Tag Archives: David Rowe Photography

How to be a good burlesque audience …

How to be a good burlesque audience …

Coney Bow
The winner of the 2016 Grand Tease – the incredible Coney Bow

So … I have been to quite a few burlesque shows over the last few years, and I’ve also been backstage at many burlesque shows as well (by the way … it’s a marvellous place to be!) and so I’ve come up with a few tips which, if you follow them, will make you a stellar burlesque audience member.  And I tell you what – as an audience member, you can make or break a show, so get yourself a wine and read on my sparkly friend!

Dress up – this is for your pleasure as much as the performers.  You can literally NEVER be overdressed at a burlesque show – the sky is the limit – truly.  And that is a very awesome and liberating thing ….  think about it – how many occasions are there that you can indulge your love of sequins, fabulous headwear, glitter, tiaras  and whatever else tickles your fancy?!  PS: there’s quite often a competition for Best Dressed too … so get your fancy on!

Sparkly audience
A party pack of stunners: Mel (The Sweet Painted Lady); Amy (Fabric Forager) and Pixie Rachel (Miss Pixie Twist). Being glamorous audience members since forever!

Good etiquette … yes these girls (and boys) are here to take their clothes off – and don’t worry, they will.  But if you call out obnoxious, drunken and stupid things like  “show us ya *****” they more than likely won’t.   Their job is to tease, tantalise and seduce you – not bust everything out, give it a shake and walk off the stage.  Performers put a great deal of time, thought and effort into their acts, and they don’t need some drunken punter ruining it for them (or the rest of the audience for that matter). Having said that though …

Encourage them! … whoop, holler, whistle, clap, cheer.  There’s NOTHING worse than an audience that sits there politely and doesn’t respond to the performers.  There’s been many a time when I’ve been backstage and heard a performer come off stage, shaking their head ruefully and announcing “tough audience – hard to get them going.”  Honestly, you will get a waaaaay better performance from them if you give them a bit of encouragement and something to play up to!  And don’t be scared about them picking on you if you do that … they’re more likely to pick on you if you don’t!

Gloriousole
The delightful Gloriousole

DO NOT KEEP their things!  If, during their act, you happen to have a costume piece flung at you, or near you – PLEASE for the love of God, DO NOT KEEP IT!  Costume pieces are often handmade, cost a fortune or are difficult/time-consuming to replace.  Costume pieces are an integral part of a performer’s act; a lot of thought and expense goes into them and they need them for the next time they perform.  Performers in New Zealand don’t get paid much – it barely covers their rhinestones – they do it for the love of the performance and they certainly can’t be replacing costume pieces after every performance.  If you do find something; either hand it to the stage kitty, who will be collecting the cast off pieces, or if you can’t do that, hand it to someone behind the bar or to the stage manager.

Amorous Ava
The stunning Amourous Ava – well known for her fantastic costume pieces.

Embrace the inappropriate – burlesque is bawdy, comedic and sexy and it’s R18 for a reason. If you’re easily offended or have no sense of humour, do us all a favour and stay at home! But if you are up for a good night and can roll with the punches and innuendo (and let’s face it, not always just innuendo!) you are gonna have yourself a blast! One of my favourite MC’s, Piotr from Uzbekoslavia  is totally inappropriate and it’s one of my favourite things about him!

Piotr
The brilliant Piotr from Uzbekoslavia

Don’t take photos – a) it’s not your job – there is generally a show photographer hired to do that; b) the flash can distract the performers; c) performers have the right to control photographs of themselves in that situation and d) you’ll enjoy the show more, and annoy people around you less, if you just leave your phone in your bag.

