All posts by Linda

Rock Chick

Rock Chick – perhaps my favourite genre in fashion/lifestyle terms! The Rock Chick can be casual – jeans,leather,tees,flat boots – and yet there is a twist, the Rock Chick can be devastatingly sexy and ladylike too! I came across a cartoon recently of the definition of  “The Rock Chick” – bleached blonde big hair, dressed in black with a studded black leather jacket and Doc Martens –  it’s a very 1980s viewpoint !! In 2012, the Rock Chick still favours the leather biker jacket and predominantly black clothes but other colours such as red, charcoal and purple do make an appearance.  The all black look is still achieved successfully by mixing the materials – black leather jacket worn with a black cotton tee, black denim skinny jeans and black patent Doc Martens or black suede studded heels – you get the drift!! Roses add femininity and studs adding embellishment …not forgetting the trademark skulls!  In 2012, mainstream fashion has embraced the rock chick look and everybody from designers through to High Street stores have studded and skulled every conceivable item …the leather jacket is seen as a must have item ( although I have owned a leather or faux leather jacket since 1981 when I bought a full length black leather coat with my first ever proper wage packet!)

 TOPS  T Shirts depicting images of your favourite group or the tour t shirts picked up at the concert venue, regardless of the year, are commonly worn by the rock chick at leisure, pubbing it or at gigs/festivals/other live music events. However, if you’re looking for a different sort of top…. tees with roses,skulls,motorbikes or glamourous stocking clad ladies are great alternatives to the band t shirt, in predominantly black, white or charcoal grey.

TROUSERS  Rock Chicks tend to favour black/dark denim skinny jeans or black leather trousers (although the leather trousers are not usually “fashion ” items but are part of the motorbike kit ).  An alternative trouser option would be leggings/jeggings – check out River Island’s Black coated Molly Jeggings; Rock Chick Punk Ripped Fashion Leggings (see photo); Top Shop’s Skinny Biker Trousers; or ring the changes with Boohoo’s Nadia Leopard Print Insert Wet Look Leggings – ideal for making that startling entrance, these look as though you’re wearing the shorts/tights combo!!

SHORTS  Another common trend amongst Rock Chicks is to wear short hot pants with tights and biker boots. Going for leather?  Then it has to be AllSaints Perry Leather Shorts, made with black garment washed lambskin.   For denim, go for Top Shop’s Moto Studded Cut Off Denim Shorts.

HOSIERY This season both Pamela Mann and Livco Corsetti have come up trumps with hosiery to suit the avid Rock Chick and would look stunning with the shorts,skirts and dresses described. Pamela Mann offers the Chainmail Tights, Opaque Crosses Tights and the Criss Cross Opaque Tights. From Livco Corsetti we have the sexy Irem and Merve leggings (see photo). Not forgetting stockings, check out Dolly Dagger’s Fishnet Lace Top Thigh High Stockings…

UNDERWEAR  Bralet tops are popular as underwear or as a top in its own right! H & M do a fabulous lingerie range in a black micro fibre and mesh material with zip details including push up bra, balconette bra, suspender belt, and shorts.  Republic also have a similar looking PU zip up bralet and if you want to really stand out in that Lady Gaga kind of way, then check out Miss Rebel’s Spikes Bralet Top in black with sharp gold spikes!!! For underwear to be worn as underwear…don’t be shocked…but head to Marks & Spencers (ok, I can’t believe I’m actually typing this either!!!)  … I’ve discovered a bra and brazilian knicker set that may tickle a Rock Chick’s fancy… Limited Edition Rose Print Lingerie … this isn’t your normal twee floral this is a black/black rose print – go on, have a look !!

DRESSES  Leather, leather look and figure hugging bodycon dresses are widely available this season which is good news for the Rock Chick when she wishes to party!  Choose velvet – River Island’s Black Baroque Velvet Panel Bodycon Dress is very sensual; Choose multi-leather – Ellos Lined Leather Dress – this shift dress comprises of a leather top section and a suede lower section and available in burgundy red or black; Choose Leather – Mugler’s three quarter sleeved stretch Nappa dress; Choose leather and lace – Mulberry’s Leather and Lace dress has three quarter length lace sleeves and top with a leather skater style skirt; Choose Leather Look – Miss Rebel’s Black Spiked One Shoulder Dress….

SKIRTS  Very popular at the moment is Top Shop’s Star Glitter Velvet Tube Maxi Skirt, which looks fab with a black leather jacket and one of the bralet or crop tops already mentioned. For something short and sweet, ASOS has a full skater skirt in leather – perfect for showing off those pins! My favourite style is the pencil skirt – H & M have an imitation black leather skirt with a small slit at the back or for something a little different, how about All Saints Spitalfields Metal Pencil Skirt ? This skirt is made of a gunmetal grey stretch metallic denim. Very cool!!

BAGS AND OTHER ACCESSORIES  Although bags are the “in” thing but I didn’t really see anything that screamed Rock Chick to me and for another season my favourite black leather studded handbag will be paraded about!   However, check out the craftsmen who make real rock chick and rock dude jewellery – Seventh Circle Artworks, for example – my personal favourites include their Jane Doe Silver Edition Skull Earrings and the Stone Dead Forever Ring ( an eternity ring with attitude!)

