Did you know that during Victorian times, when fans were a much more frequently used accessory than they are today, the way they were positioned and used to accentuate gestures actually conveyed emotions and represented hidden meanings?
It’s a fascinating and kind of romantic thing really – in fact, the language of fans has been called the language of love. No fashionable lady’s attire in the 18th century would have been complete without her fan. And woe betide any woman who did not follow the rules of fan etiquette, for the right position was essential to attract or disengage a suitor!
Here are some common fan positions and their meanings …
The fan placed near the heart: “You have won my love.”
A closed fan touched to the right eye: “When may I be allowed to see you?”
Letting the fan rest on the right cheek: “Yes.”
Letting the fan rest on the left cheek: “No.”
Covering the left ear with an open fan: “Do not betray our secret.”
Half-opened fan pressed to the lips: “You may kiss me.”
Quickly and impetuously closing the fan: “I’m jealous.”
Drawing the fan through the hand: “I hate you!”
Holding the fan open, covering the mouth: “I am single.”
Fanning slowly: “I am married.”
Fanning quickly. “I am engaged.”
Hitting any object: “I’m impatient.”
I’m not really sure what emotion this lady is trying to portray with her fan though? It just looks to me like she had a rough night!!
So that, my friends, is a little bit of an insight into the secret language of the fans. I think it would have been a much easier way to convey to somebody you’re not interested – as opposed to the dreaded face-to-face admission. Almost like sending someone a “it’s not you, it’s me” text right?! *
Fan held over the heart …
* All images and information was sourced from various parts of the internet. There was no one available from the 18th century to vouch for their accuracy!
Wow … for once, Mumpty is nearly speechless! ** Warning** pic-heavy post – but when it comes to burlesque, those are the best posts right?! For the record, all images in this post were taken by the truly marvellous, burlesque photographer extraordinaire, David Rowe from David Rowe Photography – just book him!
I have been to many a burlesque show over the last few years, but this one, featuring the internationally famous, Miss Dirty Martini, was one INCREDIBLE show! Not only did Dirty herself prove from the very first second she stepped on the stage, why she has the massive following she does, but the other performers sparkled their little hearts out as well! (To read about when Mumpty actually met Dirty IRL, click here.)
FYI, for what it’s worth, Cabaret Royale was held at Glamilton’s premiere burlesque venue, Altitude Bar on the 17th of April!
For the first time I’ve ever seen, there was actually a queue waiting outside to get into the venue before it started – aaaah the power of the international phenomenon that she is, Miss Dirty Martini!
The evening was MC’d by the gloriously, hilariously outrageous Felicity Frockaccino – she of the comic-clad statuesque figure and the towering heels that she managed to haul herself up on to the stage in, more times than I think was safe! The bartender, Zac, was the somewhat unwilling object of Ms Frockaccino’s affections – it was very, very funny to watch him squirm – but actually he handled the attention incredibly well! I wonder how often Ms Frockaccino really does get beaten up after the show though?!
Aside from being a rather superb MC, Felicity Frockaccino also performed a fabulous little number in the second half of the show that had Mumpty and her bestie, Miss Monique Sweet, in fits of laughter!
The show was opened by recently-formed Glamilton troupe, The Gorgeous Glamiltonians, who performed a beautiful, colourful and cheeky Four Seasons routine – which was a tribute to Dirty Martini herself. The Gorgeous Glamiltonians choreographed the piece and took some of their inspiration, particularly for the fan work, from a group fan act Dirty did a while ago.
The routine was fan-based with a troupe feel to it, complimented by individual performances. As one audience member put it later, it was a visual symphony! The Gorgeous Glamiltonians troupe is made up of:
Now I can’t remember the exact order of the routines that followed, so I’m just going to mention them all and hope I don’t get it too far wrong!
The gorgeous Miss Cherry Lashes performed a fabulous, gold-inspired routine – the pièce de résistance of which was when she smeared herself in gold paint – a very theatrical moment indeed! Well done Miss Cherry Lashes!
Belly dancing made it’s shimmy-ing, sexy self well-known in the fabulous routine performed by Leggy Luna Lucy. Now Felicity Frockaccino informed the audience this was Miss Lucy’s last performance – I most certainly hope that is not the case! Leggy Luna Lucy is a brilliant performer and the audience was wowed by a super-funky routine where that booty was shaken and stirred like the very best martini (did you see how I made that link here?!)
