Category Archives: Interview

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.

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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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