Thursday, December 25, 2008

Eartha Kitt

Eartha Kitt, an Emmy-winning performer famous for 'Santa Baby' and a catlike purr, dies at 81
NEW YORK December 25, 2008 (AP) The Associated Press
By POLLY ANDERSON Associated Press Writer
Associated Press Drama Writer Michael Kuchwara contributed to this report.


Eartha Kitt, a sultry singer, dancer and actress who rose from South Carolina cotton fields to become an international symbol of elegance and sensuality, has died, a family spokesman said. She was 81.

Andrew Freedman said Kitt, who was recently treated at Columbia Presbyterian Hospital, died Thursday in Connecticut of colon cancer.

Kitt, a self-proclaimed "sex kitten" famous for her catlike purr, was one of America's most versatile performers, winning two Emmys and nabbing a third nomination. She also was nominated for several Tonys and two Grammys.

Her career spanned six decades, from her start as a dancer with the famed Katherine Dunham troupe to cabarets and acting and singing on stage, in movies and on television. She persevered through an unhappy childhood as a mixed-race daughter of the South and made headlines in the 1960s for denouncing the Vietnam War during a visit to the White House.

Through the years, Kitt remained a picture of vitality and attracted fans less than half her age even as she neared 80.

When her book "Rejuvenate," a guide to staying physically fit, was published in 2001, Kitt was featured on the cover in a long, curve-hugging black dress with a figure that some 20-year-old women would envy. Kitt also wrote three autobiographies.

Once dubbed the "most exciting woman in the world" by Orson Welles, she spent much of her life single, though brief romances with the rich and famous peppered her younger years.

After becoming a hit singing "Monotonous" in the Broadway revue "New Faces of 1952," Kitt appeared in "Mrs. Patterson" in 1954-55. (Some references say she earned a Tony nomination for "Mrs. Patterson," but only winners were publicly announced at that time.) She also made appearances in "Shinbone Alley" and "The Owl and the Pussycat."

Her first album, "RCA Victor Presents Eartha Kitt," came out in 1954, featuring such songs as "I Want to Be Evil," "C'est Si Bon" and the saucy gold digger's theme song "Santa Baby," which is revived on radio each Christmas.

The next year, the record company released follow-up album "That Bad Eartha," which featured "Let's Do It," "Smoke Gets in Your Eyes" and "My Heart Belongs to Daddy."

In 1996, she was nominated for a Grammy in the category of traditional pop vocal performance for her album "Back in Business." She also had been nominated in the children's recording category for the 1969 record "Folk Tales of the Tribes of Africa."

Kitt also acted in movies, playing the lead female role opposite Nat King Cole in "St. Louis Blues" in 1958 and more recently appearing in "Boomerang" and "Harriet the Spy" in the 1990s.

On television, she was the sexy Catwoman on the popular "Batman" series in 1967-68, replacing Julie Newmar who originated the role. A guest appearance on an episode of "I Spy" brought Kitt an Emmy nomination in 1966.

"Generally the whole entertainment business now is bland," she said in a 1996 Associated Press interview. "It depends so much on gadgetry and flash now. You don't have to have talent to be in the business today.

"I think we had to have something to offer, if you wanted to be recognized as worth paying for."

Kitt was plainspoken about causes she believed in. Her anti-war comments at the White House came as she attended a White House luncheon hosted by Lady Bird Johnson.

"You send the best of this country off to be shot and maimed," she told the group of about 50 women. "They rebel in the street. They don't want to go to school because they're going to be snatched off from their mothers to be shot in Vietnam."

For four years afterward, Kitt performed almost exclusively overseas. She was investigated by the FBI and CIA, which allegedly found her to be foul-mouthed and promiscuous.

"The thing that hurts, that became anger, was when I realized that if you tell the truth — in a country that says you're entitled to tell the truth — you get your face slapped and you get put out of work," Kitt told Essence magazine two decades later.

In 1978, Kitt returned to Broadway in the musical "Timbuktu!" — which brought her a Tony nomination — and was invited back to the White House by President Jimmy Carter.

In 2000, Kitt earned another Tony nod for "The Wild Party." She played the fairy godmother in Rodgers and Hammerstein's "Cinderella" in 2002.

As recently as October 2003, she was on Broadway after replacing Chita Rivera in a revival of "Nine."

She also gained new fans as the voice of Yzma in the 2000 Disney animated feature "The Emperor's New Groove.'"

In an online discussion at in March 2005, shortly after Jamie Foxx and Morgan Freeman won Oscars, she expressed satisfaction that black performers "have more of a chance now than we did then to play larger parts."

But she also said: "I don't carry myself as a black person but as a woman that belongs to everybody. After all, it's the general public that made (me) — not any one particular group. So I don't think of myself as belonging to any particular group and never have."

Kitt was born in North, S.C., and her road to fame was the stuff of storybooks. In her autobiography, she wrote that her mother was black and Cherokee while her father was white, and she was left to live with relatives after her mother's new husband objected to taking in a mixed-race girl.

An aunt eventually brought her to live in New York, where she attended the High School of Performing Arts, later dropping out to take various odd jobs.

By chance, she dropped by an audition for the dance group run by Dunham, a pioneering African-American dancer. In 1946, Kitt was one of the Sans-Souci Singers in Dunham's Broadway production "Bal Negre."

Kitt's travels with the Dunham troupe landed her a gig in a Paris nightclub in the early 1950s. Kitt was spotted by Welles, who cast her in his Paris stage production of "Faust."

That led to a role in "New Faces of 1952," which featured such other stars-to-be as Carol Lawrence, Paul Lynde and, as a writer, Mel Brooks.