We were also treated to a wonderful routine by the lady who was clever enough to bring Miss Dirty Martini to New Zealand; Catherine Smith (Owner; Caburlesque International, Director; Miss Burlesque NZ) who performed as Sadie, a very sexy and somewhat naughty Cleaning Lady!
Glamilton performer, Pussy Gallorez performed her fire-inspired routine and released a shower of red glitter onto the stage (and other places too I believe, but we won’t go into that here!)
Burlesque diva and Miss Burlesque NZ 2012, Miss Bettsy Rose Lee, performed her mega-popular, multi-award-winning Cupcake Odyssey routine – I’ve seen it a few times now and I don’t think I’ll ever get sick of it! Any routine that ends with the performer stuffing her face with cake and sprinkles has got my vote!
Queen of the Cards, Cherie D’Bauche, is a Rotorua-based performer, and I have not seen her perform before. I really enjoyed her card-inspired routine and I thought her costuming was gorgeous. I look forward to seeing her perform again some time soon.
And then … and then … it was the long-awaited turn of the magnificent Miss Dirty Martini (and not before some heckling from the audience, which Ms Frockaccino handled with the tact and sophistication we had come to expect from her!)
What can I say about Dirty’s act? It was a mastery of comedic burlesque and demonstrated all the components necessary for a good routine (as identified by Dirty at dinner – see here if you don’t know what I’m talking about.) Aside from all that, it was visually stunning; Dirty is hilarious; her timing is impeccable and she is just THAT.BLOODY.GOOD! A true burlesque superstar! Dirty performed her infamous Swan Routine, and it was, quite simply, brilliant. That is a very inappropriate swan by the way **insert lascivious wink here**
My only complaint? We needed MORE DIRTY!
So that, my friends, was how it was to be in the audience of a Dirty Martini Burlesque Show – in short – fabulous!
It was great to see so many new faces in the audience – obviously Dirty’s fame has spread as far as Glamilton! There were also some familiar faces and it was just as good to see them – and a special mention of our newly-crowned Miss Pinup NZ 2015 – Bettie Rage.
Sartorial Secrets: behind the scenes at Miss Pinup NZ 2015 … Fancifora Foxglove
Now that the Big Day (aka the Miss Pinup NZ 2015 competition!) has been and gone, I thought it would be really nice for some of the contestants to tell us the stories behind their clothing and accessory choices. I don’t know about you, but as an audience member, I felt like we didn’t get long enough to truly soak in all the gorgeousness that was up on stage! In fairness to the management though, there would never be enough time to do that or the competition would take a week!
Some of the girls have their own blogs, so will be doing their own posts, but many of the finalists have agreed to be a part of this series, which I’m really excited about. Actually, all the girls with blogs have agreed to come on MumptyStyle as well, so that’s very cool of them – and of course I will be linking to their posts where I can.
First up is the truly spectacular Fancifora Foxglove … check out why this dazzling woman chose those vintage pieces from her extensive collection – read on!
Where did you source your items (including shoes, handbags, accessories etc?) I wanted to stay true to myself and so I decided to wear items that I already owned as much as possible.
I have a large collection of vintage originals and I love to show them off as well as find a million different new ways to wear them! Changing up accessories like belts, hats, bags, furs, petticoats, shoes – even a hairstyle – can breathe new life into well-loved items. Finding a new way to wear an old item is as satisfying as buying something new altogether for me.
What inspired your choices – was it your pinup name/character, your personal interests/something you’d seen worn by someone you admire/old, classic movies? I start from a single item and then create an entire character around that. I will look at it and think “who would have worn this and what was she like?” My daywear for example (pictured above) was blue, red and white – the colours of the French flag – so I decided to embrace the French theme and added a beret. I felt like Madeline!
I’m a thespian at heart so each new outfit is like donning a brand new character for me.
What accessories did you wear and how/why did you choose them? How did the process work for you – did you find the dress, and then accessorise it, or did you find an accessory you love and build it from there … I just love the creative process of styling and tend to stick to the rule of going either matchy-matchy or very contrasting with colours/patterns.
I used the key item as the starting point, so dresses for day and evening wear and the bathing suit for beachwear, then I sourced complimentary accessories from there.