 JACKETS The biker style jacket is trendy this season and near enough every High Street shop and designer are selling versions in leather, PU or denim. The biker style jacket is an extremely versatile wardrobe staple and lends itself for a casual look as well as adding a bit of chic to a party dress.  Although the Rock Chick look tends to plump for black…be adventurous and try other colours too …

And now it’s time to welcome to this week’s blog the ultimate Rock Chick herself, Marie of Marie GC Photography! Hi Marie, I’ve been a big fan of your work for ages so I am really delighted to have been able to interview you! Please, introduce yourself to everybody else:

Hi I’m Marie, a pint-sized rock music and portrait photographer from London; with a penchant for skulls, tattoos, Vintage keys, to-do lists, cowboy boots, Jack Daniel’s and my beautiful family! Nice to meet you 🙂
What made you want to pursue a career as a photographer?
As a teen, I was always carrying around a disposable or film camera to capture fun times with my friends that it got me the nickname ‘tourist’! To me, photography and pictures have always been a way of documenting memories, and emotions that get locked up in those images that you can re-live every time you look at them. It wasn’t until a good few years later, after being a graphic designer I realised that I actually wanted to pursue photography as a career. I continued to take my camera to days and nights out with friends, to see bands play and snap a few pics. People started to tell me I was really good at it and asked me if I would shoot their band. I got such a buzz out of combining the two things that I love – music and photography, that it seemed too good to be a job. Who can say that they actually LOVE their job?! It’s not really called a job then is it? Ok, well I do love my job!
What has been the most unusual photoshoot request you’ve had ?
Thankfully, I haven’t had a request that I find too unusual! Never say never though, so we will have to save that one for another time.
What has been your favourite photoshoot to date?
Hmmm. That’s like asking me about my favourite memory from my whole life! There are many memorable shoots; because either the band or model were just so much fun to be around and we worked well together. The pictures might not have turned out exactly how I liked or envisioned, but the people made an impact on me. Then there have been awesome images that have come out a shoot cut by time constraints or problems with hair and makeup and I look at those pictures and think about the problems and stress that happened on that particular shoot. There’s one shoot that sticks in my mind that was both an awesome outcome and a great story:
I had shot with a girl called Vykki in her rock band Solsikk. Shortly after that she booked me for some portrait shots to go in her portfolio. These pictures would be with her pet tarantula Zodi. I arrived at the location – a pure white bedroom with, fur, lace, pearls, glitter and Vykki in a pair of knickers and a diamante crown. It was a great setting! Working with a tarantula was a first for me. I wasn’t quite sure if the lights would be a problem and be traumatic for her, or she would pounce on Vykki’s face with her huge spider-like eyelashes and bite her. A couple of times she raised up her front legs, but Vykki calmed her down. I had got the shot that I wanted and it was better than I had even planned in my head. Sadly a week later Zodi died (not from the shoot, but she had a messed moult), but Vykki was so happy she did the shoot with her involved as she now has pictures to remember her by.(see photo)
What do you like best – shooting bands or capturing pin ups? 
That’s a difficult question! I love them equally and for different reasons. Shooting bands was where I started. Capturing a shot of a band/band member on stage that sums up their performance and for people to look at it and say “I was there, that’s exactly how I remember it too!” is such a buzz. It’s spur of the moment, riding on adrenaline and sometimes chasing around a guitarist or singer while they perform to get a picture in a set amount of time (photographers mainly get 3 songs, or 10 minutes in the photo pit for a band). Pin-up photography, for me, is planned, researched and precise. Working on my Dolls ‘n’ Divas projects were months and months of preparation for locations, outfits, hair, makeup, the right models and themes for each model. It is definitely the beautiful side of my photography (the bands mainly being sweaty men with hair all over the place!) With band and pin-up photography, I get to do all the things I enjoy and find challenging.
What style of photography would you like to try that you haven’t tried as yet? 
I know this would never be possible, and it’s a bit crazy, but I do love Space Photography. To see the world from the bigger picture, the planets etc would be pretty cool. I follow the NASA guys on twitter and they post some spectacular images sometimes just from their iPhones. It would be very cool to explore with my camera past Earth. It would certainly put things in perspective when having a bad day with a press schedule or model throwing a strop!
Personal now – what outfits and shoes would you normally be found wearing  ?
My style has never been about fashion and the latest trends. Sometimes I go into shops and not find a single thing I like, and then other times I want everything – that happens typically when I don’t have the money. Rocker and Retro are my main styles, sometimes I mix them up a little. Staple wardrobe items are jeans, leather trousers, leather jacket, vests, cardigans (loving those cropped ones at the moment), customised band tees – some done by friends, others by me. I have a pair of white leather cowboy boots that I’m refusing to throw out despite them being ripped on one all the way down the back and the white leather now looking a bit grey. I will try and re-vamp them again.
Do you have any favourite shops or online sites ?
At the moment, I’m mainly looking at ASOS, All Saints, Kurt Geiger, Pin-Up Girl Clothing, What Katie Did, Black Milk, and Aldo. Their styles are very ‘me’ at the moment. Skulls, studs and black are everywhere at the moment so it’s very easy to find things that I like. Also I love to go to the Vintage stores in Portobello, Camden etc to dig out some pre-loved items.
What’s next on your clothes/shoe wish list?
Ahhh I’m drooling over a pair of boots on the All Saints website right now. I have a birthday and also Christmas is coming up. Maybe they might make an appearance at either (ahem, I hope). The Cowboy Stud Boot. They scream everything that I love in a boot – Distressed leather, buckles, studs, and even snakeskin on the toe cap and heel! – http://www.allsaints.com/women/footwear/allsaints-cowboy-stud/?colour=835&category=331
I’ve also, for a long time now, wanted to purchase a pair of cowboy boots from ‘R Soles’ in London. I think the name is AMAZINGLY funny and their boots are just awesome too. – http://www.rsoles.com/
Boots or Shoes?
Boots. That could change though, but I’ve been practically living in boots for the past couple of years. Having had a baby I couldn’t wear high heels during pregnancy, so I pulled out my trusty cowboy boots, with enough of a heel that would make me happy. They’re sturdy, hardwearing and very versatile – to wear with leggings, skinny jeans tucked in, skirts with long socks. Stiletto boots are awesome too on nights out to shows, are a little more feminine and give that extra height 😉
Links you would like to share e.g. website/facebook etc
My work websites are:

www.mariegc.com

www.facebook.com/mariegcphotography

All my other sites can be accessed from there as there’s too many to mention!

Thank you Marie!  For further shoe and accessory ideas, join BOOTS SHOES et AL on Facebook  …just press the icon.

Linda  x   

Photo Credits: Marie GC Photography; Dave Wise; Amazon UK

Models: Shelly D’Inferno; Bella Simonsen( Miss September in the Dolls ‘n’Divas 2011 Calendar); Vykki

 

 

 

 

 

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Time To Party

Welcome onto the blog the delightful Anne of Essex’ee Legs….Hi Anne, introduce yourself :

I am Anne Tyler, owner of Essex’ee Legs, based in Brentwood Essex UK
When choosing stock for your shop, do you have a set criteria or do you go with what grabs you at the time or a bit of both?
I try to introduce a couple of new brands every 6 months or so. I generally look for good quality brands. When choosing the stock; I have to like the items I am selling and have confidence that they will sell well, I have made mistakes along the way but hopefully, have learned from them 🙂 I try to be different from the High Street, but do stock some everyday hosiery as well. I like to take the more glamorous route as I find these are the styles my customers want.
What has been the most popular style and colour in recent seasons?
Suspender Tights have proved to be the most popular style in recent seasons. This style first appeared around 2009 and its popularity doesn’t diminish, and is still a best seller. All the brands have come up with different interpretations of suspender hosiery and they are still selling very well.Black is still the favourite colour with greys not far behind.
Have you had any strange hosiery requests ?
 A customer once asked me to find black fishnet footless hold ups for her wedding day! I found these and she was delighted.
 What’s your most favourite item in your collection, current or in the past?
Seams have to be my personal favourite. They are so classy and chic. I am loving the Jonathan Aston Opaque Backseam Tights at the moment. They are new in for AW 2012 and are gorgeous.
Personal now – what outfits and shoes would you normally be found wearing?
At the moment, I love smart stylish pencil style dresses and skirts with heels and seamed hosiery.
Do you have any favourite shops or online sites ?
Particularly like Reiss, Monsoon, M and Co and M&S online for outfits. Shoes; so many stunning styles about online, love Reiss and LK Bennett, but a special treat as very expensive.
What’s next on your clothes/shoe wish list?
Some new outfits for forthcoming Festive Season, and a pair of Black LK Bennett shoes I’ve got my eye on!
Boots or Shoes? 
Both! Boots generally for Winter days, shoes for nights out. Has to be heels, hate flats!
Links you would like to share e.g. website/facebook etc
Twitter: @EssexyLegs
Thank you Anne!  As ever, join us on Facebook  
 
Linda X
Photo credits: Essex’ee Legs;

 

 

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These Boots Are Made For Walking

My love affair with boots probably started way back in 1982 when onto my TV screen came Paula Yates strutting her stuff singing her cover version of Nancy Sinatra’s “These Boots Were Made for Walking” …and this 17 year old was smitten! Although I coveted the knee high lace up boots I didn’t own a pair until a couple of years ago.  In the 80’s I wore a pair of burgundy suede flat pixie boots and in the 90s these were replaced by a pair of black high heeled ankle boots from Next ….and then came the dawning of the 21st century and the dawning of the boot trend…and the introduction of nearly every style of boot known to man into my wardrobe! From flats to high heels, I adore each and every one of them. For me, whatever the heel size and heel type, I find boots comfortable to wear ; they look and feel sexy ; and above all they go with virtually every item in my wardrobe!

