Monday, December 30, 2013

Monday Man Candy: Errol Flynn

About a month ago, I watched a sort of weird movie called The Private Lives of Elizabeth and Essex (1939). It starred Bette Davis playing a very fidgety, very pale Queen Elizabeth and Errol Flynn playing the queen's real-life love interest, Earl of Essex. The movie was meh, but it thankfully offered all kinds of gorgeous closeups of Flynn. One look and I was in love.

Saturday, December 28, 2013

5 More Vintage Styles that Need to Come Back

Recently, HuffPo style ran a list of 10 Vintage Styles that Really Need to Come Back. It listed petticoats, gloves, seamed stockings, and a lot of things that are par for the course for a lot of us midcentury-loving ladies. I think, though, there are a few other fashions they missed. Here are five I'd like to add to the list.

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Some Christmas Tunes for You

My love for Christmas and Christmas music borders on the insane. I tell myself I just don't need more music but the truth is, I keep discovering new (old) and interesting songs.

Monday Man Candy: Merry Christmas from Gorgeous Men

This week's Monday Man Candy is the incredibly talented and handsome Marvin Gaye. He's very festive on this cover of JET from 1974.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

What Kind of Man Makes Lipstick? Interview with Adam Coutts of RED Burlesque

A couple weeks ago, I raved about how much I love RED Burlesque lipstick. But I had to interview the creator. This lipstick, you see, was created by a man. Adam Coutts is a man with a marketing background who doesn't wear makeup in his regular life. He doesn't have the hands-on, up close and personal experience with lipstick; he hasn't had the satisfaction of lipcolor changing his whole face, so why this line? I asked Adam a few questions about the kind of man it takes to make a fabulous cosmetic product.

You're a man. How did you find yourself creating lipstick?
My background is advertising and marketing and I've spent decades successfully growing other people's brands. Subsequently, I've always held a desire to one day launch my own product. But it was a series of slightly bizarre circumstances that led to the creation of RED Burlesque.

The strangest was, not having had any exposure to the burlesque world, I found myself partnered with an Australian burlesque producer for about 18 months, which somehow ended up in me financing and co-producing a number of high profile burlesque shows in Australia.

Then came a couple of conversations at different times with women (my partner being one of them) who had discovered their favourite red lipstick had been discontinued. I honestly couldn't believe the reaction from them. as though life as they knew it had suddenly come to a grisly end (Ed: same goes for when they discontinue your favorite red nail polish. It hurts). My immediate reaction in both cases was pretty much "suck it up princess, just go out and find another one!" I then discovered how hard it was for women to find the perfect red and even more strange, that in all the time lipstick has been gracing the lips of women, not one cosmetics company had created a comprehensive range of reds!

To cut a slightly longer story short, my advertising & marketing persona kicked in and (despite a 'false start' in tagging RED with the name of my now ex) the result was the creation of RED Burlesque.

What's the philosophy behind RED Burlesque?

Simply to be the largest range of long-lasting, premium red lipsticks on the planet and ensure that every woman can find at least three shades of RED Burlesque they adore.

Where did the idea to associate each shade with a burlesque performer come from?

It all goes back to the 18 months with my burlesque producer. Red lipstick is almost a staple diet of burlesque performers, so the association was almost a fait accompli after being exposed to the world of Burlesque and meeting so many amazing performers from all over the world. The chance to promote a number of them, the brand and Burlesque in general by having them hand pick and name their own shade appealed to my the marketing and ad guy in me. It also meant the brand wasn't tied to a single personality and instead was created around multiple personalities.

What do you love about burlesque?

The people. The shows. The creativity. The enormous sense of family, especially at major events such as Burlesque Hall of Fame and New York Burlesque Festival. It's an incredibly diverse but singular community that looks after its own like no other industry.

Do you participate in other "vintage culture" events? I know there's a big vintage and rockabilly scene in Australia.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

The MTA Made Me Miss the Vintage Train Ride

This Sunday, swing dancers and vintage enthusiasts spent a wonderful afternoon in the subway, of all places. Not especially glamorous most days, but for the Vintage Train Ride, but we made it work. The Vintage Train Ride happens every year; subway cars from the 30s through the 60s are connected, filled with fun swing bangs and ride through Manhattan and Queens. Except due to the normal trains, I missed the train part of the event.
Didn't want to risk my big camera in the crowds, so please pardon the iPhone photography

I was so mad. I'd gotten all dressed up, left my grandfather's birthday brunch a little early and then waited about 20 minutes for a transfer...when I just needed to go two stops. I was heartbroken to miss the crowded but fun ride. My modern train was so late I missed the rickety, old nostalgia train? Trust me, the irony of this is not lost on me. Too bad; I loved it so much last year! It wasn't a complete loss; I got to dance to Jessy Carolina and the Hot Mess and a few other fun bands.

