I see Dita Von Teese is everywhere. I spotted this trend a while ago. Truly, I have my finger on the pulse. If you’ve seen me, before you say anything, just because I know what’s in fashion doesn’t mean I have to wear it. I don’t have the bosom for a corset and I’m too short for a voluminous skirt (do I hear you say toilet roll cover?).
Burlesque is an American idiom, and I don’t think the British have ever really understood it. We are a nation of Sunday afternoon pub strippers (Piper Club, Prince’s Avenue, Hull, I salute both you and the somewhat disturbing turns you entertained me with while I was trying to have lunch), not extravagantly choreographed strip teases that climax with a turn in a giant Martini glass, complete with olive sponge. I think even if we did try to do this, it would end up with the poor girl having to cavort in a pint glass with a football.
Russ Meyer chose his [cough] actresses from the burlesque stage – Barbara Windsor, a former chorus girl, was hardly the UK equivalent of Tura Satana. Statana describes the burlesque community as being like a second family: one can hardly imagine the administration of Raymond’s Revue Bar being quite as accommodating.
The Suicide Girls (caution! not suitable for a workplace!) have taken the tradition to an entirely new and weirder dimenson, by dint of having pierced, alterna-Goth go-go girls (which you can collect on their website, a bit like Pokemon) instead of the traditional pneumatic variety. They’re just peeping up over the parapet of the mainstream at the moment, but you can already see their kinky influence in the perfectly dreadful, undernourished Pussycat Dolls. Don’t ‘Cha? Frankly, no, I don’t. My money’s on the Suicide Girls as the Next Big Thing, although they will probably have to put some more clothes on.
We’re all going to be taken on a crash course in burlesque this winter. If I were cynical, I’d say it’s because Von Teese and Manson want to sell their wedding photos to as many magazines as possible, and they won’t do that unless UK readers know who the hell they are and what Von Teese actually does for a living. However, I’m sure their wedding is going to be far more interesting than Jordan and Andre’s hideous pink Cinderella coach affair.
Update: ooh, there’s me told. We have our own home-grown Dita Von Teese, Immodesty Blaize. One can exercise one’s common sense and safely assume that this site is not safe for any other workplace than mine. On the other hand, her shows apparently contain no singing or nudity… Ms Blaize appears to be more Blackpool than Las Vegas, but never mind. I think the UK just doesn’t have the climate or the cuisine for this type of nonsense.