Boots have been around since about 1000 BC when the nomads from eastern Asia as well as the Inuit (eskimo) and Aleut natives of Alaska developed traditional winter boots made of caribou or seal skin, decorated with seal intestine, dog hair and wolverine fur. In the same way, Ugg boots – introduced into the UK and USA from Australia in the 1970s – were never thought of as fashionable in Australia and New Zealand and are worn there predominantly as slippers or generally worn for warmth and comfort. Knee high fur trimmed boots, flat or heeled, are great for winter and look good worn with skinny jeans and a chunky jumper.

Chelsea boots originated in the Victorian era, its notable feature is its elastic siding, running from just above the welt to the top of the shoe. Normally flat heeled, these boots look good with straight jeans or trousers. These boots are normally worn with socks to prevent chafes and blisters, to absorb sweat and to improve the foot’s grip inside the boot. Also from the Victorian era, are brogue style and lace up ankle boots with a mid heel – these look good with short wool blend/tweed skirts paired with warm over knee cable socks or wear referee knee length socks with the boots and an enticing black mini tube skirt! 

Military style boots are flat heeled and extremely comfortable – I often wear these for the school run as well as a casual night at the local pub. These style boots first appeared in Europe in the 17th century, featuring thick soles and turnover tops, and were originally designed for horse mounted soldiers! These look good with jeans but also they look good with maxi skirts- even cotton summer tiered maxi skirts can be transformed into winter wear with a sloppy jumper and a pair of military boots!

Biker style boots with plenty of buckles and studs and attitude!! Again a versatile boot to wear with skinny jeans, leggings or short skirts and dresses….topped with that all important leather jacket!

Ankle boots with heels and wedges look great with opaque tights , worn with short dresses and look equally at home with all jean and trouser styles.

Cowboy boots are comfortable and look at home in denim (jeans,skirts or dresses)…wear them for line dancing, school run or everyday wear.  Latest styles now encompass a range of colours other than black or tan.

Linda_Tartan-001

And then there’s Kinky Boots!! The term “kinky boots” was actually coined in the UK in the early 1960s when high boots which had been previously worn by the “underground” fetish and sadomasochistic world of the dominatrix and her clients, broke into mainstream female fashion. The original kinky boots were calf to knee length pull-on black leather boots with 3 to 4 inch heels and pointed toes. This was the kind of boot worn by Honor Blackman and Diana Rigg (Emma Peel) in the original Avengers television series. The boots were then worn by Nancy Sinatra in 1966 on her album covers of her pop song  ” These Boots Are Made For Walking”. The 2006 film “Kinky Boots”  -( brilliant, by the way!)- told the story of an ailing company of high quality traditional men’s shoe manufacturers that found a new lease of life by making high heeled footwear for transgender people and drag queens. In 2012, these boots are ideal for partying..Rihanna was spotted wearing a pair whilst clubbing in New York …and they look good with a leather skater style skirt.

Thigh boots are considered by many to be erotic or kinky and until recently they were considered as icons of sex based trades such as prostitution and professional dominatrix. In the late 2000s, thigh boots have changed their reputation! Indeed, in 2006, the film “The Devil Wears Prada”, the protaganist Andy Sachs (played by Anne Hathaway) completes her ugly-duckling-to-swan transformation by strutting confidently into her employer’s offices wearing a pair of Chanel black leather thigh boots!

Lastly, wellies! For walking the dog around the seawall,dancing in the mud at a music festival or splashing about in the rain! From Hunters to fashionable wedge wellies or go for the quirky!

And now to the “Bootiful” Ruby True who stopped by for a chat in between her busy schedule of photoshoots (both sides of the camera), and shows ..

Welcome Ruby to the Boots,Shoes & Fashion blog!  Please introduce yourself:

Hey! I am Ruby True, a model and performer. I love fire ballet and high heels.

Are there any particular outfits/shoes you enjoy modelling? Any genre that you would like to try but haven’t as yet?

I don’t have any particular favourites. I just love creating images and try and vary my look and poses for each shoot.

Some of the modelling photographs I’ve seen you have been wearing ridiculously high shoes when strutting your stuff – have you ever fallen like Naomi Campbell once famously did or anything else embarrassing?

Nope! Touch wood! I seem to have a pretty good balance but guess it comes from having a dance background.

The rubber dresses and skirts that you’ve modelled…are they actually comfortable to wear?

Yup, well made latex is very comfy and it’s not heavy rubber so easy to move in or hobble! 😉

Favourite outfit/shoes that you’ve modelled in?

Oh gosh, that’s a tough one!  I recently modelled some of Kaori’s latex dreams and I loved her pop art Lichenstein inspired dotty dress!  I love my old faithful 8″ platform Mary Janes – can’t beat a classic!

Behind the scenes as a photographer, what genre do you enjoy photographing?

It’s something I have only just started, but the models I work with and want to work with I pick mostly for personality – I want to capture a bit of fun!

At home, what outfits and shoes would you normally be found wearing?

I have to admit it’s comfys and slippers! After a long day shooting there is nothing better!

What’s next on your clothes/shoe wish list?

Ah, it’s a secret….but Kaori is making me a special custom outfit!

