I like to welcome onto the blog this week a lady who oozes sophistication, coolness, glamour and quite a lot of business savvy !!! She is the delightful Celia Sawyer from the Channel 4 TV Programme Four Rooms, airing in the UK every Friday at 8pm …. make a note in your diary, electronic or otherwise ( yep, I still use my faithful filofax!). A big, warm welcome Celia … tell us about yourself :
Hi, I’m Celia Sawyer, a self made multi millionaire business woman who has various businesses including luxury interior design, property developing, film investment, dealing in antiques and collectibles and TV star of Channel 4’s Four Rooms . I am also a mother of 2.
How did you first get involved with the TV series “Four Rooms”?
I have an interior design business, and had seen the show as I also deal in collectables for my clients, so I saw an advertisement for the show asking for images of interesting objects, so I sent a photo of myself and said “How about me as one of your dealers?”
Great approach, Celia!
It is strange when you look at items like Hitler’s toilet, you just cannot believe people have these items in their possession! Some of the dealers get quite competitive and the atmosphere gets a bit strained at times with everyone after one item, and we sometimes don’t speak for a day or so.
During the series, have you come across any designs that have made an impression on you? Have you “pinched” any ideas for your own home?
The series is more about items, as opposed to designs, however I do get inspired by some of the more beautiful items brought on to the show and they give me ideas for my schemes. I have the Road Kill Couture in my home on display!
What do you like best about being a TV host?
It’s nice that people, who have seen the show, come to me for advice… I like to help if I can!
Mmmmm… an interesting question, but probably a role on TV that is inspirational and can give the public help to realise that “you can do it too”
Any future plans in the pipeline that you can share?
Things in the pipeline that have to stay there for now I’m afraid, but you will be seeing more of me I hope!
Oooh… Sounds good!… So, personal now – what outfits and shoes would you normally be found wearing?
Normally bodycon outfits… I like Donna Karan dresses and suits, Alexander McQueen jewellery, Burberry metallic macs. I train hard fitness wise, so I like to wear things to show my hard work off! Burberry boots, Louboutins and strappy sandles are my favourites, high and glitzy!
Do you have any favourite shops or online sites?
I love going to Harvey Nichols with the personal shopping team. They rush around for me and grab all sorts that I would never be able to find. I often look at Net-a-Porter online, but I really like trying on clothes first as I’m very fussy, so it’s often just for ideas!
For someone to make me something outstanding for my next TV debut – sexy with some great long boots to match!
Boots or Shoes?
I love both. Firstly, winter time I live in boots, either Burberry long ones with very high heels, my vintage 60s platforms (10 quid!) or my Louboutin ankle boots. In the summer I love strappy platforms, something unusual like my new Gianvito Rossi sandals which change colour in different light.
Links you would like to share e.g. website/facebook/twitter etc,so that readers can find out more information about you!
Thanks for a fascinating interview … those Gianvito Rossi sandals sound awesome Celia! Don’t forget everybody, tune in Channel 4, Fridays at 8pm!
Photo Credits: The photographs have been published with kind permission from Celia Sawyer.
I’m nattering this week to a group of ladies who have taken the UK by storm performing their energetic shows at events and private parties and they are soon to wow audiences in Europe too …fire eating, pole dancing, dancing on the bar Coyote Ugly style…it’s a show well worth seeing! So welcome ladies, please introduce yourselves:
Whether you want a full stage show or a Coyote Ugly moment in your bar, our girls are ready when you are. Each girl has an individual talent they like to show off, it normally involves Angle Grinders, a Pole, some Chairs, Fire Dancing, Fire Poi, Fire Eating and Fire Breathing, we do it all.
Our girls create a wild, jaw-dropping show, which is never the same twice.
You are very busy ladies – what motivated you all to start fire eating, pole dancing, grinding, doing burlesque etc?
I personally fell off a pole and rolly-pollied off it! Sometimes out clothes get caught when we are trying to whip them off and a few other minor things like that! Nothing too bad.
I’ve watched you all flitting around the stage, performing Coyote Ugly style on the bar counters plus getting into the groove on the dance floor ( more rocking than grooving to be honest!) – so what are your fitness secrets to maintain your endless energy you all seem to possess?
I think Red Bull! We are all a little crazy as we get so pumped up for shows. The next day is the total opposite!
Favourite outfit/shoes that you wear for performing?
We love our heels! MASSIVE platform heels and shoes! We have to pick shoes that make us look HOT but also good to walk around playing with fire in!
Love your tattoos ladies – any stories about them at all?
I’m sure we all have stories about our tattoos, but they are probably all boring ones!
Oh god that’s a hard one! We use Limp Bizkit for our show alot, so I’d say them!
Is there any performance/ show you would like try to try that you haven’t tried as yet?
I’m not sure! We love doing all shows and we already have done alot of unusual shows from stag parties to festivals!
At home, what outfits and shoes would you normally be found wearing?
Tete would be chunky jewellery, hello kitty dresses and looking super cute. Missy will be in ripped black tights and a band tshirt with heels. Rebecca in her DC’s and funky tights and myself in skinny jeans, crop top and my vans!