Shoes were the main thing I purchased for the competition and they were the items I had the most trouble sourcing. I had a set idea in mind and often this means trying to source something that does not exist! Other than shoes, I already owned all the accessories I wore such as hats, hairpieces, scarves, gloves, furs and petticoat etc.
Did your outfits require shape wear? I am very lucky to have quite a classic 50s figure so shapewear is not always needed to create an hourglass silhouette. However, I have recently discovered cinch clips which I use almost daily. I like my waist cinched very tight, at all times, and cannot be bothered taking in every single item I own at the waist. They are a cheap and simple alternative to a nipped waist. The only shapewear I wore was my custom-made Purdy corset under my bathing suit to create a very dramatic hourglass shape. I wanted my beach look to appear straight out of a 50s Vogue swimwear editorial.
Who made your custom outfits? I had no custom outfits (apart from my trusty corset worn as shapewear) however; I did get my evening gown altered. It needed some mending and I also had a layer of sparkly gold material by way of a removable skirt added. This was done by Amy from Aeon Clothing who came up with some great solutions for this dress – it was almost beyond repair, as the delicate fabric was beautiful but old and had torn in places. I also added some Swarovski crystals to the bodice; I am a burlesque performer and believe you can never have quite enough bling!
Did you have any wardrobe malfunctions? I nearly lost a shoe during the evening wear section! I felt like I had to hobble off the stage in order to keep it on – luckily the dress was long enough to cover the shoes!
I remember thinking “just smile and look graceful and no one will know. If you lose it, turn it into a comedy moment.” One thing I have learnt from my theatre days is it is better to acknowledge mishaps and ham your way through a situation in character than to ignore it, because that just makes everyone feel awkward!
Can you tell me about your hair and makeup? (Ed note: Miss Pinup contestants must do their own hair and makeup.) My hair was pin-curled; which is always my preferred method of vintage styling.
My “hairspiration” was Marilyn Monroe with volume just in the front for some wow factor, but flatter in the back to cater for wearing hats. I chose a big hair look to start the day because I knew if it got too out of control throughout the day I could always smooth it down and roll it under for a more polished Grace Kelly look.
My makeup was a less glittery version of my burlesque stage makeup look; lots of contouring as harsh stage lights wash me out, classic red lips, strong defined brows and a cateye of course!
Are there any “back stories” you have about your outfits/ special meanings/came from your grandmother/begged, borrowed or stolen?! My daywear dress was given to me by my mother. I think she found it in an op shop in Hastings years ago. It is actually child-sized and can definitely be styled to look garish! I wear this onstage as Camp Leader in a Topp Twins tribute burlesque act and it looks veeeery different matched with a green cardigan with felt sheep on it!
My mother also gave me the original 50s bathing suit several years ago. I love it because it has a silver fern on it, but I wish I knew more about its origin. I have held onto items like this for years and years, knowing they were unique treasures, but my teenage self was just not quite sure how to use them. I am so glad I have the hoarding gene as I have found so many opportunities to wear these in my 20s!
I purchased my yellow evening gown for only $50 from a vintage store here in Wellington and have added to it over time. Many people say it is a princess dress similar to what Belle wears in Beauty and the Beast! It reminds me of something Elizabeth Taylor would have worn to the Oscars.
How did you pick your talent? How much research went into it? Did you make your own props? I chose an act that I developed a while ago but had not performed in Auckland before (Wellington has seen it to death!)
I wanted to stick to my strengths and I thought using an established act that is always a crowd pleaser meant just one less thing to worry about. It wasn’t practical to have any elaborate props or set as I was flying up from Wellington and lugging props was just not an option. This pushed me to rely solely on stage presence in order for my talent to stand out. Plus I never get sick of performing this act and feel it is the pinnacle of my burlesque character – comedic, plucky and full of surprises!
Thank you Fancifora – it’s been fantastic delving into your wardrobe and learning what went into your sartorial choices for the Miss Pinup NZ competition. By the way – congratulations on being chosen for Miss Picture Perfect – I can most definitely see why!
(To read the other contestant’s Sartorial Secrets, click here.)
It’s not often that an international burlesque performer of Dirty Martini’s calibre shimmies her way into town, so when I heard she was coming to Glamilton I signed up for the “Meet’n ‘Greet” with a squeal! And whilst I was there, I must admit, I behaved much like a groupie – I took endless selfies and photos galore and listened to her every word like a little sponge! Sorry everyone, but I couldn’t help it – and also, I wanted to write this post because OMG, Dirty Martini!
