Birds of a Feather

Welcome onto the blog this week my gorgeous and talented friend Lisa Goddard, whose cute ‘n’ cuddly owls and foxes have brought delight to many youngsters …Hi Lisa, please introduce yourself:

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My name is Lisa and I have been designing and making owls, foxes, raggy dolls and decorations under the name ‘Daisy-Doodles’ for approx 4 years.

What was the inspiration behind making your rag dolls and cute owls?

I started by making bunnies, owls and small decorations for my own children and for presents.  They were so well received that I decided to have stalls at local events, and set up an online shop.  Over the past few years my repertoire has increased and changed, the foxes and dolls seem to be the most popular items. I made the first rag doll for Mimi (my youngest), she still takes it to bed every night along with the original Miss Foxy as she calls it!

I collect vintage fabric and trimmings and love scouring car boots and charity shops to find them.  I then use them to make the outfits for the dolls, it’s great to gauge people’s reactions when they see fabric that reminds them of their granny or their childhood.  Many a doll has been sold because she’s wearing a dress that brings back memories.  The owls are great to make because I get to use lots of different fabrics on each one, they are all totally unique.
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Have you been asked to make anything unusual?
I have just completed a commission for a pair of foxes wearing bling, to be given as gifts to a real life Mr and Mrs Fox.  They were so pleased with them that they themselves have asked me to make another pair, this time wearing festive outfits ready for  next Christmas!  I have also recently made and sold out of tweed moustache brooches!
What has been your favourite item to date that you’ve created?
I always enjoy making the first one of anything.  I love getting the ideas, sketching them out, making the pattern and then see it come to life.
What  would you like to try to make that you haven’t tried as yet? 
That is such a difficult question because I don’t have enough hours in the day to make the things that I have already planned out let alone the things that I haven’t thought of yet!1
Personal now – what outfits and shoes would you normally be found wearing ?
My style tends to be quite casual.  I nearly always wear leggings (gasp!) with a tunic style top and a brightly coloured/patterned cardigan.  I like to accessorize and have lots of bold necklaces and rings particularly when I find myself wearing all black. I live in my black leather DUO boots, flats for daytime and wedges for evening.
Do you have any favourite shops or online sites ?
Being of a certain size, the high street can be quite restrictive.  I often shop in TKMaxx as they stock larger sizes and the clothes are more individual.  Online (and when in London) I love Gudrun Sjoden.  The clothes are pricey but the fabrics, colours and cut of the clothes are fabulous.
What’s next on your clothes/shoe wish list?
I am on an eternal search for a pair of wedge evening shoes ( animal print or black suede) that are wide enough yet comfortable and don’t slip off.
Boots or Shoes?
Definitely boots because then I can get away with leggings and longer tops.  Comfort all the way!
Links you would like to share:
My website address is www.daisy-doodles.co.uk  having a major overhaul in the next few weeks so don’t be put off.
You can follow me on twitter  @ daisydoodlesx
Like me on Facebook:  Daisy-Doodles
Thank you very much Lisa for chatting to us!  As always, join the facebook group Boots Shoes et Al  (press the icon) for pictures to drool over, sell your unwanted shoes, buy some bargains and generally chat to other likeminded shoe addicts!
Linda x
Photo credits: Adam Hobden Photography;  Alex Palmer ; Lyst; Amazon UK; Lisa Goddard
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Laced Up And Netted

A little bit of sauciness this week as  I’ve interviewed the fab “Bad Girls” photographer Claire Seville … so are you ready for your dose of sauce?

On my blog this week  is the sexy and talented Claire Seville, “Photographer For Bad Girls”. Hi Claire, please introduce yourself!

I’m Claire Seville and I take pictures of wonderful ladies!!! I love retro, vintage, pinup, latex, chocolate, fast cars, and dancing till my feet hurt!

What made you want to pursue a career as a photographer?

I used to do a little modelling when I was younger and I kind of fell into to in naturally. I also enjoyed art and being creative and photography was the one outlet that got me hooked.

What has been the most unusual photoshoot request you’ve had ?

Recently I had a shoot with SINderella Rockafella and she wanted to create a cobweb bra out of liquid latex and I had to paint it on for her, that was a pretty unusual experience, I got right into it though and amazed myself that I actually did an ok job!

What has been your favourite photoshoot to date?

I absolutely adored shooting Masuimi Max, she’s such a doll and we had a real good giggle through out the shoot. I was a bit nervous to begin with as I had admired from when I was modelling myself, but she’s so lovely the nerves soon went. We’re getting together again next year and I can’t wait to work with her again.

I love your catchphrase ” Photography for Bad Girls ” – but, if you were given the chance, who would you love to photograph? Who would be your ultimate “Bad Girl”? 