Don’t expect Dita von Teese every time – burlesque is a wonderful, crazy, inclusive world where (mostly) amateur performers get to tease, tantalise and shake their booties a few times a year.  They don’t have big costume budgets like Dita does; they don’t all have perfect bodies (and that’s the fun of it – they’re ordinary people like you and I) and they don’t have time to practice all day, every day.  Burlesque is meant to be spontaneous and fun, and there are often bloopers – and they’re often the most fun parts of the show.  Be kind and enjoy the spectacle – I can tell you, many/most performers are literally a bundle of nerves before they go on stage, where they somehow magically transform into the glamorous, confident performer you see.  Trust.

Ooh la la
Miss Ooh La La Paree – always inspiring.

So that is my guide to how to be a good burlesque audience member.  Hope it’s helpful and remember – support your local performers by heading along to their shows whenever you can. They’re not expensive and you are pretty much guaranteed a fun night of entertainment, sass and the opportunity to dress yourself up to the nines!

Cast
The glamorous, sparkly cast of the Hamilton heat of the 2016 Grand Tease.

So bust out your best burlesque ensemble and hop to it …

Mumpty

 

 

Valen-Tease: a review and poem

Valen-Tease: a review in pictures
(presented via some very poor poetry!)

Valen-Tease lineup

Last night’s Valen-Tease
Really was the bee’s knees
I had a blast – I always do
And here’s my review
Just for you …Oooh la la

Kicking off the show, was Miss Ooh La La Paree
Those glorious legs for all to see
Resplendent she was, in purple and mint
To many an eye, she bought a glint

PG
Next on stage was Pussy Galorrez
Sexy, sparkly and a sight to behold
There was glitter everywhere
And look, it was gold!

Bettsy

Following Pussy was Miss Bettsy Rose Lee
All gingham and boots and laughing with glee
She busted her moves all over the stage
And left us all in a jealous rage (why can’t we dance like that?!)

Christine

Christine the chanteuse took the stage next
The voice of an angel, with style to burn
She left us wishing she’d have another turn
(Which, luckily, she did!)

MisRed

MisRed was on fire
She lit up the scene
The lust and desire
By all could be seen

Frank'n'Twist
Mr B Frank and Pixie Twist form the crazy duo, Frank’n’Twist

Frank’n’Twist opened Act number 2
They’re crazy as hell
But boy, you can tell
This fella totally loves his gal

Galorezz2

Then Pussy came on
And went down to a mirkin
You could see the audience wondering
How that thing was workin’!

Bettsy Boobs
Miss Bettsy Rose Lee
Then sang about boobs
For which, you can tell
She was qualified well!

Cindy_Lights
Miss Chevious Cinders
Was all about lights
A standing ovation
Totally made her night

MisRed2

Closing the show
With all that she had
Was the stunning MisRed
And wow, she was rad

Pixie Twist was our MC
She did it with style
Totes inappropro at times
Which caused many to smile

The audience battled with assels galore
Best audience ever on that score for sure!

And that was my night
You can tell I had fun
I’m SUCH a bad poet
But now it’s all done
(And you won’t have to read any more!)

Special thanks to: Alyson, April and Sonia for handling the sound and lighting (and lots of other stuff!); the shy and reserved Obsidian and the beautiful Miss Scarlett Soiree for their wonderful stage kittying antics; Miss Chevious Cinders for being Door Dolly and as always, amazing photography by David Rowe Photography, with second shooter Nick Von Deursen Photography.   And of course, big congratulations to Crazy Diamond’s producers, Miss Ooh La La Paree and Miss Bettsy Rose Lee – ably assisted  by the wonderful Azure D’Murre.

And, because I can, here is a blurry photo of me and my divine friend Allysa, who was a burlesque noobie – and who loved every minute of it!

AllysaMe

Valentines hearts and flowers (and boobs and butts!)

Mumpty

Happy birthday little blog!

Happy 1st Birthday little bloggy!Birthday

Wow … so it’s been a year since I finally got my act together, stopped procrastinating and started a little blog called MumptyStyle.com.

Having MumptyStyle has bought some fabulous people and lots of new knowledge and experiences into my life and I’m very grateful for that.  Having a blog is a lot more work than I expected, but also a lot more fun!