If you’re not a burlesquey kind of person and you don’t know who Dirty Martini is, just Google her – you’ll understand my groupie-ish behaviour then! In the meantime, let me just put this pic here to give you an example of Dirty’s fabulousness:
As one would expect, Dirty is a huge character with a great deal of pizazz. Having met her in person and observed the massive presence she has, I am pretty much on the edge of my seat waiting to see her perform in person – which thankfully is tonight!
A group of about twenty of us Glamilton ladies were lucky enough to have dinner with Dirty at Good George Dining Hall & Brewery in Frankton and it was a fabulous evening where the girls all dressed up in typical Glamilton BurleyQ fashion and so did Dirty! Her trademark Marilyn wig; a lamé dress and eyelashes you could shelter from the rain under made up Dirty’s attire, not to mention fabulous shoes. It was most certainly not an understated outfit – as you would expect! Not that it really matters, but for the record, I wore my new Pinup Girl Clothing Snow White Jenny dress. It has Snow White and The Wicked Queen and poison apples and stuff …
Anyway … whilst we were having dinner I was fortunate enough to sit opposite to Dirty, and so was able to enjoy her conversation most of the evening. She has the most fabulous laugh which comes out all the time, her happiness is infectious and she is incredibly generous in sharing her knowledge and performer tips.
Dirty had taken some classes in Glamilton over the last couple of days and we were discussing some of the things she had taught the ladies. Did you know that when you have a “prop” such as the swan (up there in Dirty’s pic) you have to create a character for the prop; you have to ensure your own character shines through; there needs to be a relationship between your character and the prop’s character and there also needs to be some kind of conflict and resolution in the act? And you just thought it was a performance right?! Well I must admit I didn’t know a lot of that and that’s why it is so incredibly valuable for performers like Dirty to come to NZ and to share that type of knowledge. (Special thanks to Catherine Smith for bringing her here.)
Amongst other things we discussed with Dirty, we talked about her fabulous curves and how they had affected her dance career throughout her life (she did ballet for years and a degree, I think, in performing arts – sorry if that’s wrong Dirty) – it was interesting for me to hear that Dirty has not always been as confident as she is now in her body and in fact has suffered a lot of emotional turmoil over the years because her body doesn’t fit the “typical dancer’s” mould (bear in mind what most ballet dancers look like.) It seems though, that her struggles helped build the person she is today. They say great things come from hardship, and it seems like they might be right.
It struck me several times throughout the evening that Dirty is 100% comfortable, and in fact joyous, about her body. The way she moves; the way she presents herself; the way she talks about her body – it’s amazing. One conversation we all had was how important it is to ensure our daughters don’t grow up hating their bodies. Dirty, I am right with you on that one.
By the way – the only time Dirty ever “worries” about her body she says is when she follows Dita von Teese onto the stage! Dirty performs in Dita’s “Strip Strip Hooray” burlesque show and she says when Dita comes off stage, completely wet and glistening after her martini glass act; gives Dirty a wink and says “good luck” – well, Dirty does feel slightly insecure going on stage after that! But we can totally understand that – because, Dita. (According to Dirty by the way – Dita IS that bloody perfect!) But Dirty says she’s never met an audience she hasn’t been able to win over, and I can well imagine that!
Dirty says she does occasionally get nervous still and a while ago in Paris, she was actually “shit scared!” And that show, she says, turned out to be one of the best of her life! While she is incredibly prepared and puts a huge amount of effort into her acts, Dirty confirmed that she does ad lib up there on stage and tailors her routine to the audience – as every good performer does.
So that is my roundup of a fabulous evening with one of burlesque’s gems … Dirty Martini – you were spectacular and it was an absolute pleasure to meet you.
I will end this post with a quote from Liberace that Dirty loves and that, for me, sums her up perfectly:
Wow – what a blast! This year was the first time I had attended the Very Vintage Day Out – you could say I was a VVDO Virgin! Anyway … I will most certainly be back next year – I had a brilliant time!
I met some incredible people whom I’ve only “met” online before; I saw some old friends; I met some new “in person” friends; I viewed a whole lot of vintage goodies; I bought a few goodies (!); I had my do did; I listened to some awesome music; I watched some gorgeous burlesque and then I savoured the long-anticipated Miss Pinup NZ 2015 competition – congratulations again Bettie Rage!
