Thursday, October 22, 2015

Purple Classic (and stepping out of your safe space)

I just hit my 8 year mark as a burlesque performer- my burly birthday is Oct 13th! For the majority of my performance career, I have done comedic and nerd based work. Recently I decided to conquer my fears and perform a "classic" number. For those not in the know, if a burlesque performer (or aficionado) refers to a number as classic, they mean an act that would have been performed during the golden era of burlesque (early 1900's-1950's). So: sequin gowns, boa work, and fan dances. Obviously this is a VERY short definition, but basically that is it. Personally, I find classic is super scary. You have to be good. You have nothing to fall back on. No gimmicks and no nerd references. You just have to be present on stage and good at engaging an audience. And trust me, that only sounds easy.

I am quite lucky, in that I have many friends who produce shows that were willing to give me a chance at trying something new. I debuted this number (with a slightly different version of the costume) at Peepshow Menagerie's tribute night to Depeche Mode. Shortly after I was booked for that show, I pitched and was accepted into Madeline Sinclaire's all classic BEAUTEASE show. 

But on to the costume! I had gotten a beautiful copper sequined dress from my darling friend (and co-producer of Saintly Bomb Productions) Miss Greta Grenade at a clothing swap about a year back. I had no idea what I was going to do with it, but I had never seen sequins that color, and I knew that I just had to have it. It had been sitting on my dress form just wait for inspiration to strike! For the first version of the costume, I just made a purple mermaid tail (using about 40 yards of tulle) and connected it to the dress using snap tape. While I was happy with how it looked, as I wore it, I noticed that the tulle was just heavy, and was pulling and changing the silhouette of the dress. By the end of the night it just wasn't quite right. Having 2 weeks until I needed to use it again, I went back to the drawing board. I knew that I needed to line the dress to give it more structure, and I also knew that I wanted to double the amount of tulle on the tail. I just happened to have left over purple sequin fabric from a previous costume. Using mine (and Greta's, we share a lot of patterns!) beloved McCALL'S #6838, I started from scratch and remade the entire costume! It took 30 hours, tears, seam rippers, hand dyed snap tape, wine, and the help of fellow costumer and friend Mae Lust. I still want to add about 40 yards of tulle, adjust the straps, and rhinestone her, but I am just pleased as punch with how she turned out! 

I am forever grateful that these producers trusted my ability to create this number, and gave me the space to perform it. Remember y'all, no matter what your art form is, if its high or low brow, its important to make yourself uncomfortable. Step out of the safe zone. It may not always work out, but trust me- you will be glad that you did it! 

Photos by the sweet & rad Markus Alias, taken at Peepshow Menageries Burlesque Marches on show!

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

alter ego: Lady Loki

After lurking about the alternative curves FB page, I am finally joining in the blog hop! (May and June's themes were right up my alley, but as you may have noticed from my lack of updates here during those months, I just didn't have time). July is alter ego, and it seemed to me that Lady Loki would be a perfect fit! Those who know me know I have a deep love for Loki. Both Marvel canon and Norse mythology.
I've had the great pleasure of getting to portray Lady Loki in burlesques show across Southern California. And before anyone gets persnickety with "waaaah- don't gender-bend in cosplay... blah blah blah. You aren't a real nerd. blah blah blah", I'd like to let you know Lady Loki is comic book canon. So there. I recently got to do a photo shoot with the lovely Sharon Kelly (who is a dear friend, and my Thor). There were quite a few amazing shots that came out of this shoot, but my all time favorite this one. I was lucky enough to be the 97th Peepshow Menagerie pinup for their Marvel's of Burlesque show (one of my favorites!). Producer Chris Beyond used some of his graphic designer magic to make the faux comic cover pin up. I just love it! 

I made the costume myself, including the slightly wonky horns. I hope to be upgrading them shortly. But I must say, they aren't so bad for being made out of a .99cent store pool floaty! 

I also recently got the chance to model for Titmouse in Hollywood. Look at this amazing drawing by Joey McInnis. I was just blown away by his work. Check out more of it here

Photo by Jason Kamimura at last year's Marvels of Burlesque show. 

Thursday, July 16, 2015

red, white, blue, & Sherlocked

Sometimes you just have to put on a nice outfit and take yourself out to the movies! I loved the outfit so much that I wore it to work the next day. Which wasn't nearly as fun as watching a Sherlock double feature, but what are you gonna do.

This entire outfit is either handmade or hand me downs. I bought the blue floral fabric nearly 10 years ago when I had just moved to Seattle to go to school. It use to be a table cloth and only cost me $2. Despite many a purge, it has stayed in my fabric drawer until I found the perfect project. I used a simple pleated skirt pattern, but altered it to be tea length.