Friday, December 6, 2013

RED Burlesque Lipstick Review: I'm in Love

I'm such a big fan of burlesque that I stalk my favorite performers on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter. But about a month ago, that turned into something very good for me; I was scrolling through my Instagram feed when I saw that the lovely Calamity Chang had a lipstick created and named for her. That's incredible, I thought, and I had to know more. That's how I learned about (and fell in love with) RED Burlesque lipstick.

Monday, December 2, 2013

Monday Man Candy: Clark Gable

After a week off for The Diviners giveaway (which I've extended til Friday, so go enter) I'm back with more sweetness for Monday Man Candy. I asked you guys who you wanted to see and a couple of you said Gable. I say, good choice.

Clark Gable is the ultimate Hollywood Golden Age icon, a matinee idol with serious acting chops and a scandalous life off screen to boot. The man made over 60 pictures in his life and still found time to get married five times and have a whole bunch of affairs.

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Happy Thanksgiving!

I'm sitting here with a cup of coffee and watching the end of the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade. I love this. It makes me feel like a kid; it's the perfect chance to indulge my slightly embarrassing love of cartoons.

Like Rocky and Bullwinkle (which you can watch on Hulu right now, just saying).

See more photos of parades past here. Hope you're stuffing yourselves silly. Enjoy the holiday!

Monday, November 25, 2013

GIVEAWAY: "The Diviners", a creepy 1920s New York mystery that's the cat's pajamas

I am skipping Monday Man Candy today, but for good reason; I have a giveaway! The nice people and Little, Brown asked me if I wouldn't be interested in Libba Bray's "The Diviners", a deliciously scary murder mystery set in New York in 1926. I was skeptical at first but boy, am I glad I reserved judgment. I've read about 300 pages in three days and I cannot put this thing down.

The Dapperest Men in New York at the National Arts Club

Last Monday, I got to go to a reception at the National Arts Club for I Am Dandy, a beautiful book with photos by Rose Callahan and essays by Nathaniel "Natty" Adams. The two got together to profile images of men who out-dress the average dude on a regular day. These are men with such a particular, amazing approach to style (often vintage but not necessarily) that they incorporate into their everyday lives. Some work in fashion but most don't, about a third are gay and the dandies come in a range of ages from men in their late twenties to men into their seventies.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Turn Up the Volume. NPR is Playing Rare Soul Music Today and It's Amazing

I follow NPR on Tumblr because they educate me on all kinds of wonderful historical and artistic things. I don't check my Tumblr much but I'm so glad I did today, because I saw that, to commemorate a historic all-night soul party in England, they're playing all kinds of rare soul records.

From NPR Northern Soul:

It's been 40 years since the first all-night R&B party at the Wigan Casino nightclub outside Manchester, England. The doors didn't open until 2 a.m., and its 1,200-capacity ballroom was packed until dawn with dance-crazy (possibly amphetamine-fueled) soul fans. They called the uptempo vibe Northern Soul, after the region of England that fell in love with rare '60s R&B.

To mark the anniversary, public radio's KALW and a handful of San Francisco DJs curated a 24/7 music channel devoted to the best R&B songs you've likely never heard. For every Marvin Gaye or Wilson Pickett song in the mix, there's another 50 incredible jams by artists who never quite made a name for themselves.

San Francisco's soul scene is largely defined by uptempo, obscure 45s from the 1960s, so this was a natural project for KALW. Just like the DJs in Manchester, Bay Area DJs are famous for digging up the best unheard soul singles, and the hunt has only become more creative as time moves further away from when these records were originally pressed. Now, with more than a dozen separate '60s soul dance parties to attend each month, the Bay Area is getting exposed to the same intensity, energy and dedication of those original U.K. all-nighters.