And all that excitement happened without me even staying for The Wildcat Shakeout that night or the Tiki Party the next day – slap on the wrist – where do I sign up for next year’s events?!
Ok … so I started off my day relatively early – I got a coffee on the way and then road-tripped up to Auckland in my little red Beetle, Milly. I found my way straight to the VVDO venue – those of you who know me will probably be as surprised by that accomplishment as I was! Once I got to the car park at Alexandra Park, all I had to do was follow the trail of well-dressed people inside.
The first person I saw once I got inside was my lovely friend, Michelle (aka Lady Kittyhawk) from Debonaire Do’s – she was working the Pamper Parlour and we had a bit of a chat and I decided to book in to get my “do did.” Whilst I do love the vintage styles, I really don’t have the patience or the skill to do them myself, so I decided I might as well pay someone else to do it for me. And so I did, and Claire was fabulous. Here is my transformation … what do you think?
To be honest, I think I’ll stick with my modern do … mainly ‘cos I’m lazy but also ‘cos I’m not sure about the victory roll thing on me …
My first non-planned purchase was a green cropped cardie from Rita Sue … and yes, I DO need seven of those cardies – thank you for asking! I have wanted that lovely bottle green colour for a long time now and the cardie looked so lonely being the last one there on the rack – I really was just doing it a favour. I also purchased some cute little hair roses, which I was very pleased about because as I don’t have a lot of hair, the bigger ones sometimes look like I have a garden growing out of my head!
I did VERY seriously contemplate purchasing this dress below … a PUG dress from Bombshell Clothing. Because it wasn’t really in my budget, I text my partner hoping he might offer to buy it for me (** wink wink **) but he didn’t like it at all (**insert sad face here**) Now that wouldn’t always deter me, but in this case it did. And my wallet is thanking me for it, if not my wounded sartorial soul.
Anyway … enough blathering about my purchases.
It was amazing to meet so many gorgeous girls in person whom I had “online met” through doing my Pinup Platoon series. I met Miss Glamour LaRue, Miss Rouge, Miss Lorelei Louise and Heidi Heart and it was lovely to catch up with Soda Fontaine and Miss Charlotte Cake again, although I missed Bettie Rage. Somehow I missed out on meeting Fancifora Foxglove, Agent Bluebelle and Madam Rou, which I was a bit sad about – but there’s always next time now isn’t there?!
I also enjoyed meeting Miss Creep Cake, Amber Bambi and Danielle from Devel Branded, not to mention Lilly Loca! And catching up with all sorts of fabulous Glamilton ladies who all road-tripped up in their gladrags and were having a ball! And of course, there was Sam. And Belle. Dancing to Sal Valentine & The Babyshakes (who, by the way, were awesome.) So cute – such a good Dad.
Because I was a clever little bunny, I decided I would find myself a seat nice and early so as not to be left standing when the Miss Pinup NZ competition started. I sat next to a lovely lady from Auckland and we had a great chat; despite being concerned the VERY drunk girl in front of us might well vomit on our fabulous shoes; we are now FB friends. Ain’t life grand?! Anyway, we both really enjoyed the burlesque show … well done to all the lovely ladies who performed – they did an awesome job.
And then, the Miss Pinup NZ 2015 competition kicked off – and it was BRILLIANT! I loved every minute of it and I really don’t envy the poor judges (shoutout to Rose, Ruby and Tami) – they had a very, very tough job. The girls all did so incredibly well, their outfits were spectacular and you can just tell they all put their heart and souls into it. MC’d by the hilariously inappropriate Miss La Vida, it was a show filled with humour, fashion, pinup style, glamour, sophistication … you name it, it was there!
And a massive congratulations once again to Bettie Rage, who took out the sash and tiara!!! I LOVE this pic of her and runner-up, Miss Charlotte Cake. So cute!
And one final image of my beautiful friend Miss Monique Sweet, who did a fabulous job being a VVtv hostess. She also looks pretty good in front of a classic car don’t you think?! (By the way … big ups to VVtv presenter Von Vonski who turned up having just had her baby – you can’t keep a good woman down right?!)
Goodness, this is a verrrryy long post now isn’t it?! If you’re still with me, thanks for reading!
Lastly, a big congratulations to Talia – VVDO is her baby and what an awesome job she did to make the 2015 VVDO such a success.