While traveling the world as a dancer and singer in the 1950s, Kitt learned to perform in nearly a dozen languages and, over time, added songs in French, Spanish and even Turkish to her repertoire.

"Usku Dara," a song Kitt said was taught to her by the wife of a Turkish admiral, was one of her first hits, though Kitt says her record company feared it too remote for American audiences to appreciate.

Song titles such as "I Want to be Evil" and "Just an Old Fashioned Girl" seem to reflect the paradoxes in Kitt's private life.

Over the years, Kitt had liaisons with wealthy men, including Revlon founder Charles Revson, who showered her with lavish gifts.

In 1960, she married Bill McDonald but divorced him after the birth of their daughter, Kitt.

While on stage, she was daringly sexy and always flirtatious. Offstage, however, Kitt described herself as shy and almost reclusive, remnants of feeling unwanted and unloved as a child. She referred to herself as "that little urchin cotton-picker from the South, Eartha Mae."

For years, Kitt was unsure of her birthplace or birth date. In 1997, a group of students at historically black Benedict College in Columbia, S.C., located her birth certificate, which verified her birth date as Jan. 17, 1927. Kitt had previously celebrated on Jan. 26.

The research into her background also showed Kitt was the daughter of a white man, a poor cotton farmer.

"I'm an orphan. But the public has adopted me and that has been my only family," she told the Post online. "The biggest family in the world is my fans."

A few years back, a friend and I were driving on Walnut St. in Philadelphia and we saw Eartha Kitt coming out the stage door of a theatre, and were completely mesmerized. She had this gigantic mink coat that engulphed her tiny frame, and a dazzling smile as she glided down the sidewalk. Always the Star!

Because it's Christmas...

December Winner

The winner for the December giveaway is:

Janette of Eugene, OR!

Janette wins a MAC trio of lipsticks in Dare You, Brave Red and Speed Dial, all beautiful and flattering hues of red.

Thanks to everyone who entered! xo

Friday, December 19, 2008

December Giveaway

I am trying to get the giveaway cycle back to the first of the month, so bear with me while these giveaways are back to back!

For December, I have a lovely trio of MAC lipsticks! Dare You (a deep burgundy red), Brave Red (a bright classic red), and Speed Dial (a rich rosey pink). These are beautiful colors that will flatter anyone. Please EMAIL me (found in my profile) with your name and address. Contest ends on Thurs. Dec. 25th (Ho Ho Ho) at 12 noon EST. One winner will be drawn at random. Thank you! xo

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Vanity Fair

Last month's Nov. '08 UK Vanity Fair displayed the most striking cover of actress Amy Adams, in a Rita Hayworth inspired editorial. Vanity Fair makes a habit of recreating Old Hollywood photos and pinups using our stars and starlets of today.

Here are Katherine Heigl in a stunning 50's Dior's New Look, and Naomi Watts channeling her inner Varga Girl.

More pinups from Vanity Fair's Vanities page!

Saturday, December 13, 2008

October and November Winners

The winner for October's giveaway is
Deanna from Hillsboro, Oregon!

She receives a MAC trio of Brushed Metal-X Creme Eye Shadow in Guilded Ash, Pigment in Cocomotion, and Beaux Lustreglass Lipgloss

The winner for November's silver set is

Cecilia from Arroyo Grande, CA!
She receives a MAC trio of Vex Eye Shadow, Mineralize Sheersheen Powder in Silver Aura, and Oyster Girl Lipglass

Thank you to all who entered and for being patient during my blog fiasco!
xo Katie

Friday, December 12, 2008

Bettie Page

As most everyone knows by now, pinup and fetish model Bettie Page passed away yesterday. She was such a fun pinup, but I've always prefered her fetish work~ this is one of my favorite photos of her! What I wouldn't give for those shoes...

AP News:

1950s pinup model Bettie Page dies in LA at 85
Thu Dec 11, 10:50 PM EST

Bettie Page, the 1950s secretary-turned-model whose controverisal photographs in skimpy attire or none at all helped set the stage for the 1960s sexual revolution, died Thursday. She was 85.

Page suffered a heart attack last week in Los Angeles and never regained consciousness, her agent Mark Roesler said. Before the heart attack, Page had been hospitalized for three weeks with pneumonia.

"She captured the imagination of a generation of men and women with her free spirit and unabashed sensuality," Roesler said. "She is the embodiment of beauty."

Page, who was also known as Betty, attracted national attention with magazine photographs of her sensuous figure in bikinis and see-through lingerie that were quickly tacked up on walls in military barracks, garages and elsewhere, where they remained for years.

Her photos included a centerfold in the January 1955 issue of then-fledgling Playboy magazine, as well as controversial sadomasochistic poses.

The latter helped contribute to her mysterious disappearance from the public eye, which lasted decades and included years during which she battled mental illness and became a born-again Christian.

After resurfacing in the 1990s, she occasionally granted interviews but refused to allow her picture to be taken.

"I don't want to be photographed in my old age," she told an interviewer in 1998. "I feel the same way with old movie stars. ... It makes me sad. We want to remember them when they were young."

The 21st century indeed had people remembering her just as she was. She became the subject of songs, biographies, Web sites, comic books, movies and documentaries. A new generation of fans bought thousands of copies of her photos, and some feminists hailed her as a pioneer of women's liberation.

Gretchen Mol portrayed her in 2005's "The Notorious Bettie Page" and Paige Richards had the role in 2004's "Bettie Page: Dark Angel." Page herself took part in the 1998 documentary "Betty Page: Pinup Queen."

