vintage Fete

The Vintage Clothes Fete

Foxy Burlesque at Tunbridge Wells Vintage Fete 2There was a Vintage Clothes Fete in Tunbridge Wells shopping centre a few days ago, so I headed over to take a look.

Timing wasn’t great though, I had a tired and therefore stroppy 2.5yr old and an 8mth old in a double buggy which surprise, surprise wouldn’t squeeze through between the stalls.  If I’d tried it would have been carnage.

My 8mth old son’s new party trick is sticking his arm out to grab anything close enough.  We would have had beautiful things flying everywhere. Gil Elvgren prints at Tunbridge Wells Vintage Fete

So, I left my long suffering friend with both our buggies and did a mad flit about, taking a few pictures and grabbing business cards, so I could look into the exhibitors afterwards.

I saw a beautiful wedding dress (above left), some fab accessories and jewellery and I was particularly pleased to see some framed Gil Elvgren prints as well (right).

It was lovely, but I had no time to browse.  But, one of the fliers I picked up was for the shop….

‘So Very’

So Very Red ShoesThey don’t have a website or any real web presence, only a Facebook page, which has nothing on it but contact details.

I was intrigued, so on a less challenging day, I hunted down their lovely little boutique, where I found lots of pretty things!

There are times in life, when you really really wish you had size 5 feet, and this was one of them. Black patent shoes at So Very Tunbridge Wells

These red (made for burlesque) beauties, were not the only ones that caught my eye. There was a pair of lovely black patent heels too (right), again size 5, damn it.

Looking at the wonderful clothes, there were lots of recognisable high end high street labels (Karen Millen, Per Una), but also some names which were new to me. Samantha Sung at So Very Tunbridge Wells

Samantha Sung, was new to me, but I have since discovered online, anyone picking up this dress (left), was getting an unbelievable bargain at just £55.00.  It most likely had an extra zero on the end when it was bought new.

I knew, I had to blog about this, so I had a chat with the lady in the shop.

I discovered that ‘So Very’ is, in fact, SO much more than just a beautiful boutique selling pre-loved clothes and accessories. It is actually, the genius idea of the wonderful local charity Hospice in the Weald.

Inside So Very Tunbridge WellsThey have many branded charity shops, but decided to try something a little different with ‘So Very’. Aiming to draw in people who may not think to browse their usual branded shops.

It opened right in the centre of Tunbridge Wells in November last year, so only six months old, but doing fantastically well, selling the top end items donated, so they are always offering high class high street and above.

Inside So Very Tunbridge Wells 2The great news is they have a long term lease, so they will be there for the foreseeable future, for us all to enjoy.

Ladies, if you are not local, it’s worth making the trip to see for yourself!

Shop ’til you drop, take home fabulous finds and know, to top it all off, every penny you spend, goes to an amazing charity, helping people and caring for them in their final days.

If you are lucky enough be the new owner of those glamourous, red, size 5 shoes, I’ll be expecting you in a Foxy Burlesque dance class very soon!  Next course dates have just been confirmed, so book yourself in, here!

4 of the prettiest things spotted at the Big Burlesque Day Out

Gold fringe Candy Belle corset

Guest post by Lea Rice – www.thehighteacast.co.uk

The Big Burlesque Day Out was the penultimate event held at the ten day long London Burlesque Festival. It’s a burlesque bazaar that brings vendors together to flog their wares to this glamorous performing community, politely interrupting glitzy shopping sessions with fashion shows, comedians and – of course – performances from the best showgirls on the circuit.

Ever the magpie, I have a wish list as long as your arm simply packed with beautiful, sparkly things spied at the Big Burlesque Day Out. If anyone’s looking to treat me to something any time soon, please cast your eye over this list…

Vintage inspired candy Belle corset

Betty D'light candy belle corset

Rocked by the siren-haired host of the Big Burlesque Day Out, Betty D’Light, Candy Belle’s pink and pearl corset was the star of the show.

This event was Candy Belle’s launch day, and considering the attention this £300 beauty received… I think they’re going to be an outright success. Not to mention their gold fringed number was paraded up and done the corset to rapturous applause (see above). Keep your eye on these guys!

Recoco Rock Deco Dress

Recoco Rock Deco dressAvailable in black or red, this dress knocked the socks off of the crowd.

Its gorgeous wiggle shape and cage style straps made it one of my favourite things I saw all day, and the best news is that it retails at a very reasonable £65. Made by Recoco Rock (who incidentally also do a fabulous line in summery watermelon patterned garments), I’ll be investing in this brand next time I need a sexy, eye-catching dress for… well… anything really!

Heart of the Glamazon Tasseled Empress pasties

Cheap pasties break easily, but paying upwards of £30 for them seems really steep if your whole working life isn’t dedicated to cabaret and burlesque.

Heart of the Glamazon nipple pastiesThe latter is the kind of price tag I was expecting from the Tasseled Empress stall, but to my surprise and delight their prices mostly seem to range between £10 and £20. Their website doesn’t do justice to the amount of different pasties and tassels they make so it’s best to catch them at a fayre if you can. They also do bespoke pasties if you’ve got a specific act in mind with a small budget.

Holloway Smith Noir Red Vintage Lace Eyemask with Feathers

 …For those with the luxury of a large budget however, Holloway Smith Noir is the place you need to be.

Holloway Smith Noir Red Lace Mask 2 FeatherKnown for creating bespoke pieces for the likes of Miss Polly Rae and other burlesque superstars, every single item they sell glitters with jewels and drips with class. Their eye masks recently hit new levels of popularity with the burlesque blogger world, and the Red Vintage Lace Eyemask is up their with my favourites. If I were a rich lady, all of my burlesque accessories would be coming from this place. You can’t tell me you’re not tempted…

Need somewhere to show off your sexy new garments? Check out the next Foxy Burlesque class dates and twist those new tassels!