Thursday, November 5, 2015

A headdress in a week.

     I got married at the beginning of October so the months leading up to the Halloween show we had planned was full of wedding preparations, not show prep. I had a song planned and I had just retired an act that I created a lovely costume for so I decided to buy a cape and some horns from eBay and worry about it once I got home. It took me much longer to get back in the groove then expected and next thing I knew I found myself with some floppy horns, a cape completely different then what I had ordered, and one week till the show! I decided the least I could do was figure out how to make the horns cool. These are the steps I made.

     1- First you have to gather base        supplies.
• A wire head frame- I'm very lucky to have a guy that makes my wire frames so I don't have to worry about that step. They are available from many headdress places and eBay, but you can alway fashion your own with some bailing wire (something thick but not too thick to bend) some soldering and some elbo grease.

• buckram, medium weight- it can be found at most fabric stores or EBay 

• Thick thread or twine and a needle.- it can be found at any craft store *make sure it's thin enough to thread it through a common sized needle head*

• Hot glue gun- can be found at any craft store. *low temp is best since you'll need to fold material with your fingers*

• Scissors- if your reading this you should have these. Don't use fabric scissors on your buckram! It will dull the immediately!

• Fabric for covering- I used some scraps from other costumes I had made. Very little is needed, maybe half a yard at most. Stretchy fabric is easier to work with and you have less chance of wrinkles also.

• A sharpie or marker of some sort.

     2- Now the very first thing I do (which is very unconventional) is take the buckram and fold it into the frame and trace around it by section. That gives me basic shapes to work with. Then cut the shapes out on the outside of the marker lines. That will help give you a bit more material to work with just incase your tracings aren't perfect. I'm not very technical or mathematical with any of this.

     3- Take those shapes of buckram and place them on the under side of the section you traced it from and sew it to the wire with your twine or thread. This does not at all need to be a neat job just make sure it's solid when you finish (aka you can't put your fingers in any holes) Repeat until the entire thing is covered in buckram. This will give you space to build off of and will add some stability to the over all headdress. Large feather headdress frames end up with a vertical wire to help with stability of the feathers. This particular one I won't be using a lot of feathers. 

     4- Next heat up your glue gun and get your fabric out, it's time to cover it! Since buckram is a pain to hand sew I prefer to glue all of my fabric down. I start this process by laying the fabric over the wire and cutting a large square around it, I'm sure there are easier more efficient ways but this works for me. I start normally in front (the important part) and work my way back by gluing the fabric to the underside while making sure there aren't any wrinkles. I pull the fabric tight and fold the fabric over the edge and glue. I smooth out the edges by pressing the hot glue flat with the fabric. You will have some lumps on the corners from over lapping the fabric and hot glue. Make sure you bend your wires to compensate before adding your decorations on top. 

On mine I did a double layer. The bottom layer being red sequins (non stretch) and the top layer being black lace (all way stretch). 

I also don't line my headdresses. I have them custom made to fit very snug.

     5- gather decoration supplies! This can be whatever your heart desires. For this particular headdress I got foam horns  from eBay (easier to work with and lightweight) and flowers and feathers from hobby lobby (we only have commercial craft stores in town) and I had some leftover rhinestones from a older project to jazz up the horns a bit and give the flowers a bit of sparkle. 

     6- Before I get all happy with the glue I need to figure out what my overall look is going to be by laying out all of my decorations in different ways. That way I don't get half way in and realize I don't have enough supplies or I don't care for the layout. This was my final decision.
Now. This is just a guideline. I ended up taking out one tall feather and moving two to the inside of the horns to fill up some space. 

      7- I started with gluing the horns, my main focal point. I needed them to be as similar as possible In placement. Then I added the flowers. I switched the big open flowers to the center and the smaller to the outsides so it would frame my face better. I wanted this headdress to look as flush to my skin as possible.

      8- then comes the feathers. I placed the side feathers with ease but with no wire support I needed to find a way to give the middle feathers enough support to stand on their own. So, I took a piece of buckram that fit the area between the horns on the back of the front flowers and layered the feathers from tallest on bottom to shortest on top. Once they were all glued very securely on the buckram I took my glue gun and saturated the bottom of the feathers and pressed them onto the back of the flowers. I then individually pressed the petals into the glue to make sure it's nice and secured. Once it was dry I double checked my feathers to make sure they weren't going anywhere. By using the buckram I ended up with a big white square on the back of my headdress, and I can't go for that. So I took a piece of a marabou boa I had laying about and glued it to the back hiding the white.