Her career began one day in October 1950 when she took a respite from her job as a secretary in a New York office for a walk along the beach at Coney Island. An amateur photographer named Jerry Tibbs admired the 27-year-old's firm, curvy body and asked her to pose.

Looking back on the career that followed, she told Playboy in 1998, "I never thought it was shameful. I felt normal. It's just that it was much better than pounding a typewriter eight hours a day, which gets monotonous."

Nudity didn't bother her, she said, explaining: "God approves of nudity. Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden, they were naked as jaybirds."

In 1951, Page fell under the influence of a photographer and his sister who specialized in S&M. They cut her hair into the dark bangs that became her signature and posed her in spiked heels and little else. She was photographed with a whip in her hand, and in one session she was spread-eagled between two trees, her feet dangling.

"I thought my arms and legs would come out of their sockets," she said later.

Moralists denounced the photos as perversion, and Sen. Estes Kefauver of Tennessee, Page's home state, launched a congressional investigation.

Page quickly retreated from public view, later saying she was hounded by federal agents who waved her nude photos in her face. She also said she believed that, at age 34, her days as "the girl with the perfect figure" were nearly over.

She moved to Florida in 1957 and married a much younger man, as an early marriage to her high school sweetheart had ended in divorce.

Her second marriage also failed, as did a third, and she suffered a nervous breakdown.

In 1959, she was lying on a sea wall in Key West when she saw a church with a white neon cross on top. She walked inside and became a born-again Christian.

After attending Bible school, she wanted to serve as a missionary but was turned down because she had been divorced. Instead, she worked full-time for evangelist Billy Graham's ministry.

A move to Southern California in 1979 brought more troubles.

She was arrested after an altercation with her landlady, and doctors who examined her determined she had acute schizophrenia. She spent 20 months in a state mental hospital in San Bernardino.

A fight with another landlord resulted in her arrest, but she was found not guilty because of insanity. She was placed under state supervision for eight years.

"She had a very turbulent life," Todd Mueller, a family friend and autograph seller, told The Associated Press on Thursday. "She had a temper to her."

Mueller said he first met Page after tracking her down in the 1990s and persuaded her to do an autograph signing event.

He said she was a hit and sold about 3,000 autographs, usually for $200 to $300 each.

"Eleanor Roosevelt, we got $40 to $50. ... Bettie Page outsells them all," he told The AP last week.

Born April 22, 1923, in Nashville, Tenn., Page said she grew up in a family so poor "we were lucky to get an orange in our Christmas stockings."

The family included three boys and three girls, and Page said her father molested all of the girls.

After the Pages moved to Houston, her father decided to return to Tennessee and stole a police car for the trip. He was sent to prison, and for a time Betty lived in an orphanage.

In her teens she acted in high school plays, going on to study drama in New York and win a screen test from 20th Century Fox before her modeling career took off.
Associated Press writer Raquel Maria Dillon in Los Angeles contributed to this report.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

October and November Giveaway

Original post date Sunday, November 30, 2008

I've been busy, so I am now just getting to the giveaways! I have two prizes, one for October and one for November. Please EMAIL me (found in my profile) your name, address and if you'd like the October or November prize. Giveaway will end Sat. Dec. 13th at 12:00noon EST and two winners will be drawn at random, one for each month.

Those who entered last week are still in the drawing!

The October winner will receive a MAC trio of Brushed Metal-X Creme Eye Shadow in Guilded Ash (a sheer taupey bronze), Pigment in Cocomotion (a soft golden bronze), and Beaux Lustreglass Lipgloss (a soft caramel bronze).

The November winner will receive a MAC trio of Vex Eye Shadow (a sheer pearly silver), Mineralize Sheersheen Powder in Silver Aura (a soft pinky silver), and Oyster Girl Lipglass (a sheer pinky silver).

Thank you!! xx

Three Stooges Remake

Original post date Friday, November 21, 2008


Nyuking it up The Farrelly brothers are working frantically to finish the script for "The Three Stooges." Peter Farrelly reports that he and brother Bobby are holed up on the Cape until it's completed. "We've been working night and day," Farrelly told us during a beverage break at Scampo. The brothers are optimistic that at least some of the movie will be shot in their native Rhode Island, and it'll be in theaters this time next year. So who'll play the silly Stooges, you say? No one's signed on yet, but Peter said plenty of names are being bandied about. How about Benicio del Toro as Moe? "He's a huge Stooges fan," said Farrelly. Jeff Daniels is being considered for Larry and Andover's own Michael Chiklis could yuk it up as Curly. The Farrellys had been working on a movie called "Hall Pass," but that was shelved when they were given a deadline to deliver "The Three Stooges."

I am obsessed with the Three Stooges, and the Farrelly brothers' films are always funny, but I am not sure how this will turn out... Interesting to note that Michael Chiklis is being considered for Curly as he already played my favorite Stooge in the tv biopic 'The Three Stooges' back in 2000.


Bob Hope Commemorative Stamp

Original post date Wednesday, November 19, 2008

From AP News:

Postage stamp planned for Bob Hope

WASHINGTON (AP) — The post office is telling Bob Hope: "Thanks for the memories."

The beloved entertainer will be honored on a U.S. postage stamp next spring.

The stamp design will be unveiled Monday at a ceremony on New York's Ellis Island, the entry spot for thousands of immigrants like Hope.

Born in England as Leslie Townes Hope, the singer, actor and comedian was a youngster when his parents moved to the United States. He eventually became one of the nation's most beloved entertainers and was known for his trademark song "Thanks For The Memories."

Though never a member of the armed forces, Hope dedicated much of his time traveling the globe to entertain men and women in uniform, beginning in World War II and continuing through Operation Desert Storm.