The Northern Soul Radio playlist brings together the tracks that launched the genre in the 1970s with the songs that dominate the revivalist soul party scene in San Francisco today — some of which were digitized for the first time just for this collection.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Monday Man Candy (on Tuesday): Jeff Richards

Candy is still good the next day? That's what I'm telling myself since I'm late with Monday Man Candy. My apologies, ladies! But I think you'll admit he was worth the wait.

I spent my Saturday night on the couch with Turner Classic Movies and bottle of Bacardi. I watched The Women, an amazing movie, and the not-so-amazing musical remake of that movie, The Opposite Sex. Just about the only good thing to come out of that movie was the dreamy Jeff Richards, who played Buck Winston.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

#Noirvember: "Scarlet Street"

I've been enjoying seeing everyone's #Noirvember posts on Twitter and Tumblr and participating myself. Last week I wrote about a Barbara Stanwyck movie Crime of Passion and this week I finally watched Scarlet Street (1946), which had been sitting in my Netflix queue unwatched forever.

Scarlet Street is a pretty tame noir. It's missing the delicious transgression of, say, a Gilda. Funny, because the censors came down really hard on the movie and it took a while to get into theatres? Why? Because it was just so darn immoral and it ends with a graphic murder (weapon of choice: an ice pick)

Monday, November 11, 2013

Monday Man Candy: Harry Belafonte

I have to be honest. I don't love Harry Belafonte's calypso. I like him doing pop standards and Christmas carols--and of course all his activist and humanitarian work. But most importantly, I like looking at him as a young man. He's just so handsome it doesn't even make sense.

Harry was hottest in Carmen Jones, I think. A funny movie, with pretty hep slang in the dialogue but then opera with words that seemed straight from the slaves in Uncle Tom's Cabin. Confusing at times but not a bad way to spend an evening. Especially when Harry Belafonte is at one point a sweaty, shirtless convict.

She left you? That tramp. I'll make it better...

Friday, November 8, 2013

Retrofit: All Business In Jantzen

Last week, I was feeling fancy, I guess. So I got all dolled up in my Jantzen vest and skirt set that I bought from Jill at Adeline's Attic for no good reason other than to go to work. I work in an office without a dress code so sometimes I go to work looking like I've gotten lost in the wrong business.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Happy #Noirvember!

I was poking around Tumblr earlier today and found people were posting about Noirvember, I clicked the hashtag and was so happy to find people were taking the month to celebrate film noir. I love a good film noir, gorgeously shot and lit with subversive subject matter.

And it's perfect because I'd recently watched "Crime of Passion" (1957) starring Barbara Stanwyck. 

Monday, November 4, 2013

New! Monday Man Candy

I love pinups a much as the next girl, but I still have a soft spot for matinee idols, lounge lizards, greasers and the other beautiful men of yesterdays. So instead of Music Mondays, I'm instating Monday Man Candy. You're welcome.

The first man up is kind of a no-brainer: Marlon Brando.

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Happy Halloween from Betty Boop

I love old cartoons. So my Halloween present to you is this charming, spooky cartoon starring Betty Boop and Cab Calloway's "St. James Infirmary." Betty Boop's creators, the Fleischer brothers, studied Cab Calloway's dancing, and recreated his moves frame by frame. Pretty impressive stuff for the time, I'd say. The video is 7 minutes long, but definitely worth it.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

5 Lessons from Edith Head

On Monday, Edith Head won the Internet after she was honored with an incredible Google doodle. I've long been a fan of Ms. Head and reading about her work and her eight Oscars this week really showed me what an incredible woman she is.There's something about an Edith Head costume that's distinct even though I can't quite put my finger on it.

Edith, you see, was the queen of fake it til you make it. She didn't really have a background in fashion but she used some sketches from the students she taught plus her own to land her first job at the studio. To quote Tim Gunn, she made it work. So much so she did more than 400 movies. Four hundred, guys. Even in a career that lasted more than half a century, that's still a ton of movies. She worked with the biggest stars on some of the biggest movies--Audrey Hepburn in Roman Holiday, Bette Davis in All About Eve, all the gorgeous on Grace Kelly in Rear Window--the list is endless. Edith was a lady with balls who worked until the end, and that's really admirable.

So I thought to honor Edith, I would take a look at the lessons we can learn from her, both in her own words and in the magic of her costumes.

