The history around stripes in clothing has a long and winding past. When we think about stripes with our modern mind we tend to romanticise them with images of whimsical circus performers, or mysterious French mimes. However, stripes started out with a much darker past and were originally regarded as shameful, degrading and diabolical.
The first known documentations of stripes in clothing dates back to medieval times where anyone who wore stripes were considered outcasts and associated with disorder and difference. These people tended to be circus performers, prostitutes, non-Christians and disloyal knights. People in the medieval ages found any surface in which they could not distinguish the foreground from the background disturbing. Stripes were associated with the devil and wearing them could actually get you killed as documented in 1310 when a French clergyman was condemned to DEATH for wearing them.
No one really knows where the condemnation of wearing stripes originates but there are several theories regarding the origins. The first being a free interpretation of a quote from the Bible:
“You will not wear upon yourself a garment made of two different kinds of textiles.”
The second theory is that wearing stripes conceals the silhouette acting like a type of camouflage.
In the middle ages, zoologists even thought that Zebras were evil because of their black and white stripes, despite never actually seeing them.
One could also argue that the contrast between the light and dark colours could reflect good and evil, but that is open to interpretation.
During the 18th century stripes started to develop a good name for themselves. During the American revolution wearing stripes became a political at that showed you adhered to enlightened thinking. This also carried across to the France and the rest of Europe during the French revolution.
Fast forward to 19th century America, and stripes started to become a sign of outcasts again with the famous prisoners black and white striped uniform symbolising jail bars and making them easy to distinguish. Most jails ended up abolishing the stripe uniforms as stripes were seen as a “Badge of Disgrace”. The last known state to abolish the striped prisons uniform was North Carolina in 1958.
In 1917 Coco Chanel introduced stripes into her fashion line making the striped top a staple for people of all social standing, ages, and gender.
Today as normal as it is to wear stripes, we still associate them with the mysterious, strange, and curious and often these are re-affirmed in our minds by television and films where the odd characters ae usually dressed in stripes.
Whether it’s the light or the dark side of stripes, they have either enlightening or horrible history around them.
With our upcoming Shadow Circus event, you can pretty much guarantee that scary clowns are going to be a thing.
So here are some ideas, from quick and simple, through to layers of latex, to get you inspired!
Beginner level - simple clown facepaints
Intermediate level - more tricky facepainting and latex use!
Advanced level - incredibly terrifying clown looks!
Hope this has inspired you!
Want to join us for our next event? Go to our homepage now!
Imagine someone handed you the keys to a massive mansion for a day - what would be the first thing you would do? I immediately got on the phone to Black Cravat Photography and told them "Get down here - we've got a f**king mansion to shoot in!"
Oozing elegance and sexuality - Stephen Harpa - Mr. Pole Fitness UK Nominee
Before long I'd assembled a dream team of some of our facourite acts. Some of whom will feature in our forthcoming Halloween Shadow Circus spectaculars!
Dixie Dread in the master bedroom... enter if you dare
Ethereal Lexacution in the drawing room
Beautiful Burlesque Ruby Truelove in the Grand Ballroom
Drinking shots at the bar with Laurie Black
It was an amazing day of shooting at the incredible and opulent Stanmer House (Proud Cabaret Country House) and I am thrilled to share the results with you!
It was an incredible day - and this is just a tiny glimpse of how amazing this venue is going to look once we give it the full Neon Moon treatment!
Come and see it for yourself - book tickets now at www.theneonmoonclub.com
Photography and Film: Black Cravat Photography, Dominikas Photography - Edited by Catherine Watling www.catherinewatling.com - A Neon Moon Production 2018. Shot on Location at the Proud Cabaret Country House - Stanmer House Brighton.
Please welcome the newest member of the Filles de la Lune, Miss Black Reign! The gorgeous pin-up kick-line, put together by Neon Moon's Ruby Truelove, are so excited to be welcoming the wonderful face of 'Dollhouse Photography' to debut at The Neon Moon Wild West Spring Ball on April 21st... DO NOT MISS IT!
Filles de La Lune - Luna at the Cambridge Union Society (Venue of the Wild West Spring Ball) by Black Cravat Photography
Filles de La Lune - After Dark by Black Cravat Photography
We've had a few people asking about our Wild West theme - the reason why we love it is it offers a great chance to do the classic burlesque or vintage costumes that we all love - OR you can go down the whole the "cowboy" look and be still be on theme. Here we're going to give a few ideas for outfits for all you lovers of costume!
The Saloon girl costume
A quick historical point - the "Wild West" era was 1865 - 1895 - so the better off saloon girls would in some of the more areas would have been dressed in some pretty fancy wear. If you need to get an idea of the sort of thing, just think of the moulin rouge costumes. Here are a couple of videos showcasing a few different costume ideas!
Of course, not every saloon girl would be dressed as flamboyantly as this - but here are you basic principles:
Hopefully this gives you a few ideas to get started!
The cowboy or cowgirl style costume
So first off - SURPRISE! Cross dressing was actually a thing in the Wild West! Bet you didn't guess that! But don't take it from us, trust historian Peter Hoag:
"what I was unprepared for when I started uncovering all these female to male cross dressers, I also started to uncover hundreds of stories of men who dressed as women."