In 1997 Hope became the first person recognized by the U.S. Congress as an "honorary veteran of the United States Armed Forces."

Hope died in 2003 and becomes the first person to benefit from a postal rule change allowing individuals to be honored on a stamp five years after their death. Before the rule change in 2007 people other than ex-presidents had to wait 10 years to become the subject of a stamp.

On the Net:U.S. Postal Service:

I have always enjoyed Bob Hope! He is a DCBD member, as well.

1 comment

Dita's Makeup

Original post date Friday, October 24, 2008

Gregory Arlt is the Director of Makeup Artistry for MAC Cosmetics West Coast, and Dita Von Teese's makeup artist. As a fellow MAC artist, I admire him greatly, and as you can tell by now, I adore Dita!

Here he shows us step by step how to recreate Dita's signature bombshell look! This is my favorite makeup to do (on myself and others) and is flattering on anyone. If you haven't yet tried this look, give it a go! You'd be surprised at how easy it is and how lovely you will look and feel. If you are a little apprehensive about a red lip, try a dark rose or bright pink until you work your way up to a luscious red lip. Thank you Gregory, for making Dita extra pretty! (Gregory Arlt)


Fashion Meets Retro

Original post date Thursday, October 16, 2008

My dear friend and amazingly talented fashion photograpaher, Jamie Luca, is currently in Mexico City shooting for Fashion Week. I wanted to post a few images of his latest editorial because he was inspired to do a post-Bladerunner story. I love these two shots as they remind me of Evita meets Joan Crawford. Look at that jacket! (Click on the picture for a better look)

I get so excited when these two mediums, fashion and retro, meld together to make a beautiful image. This is one reason why I like Dita's work so much because she does take the world of modern couture fashion and combines it with her vintage and classic image.

Photographer, Jamie Luca
Model, Sam/Paragon
Styling by EGR
Hair and make up AZUL & CO


Birthday Gal

Original post date Sunday, October 12, 2008

Sept. 28th was Dita Von Tease's 36th birthday, and last week, Fendi hosted a lavish soirée in her honor at Le Milliardaire in Paris, her favorite city. Bon anniversaire!

photos courtesy of and Getty Images



Original post date Sunday, October 5, 2008

I love the look on Spanky's face!

1 comment

Westmore's Star

Original post date Friday, October 3, 2008

Westmore's of Hollywood Receive Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame
at 1645 Vine Street(West side of the Street just below Hollywood Blvd.)Friday October 3, 2008 - 11:30am

Hollywood, CA.- Legendary Makeup men, The Westmore's of Hollywood will receive their Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 2008. The official word from Hollywood's honorary Mayor, and Walk of Fame Chairman, Johnny Grant, “Today I am happy to announce an array of celebrities who have earned this recognition for a combination of professional achievement and community involvement.”

Pioneers of their industry, the announcement came in January, Johnny pointed out that - "...Westmore's not only created, but defined the role of makeup artists in Motion Pictures." Wigmaker, George Westmore made history when he opened the very first makeup department in 1917 at Selig-Polyscope Studios. George's oldest sons, Monte, Ern, Perc, and Wally went on to open their own makeup departments at Warner Brothers, RKO, and Paramount. By the 1930s nearly every motion picture studio had a Westmore heading up their makeup department. In 1935, the Westmore brothers teamed up to open the most opulent salon of its time, glamour mecca; The House of Westmore on 6638 Sunset Strip. Bud Westmore ran the makeup department at Universal for 24 years where he helped create the Creature from the Black Lagoon. Youngest son, Frank was a freelance makeup artist and worked with Cecil B. deMille on The Ten Commandments and wrote a family biography appropriately titled, The Westmore's of Hollywood.

The third generation Westmore's brothers, Monty Jr., Marvin, and Michael have all made their own significant mark in Hollywood. Monty Jr. was personal makeup artist to Paul Newman and Joan Crawford (Monty passed in 2007). Marvin created the fashion forward makeup for the epic film, Blade Runner, and Michael was behind the alien creations on the Star Trek series and won an Oscar for his work on Mask. Their artistic hand has influenced Hollywood film and television where stars were made, and most were made up by the Westmore's. Since this announcement Hollywood has lost it's Honorary Mayor Johnny Grant - We are very proud that one of the last efforts Johnny left Hollywood was the nomination of The Westmore's of Hollywood to receive this long over looked honor. The Hollywood Walk of Fame is a sidewalk along Hollywood Boulevard and Vine Street in Hollywood, Los Angeles, California that serves as an entertainment hall of fame. It is embedded with more than 2,000 five-pointed stars featuring the names of not only human celebrities but fictional characters honored by the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce for their contributions to the entertainment industry. The Walk of Fame is maintained by the self-financing Hollywood Historic Trust. The first star, awarded on February 9, 1960, went to Joanne Woodward.

press release courtesy of Westmore Academy of Cosmetic Arts

photo courtesy of Charley Gallay/Getty Images

Due to scheduling conflicts, I was unable to make it to the ceremony. :( I will be getting some more information regarding the ceremony and parties from my inside source soon!

