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

Advertisements

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)

Our First Vintage Hair Workshop

Foxy Burlesque's FIrst VIntage Hair WorkshopOn the last week of our courses we always take course photos.

For this our students turn up all made up and looking fantastic, BUT it’s fair to say getting the hair and make-up to look authentic is always a challenge, so I decided it was time to find a solution.  We needed a Vintage Stylist!

To find someone, I sent messages to people in the know, plus put messages on Facebook and Twitter.  I also did a Facebook search and that’s how I found the hugely talented Kelly-Marie Saunders.

After a few messages back and forth and a good chat on the phone, we had a Vintage Hair Workshop planned.

Surprise, surprise, I had no problem at all selling the 10 places, which were snapped up by Foxy Burlesque students in no time at all.

Kelly-Marie Saunders MUAKelly-Marie Saunders MUA

So let me tell you a bit about Kelly-Marie.

In her own words:

‘I started out really just doing vintage hair and make-up on myself, as I was obsessed with the era and usually dress that way.

Then my friends started asking me to help them out with hair and makeup too.

At the time, I worked for Tunbridge Wells Halifax as a financial advisor, but hated having to keep my hair colour and style more formal and having to cover up my tattoos.  I didn’t feel like I was myself. I had to pretend to be someone else every day.

Eventually the call of the creative was too much, so I decided to leave my job as a financial advisor and go freelance with hair and makeup.

So, I studied vintage hair for TV and film, learning the original ways to do all the styles and how to make them true to period rather than with a modern twist.

I also worked at Mac cosmetics for three and a half years, before leaving to go freelance full time.

I now work twice a year at London Fashion Week, I’ve worked at The Brits and at Goodwood, I’ve worked for various magazines including ‘Vintage Life‘ and ‘Best of British‘ and I have done vintage hair at various different events.’

The first Vintage Hair Workshop

Pinned curls at Foxy Burlesque's Vintage Hair WorkshopKelly-Marie’s idea for the workshop was perfect.

Each lady was asked to bring whatever she would use at home to curl her hair (whether tongs, straighteners or heated rollers) along with a dressing out brush (back combing brush) and a mirror.

The workshop was very much hands on, with the participants doing each of the three hairstyles on themselves, with their own tools.

This way they got to try out the styles with an expect at hand to guide them and answer any questions, which would then hopefully give them the confidence to go home and recreate the styles unaided.

'S' curl at Foxy Burlesque's Vintage Hair WorkshopThe ‘S’ curl

First up was the ‘S’ curl.

I know I am not alone when it comes to envying Dita Von Teese’s beautifully manicured hair.  Being able to replicate it would be fantastic.

Kelly-Marie got to work teaching everyone the tricks behind the perfect pin curls (above), making sure you are curling the hair the correct way etc, and how to then pin the curl properly to allow it to cool so the curl holds.

Then came how to brush the curl out properly, to then pin it again getting the ‘S’ curl shape (above right).  As Kelly-Marie explained, it is a true art and needs practice to get it right, but everyone’s first efforts, were great!

Speed Beehive at Foxy Buelsque's Vintage Hair WorkshopSpeed beehive

Kelly then showed everyone how to do a ‘Speed Beehive’.

Wow!  Such a glamourous look and yet so quick and easy to do.

Great with a simple scarf tied round it to dress it up, or down, depending on the occasion.

It also looks really cute with a hair band.

Victory Rolls at Foxy Burlesque's Vintage Hair WorkshopVictory rolls

Next, was what everyone wants to master, when it comes to vintage hair; Victory Rolls.

It was so nice to have a professional explaining the victory roll properly and then demonstrating it so perfectly.

Did you know, to do an effective Victory Roll you need to back comb the section of hair until it stands up independently?

It made for a good few laughs on the night, but it Back combing at Foxy Burlesque's Vintage Hair Workshopcertainly makes it a whole lot easier to work the hair into the roll you need.

Kelly-Marie, then covered pinning it properly, so no pins show and so the roll is a cone shape, as you shouldn’t be able to see through a victory roll.  Did you know that?

Feedback

The evening flew by and everyone appeared to have had a great time, but being our first Vintage Hair Workshop, feedback was really important to us both.

I’m very pleased to say we had nothing to worry about!

Here is just some of the great feedback from the ten ladies who attended the workshop: Victory rolls at Foxy Burlesque's Vintage Hair Workshop

‘Really enjoyed it and I’m amazed at how effective really simple techniques can be.’

‘I couldn’t believe my hair would go into such lovely styles. Any spare time will now be spent back combing!! Thank you Laura for organizing a great evening and thank you Kelly-Marie for your time and patience.’ Nicola Bright at Foxy Burlesque's Vintage Hair Workshop

‘Brilliant evening. Lots of fun. Very informative. Kelly was fabulous. Leaving feeling confident to try the styles at home.’

