As I unravelled my exquisitely styled hair (Alex Wand sure did groom us to perfection), carefully peeled away the elaborate Eyelure false lashes that my friend Helen had so delicately applied, and baby wiped the remnants of my rouge lipstick, I felt complete and utter serenity when reflecting on the lovely evening that had been enjoyed by all. Burlesque in the Blitz could not have gone more perfectly, and I can’t wait to tell you all what happened.
Upon arriving at Blue with a bare face and casual hair, Alex Wand, a southern hair stylist that has recently relocated to Liverpool, worked her magic and transformed my loose blonde locks into a retro accessory all of their own. Within moments of scooping and manouvering small sections, Alex managed to create an elegant up do that was loose and sexy but secure for my performance. Keeping to the 1940s theme, she included lots of swirls and loops at the front and sides and gathered the remainder of my hair into a sweet little bun at the side. A friend of the Pillbox Vintage ladies, Alex is such a lovely girl with a good sense of humour, and I would recommend her to anyone that is looking for an extra special style. (And for any students that may be reading, her prices are very reasonable too!)
With help and reassurance from the Canary Cage’s Kelly, we welcomed our acts as they arrived and began to chat away as well all squeezed to find a spot in the nearby mirrors. Having reserved us a lovely section of the venue with a chic curtain divide, the stockings and bras that flew around the place were carefully concealed from prying eyes.
First to arrive was the lovely Twinkle Starr, a burlesque dancer who’s chic style has resulted in her upcoming appearances in seasons of Britain’s Got Talent and Got to Dance. She was here to perform her Nazi Spy act, and obliged cheerily as I enquired about how she got into the burlesque scene (by ‘enquired’ I mean sought advice and guidance eagerly)!
A little while later came the cheeky Gem de la Creme. After meeting her outside and proceeding to take her downstairs to the venue, the ice was instantantly broken as I fell flat onto my knees after having missed the bottom few steps. (I’m fairly positive that any of you know me well will have a hilarious visual. For those of you that don’t, this is the kind of CLASSIC situation I manage to land myself in all the time). Whether it was down to this moment or not I could not tell you, but my evening with Gem was full of laughs galore and I really enjoyed her company.
Amidst the chaos of performers getting ready upstairs, our models and 1940s starlets began greeting guests downstairs. Clad in the finest Pillbox Vintage garments, they added to the blitz atmosphere and were on hand to serve with a smile.
With moments to spare, the beautiful Heather Marie arrived in time to start the show in style. After I had welcomed the audience and told them all about CoppaFeel! and founder Kristin’s journey, she brought her bubbly persona and warm aura to a smooth and soulful performance. Performing 1940s classics, she set the tone for the entire evening, and by the end of her sweetly sung numbers everyone in the room had been transported to times gone by. Heather is truly lovely girl with a voice to die for.
Next up came Gem de la Creme who was premiering her Landgirl routine. Taking to the stage in a navy boiler suit, she performed a playful skit that began with her watering some flowers and naughtily splashing herself. Pretty soon Gem was embracing her curves and had teased us all the way down to a tiny pair of knickers and a pair of nipple tassles. She really encouraged all of us to love our bodies.
Following these lovely ladies was Twinkle Starr and her ‘Nazi Spy’ routine – a cheeky number in which she stripped off her swastica clad costumes to reveal that she was secretly on the other side of the battle. She finished her routine with a jazzy rendition of ‘We’ll Meet Again’.
Before we knew it the interval had arrived, leaving myself, Kelly and Lisa with only moments to spare before our performances! After a quick costume change and a lot of 7up (we were wild up there, weren’t we?) we welcomed the Swingaroo Sisters who had travelled from Preston to be with us and headed downstairs for their performances.
Clad in beige military skirt-suits, complete with adorable army hats, the ladies belted out a number of war-time tunes and their impeccable harmonies were true to their claim of as being ‘tight as a girdle’. Energising the crowds, they performed old time war favourites and mixed it up with modern numbers such as Christina Aguilera’s Candyman.
Drum roll please… It was time for Lucky Eustace and Goldie Daly to take the stage for the penultimate performance. Lisa and I, having used a complicated burlesque-name-finder that we could never possibly reveal, fanned our feathers and strutted our stuff to a little Dita Von Teese number.
Finishing the show with sass and class was everyone’s favourite American export Kelly Jenkins. With a beautiful rendition of ‘I’ll Be Seeing You’, Kelly even managed to bring a little bit of The Notebook to the evening, which incidentally mirrored Kristin’s interview answer of citing Ryan Gosling (aka Noah) as her dream husband!
And now for a very long thank you list…
·Katy and Nadia Moussaada at Pillbox Vintage for a coffee that turned into a brainstorm!
·Kelly at the Canary Cage for all of her help in finding our burlesque acts and providing technical assistance on the evening – don’t forget her Jingle Belles extravaganza on Tuesday 7th December.
·Nicki from Off My Cake for providing delectable treats that tantalised the taste buds of all present.
·Lisa McNicholas and Kelly Jenkins for bravely selling their souls in the name of CoppaFeel!
·Alex Wand for providing all of our acts with electric hairstyles and a few giggles along the way.
·Emma Huckerby and Helen Weatherhead for so gracefully and glamorously attending to their front of house duties.
·Jess Akino for her expertise in the make-up and cosmetics.
·Danielle Caveney and Paul McEvoy for bringing their ravishing good looks and impeccable style to enrich the atmosphere of the evening.
·Sarah Smith for her innate retro beauty and charming way with the guests.
·And finally to Kristin Hallenga, founder of CoppaFeel!, without who’s incredibly catchy charity ideals we may never have been able to confabulate such an extravagant evening.
Thank you so much to all of our friends and family who were in attendance, and I hope very much that we see you at more of the events!
Please remember to spread awareness for www.coppafeel.org!
Here’s what the PRESS had to say about Burlesque in the Blitz…
9th November 2010
CoppaFeel’s official Facebook fan page – many thanks to Kristen.
10th November 2010
Burlesque in the Blitz on CoppaFeel!
Liverpool Magazine Online
10th November 2010
LSMedia, the University of Liverpool’s student magazine
11th November 2010
The Canary Cage
11th November 2010
17th November 2010
Liverpool Daily Post – Girls Behaving Stylishly
19th November 2010
It’s BIGGER than Hip-Hop Radio
23rd November 2010
Listen live to this radio show by Kieran Flynn and Lorenzo Squire every Monday from 2-3pm
The University of Liverpool’s LGoS Daily
24th November 2010
Due to feature in January 2011
Vintage Life Magazine
Due to feature in January 2011