September Winner

Original post date Wednesday, October 1, 2008

The September winner is:

Kam from Mosinee, Wisconsin

She knew that DCBD stands for "Dead Celebrity Boyfriend Club"! There are many members in my DCBC, such as Nat Pendleton. I've also mentioned, Wallace Beery as a member as well. I have a lot more DCBC's coming up soon! Thanks to everyone who entered! xx


September Giveaway

Original post date Friday, September 26, 2008

I created the acronym DCBC to refer to select handsome stars of the
Golden Era. What does it stand for?
Please EMAIL me with the correct answer, your name and address. The
winner will be drawn at random and will receive an amazing MAC

MAC #192 Brush (perfect for foundations and blush)
MAC Dual Edge Eye Pencil in Phone Me/Text Me (charcoal grey/silver)
MAC Fibre Rich Lash Mascara in black (intense lashes)
MAC Matte Eyeshadow in Graphology (greyish eggplant)
MAC Luster Eyeshadow in Nighttrain (metallic dark silver)
MAC Mattene Lipstick in Chock-ful (medium tone brown)
MAC Lusterglass in Star Nova (pinky plum)

This giveaway ends Wed. Oct. 1st 12noon EST. Thank you! x

1 comment

Friday, December 5, 2008

Gloria Swanson Video Interview

Original post date Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Tamela D'Amico sent me this video clip of legendary Gloria Swanson in 1957. I love her look, so dramatic! You know, her first husband was DCBC member Wallace Beery. Their marriage was quite tumultuous, as she was young and naive and he was well, Wallace Beery.

See it here!


Ava Garter

Original post date Thursday, August 21, 2008

Of all the burlesque performers around today, there is one rising star who stands out, poised to shine brighter with each twirl on the stage! Miss Ava Garter embodies timeless elegance, flirtatious routines and bombshell good looks. A dedicated performer and a busy mom, Ava takes nothing for granted and has been a devotee of burlesque and Old Hollywood Glamour since she can remember. Her passion for classic glamour, romance, exceptional beauty and grace make her an in demand headliner at the Vamp Lounge aboard the historic Queen Mary in Long Beach, CA, along with other prestigious venues around the world. Groomed by some of the finest entertainers in the world, Ava is on the cusp of stardom and we are all invited along for the ride! Take notes, kids~ this is one gal you'll never forget!

I must confess that I just discovered you last year, but I know this was no overnight success. How long have you been performing?

OH my! That is no surprise really, I wasn't serious about taking myself to a much more visible level until mid last year. I have been a peeler on and off for about 16 years with just a little time in there to have a couple of little ones ( my son is 7 and my daughter is 3). I was the girl who never wanted to have any other job and couldn't understand why people felt so oddly about it in society. I still really don't .

What prompted you to be a professional Teaser?

The draw was always the love of the costumes and the stage for me. I have a passion for great costuming and old fashioned glamour. Anywhere that I can get the chance to look or feel glamorous is a place that I need to be. I feel as though the world has lost its shine and grace and that it is important for some of us to help keep it alive and kicking . Burlesque is the perfect art form to help me express all of my passions . In burlesque not only do I have a way to creatively apply myself but I get to combine my most precious childhood memories of watching great MGM , Paramount , or RKO movies too. What better job could one have?

Am I correct in assuming you chose your stage name as an homage to screen goddess Ava Gardner? Why her?

Absolutely true! Gosh, I have a million reasons, I will give you just a few. The most obvious is her sex appeal. Ava was a no apologies woman, and I admire that . In pictures she looked right into the camera. Straight at you, as if to ask you " OK, so what are you gonna do about it?" She got what she wanted but it didn't always make her happy. I know how this feels, men still are hard for me to understand too. She loved deeply and did not mess around when it came to the men she loved. She had a sense of humor about what she did and she always felt that any schmuck could do it....she just got lucky! I just feel that out of the many stars in the sky of Hollywood, is the one that I seem to relate to . I sometimes feel sad for her that she died without having kids , I feel like she would have found the love that she was looking for and really deserved but..... Ah Hollywood.

There are many types and styles of Burlesque now. My personal favorite style in Burlesque (and in general) is the classic glamour and elegance of the 30's and 40's. I've noticed that there a just a few performers who stay true to this style, your self included. Why is it important to you to carry on this tradition?

This time in history is so exciting, isn't it? I love all of the different styles of Burlesque! It's amazing to see the art form grow and change in so many ways all over the world. Actually, it's amazing that it is even being picked up as a form of entertainment right now after all of those
years of bikini clubs and poles. ( hey, I love a good pole too) But what I feel is important is for every performer to go with the style that is the most FUN for them. Whatever is your favorite is great. I just happen to love good old classic Ziegfeld esque strutting and sumptuous and
graceful movement . Like I said before, I feel that the world is in need of more showgirls and if I can fill the void then I am happy to lend my hand.

You have been trained by the best in the business. Where there things you already knew? Were there things you were surprised to learn?

Of course as with every dancer, I had a few tricks of my own when I came to be trained by Catherine and Dita. That is part of the reason why they agreed to train me in the first place. They wanted to make sure that they could be proud to put their names behind me even from the very beginning. I feel so lucky to have both of these women available to me to ask for opinions on what I should do or where I should go with something. The little bits of wisdom that they share with me really are golden and help make me strive to be better and better every time I go on stage. I would have to say that one silly thing that I have learned is that if it goes on stage , it better at least have some glitter on it!!!

You most recently debuted your Bullfighter act! What was the inspiration for this?

Ava Gardner was the influence for that special act. Its hard for me to think of a time when I wasn't trying to make the bull or trying to sell someone on the idea of the bullfight. I would always tell the story of how I thought of the idea . I once heard the story of Ava and her lover (and world famous bullfighter) Louis Miguel . They had an awesome relationship, neither of them bothered to learn much of the others language! They dated for over a year and couldn't really speak any language but the one in the bedroom! Come on now, that's the best story I've heard in a long time. Louis was the most famous bullfighter of his day at the time and extremely sexy, he looked pretty hot in his bullfighting attire. I guess I just imagined what might have happened if Ava ever tried on his clothes. What would her striptease look like? I figure it had to have happened at least once. She was a woman of undisputed passion , I think that the whole idea is possible. I try to keep this little fantasy in my head when I am on stage doing the bullfight act. It makes it so much more fun and heck, what a thought right?

