Posts from March, 2010

Pasties, Pistols, and Platforms–Just Another Week at The Academy of Burlesque

Lots of yummy burlesque goodness to report from last week, my lovelies!  Not only did our class get an amazing lecture from burlesque legend, Joan Arline a.k.a. “The Sexquire Girl,” I also attended a stellar burlesque show featuring the incomparable Immodesty Blaize (pictured above).  Finally, I learned how to apply makeup for the stage from Seattle favorite, Ben Delacreme.  I have no idea how I’m going to cram all this in one little blog post, but I’ll certainly try!

First up though, I want to talk about a major personal development in my own routine…I’ve acquired my costume!  In case you’re just tuning in, I’m creating a very 70′s era, funkadelic, Blaxploitation-style character influenced by the likes of Pam Grier, Cleopatra Jones, and Misty Knight.  I’m talking afros, platform boots, and a few ninja throwing stars put in for good measure.  While I at first wanted to go with a bell bottoms and a halter top for my costume, I ran across this authentic vintage catsuit on Etsy and immediately fell in love with it.  What do you think?  Very foxy, no?

Since I have the most important piece out of the way, I’m going to spend the next week shopping for faux weapons, afro wigs, and platform boots.  I might also embellish my gold booty shorts and triangle bra with a few rhinestones or sequins for good measure.

Now that I’ve done my little show-and-tell, I want to talk about “The Sexquire Girl’s” lecture.  Joan Arline toured from 1953-1958, and in her heyday she was not only the marquee but she also commanded a rate of $935/wk.  That’s good money now…let’s not even talk about my grandparent’s generation!  Joan got started in burlesque at her husband’s recommendation and, after discovering how much more lucrative it was than the classical dance she’d been trained in, decided to stick with it until becoming a mother in 1959.  She had lots of great stories to share (such as how Detroit used to be nicknamed “The Vatican” because of their strict anti-obscenity laws), but what I found most enjoyable was her burlesque tutorial where she dropped the following pearls of wisdom (paraphrased):

“You must establish an intimate rapport with your audience.  Be always the lady, always the tease.  Your act must build in intensity, and each article of clothing removed must expose a little more.  Be sexy, but not vulgar; seductive, but not lewd.  Be a temptress with class.  Stay on beat.”

Amazingly enough, Joan Arline still fits into her costumes from 50 years ago, and, even more amazingly, she was scheduled to perform  in the same burlesque show with Immodesty Blaize, Dirty Martini, Catherine D’Lish, Indigo Blue, and Inga Ingenue the next night!

Hosted and produced by local celebrity, The Swedish Housewife, last week’s burlesque show was a night to remember.  Not only was the audience treated to an intimate screening of Immodesty Blaize’s recent documentary, Burlesque Undressed,  we also got to see routines from veritable legends in the genre.  Indigo Blue and Inga Ingenue both wowed the audience with tributes to Wild Cherry and Sally Rand, respectively.  Dirty Martini gave the audience a glamourous fan dance, and Catherine D’Lish performed the most sophisticated striptease (involving petticoats and corsets and garters) that I’ve eve seen.  Joan Arline performed the same routine that made her famous in the 1950′s in the exact same lingerie (and I confess that I swooned over her vintage merrywidow and bullet bra).  Finally, Immodesty Blaize showed everyone why she’s the reigning queen of burlesque with a fantastic piece involving floor work on a fur rug that left everyone speechless.  Best of all…The Boyfriend went with me.  I’m going to turn him into a burlesque fanatic yet!

Oh…this is getting long.  Need a break?  Go rest your eyes.  I’ll still be here.  ;-)

So…now that you’re back, let’s talk about the pièce de résistance provided by the very lovely Ben Delacreme. I don’t know the first thing about makeup, so everything in this class was completely new to me.  Not only did he teach us about foundation, concealer, and how to apply eyeshadow.  We also learned how to create “glitter lips” (so glam…I plan on using these the night of my show!) and how to apply false eyelashes.  The funny thing is…I could tell Ben knew his stuff just from the class, but I didn’t know how good he was at makeup until I looked him up on Facebook.  As you can see, the man works magic with cosmetics.