So for this little Happy Birthday post I’ve decided to do a quick prize-giving.  A prize-giving you ask?  Yes – a prize-giving.  So, without further ado, here goes:

Most read post EVER
Goes to: A week in the life of The Danger Doll

Bonita_TV

Most popular series
Goes to: Pinup December (followed closely by the Pinup Platoon interviews)

Person I’ve interviewed who has the most Instagram followers
Goes to: The Cherry Dollface

TudorGeek_CherryDollface

Most honest and raw interview ever
Goes to: Scarring, seams & self love: the life & times of Willow Noir

Post I think is the most ridiculous but that had a lot of readers
Goes to: Fifty makeup-py-like things to do with a cotton bud

The person who put the most INCREDIBLE amount of time and effort into our interview 
Goes to: Joanne Gair

MumptyStyle Joanne Gair MAC 2
Joanne Gair – body painter to the stars

Mumpty’s favourite piece of fiction
Goes to: The story of the china doll

Interview with a super-model
Goes to: Kylie Bax

Kylie Bax MumptyStyle

Most linked-to person on my blog
Goes to: Miss Victory Violet

Photographer whose images have featured most
Goes to: David Rowe (see below – with Dirty Martini!)

Funniest burlesque performer to meet in real life
Goes to: Dirty Martini

David and Dirty
David Rowe doing who-knows-what with Dirty Martini!


Most supportive and active contributor to ideas for my blog

Goes to: Miss Monique Sweet

Person who inadvertently gave me the kick in the butt I needed to start my blog
Goes to: Kirsty Leigh of Makeup Obsessives

An interview I absolutely love
Goes to: The Grand Dame of New Zealand burlesque

MumptyStyle Miss Chevious Cinders
Blog post I’m most proud of (other than some of my interviews)
Goes to: Are apps and Photoshop ruining your self-esteem without you even knowing it?

Post that revived an old friendship
Goes to: Inspirational women: Carissa Ludlow

Person always willing to help out/feature/contribute
Goes to: Nat Hugill/Lilly Loca

Lilly Loca

Weirdest interview
Goes to: My (faux) interview with Marilyn Monroe

MumptyStyle Marilyn Monroe
First (and only!) bachelorette party I’ve reviewed
Goes to: A burlesquin’ bachelorette bash (Miss Bettsy Rose Lee)

Best photo
Goes to: Ginger Watson – because that red dress, babe and infectious smile:

Ginger Watson

Person who (I think!) reads every post:
Goes to: my Mum!  And if anyone else does, let me know – I’d be very excited!

And really I could go on and on (and so often do!) … so I will end this post by saying thank you so much to all of those who read my little MumptyStyle.

I hope you enjoy it even half as much as I do!

Marilyn

 

 

 

 

 

 

Love and birthday candles  …

Mumpty

 

Sartorial secrets: Bettie Rage

Sartorial Secrets: behind the scenes
at Miss Pinup NZ 2015Bettie Rage 

Crown-Bettie
Bettie Rage wearing her Miss Pinup NZ 2015 crown and sash – image by David Michael Photography

 (If this is the first post you’ve read in Sartorial Secrets, click here to find out the background behind the series.)

Next up in the Miss Pinup NZ Sartorial Secrets series is Miss Pinup NZ 2015 herself, the sassy and terribly, terribly sexy, Bettie Rage!   Read on to find out her sartorial secrets …

Where did you source your items (including shoes, handbags, accessories etc?) 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?  My day dress was an amazing vintage find on Etsy – I snagged it a year ago and have been waiting a year to wear it! It’s a Helen of California slight wiggle dress in the most amazing pineapple tropical print.

Bettie Rage Daywear
The gorgeous Bettie Rage in her daywear dress – image by David Rowe Photography.

My talent coveralls were custom-made by Danielle from Devel Branded and were based on the coveralls in Bomb Girls.