Congratulations Anjel – awesome effort and soooo incredibly well-deserved!
Miss Pinup NZ 2015 was the first pinup pageant I have attended in person, and OMG – it was so exciting! I am going to do a post about it later in the week (including the whole Very Vintage Day Out experience) but I just wanted to do a quick post now to say congratulations to Bettie Rage for an outstanding campaign from start to finish.
Bettie Rage’s entry video was a nod to the late and truly great, Bettie Paige and Anjel ran an excellent social and traditional media campaign all the way through, including a win at Miss Hotrod Blowout 2015 and culminating in a front page story in the Waikato Times before the big day.
Anjel’s look was cohesive, polished and incredibly well-presented , with all three “looks” suiting her look and style and my goodness, she wore them well – with a huge slug of her trademark confidence and sassiness thrown in for good measure!
Bettie Rage’s talent section was a nod to Rosie the Riveter and was performed in a set of very sexy white overalls accompanied by a fabulous vintage motorcycle – who other than Bettie Rage could make overalls sexy?!
I look forward to seeing what Bettie Rage will be doing with her title this year. I know she said she will be wearing her crown to work at the Jukebox Diner next week -won’t that be a great pic!
Congratulations also to all the other contestants – I think the judges had an almost impossible job as the standard was crazy high! Well done to Miss Charlotte Cake for being the Runner-Up; to Soda Fontaine and Heidi Heart for rounding out the top four; to Miss Glamour LaRue for her win of Miss Publicity and to Fancifora Foxglove for taking out Miss Picture Perfect. Fabulous work!
Anyway … congratulations once again to Bettie Rage. I have a feeling 2015 is going to take you a very long way with your pinup aspirations!
Well … here we are on the eve of the Miss Pinup NZ 2015 Pinup Competition … a much-anticipated event for many, many vintage and pinup fans in New Zealand. I, for one, CANNOT WAIT until tomorrow at 4.30pm when the pageant kicks off. It’s the first pinup pageant I’ve watched, and I think it’s going to be awesome!
I have seen many posts from the girls who are finalists over the past few days and I know they’re all as nervous as hell. I also know these girls will absolutely rock it tomorrow and use that adrenaline to add the little touch of sass that will take one lucky lady through to the very end – that sparkly, sashy end where there’s going to be lots of tears, smudged red lipstick and champagne!
To Miss Glamour LaRue …
I’ve LOVED your messages of body positivity and self-love over your campaign, and I especially love the way your posts always end in something uplifting for your readers. I hope you found your pink lucky hot pants!
To Bettie Rage …
The camera loves you girl! You’ve got the right amount of sass to take this one out – keep that lip curled and those sultry eyes narrowed! I loved how you gave a shout-out to those people who have helped you so far and are so supportive of your fellow pinup finalists.
To Madam Rou …
Anyone with enough talent to sew a cushion cover let alone a pinup competition wardrobe impresses me! I love the warmth of your posts and I think you’re going to be a real crowd pleaser!
To Agent Bluebelle …
You are, quite simply, superb! I cannot wait to see what you’ve plucked from your awesome vintage wardrobe to parade tomorrow! You are infectious, charming and hilarious – I wish you all the best.
To Heidi Heart …
I can’t wait to meet you tomorrow – you seem to have the hugest heart (pun semi-intended!) and I love how you’ve said the competition has never been about “winning” to you, but a chance to express and grow and meet other wonderful wonder women. You are most definitely still a hot contender though!
To Soda Fontaine …
Wow … talk about Pinup Perfection! Soda Fontaine has a big slug of old-school glamour to her look and I love it! All the best Jaimee!
To Miss Lorelei Louise …
What a fabulous woman Miss Lorelei Louise is! I have been soooo enjoying reading your comments and observations about your pinup preparations. And also, what a strong, amazing human – you’ve gone through such a lot and still emerged as a happy, positive woman who loves life and lives it loud!
To Fancifora Foxglove …
My, my … doesn’t the media love you?! And who can blame them … another lady with a formidable vintage wardrobe to choose from that I personally cannot wait to see. And I am VERY MUCH looking forward to your performance too – the comeback via the bionic hip! Best of luck to you Miss Fancy! That waist, that hair … that everything!
To Miss Rouge …
Miss Rouge, sweet, petite and fierce! I think you must have given everyone a bit of a fright with your Miss Beach Hop win! Best of luck Miss Rouge … you have pinup style oozing out of your very pores!