     9- jeweling and beading. I just used leftover rhinestones so it wasn't as encrusted as my normal costume pieces are but still had enough sparkle for stage. Once I was done with that I added some bead strands so cover my ears and to finish off framing my face. It is now show ready!! 

Terrible home shot of the finished piece. 
A stage shot from a friend with full make up. 
      (Photo by Visible sin photography)

Thank you all for all the compliments and questions about this! I really pushed my time limits with this one and I couldn't be happier with the results! Until next time!!

�������� Doris Night

Saturday, September 5, 2015

What is pin up?

     Tomorrow I'm heading out with my girls to do a little act for a fundraiser that is also holding a pin up contest. That got me thinking... What exactly is pin up? 
     I'm really picky when it comes to pin up. I know there are some really particular things that can really make or brake the look. Now since pin up has been around forever and has taken many forms I know anything from a girl on the side of an air plane to the centerfold in the newest playboy can be considered pin up. The definition is:
   •a poster showing a famous person or sex symbol, designed to be displayed on a wall. a person shown in a pinup 
     So I need to explain. I'm talking the 40's 50's woman. The housewife to the sex kitten. Victory roll, cat eye, red lipped pin up. Artists like Vargas and elvgren really took the women of their day and gave us ladies something to strive towards! The hair, the make up, the stockings!! 
          (Painting by Gil elvgren)

    I was one of the girls that finally took the pin up plunge during the last resurgence of the retro look. I, like most ladies, have always loved that classic look. I waited so long because I thought it would be impossible. I didn't have the classic face and I couldn't do my hair or make up to save my life. Even the simple cat eye eluded me.  When I got the courage to start buying cherry and leopard print things I also started attempting hair and make up. It took years and I still feel there's more I could do to actually look pin up. But enough of my rambling! Here's a few tips I hold dear when It comes to being a pin up. 

    •You must find YOUR kind of cat eye!! 
Each person has a different shaped eye. Some have more lid some have none. Some eyes are closer together and others are farther apart. Some are bigger some are smaller! All of this comes in play when it comes to finding your cat eye. Now I'm not a make up artist so j cannot tell you what would be best for you but for me (when I do my make up) I don't go to the very inside I start mid lid and normally I use a thicker line. I also don't put too much dark under my eyes because I have small eyes and it tends to make them smaller. 

     •Figure out what hairstyles work for you and your face shape. I know victory rolls look so lovely on some ladies but if you have a larger forehead it can result in making your face even longer. Also there are certain styles you need a certain hair length to do. I'm a huge fan of sponge rollers (wet to dry set overnight) then brushed and shaped to my preferred style. I also like to do some type to victory roll or front roll and then clip In some kind of ponytail. Both of these styles are easy for me. Also you shouldn't be able to see through your victory rolls.... It's a big pet peeve of mine since I have thinner hair so sometimes I can't help it. 

 These three things are very important. VERY important. There is nothing worse then seeing a lady with no color in her cheeks, and lady with no eyebrows or makeup covered eyebrows. Or someone with a lovely makeup job but their lipstick is bleeding into their face. Take time on these things. Pink blush, thicker brow, red liner. *tip!- when lining your lips don't just line them. Fill in the entire lip. That way when your lipstick wears off (which it will) you won't be left with a ring of red on your lips and nothing else!

Shapers rule. I'm not one of those ladies with a perfect figure but with the Correct shapers anyone can have a curvy vintage style shape. One of the good things about them is you can pick them up at your local Walmart for fairly cheap. I live in a small town without any of the nice boutiques but all most shapers are already set to squeeze most at your natural wiast which is a big big part of the pin up look. No matter your size you still have a waist and show it! Also don't be ashamed to wear things to make you feel better about your body! 

There's tons of ways to pull off a pin up look! Just do your research and practice practice practice!! I still have problems with my hair, make up, and what to wear. You will eventually find what looks best on you and make you feel on top of the world! 

Monday, July 27, 2015

"My rates are...."

     There has been a little thread on Facebook about photographers and models and rates. I have been modeling for almost a decade. I've spent hours learning how to perfect my make up, my hair, and to tone up my body. (I'm a thin girl so tone is my option, nothing against a curvy lady! I sadly have few curves unless I make them) I've spent way too much money on clothing and shoes. I've spent hours in front of the mirror learning what looks good on me and how to hold my body to get the best possible pose. I've spent hours scouting locations and trying to find the best spot for a shoot. Does that not equal into it when it comes to shooting with me?
             Ernst rice photography 

     Sometimes experience is worth something. I do understand that most photographers do this for a living and every shoot could be their dinner for a week. But I also have bills to pay and there are times I have to take off work because it's the best time for the photographer. I don't get paid hourly so if I'm not there that's a huge zero in my pocket book. I understand the hours that go into editing  and setting up/braking down. But I've noticed that most  photographers don't think about the four hours we spent on our make up or that I slept in my rollers last night to get the hair I have today. 