‘It was fab! It was a fantastic workshop and Kelly-Marie was a fab instructor. I would definitely recommend her and would definitely attend another course. She was knowledgeable and approachable. I can never do my own hair and was nervous about trying but the styles were great and explained perfectly. I will definitely be trying them again at home.’ Kirsty Low at Foxy Burlesque Vintage Hair Workshop

‘I have now realised that my hair can be manageable. Yay!’

‘I haven’t become a hair expert but I know that if I go home and practice then I can make my hair look really nice. As with all burlesque stuff, it’s given me more confidence to have a go!! Kelly was lovely and didn’t mind if I didn’t get it straight away.’

‘Really good time. Learnt a lot.’

Future dates for Vintage Hair and now Vintage Make-up Workshops too!

All 10 participants were keen for Kelly-Marie to come back to do a Vintage Make-up workshop as well, so the first one takes place this Wednesday (24th July) and was again fully booked with no effort at all.

I will of course be back to tell you all how it went and there will be future dates for Vintage Make-up confirmed before long, so keep a close eye on the Foxy Burlesque Facebook page for that.

I am also very pleased to announce that Foxy Burlesque’s next Vintage Hair Workshop will take place on Monday 9th September 7:30-10pm.  If you would like a place, get in touch as soon as possible.  As, again there are only 10 places on each workshop and they are proving VERY popular!

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!

Vintage Cocktail Craze!

Foxy Burlesque at Playboy Cub 1

Anything ‘Vintage’ is very on trend right now, but I only realised recently that this stretched to drinks as well.  In particular, cocktails.

On a very rare, but much needed girls night out in London recently, we had dinner and drinks at the Playboy Club in Old Park Lane.

Now, the bar at Playboy is not just any bar, it’s Salvatore Calabrese’s award winning bar, ‘Salvatore’.  He is the world’s leading cocktail expert and is affectionately known as ‘The Maestro’, so as you can imagine the cocktail menu is extensive.

Now I was rather ignorant of these facts, as I sat down to browse. Foxy Burlesque at Salvatore Cocktail Menu

It would be fair to say, I have a bit of a name for myself amongst family and friends for my rather expensive taste (within reason of course), but WOW!  I nearly fell off my seat when I saw that the cocktail I quite liked the sound of was £2,500.00!  Yes, I do have that decimal point in the correct place, that is indeed £2,500.00!!  See for yourself (right).

Now surely, my eyes were playing games with me?  Maybe that’s the price for an all night supply for a large table?

No, it’s the price for just one normal sized cocktail and crazier still, that one was a steal, in comparison to the next one which was £5,500.00 per cocktail!  Aptly named ‘Salvatore’s Legacy’.

It was not a surprise to then learn this £5,500.00 Vintage cocktail is a World Record breaker, for being THE most expensive cocktail, using spirits dating back to the time of the American Revolution.  Maybe ‘Antique’ cocktail, might be a more appropriate name?

If that’s not exciting enough, the world record attempt was quite an event and one which could never have been predicted.

A gentleman in the crowd ordered two ‘Salvatore Legacy’s’ and asked to look at the 1788 bottle of cognac to read the label, but as the bottle was passed to him, it smashed.  In fact we were told, it actually disintegrated due to age.

Foxy Burlesque at Playboy Salatore 2I can only imagine how awkward and embarrassing a moment that was and I bet there were a fair few in the crowd keen to grab a straw and get on there hands and knees to find out what a 1788 cognac tastes like.

What a story though and if you go to Salatore’s for a drink, have a look in the drinks display cabinet, where you will see the remains of the bottle (left).

To read more about the World Record attempt click here.

Anyway, I can assure you, my budget didn’t allow for such extravagant beverages and I had a very delicious and non-Vintage Mojito instead.

vintage-metal-sign-27868919It has, however, left me rather intrigued and I am planning to try a few Vintage Cocktails to find out what the Burlesque Divas of the past supped on.

Why not give them a go yourself?  Check out these 1930s and 1940s Cocktail Recipes

So I’m thinking, ‘Zombie’, then ‘Planters Punch’, followed by a ‘Pink Lady’.  What are you having?

I’m feeling confident that just one of them will prove that embracing the 1940’s is a wonderful thing to do.

Then maybe you’ll find yourself, donning your stockings and trying a bit of burlesque dancing too? 🙂

New Foxy Burlesque taster classes and course dates to be announced very soon, so watch this space.

Happy Vintage Cocktail drinking everyone! x