What is your routine before you go on stage? Do you have any superstitious things you do?

Before I go onstage I like some quiet. I really like to think about what it is that I am going to do and take the time to go over my routine in my head. Sometimes I may decide to take something out or even add it in at the last minute! I can't say that I have any superstitions or anything like
that . I actually wish that I did, it would make a more interesting interview, ha ha.

You make Burlesque look effortless~ but like any performer, it must be physically demanding. What do you do to stay in top shape?

I laugh all the time at how easy people like to think that burlesque is. It is super hard to prance about on 5 inch heels in 30 lbs of dress , hair etc. all while trying to be entertaining and beautiful at the same time. I have a huge admiration for Dita , you really have no idea the weight of all of those gorgeous costumes that she wears! They are soooo heavy. One of her feather boa's alone weighs like 15lbs because of the rhinestoned disco balls on the ends! It may even weigh more, I wouldn't be surprised . She wears all of those fantastic things that take your breath away and they are so heavy , but she glides and makes it look effortless. She's amazing. I do Pilates a couple times a week and then I also chase my 3 year old all day and that helps me to barely remember to eat! Never underestimate the power of a 3 year old on your waistline. She keeps me thin.

You have traveled the world performing. How does each audience react to you and Burlesque in general?

Right now is a wonderful time to be involved in burlesque. People all over the world are discovering how much fun burlesque is to go out and see. What is so great to me is that you can find almost more women in the audience sometimes than men! Women come out to appreciate the beauty and sensuality of the burlesque queens and I think hope to take a piece of the show home with them so they can have a little bit in there everyday life. Whether it be a hairstyle or maybe just wearing some stockings once in a while , it is a return to glamour and fun that translates all over the world.

What Burlesque stars of the past inspire you?

I just read a great article on Tempest Storm. I think it was done at this years Miss Exotic World pageant weekend. I am so inspired by Tempests ability to continue with her career and transcend the age barrier. She never had a day when she woke up and said " God, I had better find something else to do". She didn't believe that she needed to stop dancing because she was growing a little older. She is a dancer! That is what she IS. They ran this interview on MSN and my father called me and spoke to me about this "woman" he had read about , not knowing much about burlesque he had no clue that that " woman" was a legend! I talked to him about how I had the same love and the same calling that Tempest spoke of in the interview and that for me, it is really all I want to do . Thanks to Tempest, I think he just may understand. I would love to get the chance to tell her someday about how she bridged a gap between my father and I . I owe her a debt of gratitude because I am that ONE person who she changed the life of when she gave that interview. WOW.

What exciting things are you working on currently?

Right now I am working on the peacock routine. The costume and concept is one that has been passed down to me by Catherine D'Lish and I feel very lucky to be the curator of the act at this time. Its always hard to take something that someone else has made famous and perform in place of them. I am working on putting my own spin on the show and then trying to use a few of her moves as a wink of a reminder to Catherine herself. I will be adding a fountain and a few little other tricks that will make the show my own in the end but after its all said and done, I plan to return the costume etc. to Catherine so it can maybe go into the Exotic World Museum where I believe that it really belongs.

What advice do you have for aspiring Teasers?

It may sound cheesy but I really believe that you should always listen to your heart. Block out the sounds of what people may be telling you and just stay quiet and listen.

Name three things every Teaser must have!

Lets see... every teaser should have a wicked come hither look, a dangerously low cut dress and a great walk. You have to practice that walk ! You know the one, the walk from across the bar to your table when you want every boy in the room to look at you. Every teaser should have an equally teasing walk.

What does glamour mean to you, and what makes you feel glamorous?

Glamour is not something that you can buy or make up . Glamour is an aura about something that makes it special . Its what gives something or someone that awe factor . I feel that women need glamour these days a little bit more than we call upon it. Life is hard and things can get you down, its true, but I have found that I can make myself feel better and view the world in a totally different way when I try to be more glamorous . In my everyday life I wear makeup and most days even go so far as to wear lashes . They make me feel pretty . I love to make sure that my hair is done and that it is usually rolled , even if all I'm doing is a run to Target. If you are having a bad day and you pass by a mirror and catch a look at yourself and think " hey, I'm not doing so bad today, I look pretty damn good!" then I find that it can pick you up and carry you through some of the bad times a little easier than you thought.

What is in your makeup bag?

Always eyelashes. I have the worst natural lashes and so I love love love a good pair of eyelashes. I really like Lip fusion's lip gloss in smooch for day time when I don't feel like lipstick. MAC Classic Dame lipstick and my most favorite thing is my Besame compact. I love it. Its so elegant and small , just like a little piece of jewelry in my purse . I love to whip it out and powder my nose with it everywhere I go.

What was the last book you read?

I just finished Empress by Shan Sa. It was a wonderful piece of historical fiction based upon the life and rule of the great Empress Wu. Her rule during the Tang Dynasty was not unlike the rule of the great Queen Elizabeth the 1st . She ruled for many years without the help of a man or partner and ushered in a time of peace and prosperity that her country still talks about. A golden age.

What was the last party you attended?

I went to a fourth of July party in Hollywood with my girlfriends and it was so ridiculous that we cut out and went to Korea town for massages and body scrubs!

What handsome Old Hollywood Star makes you swoon?