To Miss Charlotte Cake …
She might look sweet and frothy in this photo, but mark my words … Miss Charlotte Cake is one determined lady! I look forward to seeing your talent Miss Cake – I suspect it might be fabulously tasty!
I wish all you wonderful women the very best of luck tomorrow and may your pinup dreams be realised!
Joanne Gair is an uuber-talented, fabulous woman whom I feel doesn’t get NEARLY enough credit in New Zealand for her incredible career. She is a world-renowned makeup artist; she’s acknowledged as the world’s leading body paint artist and she’s also a fine artist who dabbles successfully in painting, sculpting and etching – amongst a million other talents! Over the years she has counted Heidi Klum, Rachel Hunter, Madonna, Steven Tyler, Demi Moore, Lady Gaga and countless other megastars amongst her clients, and she is the lady responsible for the incredible body painting you see on the Sports Illustrated calendars. While Joanne is probably best known for her pioneering work on Demi Moore (think the pregnant Demi and the “birthday suit” Demi), the picture below (The Disappearing Model) is acknowledged by the art world as perhaps the finest example of body paint by the world’s finest body painter.
I first got in touch with Joanne when I approached her to do an interview for Makeup Obsessives ( you can read this interview in two parts below.)
Joanne was incredibly generous with her time and her knowledge and since then we have built an online, and now an IRL, friendship that I very much treasure.
Anyway … Kiwi Jo, as she likes to be called, recently returned to New Zealand to visit her beloved family. And this time, I got the chance to meet her as she invited me to her exhibition opening night at Blikfang Art & Antiques in Northcote, Auckland. The photo up there ^^ is one taken at the exhibition, and as seems to be generally the way with me when a photo is important to me, it was rubbish – of me anyway, not of Joanne and my daughter! Oh well! If you are wondering why the star; that is because we don’t put our daughter online; and she is our little star – so yep!
Anyway … I have never really been to an exhibition of this type before; only exhibitions in museums or galleries where there are stark white walls and you wander around appreciating the art but not really “feeling it.”
May I just say at this juncture, that I am most certainly not an art aficionado and do not claim to know much about it! However, Blikfang’s philosophy is to present art as it would be presented in your own home – i.e. with furniture around it, and wallpaper and just, you know – stuff. And that seems clever to me, because after all, that’s how we live with the art we purchase right?
If I were an art aficionado, I would have written something like this, which is great and worth the read to find out a bit more about Joanne and the background behind her work. In summary though, the ink drawings Joanne is currently exhibiting at Blikfang are an extension of her body painting, in which she explores how bodies can portray emotion, convey intimate moments and engage in provocative movement. Joanne told me most of these works were done with live models in front of her, who were moving constantly, so she could capture that feeling of movement and vibrancy in her portraits. The “loose style” of these works is in contrast to the fine detail required for her makeup and body paint work and she said she just loves the freedom to work in that manner.
And again – more of Joanne’s work in situ at Blikfang below … this one is called “Big Bird” and was painted in 2014.
Joanne’s work is showing at Blikfang until the 30th of April so I would highly recommend you pop in and see it if you get a chance.
And there’s one final thing I wanted to mention (OK two – the next paragraph details the second!) … Joanne has two books; the first being Paint A ‘Licious (see below) and the second being Body Painting Masterpieces (with foreword by Heidi Klum.) I am now the proud owner of Paint A ‘Licious with a beautiful personal message written in big, sprawly artistic writing on the inside cover. Joanne talked us through the “back stories” to some of the images in Paint A ‘Licious and suffice to say, I would love to steal her away for a weekend so she can tell me the rest of them! It is truly a labour of love that celebrates family, friends and Joanne’s journey.
The other thing I wanted to mention; Joanne introduced me to a lovely lady at the exhibition by the name of Michele Whitecliffe, of Whitecliffe College of Arts & Design fame … she has two incredibly talented children – both of whom earned high praise from Joanne. Check them out on Instagram; @lakenwhitecliffe (an insanely talented artist) and @amberwhitecliffe ( a fashion designer.) You will be impressed.
This enthusiasm for new talent is yet another thing I love about Joanne – she is all about supporting new and upcoming artists and does not let her lofty position in the art and body paint world affect her genuine Kiwi down-to-earth generosity of spirit.