Madonna!!! She has such a great attitude, she doesn’t give a crap and loves to shock, she’d be amazing to shoot as I think she’d be up for pretty much anything. There’s loads of other models I’d like to shoot too, Bizarre did a shoot with Vivi Stirling and Fae Raven, they looked smocking hot together, I’d love to get my hands on the pair of them.

What style of photography would you like to try that you haven’t tried as yet? 

I’m hoping to do some erotic art next year, I have lots of ideas I want to try out. I rarely move far from the sexy stuff, it’s what excites me!

Personal now – what outfits and shoes would you normally be found wearing  ?

I’m a real chameleon to be honest, I wear dresses, shiny leggings, leather, denim, high heels, wedges, high tops, dr martens, creepers, always got a slight rock chic edge though. I wear a lot of black.

Do you have any favourite shops or online sites ?

Topshop has been pretty good this season and suits my style. I’m not really a label kind of girl although I do have some beautiful Vivienne Westwood pieces. I recently brought some suspend leggings from Black Milk Clothing which were cool. Pinup Girl Clothing, Doll Chops Clothing, Kreepsville 666, Kissin Bombs Design all have some mega cool stuff and you can’t beat a bit of latex Psiclone make a lot of custom stuff for me.

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

I’d love a 80s classic rock style fringed leather jacket, haven’t found one I like yet though.

Boots or Shoes?

Do I have to choose? lol I wear a lot of boots but for the right occasion it’s got to be heels, providing I don’t have to do too much walking!

Links you would like to share e.g. website/facebook etc

Thanks Claire!  

Linda x

Photo credits: Claire Seville

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Metallica the Trend

Metallica …it hit the fashion runways in both 2011 and 2012 but didn’t make too much of an impression …then along comes 2013 and metallica comes alive for both men and women! This time the trend seems destined to stay throughout winter, spring and into summer – especially as Summer 2013 looks set to have the colour white as a main fashion colour – because, combined with white, golds and silvers enhance a tan quite unlike any other colour.  Back to winter and spring though – gold and silver combined with black and greys glamourise an everyday outfit and although the party season may be over for some, there is no reason not to strut your stuff at the local club in some sparkly wear. There’s nothing more sexy than throwing on a black leather biker jacket  over a little metallic number, adding some heels and your weekend is sorted.  This year though, metallic colours are not just limited to silver and gold – explore copper rose/coral (fab as a top teamed with khaki shorts or chinos), metallic beiges ( brightens up an “ageing” colour!) and oyster pink ( beautiful wedding alternative). It is not just sequins either – satin (a la 1970s/1980s), dyed leather,lurex knit, silk mix metallic materials, and even fine silk twill laminated with a thin layer of foil!  2013 most certainly has arrived in a bright and shimmery fashion!

Time for a chat – I’d like to welcome to the blog this week Alex from Seventh Circle Artworks … Hi Alex, introduce yourself:
Hi, I’m Alex Palmer, owner/designer/maker at Seventh Circle Artworks.
What made you want to pursue a career as a jewellery craftsman?
I studied sculpture and fine art at college and have played in various bands over the years, so combining the two creative elements seemed like a natural thing. I made my first piece for the US metal band Saint Vitus and sold all 25 limited edition rings in just one day on their merchandise stand at a Dutch festival. To be there with them, watch them play, and generally have a great weekend of rock n roll because I made some rings is about as much incentive as I need to want to do this professionally!
What has been the most unusual jewellery request you’ve had ?
Nothing too unusual as yet but its early days! I have made a ring for someone with the words “Life Is Too Short” engraved in large gothic style lettering around the outside. It was for a guy who had been going through treatment for cancer for the past year and wanted something to remind him that indeed, life IS too short, don’t waste a minute of it. Not unusual, but a beautiful piece to be asked to create.
What has been your favourite jewellery piece to date?
My favourite piece would have to be the celtic torc I made for the singer of Saint Vitus, Wino. We had talked for a year about it but finally confirmed it with only 2 weeks before he arrived for one day in London! That kind of piece would normally take around 6-8 weeks, but the pressure really helped me pull it off. From the hand carved wolf heads to the hand twisted silver wire torc itself, it’s the one piece I genuinely did not want to hand over to the client.
Where do you get your inspiration from when creating a jewellery piece?
If it’s a custom piece I like to find out something about the client first in order to get a grasp of where their inspiration comes from. For my own work, generally the darker things in life inspire me. Skulls, occult symbols etc. Music also has a big influence on my work. Depending on what kind of piece I am making I will listen to something like ACDC for the more rock n roll edge or maybe some doomier underground stuff like Amber Asylum to get that extra bit of atmosphere to the piece.
What style of jewellery would you like to try that you haven’t tried as yet?
I’d like to try designing jewellery with precious/semi-precious stones as the centre piece of the design. I am hopefully going to be working on a collaboration with French based Oblivion Jewellery next year which will fulfil that goal. We already spoke a few times online about ideas and we both come from a similar music related background so I’m quite excited about what we can come up with.
Personal now – what outfits and shoes would you normally be found wearing ?
Haha!! Not something I usually get asked to be honest with you! Pretty old school rocker in that sense, denim and leather! I can always rely on my New Rock biker boots and Lee jeans without fail.  
Do you have any favourite shops or online sites ?
There is a great handmade leather stall in Camden market where I got a cool wristband from a few months ago. They are really interesting guys and happy to talk about what they do with you, and go the extra mile to make you something you want. There are a few stalls and shops like that in Camden, you just have to search for them.
What’s next on your clothes/shoe wish list?
More band t-shirts I imagine! I’m a sucker for buying shirts at gigs.
Boots or Shoes? 
Boots without a doubt. They are comfortable, hardwearing and as a big 6ft guy they are chunky so suit me better than shoes. And because they simply rock!
Links you would like to share e.g. website/facebook etc
Thanks Alex…don’t forget to check out the fabulous Twins of Evil Torc Bangle and the Stone Dead Forever Skull Eternity Ring, as pictured – great ideas for Valentines Day!