Monday, October 28, 2013

Queen for a Day

First thing this morning, I saw I'd been crowned Vintage Queen no. 131 at Queens of Vintage. If that doesn't make a Monday better than usual, I don't know what does!

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

A Quick and Dirty Guide to Vintage Hosiery

This post was first published on The Vintage Bulletin

It's finally starting to feel like fall here in New York, which means I can no longer stand the cold wind on my bare legs. That means I'm digging into my big collection of tights, thigh highs and stockings to stay warm under my clothes. Most of my hosiery is modern but that doesn't mean there isn't a lot to choose from or get inspired by when it comes to the vintage stuff. But first, a breakdown of the different types of hosiery:

Lili St. Cyr lets you pick all kinds of sexy pieces via

Friday, October 18, 2013

Let the Women of Brown Girls Burlesque Amaze You

 In September, I got the chance to see Brown Girls Burlesque at Joe's Pub in SoHo and the show was amazing.

Brown Girls Burlesque is a troupe of fabulous performers of color. Their purpose--giving shine to black and brown women--is important and their show was really wonderful. And it's always such a joy to see burlesque with good, live music. Ricky Gordon and his band played great blues and rhythm and blues.

Monday, October 14, 2013

King Kong, This Time with Pasties

I've been gone for a bit but I'm back with a super exciting event for this Friday. Doc Wassabasco, the dirty mind behind some wonderfully raunchy shows starring big-name burlesque performers, is presenting a naked-ish version of the 1933 classic "King Kong."

Friday, October 4, 2013

Show Me Your True Colors #retroplaidurday

Today's the big day! I actually haven't left the house yet, but when I do, trust that I will be stepping out in some fabulous plaid. Show me your looks below.

UPDATE: I wasn't able to get outfit photos until late in the evening, but I got them! I know I just showed this dress on the blog, but it's the only plaid I own that's not wool. Yesterday was 80 degrees so there was no way I was going to wear wool. Here's how I restyled it:

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Let's Get Ready for Plaidurday!

This Friday is Plaidurday, a cute little celebration of all things plaid. I heard about the idea a few years ago and I like that it's still going strong. But when I check out the Facebook page, I'm seeing a lot of plaid shirts on hunters and hipsters. That's cool and everything, but I'd like to bring the class black to plaid.

Monday, September 30, 2013

Retrofit: Borrowed from the Boys

Good news! Not only am I blogging here, I'm now contributing to the Vintage Bulleting blog. The blog is run by Carol of Dandelion Vintage (I bought these amazing lace gloves from her last year).

For my first blog post, I scanned some images from this March 1943 issue of "Life" magazine I bought last year. Women were snapping up bow ties while the men were away. Check out my first post here.

And here's the look I put together last week using that feature as inspiration:

Friday, September 27, 2013

Retrofit: Late Blooms

Last Friday, I went to Rebel Night, a monthly rockabilly night in Manhattan. I was so excited to put on the outfit I got in ModCloth's Last Chance sale in August. I figured it would be the last time I could wear something like this before it got cold. And to be honest, I was a little bit nervous about showing my tummy.

Top and skirt - Hell Bunny
Shoes - Chelsea Crew

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Kim Novak, Love Goddess of 1957

Kim Novak is Turner Classic Movie's Star of the Month. They've been showing her films with extras on her career, and I believe this week they'll be interviewing her.

I think Novak is stunning. So it's no surprise she was voted Love Goddess of 1957 by the girlie magazine Escapade. Escapade was one of a slew of men's magazines that cropped up in the 1950s and 1960s that tried to fit the mold of Playboy. Men were always able to get a hold of naked women, but rarely were they shown next to thoughtful essays or gripping short fiction. And instead of a Playmate of the Year, Escapade picked a Love Goddess to worship.

Monday, September 23, 2013

Music Monday: Tweedle Dee by Lavern Baker

I love LaVern Baker and I'm so sad I spent so much time not listening to her. She's got a powerhouse voice and isn't bad looking, either. This song is cute. No other way to describe it, really. How can you not feel cheerful when you hear it?

What song is cheering you up today?

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Ladies Who Brunch

The weekend before last, I had a chance to eat with some like-minded vintage-loving ladies at Schiller's Liquor Bar on the Lower East Side. I found these women, or they found me, through Meetup. I signed up a few years ago because I was looking for people to dance salsa with and later go on photography tours with, but every once in a while something way better comes through. This invitation was one of them.