I have a serious thing for Gene Kelly. Now don't get me wrong, I love Fred Astaire ... but to me Gene just embodied the soul of a blue collar guy when he took to the dance floor. He had so much masculine energy when he danced. He had this low center of gravity where as Fred danced very high and straight. Fred was very aristocratic. Something about how Gene danced just takes my breath away every time. I also have a bad boy crush on Errol Flynn . He was so hot with that sword! Oh my god. They say he was quite a ladies man, I hope he was . Then you can always get me with some Jimmy Stewart or some Carey Grant. How lucky was Catherine Hepburn to work with them both in The Philadelphia Story? I don't know how she picked one . I got confused and would never be able to pick between the two.

What does Miss Ava Garter look for in a gentleman suitor?

Wow! Believe it or not, I don't date much. Yep, I'm the terminally single girl. I work so much that I rarely have time to meet any cute boys! Trust me, I'm up for it so if you know of any..... I am determined to meet someone who is a gentleman this time. I have had some bad luck , let me tell you. A good gentleman is hard to find.

Where do you see your self in a few years?

I would hope to find myself traveling my little show all over the world, their are so many places that I can't wait to go to.

Thanks Ava! xx

For more information on Ava Garter, please visit

For booking and press inquires, please contact

photo credits: 1. Plush Images 2. S.H. Photo Lab 3. Bravofoto 4. Marco Patino 5. Jake Davis Photography 6. Phillip Ritchie Photography 7. Lori Brystan 8. Jim Knell Photography 9. Jim Knell Photography 10. S.H. Photo Lab 11. Unknown 12. Plush Images 13. Plush Images


August Winner

Original post date Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Thanks to all who entered the August giveaway! I decided to change it up a bit and make it more of a challenge and was happy to see just how many knowledgeable glamouristas there are out there!

The winner is:
Chloe from Souderton, PA

Chloe wins a new MAC trio of Mineralize Blush in Dainty, MAC Starflash Eyeshadow in Mink & Sable and a MAC Eye Kohl Pencil in Mystery. Just a heads up to let you know that September's giveaway is going to be HUGE! Thanks again to everyone! xx

August Giveaway

Original post date Friday, August 15, 2008

Why did Marvin Westmore start working at his uncles' House of
Westmore Salon?

Please EMAIL me with the correct answer, your name and address. A winner will be drawn at random and will receive a MAC Mineralize Blush in Dainty (a soft peach) a MAC Starflash Eyeshadow in Mink & Sable (a golden green) and a MAC Eye Kohl Pencil in Mystery (a black green). This giveaway ends Wed. Aug 20th 12noon EST. THANKS!! xx


July Winners

Original post date Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Wow~ My original plan was to give away one set of products; a MAC Lipglass, Eyeshadow and Nail Lacquer in either reds or pinks to a lucky winner, but due to overwhelming response I decided to give away both sets! Two names were drawn at random, one from the red lovers and one from the pink lovers.

The red winner is:

Belle from Winnipeg, Canada

The pink winner is:

Lyn from Auckland, New Zealand

I want to thank everyone who entered! There is a sweepstakes website that has picked up on this and posts all of the giveaway information upfront so there is no reason to visit my blog at all, or anyone else's for that matter! Because of this, I will be making the next giveaway a bit of a challenge... ;) I choose to do these product giveaways as a thank you to those who actually read my blog and appreciate glamour as much as I do!!

Thanks gals! xo


July Giveaway

Original post date Wednesday, July 16, 2008

July's giveaway is for a great set of MAC products! I am giving away a brand new MAC Lipglass, Eyeshadow and Nail Laquer. Your choice of colors will be classic reds or neutral pinks. If you would like to enter, please EMAIL me with your name and address and color choice. This ends on Wed. July 23rd, 12noon EST. I will draw the winner at random. Thanks!!


Catherine D'Lish

Original post date Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Dancing, rhinestones, feathers... sounds wonderful doesn't it? Burlesque is all of those things, but there is a lot of dedication required with maintaining this glamorous career. One of the hardest working women in burlesque is Catherine D'Lish. Some of you may know her from her erotic and captivating performances as a strip teaser, others may know her as a world class costumer, designing for fellow performers Dita Von Teese and Ava Garter. She is both and more! I have been fortunate enough to see her perform live and was wowed by her elegance and magnetism. Catherine was kind enough to take the time to answer a few questions for us about her life and times as a showgirl!

Why perform Burlesque... as opposed to being a Broadway performer or an actress? How did you start?

I started all of "this" purely by accident, it was as a joke-I was scanning help-wanted ads, looking for a part-time job. I saw an ad that said something like, "$$$NUDE$$$", with a downtown address. I thought that it would be very funny if I went down and applied for the job, never imagining that I would work there, much less become a stripper. I was right, it was very funny!

You have many titles to your name, do you have one that is dear to you?

The best parts of all of those competitions was learning how to win and the funny stories I took away from each experience. The titles don't mean too much to me, I just liked competing. It was pretty comical to me that I was "Miss Nude Whatever". If there was a contest that I thought was appropriate to enter, I would in a heartbeat! However, I'm not sure whatever happened to the boxes of trophies, tiaras, and sashes...

Do you allow room for improvisation while you are on stage?

I'm not proud to say that for the last several years, it has been pretty much complete "improvisation" on stage. It feels to me like I am just cruising around, taking stuff off, and hopping in the glass, or whatever prop is up there with me. Rehearsing is something that I used to do, hours and hours. I would like to spend some time rehearsing for what ever shows are upcoming- I could certainly use it!!! I know that time spent in the studio pays off with a much stronger show, and I have always recommended it. "Practice what you preach", isn't that how that goes?

Your shows are classy, decadent and alluring. How do you get in the mood before a performance?

