Category Archives: Interview

A Night At The Museum

It was a cold but clear night. Travelling from the wilds of the Essex salt marshes to the heartland of England’s shoe industry – Northampton – went myself and my husband, on Friday 23rd November 2012.  Our destination was the Northampton Museum and Art Gallery home to the world famous shoe collection – the second largest shoe collection in the world (the largest being in Ottawa, Canada), no less.

We had been invited to the Press and Celebrity Private Evening Viewing of the fabulous collection of Milly J Shoes and I had been looking forward to this evening for weeks!  Milly couldn’t have picked a better place to launch her exhibition – Northampton Museum is “Heaven on Earth” for shoe lovers and I fell head over heels in love with the place as soon as I stepped over the threshold. As well as shoes, the museum also has a prestigious collection of Italian and British artworks, including work by John Collier and David Hockney.  But let’s get back to shoes….as I was saying, the ground floor of the museum looks at shoe fashions, shoemaking and the significance of shoes and in the comfortable Shoe Lounge, currently exhibiting until 6 January 2013, is the fantastic artwork shoe creations of the delightful and unique Milly J.

Milly J Shoes – one-off art to wear shoes and shoe sculptures are unique and the work and creativity that goes into each and every item needs to be seen in the flesh, photographs cannot do them justice. I found myself looking at each and every shoe with awe and wonder – I have seen them before in photos on Milly’s website – but up close…well, the details blew me away!! The shoes are works of art, no doubt about that, but wearable too …and ever since Jodie Marsh stepped onto the This Morning’s set in her “teapot” shoes designed by Milly J …other celebrities and non celebrities have been clamouring to own their own unique pair and be part of the Milly J Shoe  Envy Club.

So, which were my favourites?  I loved the Red & Black Vampire Diaries court shoes that matched the dress I was wearing that night…but they are owned by a lovely lady called Emma, who won’t part with them (understandably!) I also had a crush on the green lace up army boots …little army figures climbed up the heel and around the shoe …they would look fab with my jeans although my husband did point out that one trip and the little man at the front would probably come to a sad end!

 My husband Adam loved the boots made for TV personality and MMA Announcer Bret “Hollywood” Freeman …they started life as a pair of Jeffery West white boots and with a little magic from Milly they have been transformed into boots full of skulls! Designer Guy West (Jeffery -West) also admired the transformation! (Jeffery – West are also exhibiting their 25th Anniversary exhibition in the adjoining room until 9 February 2013 – to the delight of my Adam and Bret who had a quick mooch around that exhibition too!)

Bret “Hollywood” Freeman opened the proceedings with a toast to Milly J and her achievements in just less than a year.Milly J presented to the museum a special exhibit called the Tap Shoe – this was a shoe in a black/white check (reminiscent of traditional bathroom tiling) with a tap and plug on it….hard to describe but it is a fab piece of artwork….

 

Milly J is certainly a talented lady …apart from wowing us all with her creative shoe artworks, she is a lovely chatty and friendly lady with a proud, supportive and equally lovely fiancé Mark, and her main forte is actually being an actress and classically trained singer …and she blew me away with her fantastic rendition of In The Summertime ...it was just a fantastic evening and the fabulous cupcakes with edible shoes on them also deserve a mention … these were provided by Cuppies ‘n’ Cream …delicious Natalie, thank you.

So, here are some of the gorgeous Milly J Shoes creations…made with lots of love…

Wedding boots with a difference…and the Birdcage…

Liquorice All sorts …Breast Cancer Awareness Shoe..

For photograph enthusiasts…these were another favourite of mine…

Oranges…ideal if you’re feeling fruity…

At the Cafe – look at the detail – menu board, tablecloth, crockery…

Rubik’s Cube…

Secret Garden…

Another pretty one…ladybirds and roses…another favourite contender..

 

 

Dotty Tea Pots..

 

 

 

 

 

These have removable candles on the front with faux flames …

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And now I’m pleased to welcome to the blog the unique lady that is Milly J. Hi Milly, I really enjoyed meeting you and seeing your creations close up… so please introduce yourself ..

I am Milly J, aka Emily J, the shoe artist

Your shoe designs are amazing! Where do you get your ideas from?

My inspiration comes entirely from my belief in what is possible. I do not hinder myself and I am not scared to take a risk and surprise myself. I am from a theatrical background and this has put me in good stead to truly go out with an idea and see it to the end process. My skills in communication, my love of surrealism, my upbringings abroad, culture, society, anthropology and food. Though what really inspires me are the people that come to me. By talking to them and building a rapport of what makes them tick is very important. By having a hook in any form of work, your work will breath life.
In your opinion, what has been your wackiest design?
To be honest, to me I know that those that perhaps are more “middle” of the road would see my designs as “whacky”, though it’s when you read the titles and start to understand the meanings behind the shoes, they make complete sense. Though in terms of un-conventionalism, I’d have to say, the Mad Hatter’s teapot. Not just due to the actual design, but also due to the whole psychology of the Mad Hatter Character. A totally bonkers entity that sees elements where perhaps elements are not apparent. I took this mentality and tried to create this through a shoe.
Have you got a favourite out of all the shoes you’ve designed?
Yes, the Guardian Angel Shoe. This shoe was created almost straight after the passing of my brother. It is a shoe that is steeped in sensitivity,  based on “real” situation that is so very dear to me. A shoe that speaks of taking flight and letting what will be rest.
What do you like best about being a shoe designer?
The uninhibited nature of being an artist is so very liberating. Be able to realise that art is simply what works. Being able to create for not just yourself, but others too. The non selfish aspect of designing is so very special too, sharing your work with the world.
Personal now – what outfits and shoes would you normally be found wearing  ?
I am at heart not someone who is hindered by what the market perhaps may subtly tell us to wear.Like my work, I like to be free in the notion that there are so many possibilities for me to fit in to. So it could Boho, Rockabilly, preppy… what ever works for me.
Do you have any favourite shops or online sites ?
I love etsy. As it’s an avenue where you can really enjoy hand made creations that are created by fellow artists and designers, from the heart. None of that manufactured, processed malarky!
What’s next on your clothes/shoe wish list?
I want to own a really nice Boho coat. I already have one, but another wouldn’t hurt! The type you can find in Camden. With silks and embroidery that speaks of craftmanship and skill.
Boots or Shoes?
Any works for me :-). I after all am a shoe person full stop. I love demonia boots to look at but I also love a dainty shoe to ponder over.
Links you would like to share e.g. website/facebook etc
Thanks Milly …it was lovely to meet you …and don’t forget if you are in Northampton pop in to that gem that is the Northampton Museum and be mesmerised, as I was!!! In the meantime, check out her website and have a look at all the other creative works not shown here…Milly J surprises me daily with new creations!!! 
Linda x
Photo Credits: Adam Hobden Photography; Linda Hobden
 

 

 

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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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