Monday, September 16, 2013

Music Monday: A Selection from the Queen, Aretha Franklin

I woke up this morning with this song stuck in my head. I'm not sure why, but it was and I had to play it a couple times. How amazing is this slow, sad, defiant number?

Thursday, September 12, 2013

SoHo's About to Get Sexy This Saturday

I'm so excited about this Saturday's show by BrownGirls Burlesque. The Dirty Honey Shake promises to be a raunchy good time, with live blues, jazz and soul.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Arcana Lace, a show from Wild Cherryz Burlesque

A little over a month ago I was picked (har, har) to see Wild Cherryz Burlesque perform their show "Arcana Lace" at the Cutting Room on 32nd Street in Manhattan. The show follows the story of a young woman who has a drunk, abusive husband. She gets her fortune told by a kind magician and then, with the help of the magician and her mother, she realizes she's really hot and lives happily ever after. There was also some lovely singing between sets. At least, that's what I figured when I saw the show. Here's what I should've seen:

“Arcana Lace,” created by Elizabeth DeGennaro and choreographed by Dylan Smith, infuses the themes and music from the 1930’s Carnival, combining a live burlesque dance performance with a heartfelt theatrical storyline. The 45-minute show, inspired by DeGennaro’s showgirl role on “Boardwalk Empire,” tells the story of a lone, lost girl, titled “The Fool”, seeking guidance of a fortune-teller, who reveals her fate through a series of tarot card readings and her journey to changing her future.

Here's the trailer for the show:

Monday, September 9, 2013

Music Monday: A Brief Introduction to Tittyshakers

Virginia bell, burlesque performer

For this Music Monday, I give you a brief introduction to the tittyshaker. But Desiree, you say, clutching your pearls, you're so demure! Ah, but that doesn't mean I can't get little low down, and the same goes for the music of the 50s and 60s.

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Retrofit: The Lazy Pinup

I don't always set my hair. I certainly don't always pile it into a 40s-inspired updo. Sometimes I throw on a scarf and call it a day.

(stole the scarf from my mom, bought the sunglasses for $5 in the Times Square train station, got the vintage bracelet on Etsy)

I've been experimenting with suicide rolls (an upside down victory roll or really big standing pin curl), and I quite like how this one came out. Pretty lucky, since this was my first time doing it. Hope it's this nice the next time!

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Music Monday on a Tuesday: Since I Fell For You

There's just something about Dinah. The first time I heard this song, I'd was in another room while my ex-boyfriend's father had it on the radio and her voice completely captured me. I pulled the song up using Shazaam and it was over; I was completely in love with miss Dinah Washington.

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Meet Ann, the Second Mastermind of Blue Ribbon Bombshells

Yesterday, I introduced you guys to Andrea, who's the organizer of the Blue Ribbon Bombshells event. It's a pinup contest held every July as part of a car show and rockabilly weekender in Wisconsin. Now, it's Ann's turn. Ann Brottlund is a firefighter (amazing!) and best friends with Andrea.

I love how both ladies stress the fact that Blue Ribbon Bombshells and similar organizations are communities that are about making women feel good. It's not about being prettier than another person; it's about feeling your prettiest and getting the confidence to put yourself out there. Well done, ladies!

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Meet the Beauty (and Brains!) behind the Blue Ribbon Bombshells: Andrea

Most women are still girls that love to play dress up, at least in some capacity. So when I heard about the Blue Ribbon Bombshells pin-up contest, I really wanted to put on something cheesecake-y and have fun with it. The Blue Ribbon Bombshell pageant is the contest that happens during the Blue Ribbon Beer Run, a car show and rockabilly weekender at the Pabst Blue Ribbon factory. I couldn't make it to Wisconsin this July for the contest, but I talked to organizer Andrea Maleu about both the main event and running the community (complete with photo contests) year round. See what she has to say about cars, the contest, and what every pinup needs in her arsenal.

Stay tuned for the Q&A with Andrea's partner in crime, Ann!