Geez, thanks! There is no "getting-in-the-mood-ceremony" for me, the only time I need to be in the mood is from the moment I step onto the stage until I am finished. It doesn't, and shouldn't ( I believe) matter what I do before I go on. But I must admit that I enjoy a good private Ipod dance party in my dressing room before a show...

You have some pretty physical acts~ the Spiderweb, the Champagne Glass... any injuries or mishaps?

You mean like a terrible Spider injury? I really like the physical aspect of the shows, for me it's like playing on a funny jungle-gym. I've had a great time preparing those numbers, figuring out what the props should be like to accommodate my body, and what to do on them once the prop is built. Usually the rehearsals are pretty painful, but even the most uncomfortable things are magically ouch-less during a performance. Thank heavens.

Like all performers, I'm sure you have 'on' and 'off' shows. What do you tell yourself afterwards?

I learned a long time ago that nobody wants to hear about why you didn't think you were whatever you thought you were supposed to be- So, if I tell myself anything after a show, it's "shut up". It is true that you are only as good as your last show, to yourself anyway, so the sooner you have a chance to redeem yourself, the better-

Any helpful hints to those just starting out in the business?

Hmmmm...Helpful hints:

a) practice, practice, practice (use a mirror)
b) do something that doesn't replicate something you have already seen, do something that suits you
c) find what truly flatters you and make the most of it
d) if there is something that you don't like about yourself, change it/ hide it/ don't talk about it
e) enjoy what you do
f) have good photos taken
g) make sure you have a way to support yourself and your new hobby

How did you get started making costumes~ was it out of necessity?

The costumes started just after I answered the help-wanted ad and was working in a very seedy strip club- I needed some fun things to wear. Shortly after that, I started making things for the other girls to wear, too...

How much pre production goes into making these costumes? Do you think about safety, movement etc... ?

Nobody will ever understand how much time goes into the most extravagant show projects-It is one of our favorite jokes around the work table, as we do miles of painstaking beadwork we laugh about how it will be seen on stage, and people will just say, "that's real shiny"...Every project has a different look, a different function, different way of movement- They are all "safe", and functional- none are practical!

You have been both on stage as a performer and off stage as a costume designer. Do you prefer one over the other?

Performing, costume work, "creative direction" and "consulting" are all fun for me- easy, but tons of work. There is soooooooooooooo much time put into every project...

What was your most elaborate costume to date?

The Dita costumes are definitely the most elaborate, the product of bigger budgets and my desire to top the last project every time. I am very happy that people seem to like them, mostly it just makes me want to do another one, to show them something better. Dita and I have had a great time doing her shows together, and she is always a good sport about wearing the garments- some of them weigh up to 40 pounds, and are more complicated than the average stage costume.

I imagine a large craft and sewing room in your house, with feathers, beads and fabric strewn all over... and a few naked showgirls. How correct am I?

Oh, yes- you bet. Hot naked girls sprawled all over the place! Right around a deadline, there is always a horrible mess, but otherwise we tidy up at the end of each day- I do have to live among the rhinestones. It is wonderfully convenient to "craft" here because if I am not sleeping, I am usually working on a project. I hope that I can always work from home, it is great to roll out of bed and spend the day with my beautiful team of girls, working in my pajamas.

You've been captured by famed contemporary pinup artist Oliva, what a thrill! What was it like working with her?

I am very lucky to know Olivia as a friend- she is a completely lovely person, couldn't be any nicer, and so talented! The painting of me came as a total surprise.

You certainly are D'Lish! Do you have a beauty routine that you swear by?

I know that I look my best when I get plenty of sleep and work out like a maniac.(and avoid sugar/alcohol/stress)I use the best skin-care products that I can get my hands on, and consume only things that are healthy 99.9% of the time.Water water water.

What does glamour mean to you?

Glamour is an interesting idea- one person can be parading around, feeling incredibly glamorous, while another person can find their appearance appalling. I say hooray for the the person really going for it.

Where did you go for your last vacation?

Dita invited me to join her at a fun spa last winter, we had a terrific time- it was like being at a funny, healthy camp, but with nice people rubbing you!

Are redheads really fiery?

I suppose that you are asking if I get fired up? I don't know too many redheads, and I am not sure if I even count as one-I am extremely rational, but definitely combustible.

What is your signature scent?

I wear a perfume by Jar (with a lightning bolt on their bottle), but sometimes if I need to wear something different, I also enjoy "Shadow" by Jar.

Do you make wishes~ the shooting star, throw a penny in a fountain, blow out candles kind?

I make wishes all day long.

Who or what inspires you?

I like beautiful things to work with- that is inspiring for me. I am also inspired by my wonderful team of girls that keep showing up to put their pretty noses to the rhinestones- they make me want to try to do the best work I can. They have burnt plenty of midnight oil with me, and long, crazy days. I would like to continue to produce projects that they are happy to have been a part of.

You have worked long and hard for your success~ what's next for Catherine D'Lish?

You're funny- hopefully, success is next for Catherine D'Lish...

Thank you Catherine! x

For more information on Catherine D'Lish, please visit

photo credits: 1. Ramon Estrada 2. Sean McCall 3. Unknown 4. Ramon Estrada 5. Christophe Mourthe 6. Unknown 7. Sean McCall


Cyd Charisse

Original post date Wednesday, June 25, 2008

We all know by now Cyd Charisse passed away last week. She was an inspiration to many of us, I am sure. She was only 5'6", but had legs for days! Here she is in my favorite role of hers; Singin' in the Rain. Who didn't want a pair of green nylons after they saw this?! Not to mention be in the arms of Gene Kelly... ;) Read about her life here.