My amazing evening gown was created by the very talented Curvy Couture by Judy Dee.  I gave her my idea based on two images; one being the black gown worn by Rosemary Clooney during her “Love, you didn’t do right by me” in White Christmas and the other of Dita Von Teese at the Met Gala this year. I basically wanted the finished product to be the love child of the two gowns and that is exactly how it turned out!  Perfect.

Beach wear … oh the playsuit!  Another Judy Dee creation from photos only.  I wanted a playsuit with a removable peek-a-boo skirt.  The idea stemmed from the gorgeous piece worn by Joan Blackman in Blue Hawaii.  Judy had the most amazing tropical fabric and as soon as I saw it I knew it was the perfect pattern for the playsuit and skirt!

Bettie Rage Beachwear
Bettie Rage in her beachwear ensemble – custom-made by Judy Dee – image by Glory Days Magazine

What accessories did you wear and how/why did you choose them?
Beachwear: I topped the ensemble off with the green triple orchid hair slide and my custom hand-painted hibiscus flower by Pop That Cassette.
Evening gown: I accessorised the gown with my Nana’s jewelled necklace, given to her by my Poppa many years ago, and handmade diamante hair slide to add that extra lil’ bit of sparkle.
Talent: I wanted a very “Rosie the Riveter” look, so I teamed the coveralls with a gingham bandana.
Day wear: I accessorised it with my Nana’s vintage pearls, my Great Aunts ladies gold watch from the 30s (my Great Uncle gave it to her), a vintage cane handbag I purchased from the lovely Melanie Freeman.  The ensemble was topped off with the double pink lily hair flowers by Sophisticated Hair Flowers.

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 definitely accessorised after the fact. I found the base item and then built it up from there and wanted to incorporate as many of my heirlooms as possible. My little good luck charms as it were.

What was already in your wardrobe and what items did you buy expressly for Miss Pinup NZ?
I purchased them all specifically with MPUNZ in mind and the idea that I could wear them after the pageant.

Did your outfits require shape wear?
I wore my Rago girdle under my day dress to cinch in my waist a little.

Who made your custom outfits?
As mentioned earlier, Curvy Couture by Judy Dee and Devel Branded.

Bettie Rage - evening wear
Bettie Rage in her custom-designed evening gown by Judy Dee – image by Glory Days Magazine.

Is there anything you’d change about your outfits?
Nothing! They were absolutely perfect for what I wanted. I loved every second of wearing them and still do. I loved wearing original vintage and custom-made outfits by some very talented New Zealand women.

Can you tell me about your hair and makeup? (Ed note: Miss Pinup contestants must do their own hair and makeup.)
I made sure the initial style of my hair was easy to adjust throughout the competition for each section.  I wanted my hair to be a little different for each part of the competition.

Are there any “back stories” you have about your outfits/ special meanings/came from your grandmother/begged, borrowed or stolen?!
Almost all of my accessories were from my heirloom collection. They are items my Nana has given me over the years that I am so proud to have.  I really feel that these pieces of jewellery should be seen and worn and not just hidden away in a box, never to see the light of day again.

How did you pick your talent? How much research went into it? Did you make your own props?
Oh my, the talent!

I have to say a huge thank you to one of my darling friends for planting the seed (you know who you are) and my amazing better half and man-thing, Zane, for helping me find the best way to complete the talent in two minutes!  With him being a very talented mechanic I was able to gain new skills, all the while spending time with him.  Win-win!  Another special thank you goes to my boss, Tom Andrews for helping me find, trusting me with and lending me the perfect motorbike for my talent.

Bettie_talent
Bettie Rage performing her Rosie the Riveter-inspired talent. Image by Glory Days Magazine.

Would you do it all again?
It was a lot of effort, time, stress and my everything put into one long day!  I would love to do it again but because of the surreal ending to this year’s pageant I am on top of the world and want to stay here on this high for as long as possible!  I hope that I can pave the way for more of our stunning pinup dolls to join me up here!