Boots or Shoes?

Oh, can I say both?! I don’t know why, I just love shoes and boots! I have got so many that some haven’t even been worn! Ooops!

Thanks Ruby !

 Linda x
Photo credits : Linda Hobden; Essex’ee Legs; Ruby True

 

 

 

 

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An Evening of Burlesque and Boudoir

I’m so excited…I’m off to see a West End Burlesque Show and I can’t wait to indulge in the glamour of the occasion! Over the last 20 years or so, there has been a revival of burlesque shows on both sides of the Atlantic. This revival is known fondly as Neo-Burlesque and one of the best known performers is the immensely successful Dita von Teese, who began performing in 1992  – and in the last few years she has made cameo appearances in the Eurovision Song Contest;has been ambassador/spokesperson for MAC cosmetics (as part of a HIV/AIDS awareness campaign) alongside Debbie Harry, Eve and Lisa Marie Presley;has launched her own make up collection “Classics” in partnership with the German cosmetic brand Art Deco; and has launched her own range of lingerie – Australia being the country honoured with the first collection.

Corporate Burlesque Entertainment Booking Sukki Singapora

So what is burlesque? Burlesque is basically striptease with the emphasis on tease – think vintage glamour – feathers,corsets,seamed stockings and nipple tassels!! Although every burlesque performer has their own unique showstopper – Dita von Teese shows are influenced by musicals and films of the 1930s and 1940s – her signature show features a giant martini glass and her feather fan dance was inspired by burlesque dancer Sally Rand and featured the world’s largest feather fans, now on display in Hollywood’s Museum of Sex. In contrast, Sukki Singapora, performs an ultimate fusion of traditional burlesque and Bollywood Glamour.

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Burlesque is a popular fancy dress theme, and as a hen/girly night idea there are dance schools, such as the Pink Kitten Dance School in Bristol, offering burlesque dancing classes where you and your girlfriends can learn to take off your clothes seductively …but don’t worry you don’t end up nude, you just wear lots of layers to practice in!! Boudoir photography often have a burlesque feel to the shots – probably because of the make up, corset ,hosiery and shoes worn …not forgetting the props!

Corsets,tutus or combined corset-tutu dresses are a must….there are plenty to choose from on the internet from specialist corset shops through to fancy dress outlets  – ebay offers a reasonable and good selection too.

Stockings- seamed black stockings, fishnets,hold ups or how about fishnet suspender tights.

Other props could include long gloves,either plain or black lace,gothic style; fascinators….the list is endless and best left to your imagination.  Don’t forget to check out the lingerie sections of catalogue companies such as La Redoute too!

Talented MUA Emma Brooks who has worked in the industry for over 15 years with MAC, and now is freelance, gave me some advice on getting that perfect Burlesque look:

Burlesque Make up is all about the sexy retro era, cat like eyes and a beautiful cupid’s bow shaped red lip. It’s what us make up artists like to call “Flicks and Lips”. Here are the key products to create the look:-

  • Skin – Flawless matte skin to begin, M.A.C  Studio Fix Fluid SPF15, using foundation slightly paler than your natural skin tone.  Powder on top with M.A.C Blot Powder. Apply M.A.C Pink Cult blusher to the apples of the cheeks.
  • Eyes – M.A.C. Bare Canvas paint blended from lash line up to brow bone. Blend a little M.A.C. vanilla eyeshadow all over the top. M.A.C. Blacktrack Fluidline applied with a M.A.C. 266 Angle Brush, to create a cat like perfect FLICK on the eye. Really emphasise and elongate the flick at the outer corner of the eye. Lashings of mascara and Dior Black show kohl pencil. M.A.C Fascinating White in water line of eye. M.A.C. spiked eyebrows to darken and emphasis brows. M.A.C.  12  false eyelashes.
  • Lips – M.A.C. Red lipliner pencil to create a fuller top lip and really emphasise the cupid’s bow. M.A.C Ruby Woo lipstick.
  • And lastly, not forgetting the essential beauty spot on cheekbone using M.A.C. Coffee eye kohl pencil.

So, now you’re ready to strut your stuff at the burlesque parties this season… and perhaps attend a show or two yourself! I was lucky enough to interview the extremely sweet, multi national burlesque artist (and model,vocalist & violinist) Sukki Singapora, for this week’s blog..

imageMultinational Burlesque Starlet and proud representative of Burlesque for Singapore, Sukki is one of the most exciting performers to emerge into the Neo-Burlesque Scene. She is the World’s first Professional Burlesque Performer to hail from the “tiny sunny island” of Singapore, capturing the imagination and heart of the nation [ChwennyLand, November 2011]. Using her native roots she has created signature fusion routines which mix Bollywood and oriental gyrations with tongue in cheek showgirl bump and grind.Her acts have been critically critically acclaimed in all the countries she’s performed, and has enabled her to share a stage with high profile celebrities such as UK TV Comedians Rufus Hound and Jason Manford. Little over a year into her career she founded The Singapore Burlesque Society, it’s main aim being to promote and support Burlesque in Singapore, and freedom of expression through the Art. Clearly a talented force making waves in the industry Sukki is also the mastermind behind sell-out revue The Singapore Burlesque Club.Her performances are as lavish and elaborate as her costumes, making this sultry and visually stunning performer not one to be missed.

