This May saw my long-awaited return to London Burlesque Festival, turning it into a manic month once again!
Well, I must admit that submitting a new act to perform instead of a tried and tested one turned out not to be such a good idea after all – I could have done without the added stress of panicking over it. But on the positive side I got to make a sparkly new costume for myself! Here’s the inspiration for my costume, an art deco theatre costume design by Erte:
Now the problem with Erte designs is that some details about them usually turn out to be impractical for real life stagewear. In this case an overly long skirt and a cape attached to the headdress! So several modifications later I ended up with this:
I’m looking a little unhappy there in my kitchen, but that’s maybe just because you have no idea how many times I altered the costume in between, exchanged and remade separate pieces and panicked about it! And yes, I made all the pieces in this costume, including lingerie and jewels.
In case you hadn’t noticed: cats look great in pasties.
Festival week openend with an amazing press party at the Playboy Club! Time to dress up!
Finally an excuse to wear a beaded silk dress and feathers! I had a great time meeting the other performers, some of which I had never met in person, like the amazing Mama Ulita from Leipzig and Pepper Sparkles from Finland! It’s all about the selfie.
The evening finished with dazzling performances from Whisky Falls, Cherry on Fire and Betty D’Light.
In the meantime I managed to complete this lush green vintage style bustle and leotard outfit for Cherry, to wear on stage manager duty! And she looked marvellous in it (pic by Sin Bozkurt)!
And several daily rehearsals later it was showtime for me at Madame Jojo’s – not my favourite venue to perform in because of the low ceiling I must admit. It kind of always gets in the way of the action! I mamanged to see a lot of the other performances in the show and was very impressed with Kalinka Kalashnikow’s beautiful geisha act and Willy Waterlily’s dressage number! And look, here’s little ol’ me performing my new act “Pandora’s Box”:
I wasn’t too happy with my own performance, but I guess it’s just this thing of being very hard on yourself – I probably critized things that nobody else saw. And then again, my own criticism enables me to improve constantly!
It was a good show with a brilliant host in the shape of Frank Sanazi, who marched in and conquered the audience by storm! I’m glad to hear he will be back to host for Chaz Royal again later this year. There was a great atmosphere all around and I enjoyed being a part of it!
There are many more show pictures to be found here! Sorry I can’t credit properly for those two images I used here, I have no idea who took them!
After a full week of shows we arrived at one of my favourite parts of the festival, the daytime event! So imagine an all-burlesque themed market with beautiful things to buy from hats to pasties to lingerie and costumes, paired with cocktails, workshops and a full blown burlesque show!
I was trading as Odelia Opium Costumes that day, showcasing my costume work and selling a few small bits and pieces. The stall was super busy all day, I hardly sat down! I chatted to many many people about costumes and my classes and met many lovely friends! And to top it off my work was also featured in the fashion show!
The beautiful Whisky Falls modelling my trademark art deco lace kimono and matching headpiece. I was asked about this outfit so often that day!
Miss Anne Trophy in my black satin gartered underbust corset with matching pasties and feathered headpiece!
And that’s me at my market stall:
I walked home exhausted, but feeling very inspired! I think my face hurt from smiling! 😀 The London Burlesque Festival is always such a positive experience and I felt very honoured to be a part of it! I can imagine the production work is huge and life-consuming, but in the end it is all worth it! Everybody seemed to be having a great time, both performers and punters alike, and I personally always take a lot of creative inspiration away from it. And that’s what it all comes down to, ten days of celebrating creativity! Let’s do this again!
More info about LBF can be found here and here.