What was your favourite part about the competition?
Hanging out with all the babes backstage!  I loved the camaraderie we shared and that we helped each other when we could.

What did you learn from participating in Miss Pinup NZ 2015?
Set a goal and go for it – never doubt yourself for a second and surround yourself with people who are truly beautiful inside; those who support each other no matter what.

Thank you Bettie Rage – I’ve loved hearing your inspiration behind the beautiful ensembles you wore, and it’s really special that you got to wear your Nana’s jewellery too.  Congratulations again on being our Miss Pinup NZ for 2015 – I can’t wait to see what you do during  your reign.  

(To read other contestant’s Sartorial Secrets, click here.)

Love, sashes and sparkly crowns …

Mumpty

 

In the audience at Dirty Martini …

In the audience at
Miss Dirty Martini …

Dirty Martini
All images by David Rowe Photography

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!

Cab Royale poster
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?!

Felicity
The glorious MC Felicity Frockaccino

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!

Felicity 2The 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.

Gorgeous Glamiltonians
The Gorgeous Glamiltonians.

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:

The Pocket Rocket – Miss Ooh La La Paree.

Ooh La La
Ms Ooh La La Paree.

The fabulous Miss Ruby Spice – captured here in one of my favourite Ruby “bustin’ a move” moments! Ruby Spice

One of my long-time, super-sexy favourites, Azure D’Murre.

Azure
Azure D’Murre

And my magnificent friend and burlesque madam, Ms Tittle Tattle.

Ms Tittle Tattle
Ms Tittle Tattle, in quite possibly the sparkliest gown I’ve ever seen!

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!

Cherry Lashes
Miss Cherry Lashes – gold!

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?!)

Leggy Luna Lucy
Leggy Luna Lucy.

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!

Sadie
Sadie. Believe me ladies, you would NOT hire this woman!

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!)

Galorezz
Pussy Galorezz – and is that Felicity Frockaccino’s glass dangerously left there on the stage I spy?!

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!

Cupcake
Miss Bettsy Rose Lee in her Cupcake Odyssey.

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.

Cards
Cherie D’Bauche

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**

Swan

My only complaint?  We needed MORE DIRTY!

Dirty 2

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.

Curtain Call
The curtain call …

Well done to Miss Mollie Tov who did a wonderful job of being the Stage Kitty, and to the Door Dollies, Miss Chevious Cinders and Pixie Twist.

And … one of my favourite pics from the evening – yes, that is David Rowe, our trusty photographer, with the one and only Miss Dirty Martini!  What IS he doing?!

David and Dirty

Love and totally inappropriate swans …

Mumpty

 

 

Pinup December: Pixie Twist

Pinup December – Pixie Twist

MumptyStyle Pixie Twist
Image by David Rowe Photography

Aaaaah … “The Pixie!”  This petite performer has burst onto the Glamilton burlesque (and beyond!) scene this year in a big way.  She is controversial, sultry and sexy and I’m very pleased to have her here on Pinup December.

What Pixie Twist is most proud of this year … (in her own words) “This year I am most proud of the standing ovation I received when I performed my **** (word that Mumpty doesn’t use on her blog, rhyming with “hunt”!) routine at Crazy Diamond Burlesque. I’m always nervous about that routine because its theme hits close to home and can push people’s buttons, so I’m never convinced that people will “get it.”  To receive that kind of support was beyond humbling. I had a wee cry backstage afterwards!”

I’m also really proud that I was asked to perform with The Pretty Things Peepshow in Glamilton during their NZ tour. I debuted a new routine, busted out an old favourite and had an amazing time!”

Pixie Twist’s Christmas memories … “My favourite Christmas memory is of my Grandma. It was the last Christmas we had together before she died and she had been really sick – but even when she wasn’t well she was always impeccably presented. I got some of those silly “shutter shades”  as a joke present and she put them on and got totally trolleyed- with her hair set all perfectly and her fancy threads on!  My Grandma could make anything look stylish!”