I haven't been to the New Bev much since "the troubles", but I just couldn't not go to a Sherlock Holmes double feature! It had been years since I saw Mr Rathbone's Hounds of Baskerville, and I had never seen The Private Life of Sherlock Holmes. Christopher Lee as Mycroft gave me life!

Sweater: Forever 21- hand me down from Greta
Skirt: handmade by moi

Shoes: melissa- hand me down from Iza
Sunglasses: Dita knockoff's- hand me down from Iza
Sherlock pin- Christmas gift from Greta

outfit photos by Lex 

Sunday, May 17, 2015

blue for you, Mr. Holmes

I've had this maxi dress for nearly 8 years. It was an incredible vintage find for super cheap at Value Village in Seattle. The zipper broke in it about 3 years ago, and I JUST replaced it like a month ago. So glad to have this piece back in rotation! The crop top I am wearing actually has my beloved Britney Spears on the front, but I forgot to turn it right side out after working the muggle job. My boss is a super patient man, but he has his limits. I won't get into to much detail in this post, but I am a HUGE Sherlock Holmes fan. Like all of it. The original stories, movies, american and of course BBC adaptations. I got this amazing tote (as well as a matching tea mug) when I was in London two months ago. I may have (ok- fine, I did) planned my trip around the fact that the Museum of London had a Sherlock Holmes exhibit during that time. It was glorious! 

Dress: Sears- Country Store Loungewear (Vintage)
Croptop: Britney Spears concert, years ago
Tote bag: Museum of London
Headbands: clothing swap

Photos by my favorite human, Lexi Lutter

Friday, May 8, 2015

haircut needed. like yesterday.

I know, I know- it has been 2 months. But these months have been filled to the brim. After a whirlwind week in London (can I go back now? Like, right now?) and moving to a new apartment I finally feel stable. Which, after three years of jumping from apartment to couch to sublet (and repeat) in LA, is a fucking amazing feeling.

Shirt: hand-me-down from Iza
Skirt: thrifted & then altered dress
Belt: Value Village (in Seattle)
Earrings: Forever 21 (last year)
Shoes: Target (hand-me-down Holly)

Photos by my beloved Lexi

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

meow meow meow

Cat dress: Retrolicious (hand me down from Greta)
shoes: H&M clearance

Photos by Miss Lexi

I have a blog post that is percolating in my brain about finances, hand me downs, and being a broke chubby girl trying to dress cute. Not today- but soon.

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Pink Lady

I promise I own more than one t-shirt. 
Shirt: Target clearance
Skirt: handmade by moi
Rhinestone necklace: Icing clearance
Shoes: H&M clearance 

Photo by Holly Go Darkly 

    One of my favorite pastimes is sewing. Both my great Aunt and Grandmother were professional seamstresses. When I was eight I spent a week with my Aunt so she could teach me the ins and outs of sewing. I was a casual seamstress through my early twenties. I could make something from scratch, but mostly I just altered things that I had purchased at thrift stores. It wasn't until I moved down to Los Angeles 3 years ago I have really gotten serious about the craft. Perhaps its because I live a short metro ride away from the downtown garment district (a costume makers dream).
    Anyways. I got a Miss Hussy pencil skirt (black, pictured below) in a clothing swap about a year and a half ago. It fit like a glove and I wore in multiple times a week. When the back seam ripped, I fixed it and kept on going. It got to the point that I had to fix it before every wearing. Finally there was nothing left to stitch. I was worried I was going to be riding the train and suddenly feel a draft. 
    Unable to just give my favorite skirt up, I added it to the sewing pile. Mostly I create garments from store bought patterns. I knew, theoretically, that you could take apart something to make a pattern, but I had always been to afraid to try it. Turns out I was just being a scaredy-cat. 

Original skirt on left: Miss Hussy
Skirt on right: Made by Moi

    I've had this pink denim fabric for years! (I actually got it when my great Aunt passed away. By the looks of it, its from the late 70's early 80's). It has moved up and down the west coast more than once with me. I knew that someday I would find the right project for it. I said one final farewell to my beloved black pencil skirt before I took my trusty seam ripper, and ripped every last seam. I then laid the pieces face up on the right side of the fabric. I cut 'em out, and used the original seam lines as a guide where to sew the new ones. And voila! All in all it took about 4-5 hours to complete. I can't wait to make it again. 

Main skirt pieces. Not pictured, skirt waist band