Hi Sukki! Glad to have you on the blog! I know that every burlesque performer has their own style – and the costumes worn reflect that. Where do you get your inspiration from for the outfits? Custom made or designer etc? For me it’s about creating something individual, rather than simply slipping into something already designed. My inspiration comes from many things,my childhood,my heritage,and burlesque pioneers of the past such as Barbara Yung. it can take months of imagination and reinvention before the finished costume is created. Usually I have designers to help with the basic designs, and then I add and embellish them myself until they’re perfect. Wherever possible I like to start with the material from a sari so that every showpiece has a story to it which reflects my ethnicity.

imageFavourite stage outfit /shoes. At the moment my favourite stage outfit is the one for my “Introducing Miss Singapora Act.” I love the complexity of the beading, and the way it makes me feel. It took so many hours to complete. Often the most glamorous pieces do! And my favourite stage shoes… a vintage 1950’s pair of gold dancing heels. High enough to emphasise the seductiveness of a woman’s leg, but not too high so as she can’t move gracefully. I love the story that comes with dancing in her shoes, and what history they might hold.

Off stage, what outfits/shoes do you normally wear? Off stage, I enjoy wearing vintage. My favourite dresses at the moment are Chinese pieces from the 1940’s. I always like to make an effort, even when “off duty” and never leave the house without makeup! My favourite shoes depend of the occasion. Recently my muse has been Jeffrey Campbell. Definitely my first choice to feel playful and elegant in during the day!

Any advice for wannabe burlesque starlets ? In my experience, I’ve found that the best burlesque acts have a hint of something unique. Something which shows off your personality without trying too hard. Explore your own individualism, and keep practicing. Also avoid cliches when it comes to style. Try not to step on the stage in the head to toe catalogue of a “burlesque” outfit from a sex shop. You can never do too much customising!

Your routines must require a lot of energy as well as skill – what do you do to keep fit? To keep fit I think it’s as much about diet as about exercise. I have hourly intensive workout sessions with a personal trainer two times a week, and on top of that I make sure I rehearse routines every day, I try to eat many small meals throughout the day rather than waiting and eating huge portions, and prioritise proteins and vegetables. I avoid bread and dairy products, although I don’t cut them out completely. One day a week I allow myself to eat whatever I want – in some form or another that usually involves chocolate!
Boots or Shoes? Definitely shoes, and never without a platform or a heel!
Links eg website, twitter,Facebook etc so that readers can find you/or follow you etc
Have fun!
Linda x
Sukki Singapora photos: Photography by My Boudoir; MUA by Sarah Elliott; and corsetry by Kiku Boutique.
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To Tan Or Not to Tan…

That is the question on a lot of fair skinned ladies’ lips as summer arrives…and for those of all skin tones a further question may be, go bare legged or not ?!

I am fair,or,as I like to say, “interestingly pale”  – I do not tan naturally easily – although to be fair (LOL!), I am not really a “laze around sunbathing on a beach ” sort of person! The top half of my body does get a colour of a fashion ( ok, I go red!) but my legs remain lily white. I can remember having a successful tan whilst on holiday –  when I was in my late teens and I had obviously fallen asleep on the sun bed during the day after staying up all night dancing the night away! I can also remember having sunburnt eyelids – not very pleasant! What I can definitely recommend if you do tend to go red before tanning is to invest in some Rimmel Sunshimmer  – rub this bronzer onto the red patches as well as on your shoulders,arms,legs,chest and it acts as an after sun moisturiser and turns the red a nice glittery bronze colour !  Fabulous on your face too – gives a healthy tan colour ! Pack some into your suitcases!!!

Sunbeds are an option. I booked a course of sun bed sessions before I embarked on (another) teen holiday to Magaluf! However, I only lasted one session – I contracted chicken pox and that was that. I landed in Magaluf, pale and spotty…but not for long, thankfully! However, if you are not a person who can lie on a normal sun bed for at least 15 minutes before getting bored, then it probably isn’t a good idea!

About 15 years ago I had an all over tan treatment applied at a spa and unfortunately I turned a lovely shade of orange. Luckily, my holiday break that year was to the Lake District where I was able to wear long sleeves and trousers ! Nowadays, fake tans are more sophisticated and the orange look can be avoided.  Spray tanning at reputable salons and centres now produce flawless results – although not used myself, friends have recommended the LA Tanning company, Vita Liberata outlets and Fake Bake.

Alternatively, you could opt for the fake suntan cream and do your legs (and body) yourself. I currently use Body Shop’s Molten Bronze  – a dry body oil with a hint of natural fake tan – apply it every day and you will gradually build up a natural looking colour. For me, it just takes the edge off that lily white ! Johnson’s Holiday Tan and Dove also work in the same way. Facial wise, I’m currently using Leichner’s camera blend tinted moisturiser in “hints of beige”.  Not as heavy as traditional foundations but it gives a lovely flawless illuminated look – available in various “hints” for all skin tones.