            Paul tanner photography 

     I don't charge to shoot with me. I work off a tfp (trade for print) situation. I think my experience should equal out for the rates the photographer would have charged for a lady with no experience. There are exceptions. If your providing hair mark up and wardrobe you should absolutely have rates and get paid. If I plan to work with those people I do plan to pay because they are doing almost all the work, and it's a lot of work! Plus those photographers who get published almost every photo like Shannon broke imaginary and Michelle x star, publication puts your face into the world and can get you (as a model) actual paying gigs with clothing companies, make up companies, ect. 

         Madison Hurley photography 

    My whole point is this, if you are a new model, you will probably need to pay. If your a new photographer and get an experienced model you may need to pay. But if the right communication goes down you can both walk away with beautiful photos that you can both be proud of. Take the models experience into consideration before you just throw rates at her/him.
    Xoxox ~Doris Night

All opinions are doris' only and do not reflect back on any of the other members of the Foul Play Cabaret. 

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

You don't "look" classic.

       In the time I've spent in the burlesque industry I've found out one very disturbing thing. When you're  tattooed you are discriminated against. Especially if your a classic performer. 
          (Me- by tanner photography)

     It's a sad fact that most performers get booked due to appearance. As much as we stand for body appreciation and the arts, it still baffles me that wonderful performers don't get booked due to someone else's opinions. I've read many articals about ladies not being booked due to size but there are others who are feeling some of the darkness of the business. 

     My grievance is with those who think tattooed women are a novelty, or people who think there has to be a "certain" show for those individuals. Ladies have been getting tattooed for centuries and I'm sure at least one or two legends had tattoos. Granted, due to the same reasons we have today, probably had to cover them. 

       (Unknown tattooed lady 1900s)

     Now I understand the whole "classic look" and that tattoos aren't something the general public will relate to when thinking of vintage ladies. But just like today there were several. Being judged by your tattoos, to me, is no different then any other discrimination. It offends me greatly to hear "yeah he won't book me, he's not a fan of tattoos". 

       (Photo above- Lou Lou D'Vil- photo by Harmon house productions)

      In 2013 the burlesque hall of fame crowned Lou Lou D'Vil as the reigning queen of burlesque. I was ecstatic! I thought, "finally people will see that no matter the amount of tattoos you have you can still do classic burlesque, and be queen". That year seemed to open up some opportunities to me that I hadn't previously had. Chances to perform in higher end burlesque shows with some of the top performers in my area. I even got the chance to share the stage with Lou Lou.

    The love didn't last long. I found myself feeling as rejected as I had previously. From not being excepted into shows I felt I would be perfect for to being turned down for publications. Everywhere there seems to be a person with a lot of power in the industry saying "you don't look the part". 

(Ruby Lead- foul play cabaret hot springs AR- photo by Devin castle designs) 

    After tattooing and talking with some other tattooed ladies in the industry I found that it doesn't matter how amazing of a performer you might be, there's people who won't like you just because you decided to get tattooed. This will be battle for my entire career. I know this, but im prepared. My love of classic burlesque won't be swayed by someone else's thoughts. I won't decide to start doing neo burlesque to be booked more. I won't cover my tattoos for your magazines or shows. The amount of time, pain, and money I've put into my skin is something I am proud of. It's my own way to display art that I love, which is something that shouldn't have anything to do with my performance. 

        (Me by Devin castle designs) 

     My advice to young burlesquers is to think about everything you do to your body. A small tattoo on your foot can cause you shows, publication, and sometimes awards. But if you are already tattooed don't let anyone stand in your way. When one door closes others do open. Don't dwell on those producers who judge people on petty things like that. Once your amazing they will regret not booking you before. If you want to do classic. Do it. If you want to do pin up. Do it. Don't let them label you as alternative. Alternative to what? Be yourself, be proud, be tattooed. 


(All opinions are mine and mine only)

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Photos with Cassie!!

Ive been wanting to shoot with Cassie since I started modeling.
She has such a good eye for lighting and everything.
I was so impressed by how she sought out places and how she knew exactly where I should stand and what window of time to capture.
It was really a dream of mine and I'm so thankful I had the chance and such a beautiful location to have it take place (thanks to Chris Rix) this is what we got!! 
Cassie's work is absolutely stunning. I hope to get the chance to work with her again. If you wanna get in touch with her to book a shoot or to look at her other beautiful work check out her page!!