Monday, August 26, 2013

Music Monday: Such a Night (1962), plus an Outfit

Friday before last, I went to Rebel Night, a monthly rockabilly night here in New York, and I got a chance to wear a fabulous new skirt. But first, the song:

Such a Night by Vince Everett, 1962

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Another Sunny Jazz Age Lawn Party

This Saturday, I went to the Jazz Age Lawn Party for the third time. It's something I've come to look forward to and really plan for. If you don't know, the Jazz Age Lawn Party is a fabulous 20s-themed picnic on Governors Island that happens twice every summer. It's absolutely beautiful, like you've traveled for hours outside of the city to this beautiful green space but then you look up and see the amazing skyline. Michael Arenella and his Dreamland Orchestra and other great acts play songs from the period. They set up a big wooden dance floor right on the lawn for all the dancers. Food and vintage vendors, including one of my favorites Wildfell Hall Vintage, set up their wares. And with cocktails from St. Germain, what more can you really ask for?

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Femme Fatale Lipstick

Over at Independent Fashion Bloggers, they're asking everyone to share their favorite lipstick with the group. Which is great because I've been wearing a wonderful lipstick I haven't written about yet It's darker than my normal red (MAC Red) so I like to think of it as a femme fatale shade. You know, more Ava Gardner than Doris Day. I wear it almost exclusively at night.

Sunday, August 11, 2013

"I Love Lucy" Dress Went for $168K--and I Have One That Looks Just Like It!

via Daily Mail

The sweet polka dot dress Lucille Ball wore in "I Love Lucy" made its way to auction this week and while the organizers were sure it would fetch a good price, it was more than they expected. They thought, "Oh, we're sure the dress will go for somewhere between $40,000 and $60,000, which is chump change, obviously." But then some insane collector went and bought the dress for $168,000. Thinking about my yearly salary in comparison to the winning big makes me really, really sad.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Summer Burlesque Blitz Bootyliciousness, Part 2: Va-Va Voom Vaudeville

I don't want you thinking the Summer Burlesque Blitz was all naughty man-junk shaking. My newest burlesque girl crush Kita St. Cyr produced a nice show with some big names and the next day I got treated to some great vaudeville.

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Summer Burlesque Blitz Bootyliciousness, Part 1 (slightly NSFW)

The week before last, I went to four shows that were part of the Summer Burlesque Blitz, a four-day burlesque festival featuring a lot of impressive stars from the New York burlesque scene (including ones that have performed all over the world!).

First up was Kiki's Paper Dolls in Midsummer Night's Muses. I have no pictures of this show, nor of my outfit, but I realized very quickly I was way overdressed. I wore a black wrap dress to a teeny black box theater. Still, burlesque shows are best in small intimate spaces so it was fine.

Monday, July 29, 2013

Music Monday: Ain't Nobody, the Salsa Version

Things have been nuts in my offline life, so it's been quiet around here. That'll change this week, though, especially since I know you all want to hear about the booty shaking magic of the Summer Burlesque Blitz.

Last week, I was dancing salsa outdoors, as one does in New York. I was so pleasantly surprised to hear this salsa cover of an already amazing song by Chaka Khan. When this song comes on in the club (generally a club I'm in with my parents, no judgment), I push people out of the way and go into a crazy lip syncing solo because it's just that good.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

You're Welcome

Found this today and it made my life. Just in time for the Summer Burlesque Blitz! Enjoy, kids.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

All About the Booty: This Week is the Summer Burlesque Blitz!

If you've been reading for a while, you know I love burlesque. The costumes, the music, the lights, the ass-shaking--it's all great. And I got invited to several shows that are part of this year's Summer Burlesque Blitz. Four days, 9 shows and all the booty and rhinestones you could ever ask for.

I like that the lineup promises to bring in a lot of subgenres of burlesque: nerdlesque (striptease for geeks), boylesque (naked men!) and more traditional vaudeville/sideshow. The festival also includes some of my favorite performers like Kita St. Cyr, Medianoche, Gal Friday and the Maine Attraction.

The Summer Burlesque Blitz starts Thursday and you can still get tickets. Here are the shows I'm going to:

Monday, July 15, 2013

Music Monday: Stardust

Ah, "Stardust". An oldie but goodie. I like this song, though it's not one I've been listening to a lot lately. One of my favorite burlesque performers, Medianoche, has a slow, sensual act she does to this song. This week is all about burlesque on the blog, my Facebook, Twitter and Instagram because I've been invited to go to The Burlesque Blitz here in New York. Dozens of amazing performers, including the gorgeous Medianoche. Get excited and let Artie Shaw carry you away.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

"Marriage Italian Style", 1964


A few weeks ago, I was trying to cheer up with the help of a movie and I settled on Marriage Italian Style, the film adaptation of the popular play Filumena Marturano. Starring Sophia Loren and Marcello Mastrioanni (the guy from La Dolce Vita), the film tells the story of Domenico and Filumena. Filumena became Domenico's "mistress" 20 years ago and pretends she's dying in order to get him to marry her just before he's about to marry some young tramp. The Virgin has mercy on her, she says, and she recovered, with Domenico now having to serve his sentence as her hoodwinked husband.