Linda x

Picture Credits: Adam Hobden Photography; Marie GC Photography; Zuleika Fray;Alex Palmer

 

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Man Up!

Happy New Year!  Welcome to the first blogpost of 2013 – a post almost entirely dedicated to menswear!  I’m talking this week with the Man about Town himself, Bret Hollywood.

Bret Hollywood  is an American/British Television personality and MMA ring announcer. He has worked for most major MMA promotions across Europe and the Middle East including Cage Rage UK’s Ultimate Challenge, Cage Warriors, Cage Contender IFPA and others. He has hosted the Miss Great Britain Pageant, several charity events, was featured on the Sky Atlantic show “The Guest Wing” He is known for his flamboyant dress and his trademark catch phrase “It’s Go Time”. He has been seen on live and pre-recorded televised MMA events in more than 70 countries! 

So, Hi Bret! How did you first get involved with Mixed Martial Arts in Britain?

I moved to the UK in 2007, and was married to my British wife Julia in 2008.  Needless to say I didn’t have many friends coming here from the US.  I have always had some form of martial arts in my life and on the way to work one day I noticed a sign that read “Unity Martial Arts” I thought to myself “hmmmm that would be a great place to meet some other like minded guys.” I looked them up on the Internet and found that they had Brazilian Jiu Jitsu classes. I called and spoke to the instructor who actually turned out to be world-class champion. We had a chat and before I knew it I went in to check it out. The day I got there, he was in the middle of an MMA session, and the guys in the room were all big hitters!  They all held championship belts and had fought on some of the biggest shows in the UK. I got talking to one of them called Denniston about wrestling (which is where my background is) and he invited me to come to an afternoon sparring session. My very first ever MMA session was really more like a school yard beating! It was AWESOME!!! I’m still not sure if I’m game or stupid, especially at first! I would stand in front of anyone! That day I was absolutely killed! I broke my nose, got KO’d and learned why you should always keep your hands up! From there I was in!! Denniston and I became very close friends and before long I was managing him. Through him I made a lot of really good contacts into MMA. After a few months, I got my first invitation from a promoter.  He asked to MC his upcoming show, KAYO MMA because of my American accent. That show was televised on The Active Channel and from there it just sort of took off! Before I knew it, I was getting calls from all over the country and have never looked back.   I have now announced hundreds of shows all over the world and have been part of both live and prerecorded television broadcasts.  I have hosted my own weekly television chat show, and even stepped into the cage myself and had a fight for the Katie Piper Foundation.

Have you had any unusual experiences when you’ve been MC/Ring Announcer /TV host or as an after dinner speaker?

Hmmmm. I suppose there have been quite a few “Unusual experiences”  I can remember once when a fighter entered the cage and he was very excited to be there.  It was his first fight.  He began bouncing off the cage walls (you know, like a wrestler would do) and breathing really loud.  The cameraman looked at me and began to giggle, and it started me giggling too.  This poor guy was getting ready for the first fight of his life and we were all giggling.  I then had to stare down the barrel of the camera and announce him and try not to laugh. I have had production guys telling me jokes in my ear when I was doing a live broadcast, less than accurate information and all sorts.  At the end of the day I just try to be the most professional guy in the room and do my best.

You are known for your flamboyant clothing style, so,what has been your favourite outfit/jacket worn whilst hosting?