For darker tans, and fans of TOWIE, try Lauren’s Way Glam Tan – you can see for yourself how good it is by looking at Lauren Goodger!  ( Lauren’s Way also do spray tans). Another recommendation is pHenomeal tanning mousse by Vita Liberata – this tan can last an astonishing 2-3 weeks – and is available in dark,medium and fair. The product has won the “Best Tanning Range” category in U Magazine’s beauty awards 2012/2013.

You could also boost your all over tan by sunbathing in “Tan Through Swimwear” – the swimsuits and bikinis have a built in SPF of around 6 , so it is recommended that suntan lotion of SPF 6 or higher should be used on areas not covered by the swimsuit. There is a large range on Amazon ; you could also check out the Tan Through website – they guarantee that their Cool Tan swimwear range are not see through when wet or dry. It could be just the thing to eliminate those “tan lines”!

If bare legs are not your scene or perhaps are not appropriate for the occasion, there are a range of tights to give you that just tanned and oiled look. The photo heading this blogpost is of Jonathan Aston Micronet Tights in Natural with Pretty Polly Naturals Oiled Tights in Slightly Sunkissed underneath. Believe me, they look and feel wonderful ! If you want to bare your just painted tootsies in a pair of sandals, don a pair of toeless tights – brilliant invention !!  For sexiness you can’t beat the  seamed retro hosiery  –  available in colours from nude to chocolate – these are great for darker skin tones or as an alternative to the usual black tights/stockings.

Now you’ve prepared your pins – look to have a pedicure, paint your nails a vibrant colour (I love corals!), find those TAN sandals and go, strut your stuff!

Linda x

Photo Credit: Adam Hobden

 

 

 

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Shades of Sauciness!

20120720-155001.jpgI don’t think there is a woman left in the UK who, if they haven’t read THE book, they’ve certainly heard about it ! Of course, I’m talking about Fifty Shades of Grey, the saucy novel by EL James.

Whilst opinions and reviews are divided, there is no doubt that the book has injected some “oomph” into the adult toy, lingerie, fashion,novelty and beauty markets and with a film being made, the future looks very bright indeed. So, whilst you are waiting for the film to be made and released, here are some fun FASHION (in a kind of fashion!) tips to help you create your own Mr Grey/ Anastasia Steele (or ‘Mrs Robinson’ !) scenario :

  • WAXING Mr Grey liked his ladies smooth and was very particular that they were waxed often. I must admit, I’ve tried home waxing kits ..what a disaster! Going to somebody who is properly qualified is the way to go to make the experience less messy and painful ! Or failing that, I highly recommend using Body Shop’s Africa Ximenia & Salt Scrub from the Spa Wisdom range as a “shaving cream/foam”, followed by your favourite body lotion and finished with an all over spraying of Body Shop’s Neroli Jasmin Body Mist. Mmmm….pure heaven.( www.thebodyshop.co.uk )
  • LINGERIE Stockings are a must …try Aristoc Sensuous 10 denier stockings or Leg Avenue’s Cuban Heel Stockings. Or if you fancy playing the part of “Mrs Robinson” instead…Leg Avenue’s 3 piece Halter Top, Flutter Skirt & G -string in Glamourous Red. All available at www.essexylegs.co.uk.
  • THE DRESS Nothing oozes classy sexiness than the Julieanne Dress from Agent Provocateur (www.agentprovocateur.com). In a silk and cotton cashmere mix material, this elegant dress has buttons from the neckline to just above the knee …so it’s up to you how much you reveal…
  • SHOES It has to be, without a doubt, Louboutins!!! www.christianlouboutin.com …well worth a window shop – the website itself just needs to be seen ! Also check out www.buyheels.co.uk – the heels are absolutely gorgeous! Or, really go to town, with the Pleaser Delight Lace-Up Platform Stilettoes, from www.lovehoney.co.uk ….. need I say more!
  • THE RED ROOM OF PAIN Totally optional, of course, BUT if you did want to redecorate your spare room, Homebase Home of Colour Matt/Silk Emulsion Paint in ” Show Stopper” would set the scene nicely for the walls,door & ceiling !! (www.homebase.co.uk). On the bed, go for the sensuous red satin bedding and pillows, from Agent Provocateur (www.agentprovocateur.com).
  • THE DRINK Pinot Grigio to start perhaps, and then progress to the champagne?? Sound good ?? Marks & Spencer are having a wine sale at the moment …. pick up a case of 6 bottles of the superb Louis Chaurey Champagne for £90 (www.marksandspencer.com).
  • THE TOYS Ann Summers reps (among others) are all helping ladies re-live the fantasies of Mr Grey and Anastasia Steele with amazing offers on bondage accessories,whips and other sensual products! (www.annsummers.com). You could also visit the “Grey Expectations Store” at www.tabooessentials.com …kits come with a grey satin sash ! Agent Provocateur (www.agentprovocateur.com) also offer a range of affordable eye masks as well as other such products, including a rather neat crystal whip …I’ll let you dwell on that!
  • DRESSING MR GREY Ladies, it’s no good preparing for this scenario without dressing your Mr Grey!!! Christian Grey sported ripped, button fly jeans for the encounters in the Red Room, so…check out the sexy Joe Brown’s Vintage Ripped Jeans (www.joebrowns.co.uk).
  • READY TO SLEEP There’s nothing that Christian Grey liked more than seeing Anastasia in a classic silk nightdress/chemise when out of the Red Room. Julianne’s “Samantha Chemise” – a classic silk chemise that’s carefully shaped to enhance and follow your curves. Available in black, cream or golden beige. (www.figleaves.com).
  • AND IF ALL THIS FAILS TO IMPRESS you could always bake some cakes and use the “50 Shades of Grey” edible cake toppers …a vast selection available on ebay (www.ebay.co.uk). As the saying goes, the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach……