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Happy 4th of July!

May you eat, drink and tan, as is the American way. Hope you have no grilling mishaps like this lovely lady!

Monday, July 1, 2013

Music Mondays: Let No Man Put Asunder by First Choice

What better way to advertise a Colombian bakery in Queens than, well, with queens?

Yesterday, I danced around the Village for Pride. It's one of my favorite New York parades because it's wonderful, rainbow-colored chaos. It's as political as it is celebratory, making it more than just a spectacle. That's exactly what happened when the float when by playing "Let No Man Put Asunder" by First Choice.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

A Look at 1950s Western Fashions

When I was poking around and reading about squaw or patio skirts, I came across this video that was posted on the great blog Beyond Buckskin Patio skirts are front and center but it also looks at other fashions. Take a look!

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Retrofit: From Patio to Party

I missed this month's rockabilly night (just too sleepy), which reminded me I didn't post about my outfit from the last month. I hopped on ebay to finally finally get a squaw skirt and I actually managed to snag one for a little bit over $20. I couldn't believe my luck.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Music Monday (on Tuesday): Free by Deniece Williams

I'm late to the Music Monday party, but I still wanted to share a song I sort of "rediscovered" in the last week. I'd always liked "Free", but I feel like I've barely listened to it at all in the last year or so. I had a Spotify radio station running and there it was.

Friday, June 7, 2013

Las Mujeres de Alina Vargas

I posted about Pinup de pura cepa, the exhibit by Dominican photographer Alina Vargas-Afansieva ages ago. The exhibit was great and I later had lunch with Alina to tell her how much I love her work but also to pick her brain. I turned that into an article for and it went up last week.
That beauty is the photographer herself

Monday, May 27, 2013

Music Monday: Emotion by Samantha Sang/Destiny's Child

For my last Music Monday post, I wrote about the sad songs I've been listening to as I've been going through my breakup. It's been a while and while things are getting better, I still feel hurt a lot. Here's another couple.
 I first heard "Emotion" as the Destiny's Child cover and I'm not sure which one I like better. Samantha Sang's cheesy video is pretty great, though. Which one's your favorite?


Saturday, May 25, 2013

Ophelia DeVore, the Charm School Lady

I read the AP's Big Story blog a lot for my job and last week, I found a great little bit of history I wanted to share. They ran a feature about Ophelia DeVore, a Georgia model turned businesswoman who wanted to change how black Americans were perceived and groom, often literally, for success.

DeVore's eclectic career spanned more than six decades, beginning as a model at 16 and continuing into her 90s today as the owner of a newspaper in Georgia. Along the way, she opened one of the first modeling agencies for black models, established a charm school for black women to present themselves more effectively and launched a cosmetics line for darker complexions.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Retrofit: Ass-tastic Pants from Bettie Page Clothing

It's not ladylike to talk about your ass, especially on the Internet. So I won't really say anything except to say this: these high-waist capris I bought from Bettie Page Clothing make my ass look fabulous. You'll have to take my word for it, though. I'm not going to show it.

Monday, May 13, 2013

Playing Dress up with Tova

In December, just when I thought no one was reading my blog and I got ready to close up shop, I got a sweet message from Tova, the owner of Etsy shop Flatiron Vintage. A purveyor of gorgeous vintage hats, she told me she liked my whimsy and my blog in general. So I kept blogging and kept in touch with Tova until finally, we were able to meet up.

Here she is, wearing one of her favorite hats, a floppy fedora-ish hat from the 1940s. 

I met up with Tova and she spread a small selection of her hats before me. It was wonderful. Wonderful, and a little insane considering there are something like 100 hats in her one-bedroom apartment. Before arriving at Tova's, I told her I liked pillbox hats, headband hats, tilt hats and little whimsies, which is what she pulled from her insane stash for me.