Thursday 31 July 2014

London Burlesque Festival 2014

So here goes the first one of my belated reviews! It seems that this year I'll end up hitting quite a few international festivals (more on that later), and London was the first one of them! I was extremely excited about it for many reasons, I got to perform on the opening night (!) with an absolutely lovely lineup, got to visit a lot of amazing places and met unbelievable people. On top of that, my better half Lassi was able to join me for this trip, and we got to crash at his cousin Nick's place, which allowed us to stay a bit longer (London is expensive for a showgirl! :-D). 

Thursday was a bit of a chaotic day since it was the day I was performing, but we still managed to visit William Morris' house in the morning, which happened to be just around the corner! And I now have a new favourite mug at home ;-)

I was dead nervous and excited (as usual) when I arrived at the venue, but all the lovely people made me feel at home right away! And I think I can say that I was probably laughing half of the time I was backstage, because besides being able to see some dear old friends again, such as Pepper Potemkin and Mama Ulita, I got to meet a bunch of crazy, loud (and hot!) ladies whom I really hope to see again in the future, I miss you all! <3

Backstage! On the left with Lovely Karleena, and on 
the right with my long-lost southern burlesque sister 
Evita Mansfield <3
pictures by Confetti Eddie

My only regreat about that night was that, because of the way the venue was built, it was impossible for me to see any of the other acts. But hei, I got to hang out with all these lovely half-naked ladies backstage! ;-D

Curtain call picture!

On Friday we had the chance to go visit the centre a bit, and meet a lady I've been looking forward to meeting for ages! As many of you know, I'm a crazy deco/flapper/edwardian lady, and have come to notice that most of the vintage oriented people usually tends to like 1940/50's or newer stuff best. That's why I got superexcited when I got a friend request from a gorgeous german woman with an absolutely (in my honest opinion, of course) exquisite style! So when we found out that we'd be in London at the same time, scheduling a meeting was a must ;-)

Meeting gorgeous Daisy! <3
picture by Nick

In the evening, we headed to the Playboy Club in London, where the Press/Mingle event was to be held. It was fun! We got to again meet a lot of amazing people, and watch the performances of Cherry on Fire, Whisky Falls and Betty D'Light. AND THE PLACE WAS FULL OF PLAYBOY BUNNIES! Need I say more? :-D

above: with my dapper man Lassi
below: with gorgeous co-performers Mama Ulita and Laura
pictures by Joanna Kor

On Saturday we decided to check some markets, and our friend Ray, who is a gentleman and lives in London, offered to show us around. We visited the Portobello Market (where I found a couple of gorgeous 1920/30's fashion prints that currently hang on my walls), had lunch at a pub with amazing antique decoration, and then headed to the centre to meet up with Aurora Galore. For those of you who might not know her yet, let me tell you that this lady totally blew my mind since the first time I saw her, and is a rare example or originality and daring. She took us to watch Polly Rae's burlesque show at the Hippodrome, which I totally recommend if you're ever in London on a Wednesday or a Saturday. 

a street photographer in Portobello wanted a picture 
of us! :-D

Sunday was our last day in London, and what a day it was! We met our friend Ray again, who took us for lunch to one of the most mindblowing restaurants I've ever been to! Brasserie Zedel is located just around the corner from Picadilly, and is the kind of place you would probably miss if someone wouldn't take you there. From the outside it just looks like a regular cafeteria, but when you go downstairs you are introduced to an insane art deco extravaganza, recently renovated but preserving the look of the original one from the 1930's! And if that weren't enough, they serve pretty delicious food at very affordable prices. 

Brasserie Zedel, picture on the left by Ray, and the 
other two found in google images (ooops!)

After lunch we headed towards Soho for a walk, some icecream, and the Twisted Cabaret show of the London Burlesque Festival. Upon entering we bumped onto Kati and Markku Saari, who are two dear Finnish friends. They had come, just as we had, to cheer up for our Sir Willy Waterlily, who opened up the show and charmed the audience as he always does <3

With Markku and Lassi! 
picture by Kati

Looking forward to visiting you again in the future London, this time was too short! :-)

Sunday 6 July 2014

Au naturel

Long time no write! I'm just surfacing from one of the most stressful periods I've ever had, which also means there has been TONS going on and you'll be getting a massive update in the upcoming days! I have travelled to both the London Burlesque Festival and the Boylesque Festival Vienna, premiered a new act, moved into a new apartment, shared fun times with mindblowing people and overall worked my bum off in my dayjob. I have indeed enjoyed myself a LOT, but the level of stress has also been such that I even got dear people get seriously worried about me. Luckily that's now over, and I can concentrate in enjoy the gorgeous Finnish summer and the upcoming events (some major update on this to follow in the very near future!). 

Before I start working on updating the website and catching up with belated posts, I would like to share the outcome of my collaboration with a lovely Finnish photography student called Jenni Holma. For her final work, Jenni decided to take two different pictures of different people, one in full makeup/costume and another one au naturel, without a hint of makeup. 
I was very excited to take part in this project and share this picture, because being able to show myself without styling nor makeup gives me peace of mind. I won't bore you all by explaining how traumatized I used to be about my body and face as a child, most of us have (unluckily enough) been there and I wouldn't be adding anything new to the discussion. The revelation for me though, arrived the day in which I realized I was unable to attend my university lessons without the tiny kohl line I used to apply in order to lengthen my eyes a bit (I didn't use anything else, not even foundation or mascara). I even found myself painting that line with a marker (!!!) the couple of times I forgot to apply the kohl in the morning. 
One day I realized it had so much power over me that to all practical purposes I had become a "slave" to it. And I didn't like the fact, not a single bit. 

It took a very long time to nurture my self confidence to such a point that I would feel confortable being around without makeup (specially in such occasions in which other people would usually wear makeup, let's say a in a bar), but I eventually succeeded. I nowadays not only don't wear any makeup on an everyday basis (which I consider a treat to my skin), but I'm not scared of joining in for a couple of ex tempore drinks at a bar if I'm not wearing makeup and the opportunity unexpectedly presents itself. 

Now don't get me wrong, I love makeup. And I'm not saying people shouldn't wear it on a daily basis if they feel like. But I want to know I'm the one who choses to wear it because I WANT TO, and not because I don't dare to show myself without it. That's the reason why collaborating with Jenni for her project was so important for me. 

NEVER BE AFRAID OF BEING YOURSELVES, whether that involves a face au natural or the most mindblowing drag makeup <3
picture by Jenni Holma