Feature: Burlesque is more
It's a passion, an emotion, it's a fashion - Burlesque. In the 1800s, burlesque would have meant some form of theatrical or musical entertainment with a parodic hilarity intended to make the audience take great delight in the mockery of its participants. This type of entertainment has over the years been given a new lease of life, evolving somewhat into a visually provocative yet stunning show now known as Neo-Burlesque (or New Burlesque) where there is more focus on the tease rather than the strip aspect of a striptease. This has therefore opened the door for costume designers to create new and exciting ensembles that are sexy and glamorous but packed with attitude.
One femme fatale whom has carved a career out of the "tease" is the appropriately named and ever-enticing Dita von Teese, whom is believed to have helped re-popularize burlesque.
Dita has been somewhat of a figurehead of modern burlesque for awhile and encompasses the key aspects of the trend in her own daily wardrobe. Mixing sequined corsets, silk gloves, feather boas and diamante sparkle with moulded leathers, metal chains and buckles showing the striking contrast of rough with the smooth.
Frequently dubbed the "Queen of Burlesque" in the media, Dita began burlesque dancing in 1992 and has already dominated the scene for her elaborate performances and striking sense of style. She has a keen interest in fashion and has appeared on a number of best-dressed lists in her time. Her style is somewhat reflective of designers she herself favours, particularly Jean Paul Gaultier, Vivienne Westwood, Christian Dior and Marc Jacobs.
Due to becoming somewhat of an alternative style icon herself, Dita has now turned her own hand to fashion design adding yet another string to her already full bow of talents by designing a tailored bra with Wonderbra and her own clothing and underwear range called Von Follies, which brings her own personal and unique touch to dressing up. Burlesque style is much more mainstream now, influencing both the fashion and movie industry showing it does not need to be kept behind closed doors.
Christina Aguilera is another one of the key people to bring burlesque to the forefront of society's attention, this time on the silver screen. Moulin Rouge and Burlesque being two films to convey this seductive world of glitz and glamour, with a touch of controlled sexuality where women are in control.
Costume desginer Michael Kaplan is the creative force behind the collection of outfits found in the 2010 film Burlesque and his choices were not by accident. He wanted to bring the world alive however still make it believable for the audience.
Kaplan ensured that the bold, somewhat radical, costumes were a staple part of the film, playing a prominent role of their own. He expressed that "he wanted Christina to kind of look like a dessert. There's feathers, there's satin, and she's all pink and peach and adorable. Like some kind of sorbet."
It was this delicious luxurious feel that made the film brim with authentic style and substance as Kaplan still paid homage to the long history of burlesque shows with his own futuristic spin in places, keeping true to his revolutionary vision of clothing from previous films such as Blade Runner.
"Chameleon Christina" sings and shakes her stuff in this musical film sporting a variety of burlesque inspired outfits to make an impact on the audience. We salute her acting debut and for making burlesque as enticing as ever. It's a life, it's a style, it's a need, it's Burlesque.