Pixie Twist’s charity of choice … Mastiff Breeds Rescue and Rehome Charitable Trust.

Join Pixie Twist on Facebook: click here.

AND DON’T FORGET … you can get 15% off your purchase at Flo Foxworthy Costumier from now until the end of the year – just enter the code mumpty at checkout. 

Love …

Mumpty

 

The mystery of why six girls ended up on a beach in the middle of nowhere

The mystery of why six girls ended up on a beach together in the middle of nowhere …

MumptyStyle Six Girls on a BeachOn a warm, yet blustery summer’s day on one of New Zealand’s remote beaches, a very strange thing occurred …  six girls, from entirely separate worlds and entirely separate periods of time, ended up together on that beach – and none of them knew why they were there.  So to try and solve the mystery, they discussed with each other where they’d been and what they’d been doing prior to their unexpected meetup … 

The last Ruby Spice (furtherest on the left) remembers, she was hanging out at a milkbar with her friends – dancing, smoking, chasing boys and riding round in cars.  It was 1952 and she was having the time of her life; not least because the coolest guy in town had just confessed his undying devotion to her – although that did help!

On that particular day in 2016, Ruthita Venus (2nd from the left), had been practicing her hoola-hooping.  She was determined to become a “hooping megastar” and surprise her workmates at their upcoming Christmas function. She had just changed out of her hooping gear and was off to meet an ex-boyfriend to discuss custody of their pet pig, Clooney, when she disappeared.

Ms La Rue (aka Mumpty) (white petticoat) had been catapulted to the beach from her happy life in 1529.  A noblewoman of King Henry VIII’s court, Ms La Rue had been in the midst of being dressed by her maidservant and would under no circumstances have left her chamber in that state of undress had she had a choice in the matter.  She wasn’t even laced in properly, and her hair hadn’t been styled for goodness sake!

Dolly D’Ville (third from the right) was a mortician from London’s Whitechapel district – it was 1888 and she was on her way to collect the third of Jack the Ripper’s victims,  Elizabeth Stride, when she disappeared.  Dolly was particularly disturbed about her disappearance as she had been rather looking forward to seeing Jack’s latest work; she had learned a lot about human anatomy from him and it was a field she felt she was destined to be very, very good at.

Michelle (second from right) was plucked from her role as the life and soul of a party held at the home of  Billy Minsky, the King of Burlesque.  It was 1924 and Michelle, who was often known as Ms Tittle Tattle, had attended the party with Mae Dix, one of Minsky’s top burlesque performers.  They’d had a blast for a while demonstrating their tassel-twirling skills to the eager crowd, but Michelle had become bored of that and had wandered up to the mezannine floor to overlook the pool and cool off when she disappeared.

Miss Monique Sweet (furtherest on the right) was the only girl to have actually been on a beach when she disappeared.  A “flower child” of the 60’s; Miss Sweet lived in a house bus and travelled around California with her boyfriend – he earned money as a tattoo artist and she as a still-life model.  At the time of her disappearance, Miss Sweet was attending a beach party to celebrate being chosen for the cover of the Beach Boy’s latest album.

So what did these women have in common?  The only thing they could identify was that they were all burlesque girls.  And what bought them together that day?  It appears that a highly secretive, clandestine group of photographers from the year 2098 had chosen this eclectic group of women in order to take photographs for an exhibition.  Using 2098 technology, they chose their subjects based on certain physical, mental and social characteristics, and then tele-transported them to the remote beach via time warp. 