And that was my week!  I’m kind of tired just typing it all out again.  In the next week, I’ll finish sketching out my routine, get my costume altered (the legs are about two inches too short), purchase my makeup, sell tickets to my friends, and practice, practice, practice.  The big day is only a little more than two weeks away!  Eek!

Ask the Addict: On Waist Cinchers and Mastectomy Bras

Today’s “Ask the Addict” featurette comes from Kristine, who’s inquiring about a waist cincher with garters that actually cinches, and mastectomy bras for a curvy friend.  Thanks for your questions, Kristine!  If any of you have a lingerie-related question, send it to the.lingerie.addict@gmail.com.  I love getting messages from readers, and I try to respond to every one!

Q: 1) Any recommendations for waist cinchers w/ garters? I tried S&L’s Helen but it doesn’t cinch enough. I only saw your review of it after I tried it.  2) Any recommendations for mastectomy bra sources? I’ve a close friend who can only find her size (34F) at one US source (they carry only one style in her size. I stumbled onto Second Skin Lingerie in UK which has 1 or 2 in her size, but still I’m trying to find more options for her. If I can’t find them, then maybe I’ll have to start a small business.  Thanks for any help you can give!

A: Hi Kristine!  Thanks so much for writing.  The Secrets in Lace “Helen” waistcincher (which is actually made by Rago) tends to be sized a bit large.  If you’re interested in that style specifically, I’d first suggest going down a size and seeing if that doesn’t work better.

If it doesn’t, Kiss Me Deadly makes several varieties of cincher which may give you more waist-reducing power.  I’d recommend taking a look at the L’Amour Waist Cincher, the Alouette Waist Nipper, or the Vargas longline girdle…all available through La Magia, who always offers free worldwide shipping (and currently has 2 out of 3 of those items on sale!).  You might also try a high-waisted open bottom girdle or even a mini-corset.  The former is made of a very firm powermesh, and the latter is constructed of steel boning with lacing at the back for maximum waist reduction (up to several inches).

As for mastectomy bras, I’d recommend the brands Royce or Anita Care.  They both sell their sexy yet functional products in a variety of sizes through Figleaves.  I hope this helps!

Look for Less?–Dolce & Gabbana Lace Teddie/Bodysuit

I can’t be the only person who fell in love at first sight with the lace and satin vintage-inspired bodysuits featured on the Dolce & Gabbana’s runway for the S/S 2010 show.

For a little while, I entertained the thought of buying one of my very own…but then I did a bit research and realized they cost a jaw-dropping (and utterly unaffordable) $1,195 each.  So much for that fantasy, right?

Since then, I’ve been on the look-out for a knock-off version.  A teddie that has the best elements of Dolce & Gabbana’s bodysuit–such as the bra-top, the wide waistband,  the low-leg cut–but at a more realistic price.

To my surprise, I haven’t been able to find much of anything. Agent Provocateur’s Black Swan bodysuit and Trashy Lingerie’s Corazon Teddy come close, but even then, it’s not a perfect resemblance.  And with prices of $490 and $220, respectively, neither one really counts as a “budget” bargain.

So what’s your opinion, my lovelies?  Is Dolce & Gabbana worth the splurge?  Are Agent Provocateur and Trashy Lingerie acceptable alternatives?  Or should  I just hang my head and admit defeat?  I want to know what you think…so tell me in the comments!

Maternity Lingerie: Sexy Knickers for Moms-to-Be

It used to be that women were expected to cover their “baby bumps” with muumuu-style dresses right up until the due date.  Nowadays, though, expectant mothers desire (and deserve!) to look and feel good throughout their pregnancy.

