Friday, May 3, 2013

Out of a showgirl's trunk

New York burlesque Queen, Angie Pontani posted a photo of a trunk of treasures that she'd found at one of NYC's flea markets.
As you can see, her trunk is a bounty of dazzling items, sequins, beads and feathers.

Angie's market find
Copyright Angie Pontani

Angie was one of the first performers I saw in NYC in 2008 at This Was Burlesque at the Corio.
I loved the show so much that I returned the following weekend with a good friend from Tasmania and a group we'd met at his hostel, they too loved it so it's sad to know that the show is no longer running. But the performers, The Pontani Sisters, Melody Sweets, Peekaboo Pointe and MC Murray Hill are, so if you're looking for burlesque in the US, start googling those names!

The costumes in this entry came from a showgirl's trunk.
Most of them are unwearable, gelatine sequins which melt due to contact with water or heat, costumes so small I can barely get a foot in... So these I use for study or for guilty hoarding.

This nude illusion playsuit has a short tulle skirt, sequined rope and plastic pearl beads

The sequined rope is bald in some patches, it ends in a bow on the left hand side

Some of the plastic beads are attached with glue, others sewn on, there is no deliberate pattern!

The fabric is very thin and flimsy
The sequined rope ends in tulle swatches

My favourite piece from the collection if only because I can wear it!

Whether I find something online or on a rack, my heard starts beating just a little faster. I've gone out of my way to return to flea markets when a stall owner suggests they might have something at the back of a garage that they can pull out for the next day, I've gotten up at 3am to snipe bid on Ebay- not always sucessfully.

I was drawn to this tunic because of the design and the colour of the sequins

The front is secured with small push studs.
The back is my favourite part. The pattern is a bit uneven which is typical of the cheaper hand made burlesque costumes of the 40s and 50s
Great straps and colours. The bra is very basic, I'll update with photos of the inside seams

Cute pants with fixed ruffle skirt.

asymmetrical design...

Some of the leaves are sewn on, others are hand beaded straight on to the pants which are heavy, lined and fasten with a zip at the back.
Painstaking work, each of these were hand sewn

Occasionally I sell, repurpose or regift items, I do so reluctantly however if I can't use it, I hope that others will. A dear friend of mine was delighted when I gave her a little showgirl bra. I love it so much but it would never fit me. Happily the next time I saw her she gave me a vintage 1960's hawaiin bikini, so I think we're square!

Great little show girl bra, hand sewn, tiny fit.
I really like the design, the big ruffled shoulders with a tropical print, hand sewn sequins on the ruffles and bra.
Pink net and magenta velvet set. Jaci had multiples of this set for sale so I presume it was made for a chorus line.

Love the matching fringing, there is no faded patches on the velvet

The stitches are large and the velvet is roughly hewn 

These were from a showgirl trunk. Sold on Etsy by Jaci Brooks from California who has a collection of home made and vintage treasures up for sale including this saloon dress

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