And what was the point of the exhibition?  Well thank you for asking.  The point of the exhibition was to demonstrate how women used to be – tall, short, slender, curvy, red-haired, blonde, green-eyed; brown-eyed; pale-skinned; olive-skinned.  You see, sadly in 2098, all women looked very much the same – technology was readily available that enabled them to “edit themselves” so as to meet the standards of the “perfect woman” – as defined by the media.  Subsequently, they were all tall, thin with glowing white smiles, long limbs and a tiny waist; long, thick hair and pert bottoms and breasts.  Sounds good in theory, right?  But there were murmerings of unrest; women wanted variety, they wanted to stand out and to look different; they wanted freckles and round tummies; they wanted to challenge the norm … 

This clandestine group of photographers had read about a long-forgotten and magical dance art known as burlesque and they wanted to know more.  They’d heard that these “burlesque women” celebrated their curves and didn’t try to edit them away or cover them up; in fact, they accentuated them and showed them off.  They wanted to see these exotic creatures in real life; to know more; and to photograph them …

What really happened?
A bunch of Glamilton’s burlesque girls met up with a group of photographers at Ruapuke Beach in Raglan, NZ and took crazy and beautiful photos!  Inevitably, the session ended with jazz hands!

Here are some more pics from that wonderful day on the beach …MumptyStyle Michelle_Sam

Dolly D’Ville and Ms Tittle Tattle dancing in the water!  Photo by David Rowe Photography.

MumptyStyle MonSweetMiss Monique Sweet – photo by Tom Martin.

MumpytStyle Ms Tittle TattleMs Tittle Tattle – photo by Tom Martin.

MumptyStyle MumptyMumpty – photo by Tom Martin.

MumptyStyle Ruby SpiceRuby Spice – photo by Tom Martin.

MumtpyStyle RuthitaRuthita Venus – photo by David Rowe Photography.

MumptyStyle Dolly D'VilleDolly D’Ville – photo by Dave Curran.

As you can see – it was a fab day!

Did you like my random story?  If so, you can find a couple more here and here.

Enjoy …

Mumpty

 

That frock

That frock …

That frock … oh, that frock!

Truly deserving of a post all of her own, she is reverently referred to by me as “The Ava” and she makes my little heart flutter!

MumptyStyle The Ava

Sadly, The Ava doesn’t even belong to me – if she did, she’d hold prime position in my wardrobe – in fact, I’d probably purchase a mannequin and display her in my bedroom.  The Ava is in fact, a “hire frock” at the Hamilton Operatic Society’s garment hire facility.  As such, she spends the majority of her life squeezed into the rack of frocks under the “50’s category.”  Funnily enough however, The Ava is not even a vintage 50’s frock, she’s an 80’s reproduction of a vintage 50’s frock; but that doesn’t make me love her any the less!

Having been around for over 30 years, and being the style she is, I like to believe The Ava has enjoyed quite a fancy and refined lifestyle.  I’ve worn her on two occasions – once for a photo shoot at Pukemiro and secondly for a calendar shoot – each time she made me feel like a princess.  The funny thing about The Ava is that she’s really not even that flattering on me; her ruching doesn’t flatter my waist, and her cut doesn’t flatter my bust.  But it doesn’t seem to matter – I still love everything about her.

Miss March - Classics Car Musuem

If asked to explain what it is about The Ava I love so much, I think I’d have to say her allure lies in the combination of her fabric (a gorgeous black chiffon-like material with a large silvery-white check running through it) and the fullness of her skirt, which is where the princess feeling comes in.

I think too, that the magic intrinsic in The Ava for me, can also be attributed to the fact that each time I’ve worn her, it’s been for an exciting occasion.  The photo shoot at Pukemiro was the first one I ever did; I was petrified, and it was one of the most awesome days I’ve had in a long time!  The second time was for a Pinup Calendar (see Miss March above) and that too, was a fabulous day spent with some awesome and creative women.

Pukemiro
Another photo at Pukemiro – this time by Spark Photography!

So if you’re ever at the Hamilton Operatic Society, pop over to the 50’s category and admire her … and if you do get an opportunity to bedeck yourself in The Ava, please be careful – she’s my favourite 50/80’s girl!

MumptyStyle The Ava
Photo by Tiffany Curtis Photography – this is a cropped version of the original, but approved by Tiffany!

Love …

Mumpty