Today, I’m featuring 10 different lingerie sets from 5 amazing brands: Agent Provocateur, Belabumbum, Cake Lingerie, Figleaves, and HotMilk.  In fact, this lingerie is so fantabulous, I found myself wishing some of these designers would start non-maternity lines for childfree women like me!

Do you have an opinion on maternity lingerie?  Share it with me in the comments!

Awakened by Her Desire” & “Her Midnight Charm was Striking
By: Hotmilk

Raspberry Ripple” & “Chocolate Chip
By: Cake Lingerie

Nougatine by Amoralia & Animal by Emily
Both available at: Figleaves

Boyshort/Bra Set & Nightgown
By: Belabumbum

“Cupid” & Leopard “Cupid”
By: Agent Provocateur

Miss Indigo Blue’s Burlesque Class: Take 2

Back in January, I signed up for a Burlesque 101 class at Indigo Blue’s Academy of Burlesque.  Unfortunately, I caught mono about halfway through and had to drop out.  Thank goodness Indigo Blue was kind enough to let me re-enroll in the next course, which began this month.  I just finished my second class, and I’m more excited than ever about creating my character, developing my routine, and performing the final act in front of real, live audience sometime in April.

Since these last two classes have been repeats of what I’ve talked about in other burlesque articles, I’ll use this post to share pretty pictures of my teachers, The Shanghai Pearl & Inga Ingenue.  Don’t forget to come back next week for a brand new entry chronicling my latest adventures in the world of burlesque.  I’m so excited about sharing it all here on my blog!

The Shanghai Pearl:

Inga Ingenue:

Book Review: The Lingerie Handbook by Rebecca Apsan

Written by the owner of world-renowned NYC lingerie boutique, La Petite Coquette, The Lingerie Handbook is meant to be your definitive guide to all things underwear.  And with several decades worth of information crammed into a comparatively meager 180 pages, I think it succeeds.

The Lingerie Handbook is one of those rare texts that manages to be all things to all people.  Readers interested in a brief history of lingerie can find it here.  People who need to know technical details, like how to measure your bra size, can find that here as well.  If you’re completely new to the world of lingerie, and haven’t the faintest idea where to start, Rebecca has a section dedicated to you too.

The book has 10 chapters, ranging from why lingerie matters to how to care for it.  It’s also chock full of lush (if slightly outdated) illustrations so you can clearly visualize what’s she’s talking about.  And at only $5.58, it’s hard  to not get a return on your investment.  I know that I learned several things from The Lingerie Handbook which made it well worth it’s purchase price…and I’m reading, writing, or talking about lingerie every single day.

As a small token of gratitude, newsletter subscribers were eligible to win a free copy of The Lingerie Handbook this month, and I’m happy to announce that Jerica, writer of the blog The Girl Inside, is the winner.  Jerica, please e-mail your contact info to me at the.lingerie.addict@gmail.com so I can send your book A.S.A.P.  And don’t forget…if you’d access to exclusive deals, steals, and competitions, please sign up for my newsletter in the pretty pink box to the right.  I promise not to bite…or spam.

I was going to write a bit about my burlesque class tonight, but I am wiped out.  I’ll just have to post about it tomorrow, I guess.  Good night, lovelies and thank you, as always, for reading The Lingerie Addict.

Ask the Addict: Questions from My FormSpring

About a month ago, I started a FormSpring account and so far, I’ve answered 58 amazing questions.  I’m taking my FormSpring down in the next day or two, but first I wanted to give my wonderful readers a chance to ask a few questions of their own.  So if you’ve got any knicker conundrums or just want to know more about the lady behind the lingerie…ask away!  For now, I’ve posted a few of my favorite questions below.

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Q: Hi, just love your blog and follow you on twitter. How did you find out your love for lingerie? 
A: Stockings. It all started with stockings. I was a proper, church-going girl back in Georgia which means I was in hosiery at least twice per week. I hated the way most pantyhose felt, and wearing them in the middle of summer was absolute torture. So I started experimenting with thigh highs & stockings and discovered how much I enjoyed the mobility. After that, I got interested in girdles and garter belts, and then things just kind of blossomed from there. And thanks for the compliment! I’m so happy you love my blog. 