Have you any favourite shops/online sites?
Boots or Shoes?
SHOES! None of us are really boot girls, Missy has a pair of PVC black thigh-high boots she wears on the pole. Our fuel gets everywhere and ruins are shoes, so we ALWAYS find new ones!
Links you would like to share e.g. website/facebook/twitter etc so that readers can find out more info/follow you
Thanks girls…I’m looking forward to seeing you again very soon!
Photo Credits: All photos have been published with kind permission from the Cyanide Girls
This week I’m pleased to welcome to the blog, Donna Africa – London 2012 Performer, Poet, Author & Actress. Hi Donna!
Howzit My Shamwaris / Warriors!
Allow me to introduce myself, I am Donna Africa,nick-named, “The Queen of Dreams” by my friends as I relocated from my homelands, Zimbabwe & South Africa, to Great Britain in 2004, to take care of my now late Mum & to finally realised my frustrated dreams of yesterday today with a little help from my friends! Best known as Donna Africa Warrior Woman as seen on British & African TV & at many a signing & charity event. All my work showcased on my Donna Africa website http://www.donnaafrica.co.uk/cv.aspx
I started writing my Donna Africa’s “Queen of Dreams” Poetry Book, shortly after the sad passing of my much beloved, British born Mum, Joan Crawford, as I found it to be healing, therapeutic and a way for me to cope and vent out my feelings, frustrations and pent-up emotions. So proud to have finally given birth to & published my very first poetry book – after sharing my poetry works on my social network sites and receiving good response and feeling a sense of connecting with all walks of life and feeling as one! Inspired by the poetry works of the romantic British poet, John Keats, after visiting his home, Keats House and sitting under the plum tree in Hampstead Heath, London as a young girl with my British uncle Doug Crawford. My poetry book is available in my shop on my website as well as Kindle Amazon. PS My poetry book is owned & my gift to many a well known British & Zimbabwean celebrity. Click here to connect, inspire, heal and to become one! http://www.donnaafrica.co.uk/shop.aspx
My favourite pastime is sharing & caring with my friends from all over the world, via Facebook and Twitter and I must say I have become addicted to all the social networks! lol! I love dancing, dining and disco! Diva Viva Donna!
Been on any unusual or strange modelling locations? Or have you had any strange/unusual modelling experiences?
2012 was a very kind, good & memorable year for little old me at 53!
It all kicked off with me being filmed for “Britain’s Got Talent”2012 opening scene, dancing on the IPC roof top adjacent to the London Eye in my Red Top Hat, boa, corset and stockings at 53 years young and televised on ITV & labelled as a bit of a daredevil by my local newspaper! Followed by being successful at my X-Factor Audition with my poetry performance act “Asimbonanga” as Warrior Woman and going through to my LIVE auditions at Manchester where I got to meet celebs, Dermot O’Leary, Jedward, Carol Flack. Judges – Louis Walsh (gave him my poetry book) Mel B (who said she liked my boobs!) and Gary Barlow (who told me to get back on stage as I was busy flirting with Louis Walsh at the judges table). Then I received confirmation that I had been successful at my London 2012 Olympic Games audition and cast as a ceremony performer in both the opening and closing cermonies, where I got to meet Danny Boyle and a warm hug from my celeb crush, Russell Brand. I made new firm friends for life as we had all shared this momentous ocassion & once in a lifetime experience!
My Donna Africa Showreel 2012 http://youtu.be/RSnzBPc0YIo
Personal now – what outfits and shoes would you normally be found wearing?
I have a great passion for fashion and shoes, shoes, shoes! As far as I am concerned you can never have enough of shoes! I have amassed a huge collection of shoes & boots, that they have literally taken a life of their own & have taken over my entire bedroom! My sister Lyn who is a DIY kinda gal, has kindly offered to put up shelving on my bedroom walls to showcase all my show-stopping shoes and boots! Fashionwise, I love Hollywood styled glamour and vintage and just simply love my pencil skirts, frilly blouses with darts, stockings and mad about hat, hats, hats! My personal motto, “If you want to get ahead wear a hat on your head!”
Do you have any favourite shops or online sites?
I am a bit of grab a great bargain kinda gal and if I sniff out the smell of a sale I am there in a heart beat! I’m not one for name dropping shops as surely, I should get paid for advertising them? lol! I don’t like to follow the pack and very much an individual and if I was to wear a label it would have to be my very own Donna Africa label! I tend to shop online just for the mere convenience of it all but prefer to buy my clothes on the High Street as I like to try them on before I buy!
Hello, My name is Ruby Rebelle, I am a sideshow performer and manager of Rebelle Productions; a cabaret events company based in Fareham, Hampshire. I have been performing since 2010, when I debuted in a show organised by myself in aid of The Breast Cancer Campaign. Since then I have performed all over the UK, shocking audiences with my Sideshow stunts. Since 2010 I have been lucky enough to have performed at some amazing events including the world famous Torture Garden, where I performed a sideshow double act with the amazing Joe Black.
You are a very busy young lady – what motivated you to start fire eating, glass walking and doing burlesque?
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.
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.
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..
Multinational 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.
Favourite 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!