The majestic

I've been working for a couple months on an Art Deco inspired costume for Ruby Lea, named the majestic (named after the famous hotel the just recently burned down in our hometown and because this shit is majestic). 
Now this was a duo effort with her doing all of the jeweling, making a ostrich feather shawl, altering her dress, jeweling gloves and shoes, and making a lovely headpiece.
But tons of work went into the underthings I fabricated. I guess we'll start with the bra.(it's the only thing I really documented) Ruby ordered a bra with a nice underwire shape. I'm personally new at making all these things so I don't exactly know how to fabricate a bra from scratch at this moment in time. But I used the bra she gave me for a base. I had a pretty good idea of what I wanted to do with the bra since we were sticking to a particular shape on her dress. So I traced off on the bra what I wanted to cut away.
Thats when it gets a bit scary. You have to absolutely commit. But since I had just done this for Violets "girl on fire" costume, I wasn't too worried about it. Once you start to cut the bra you'll realize that there is a thin piece of fabric on top of the original bra which could and probably will fuck you up a little bit when cutting. I just kinda trust my instinct. 
Once I got both cups cut out, I had to figure out how to go about putting the stretchy satin spandex on to without using a dart. I'm more of a fan of smooth bras then darted, especially for the cut out style like I did. So I cut and pinned until I got a smooth surface. 
Then to add the center piece to stay as true to the design as possible 
(Yes we did have mustache laughs :))
Then I sewed all the edges together with some fold over elastic.
This is the most time consuming thing for me when it comes to costuming because everything attached to the actual cup has to be hand stiched. But this was the completed on ruby bra (non rhinestoned) 

The skirt, I sadly didn't do any photos of. But it was so very easy. We took a pencil skirt and used it for reference for the girdle pattern. I haven't gotten into boning things yet so it's basically more or a shaper type thing. But we made the pattern from that sewed it all together with fold over elastic (I'm a huge fan of the fold over) and put a separating zipper in the center (cause it's a burly costume. Everything must come off!!) then came the panels. I normally just make half circle panel skirts but this time I doubled it. I wanted to make it have all the material since It was shorter then a normal panel skirt and who doesn't like ALL the chiffon! So I made two panels and made them snap button into the skirt. Once again easy removal. 
I love all the chiffon there was!! We also made a third panel to use for a cape. It was fun to play with all that chiffon and to see it on stage was even better! 
Then the pasties were two layered so the jewels on the top would be higher then the ones on the bottom. It make the tiniest difference but it made it all the better.
The pantie was a simple somewhat strappy g string. With the same design as the bra, pasties, and dress. 
This costume isn't complete quite yet. There is still hours of rhinestoning and a few other little extras that will be going added soon.

I am so lucky to have such beautiful and talented ladies in trust me to make their costumes. I know I love making them and hopefully one day I'll be able to make a mini-career out of it. And a huge thank you to Ruby Lead who let me finally make a deco costume and helping me figure out little details that I couldn't have figured out with out you. The majestic is defiantly one of my favorite costumes I've made to date. And I can't wait to share it with the rest of the world!! 

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Times do change. But you gotta keep on.

Things in foul play are sad at the moment. Internal things are happening which I don't intend on releasing to the public. But in the midst of all this I have kept myself very very busy!

My costuming is amazing! No saying I'm amazing at it but all the pieces for violets "antitennessees" act are coming together "seem"lessly and Rubys "majestic" costume is just easing on through. (Rubys is a collab between the two of us) 

But violets will have to wait for just a couple more weeks. Ruby will be debuting the "majestic" on the 25th In Dallas Texas at the hotter then hell show 

So that will be the first time I get to see one of my custom costumes on stage. Like I said before it's a collab so I won't be responsible for something's but I'll be making major components. Which makes me really happy and hopeful for my new journey in costuming. 
  I still haven't gotten finished with ruby joules and jezebelle jaxx's pasties but rhinestones and beads should be here any day! I'll be sure to post the finished products. But I do have pasties for sale. these below are $50. Swarovski crystals and the best materials and way I know how to make them at the moment. Contact me at to order one of these or a custom pair!! 
(These are supernova shape) 

Enough of the sales pitch... Lol. Tomorrow is a crazy day for me! Tattooing, photoshoot, costuming, and a show!!! I'm doing to try to keep a photo diary possibly to show y'all a busy day in my life but we'll see how well I do at that!! I hope to see some faces tomorrow at Maxine's!