That’s a tough one!  I have a gold sequin jacket that I had made for me by Sir Tom Baker.  It is one of my favourites!  I had it made for a show I was doing in Amman Jordan.  I also have some gold Jeffery West boots to match.   This was probably the first really amazing outfit I bought.  It was a big deal for me because the show was in an exotic location and the promotion was gaining notoriety and I just knew that the crowd there would love the gold. I have others that I am really fond of as well.  I have another sequin jacket from Tom in black, and a red lame’ jacket with skull lining (also Sir Tom Baker) A black DJ with a big diamante skull on the back… its hard to pick one that is my favourite.  I also have boots to match them all!

What do you like  doing best – MC, ring announcer,tv host or after dinner speaker? 

I guess my favourite part of my job is the crowd interaction.  If it’s a fight night, there is nothing like stepping into the cage at the beginning of the night, the lights down and the buzz in the air…I step into the middle of the cage, The spot light hits me, I say “Gooooooooooooooooooood Evening!” and the crowd responds!  Then when it comes the main event of the evening, I announce the fight using my catch phrase, “Ladies and Gentlemen… IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIT’S GO TIME!!!!  And again, the crowd responds! I absolutely love it!  After the shows there is always an opportunity to meet fans, take photos and just chat in general.If on the other hand I’m hosting a dinner event, the atmosphere is a bit different, and I like the intimacy of a smaller crowd and the opportunity to spend more time with the attendees.  I love chatting to people I meet, and if they are fans, its even better.  I know sometimes some people are a bit shy about talking to someone who may be in front of the camera or on TV, but I don’t ever want anyone to be shy about approaching me.  I love chatting with fans!

What role would you like to try that you haven’t tried as yet? 

I wish I could sing!  I would love to be a singer!  The trouble is I couldn’t carry a tune if it had a handle on it !

Personal now – what outfits and shoes would you normally be found wearing  ?

Seneca said “We live not according to reason, but according to fashion”  I love that quote!  I think clothes say a lot about a person.  I tend to go for more in your face rock and roll stuff!  I love to stand out (as if you couldn’t tell already) I get a lot of stuff custom made and have very few stores that I go to. 

Do you have any favourite shops or online sites ?

Yes, as you can tell, I am pretty particular about the things I wear.  I tend to do most of my shopping on Jermyn Street in London. Favourbrook does fantastic velevet jackets and waistcoats; New and Lingwood also do great waistcoats and lots of amazing skull stuff. I tend to get most of my shirts from Duchamp, or Etro, I love Blaqua in Carnaby Street for cufflinks, I have an amazing vintage Cavalli suede jacket that I just love and John Varvatos does some cool stuff too but more casual! I tend to be impulsive about jewelry, whenever I see something I like I will buy it.  I wear a lot of rings on my microphone hand, because I think it adds something to the close-ups for TV.I get most of my jackets made for me by Sir Tom Baker (no, not the Dr Who guy, the London bespoke tailor).  Tom is one of the coolest guys I know, and he dresses the most rock and roll rock stars in the world!  He has made suits for Robert Plant, Martin Gore from Depeche Mode, Keith Flint from the Prodigy, Alice Cooper, Dave Stewart, David Hasselhof and of course me, Hollywood! I love the whole process of getting something made for me.  There is nothing like getting a bespoke suit handcrafted for you! I get all my shoes from Jeffery West.  In fact, with the exception of trainers, they are all I wear in or out of the cage!  I have about 30 pairs of shoes and boots from them.  Again, their shoes and boots can be seen on all sorts of rock stars and TV personalities.  Jeffery West designs shoes [that are] my style and I get a lot of attention because of them.  In fact I wore a bright red pair to a live show once and there were so many comments that night on Twitter that they actually trended.  I love it when stuff like that happens! From that night on, Jeffery West shoes have been one of my trademarks in the cage.  I even have a fantastic pair of silver skull encrusted Jeffery West boots that were made for me by the fab Milly J Shoes.  (In fact they now reside in the Northampton Shoe Museum)

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

Why a new pair of Boots of course !  I saw a preview of a new pair that Jeffery West is releasing in their next collection and I cant wait!  Other than that, I sometimes get an idea or a picture in my head of an outfit and then will go and try to get it made.  I always have a head full of ideas so I’m never short of things on my wish list.

Boots or Shoes? 

I always wear boots! In fact I even tweet a picture of my boots every day “the view from my desk”.  Of course I do wear shoes when I have meetings or am delivering presentations in my day job (The corporate world isn’t quite ready for Hollywood)  I just prefer boots and cannot find shoes that are as edgy as the boots I typically wear.

Links you would like to share e.g. website/facebook etc

You can find my fan page on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/HollywoodBret

 Twitter @HollywoodBret

And of course my website is http:// hollywoodmc.com

Thank you Bret and I hope you like some of the ideas I have highlighted! Don’t forget, ladies, keep in touch with the latest footwear and accessory bargains and styles by following the facebook group BOOTS SHOES ET AL  – just press the icon.

Linda x

Photo credits:  Jeffery-West;  Bret Freeman; Adam Hobden

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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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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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