Q: How can you stand being so out there about your love of stockings and yummy lingerie? I mean I totally share your passion, but I’m sooooo private about it! 
A: When I started blogging (in April 2008), I was very private too. There was no name or photo or any identifying information whatsoever on the blog. But then I realized that there’s no shame in what I’m talking about. LOTS of people like lingerie. LOTS of people enjoy stockings. And there isn’t a thing wrong with that. So I started opening up a bit more, and people have responded really positively. 

Q: How did you come up with “Treacle” as nom de plume? 
A: For people who don’t know, treacle is kind of molasses…thick, dark, and sweet.  Not coincidentally, so am I.  ;-) 

Q: What’s your favorite guilty pleasure these days? 
A: Trashy, supernatural fiction.  If it involves witches, vampires, elves, werewolves, fairies, or any combination of the above…I’m all over it. 

Q: So here’s a super-important question I’ve been meaning to ask you: Where do you stand on garters vis a vis panties-do you wear your garters over or under your panties?  Don’t you wish there were a better word than “panties?” lol 
A: Oh I have a very strong opinion about this question!  Knickers always go over the garter belt.  Always.  I know you see the exact opposite in pretty much every lingerie advertisement ever, but since when has advertising ever had a thing to do with reality? Why?  Because eventually you will have to use the restroom. 

Q: What advice would you give women for dipping their feet in the lingerie world? What would you recommend first? by missneira 

A: What a great question!  I think the most important thing is for women to buy what makes them feel good. Because really, that’s the whole point of lingerie…it’s to make the wearer feel good.With that in mind, I think women should start by getting their measurements and finding out their bra size. A well-fitting bra is the foundation for lingerie, and it’s hard to do anything else without one. After that, I think it’s important to research what other people are saying about lingerie. Especially if you’re hard to find or hard to fit size, the internet is an invaluable resource for finding the brands, styles, and stores that work for you.  Finally, I think women should only buy lingerie that makes them go “Wow!” That doesn’t necessarily mean it’s going to be the fanciest, the prettiest, or the most expensive lingerie. But if you put it on, and you fall in love…then you know that’s the piece for you. 

Q: Is there a certain pair/type of hosiery that you’ve always wanted to own and wear, but has eluded you since it was rare/discontinued/etc? Ahab’s white whale, if you will… 
A: The Wolford special edition “breast cancer” stockings from a few years back. They look like sheer tights down to the knee, then have a knee-high sock effect with some corset lacing on the side ending in a little pink bow. That sounds kind of convoluted so here’s a pic (http://bit.ly/dr6KeS).  I’m also lusting after the Stockingirl Gabriellas (http://bit.ly/6GH6T9). That embroidered welt is to die for! Here’s hoping I can pick them up before they become another “white whale.” ;-)   

Q: You have a beautiful complexion. Me, not so much :). Do lingerie makers cater well enough in your view to women of color? by PBellejambes 
A: Thank you so much for the compliment, dear Petra!  In response to your question, I have to climb onto my soapbox for a moment and say that no, I don’t believe the lingerie industry really addresses women of color.  It’s not just that the colors “nude” or “flesh” only refers to one very specific skintone, it’s also the fact that women of color have to search long and high and hard to find lingerie that effectively matches their complexion. I feel like there’s a lot more trial and error necessary for women of color, and far fewer options than are available to women who are not of color.  (Right after I answered this, Kelly of the blogs Proficiscamur and The Lingerie Post actually directed me to MySkins, a new lingerie label that makes “nude” underwear in 20 different skintones.  It’s my new favorite find!)

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Though I’m leaving FormSpring, you can always write me at the.lingerie.addict@gmail.com or follow me on Twitter at @stockingsaddict.  Thanks for reading and don’t forget tosubscribe to my RSS feed!