So if you've scrolled down here because you're a chap - but you'd rather be a saloon girl - go for it! You'd be totally on brand in doing so!
Now down to the looks - let's start with the basic and work our way up from there. Check out the photo and videos below:
Let's break this down a bit as to what you can choose from:
And as if all that wasn't enough, you've still got the option to go as a well-to-do gent in your top hat and finery! What more could you ask for?
Hopefully this has sparked off a few ideas for you. If you're still stuck, we recommend scouting through a few westerns for more ideas, ask your local fancy dress shop for advice, or check out our Pinterest page for more ideas!
Not got your Wild West Ball tickets?
In the latest made up burlesque concept, performers are completely reversing their classic strip routines, putting on their clothes rather than taking them off - reverseque is the new trend sweeping the industry
Burlesque performers are always pushing the boundaries of their acts to new levels - now they are defying audience expectations by completely reversing their acts - by starting with a reveal and ending fully clothed.
So how on earth could something like this work - in an art form where the tease is such a key part of it?
Well that's what makes it such a challenge - we caught up with April O'Foole, a starlet who's fully embraced the Reversesque philosophy in her acts:
"I just love the challenge - walking backwards onto the stage in high heels is one of the toughest things you can do - the hardest bit of the costume is probably the corset though!"
But this is just the tip of the iceberg - performers are now using magic style trickery to reverse their confetti showers and even champagne pours Jojo Kerr told us a little bit more about it:
"To reverse a confetti pour takes and incredibly intricate setup - every piece of confetti needs to be sewn up with a piece of delicate fishing wire - and it has to be laid out perfectly to get the effect of going off the floor, into the air and back it into your hand without a hitch!"
With performers everywhere getting inspired to put on the clothes, we could be entering a new era of burlesque and variety acts, where everything is done in reverse - imagine jugglers starting their routines with 8 balls and ending with three - perhaps contortionists coming out as a pretzel and turning into a normal human being - or maybe even performers starting out by hoovering champagne off their bodies into a bottle!
Either way we are made up to see what the future brings from the industry, as they continue to push the boundaries of possibility and illusion with this new trend!
We catch up with the incredible Raven Noir featuring at The Neon Moon Wild West Ball
"Never stop learning and remember you are unique, amazing and beautiful."
What is your main performance inspiration?
I am Inspired by so many things, the world around me, people, places, other art forms. I do love the Neo-Burlesque movement and find modern twists on classic burlesque fascinating and incredibly inspiring. I have always loved side/freak show and the Gothic movement most of my acts are inspired by these artistic forms. I would say that my main influence is the darker side of life, with a slightly glamorous twist.
What do you love most about burlesque and cabaret?
in a nutshell the diversity, the fact that you can watch many art forms within one show, the amazing array of talented people and the fact we can do express ourselves through our art. the fact that there is a feeling of family and belonging, and I love the fact that I/we can be whoever or what ever we want to be and we get to perform it in front of some of the most amazing audiences, I have met some of the most interesting and utterly fantastic people through burlesque and cabaret.
What has been your most memorable performance so far?
I have quite honestly had so many memorable performances its hard to pic just one, a performance that will always stay in my mind was performing to an audience of 2000 people. Looking out at quite literally a sea of people was quite breath taking! Performing at my own show at The Tower Ballroom in Blackpool has to be the performance that fills me with pride the most.
Can you give us a Burlesque tip?
Stay true to who you are, and don't worry about what others are doing, and wherever possible video your acts so you can critique them. Never stop learning and remember you are unique, amazing and beautiful.
Watch Raven take to the stage at our next event!
Take a look at our Wild West Pinterest board for costume inspiration for the Wild West Spring Ball and Get ready to ride this wild rodeo vintage style!
2018 will be our BEST YEAR YET!
MANY of you have asked us if we will be having a Christmas and New Year's Eve Ball this year... Our 2017 has been extremely busy with devising and touring our new show www.electricrodeocircus.com and so we decided this festive season the Moonie Family would get fat, eat Turkey and play boggle around the Christmas Tree!
NEVER FEAR! We are hatching some absolutely MAGNIFICENT plans for your 2018 entertainment.
We will be BACK WITH A BANG come new year — get your pens ready as the diary dates will go LIVE so very soon!
With not long to go until Halloween, a classic look for our HELLFIRE theme would be to go with a demon effect. You'll need two things to get the look right - a decent set of horns, and some skin-friendly facepaint!
First off - the Horns! Here are 4 simple tutorilas we liked on how you can make your own. Of course, you will be able to find them if you shop online, and don't forget you'll probably need spirit gum to attach them if they're going straight on your forehead!
Then to get the demon look, you'll want to finish it off with facepaint - we've included a few different options here, from a classic red look, to how to get the look of a carved in pentagram!
Finally, we just couldn't resist this one! teeth are a final great way to add an unsettling effect to your costume, and none more so than this one! Also note the use of contact lenses to give a really creepy edge to your look!
We hope this has provided you with some inspiration - and do make sure you always test anything your putting on your skin on a small patch first to check for allegic reactions!
You can still get tickets for our Halloween Ball now - just click the button below!