Laters,

Linda x

 

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The Wedding Shoe Hunt

CONGRATULATIONS! ….you’re getting married! You’ve bought the dress, planned the colour scheme, booked the reception venue, found your dream photographer, twizzled your hair, grown your nails, designed the flower arrangements, sent out the invites, staked out the church, sampled the wares of the caterers, calmed family squabbles, appealed to the sun to shine, fell in love with airbrush foundation, researched the musical entertainment, succumbed to the hen night plans….NOW you’re ready for the great wedding shoe hunt!

Today’s brides have so much choice that your shoes for your special day can be tailor made to reflect your mood,personality,colour scheme, dress style, comfort or you can unleash your inner diva and go for something totally funky !

  • TRADITIONAL/VINTAGE  –  mid heel courts or bridal flats in plain white or ivory or pastel colours, maybe in satin and embellished with pearl,lace or bow details. Still very stylish and flattering. Check out the range at www.weddingbellesbrides.co.uk   – their shoe range is totally classy and affordable.
  • HEELS & BLING – sky high heels and wedges blinged with crystals,diamante, pearls and studs. In a range of colours and shades and styles from ivory pearl to leopard print stunners … no colour is left out ! On the other end of the heel spectrum you can often get matching flat pumps … so you don’t have to be uncomfortable to bling if heels are not your thing!  I would suggest investing in some foot pads to insert into your heels …mine cost a pound or two from my local Kleeneze agent…they really do help to ease the burning sensation from being in heels all day!  Or for something really different, wear blinged converse trainers!! There are a lot of companies that offer these heels, especially on Facebook, like Diamond Divas (www.facebook.com/diamonddivas3) and Princess Sparkle ( www.facebook.com/kpboutique).
  • SHADES OF BLUE – To fulfil the tradition of wearing something blue, shoes would be a great idea. Again there is a vast spectrum of blue shades to choose from and a vast selection of heels and styles catering for every budget. High Street chains, such as BHS  (www.bhs.co.uk) are a good place to source your wedding shoes.
  • QUIRKY/FUNKY – Red is becoming quite a popular wedding shoe colour. From tartan courts (www.internacionale.com) to the gothic/rock look of popular brand Iron Fist ( both heels and flats). Iron Fist shoes can be found on Amazon (click on their advert link at the bottom of the page), and in independent boutiques such as Unique Boutique ( www.theuniqueboutiqueclothing.co.uk) and La Boutique (www.laboutiqueessex.co.uk). OR be really funky and quirky and don a pair of Doc Martens for a comfy and trendy march down the aisle! (as modelled by the lovely Jemima Williams in the above photo).
  • BRIDAL FLATS – If you really can’t walk in tottering heels or sky high wedges, then flats will fit the bill. Flats may be comfortable but they needn’t be frumpy …some brides have recommended Indian beaded Khussa leather shoes, purchased from ebay. Gorgeous and comfortable…what more could you want…
  • AND LASTLY,  if you do wear heels you could always invest in a pair of foldaway handbag pumps…ideal for the night’s end. Selection available from www.essexylegs.co.uk.

Whatever you decide to wear I hope you have a fabulous day!  Don’t forget to check out my Facebook group, Boots,Shoes et Al,(click on the Facebook button at the top of the page to go straight to my group page) to get ideas from fellow members or if you need help in locating the perfect shoe for you, put in your request and we’ll do our very best to help you.

Take care!

Linda x

Photo credits: The photo was taken in Greenwich, London by Adam of Adam Hobden Photography (www.adamhobden.com).  The model was the delightful Jemima Williams (http://illustrateher.wordpress.com/)

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Welcome to my Blog!

Hi! I’m Linda and a big welcome to my blog!

I’m currently running the Facebook group, Boots Shoes et Al , and this blog I hope will compliment the information, friendships and general discussions already being experienced in the group. With this blog I hope to share my passions for fashion, footwear,beauty,music,photography and socialising …!!! I will be chatting to some lovely people about their fashion passions; I will be delving into my make up bag and accessory drawer for product assessments; and, of course, I’ll be indulging in some truly fabulous boots and shoes conversations!

So, let’s get ready to rumble, come on in and join me !!!

Feel free to contact me via comments, Facebook or email.

Linda  x

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