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!
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!
Hailing from down under and currently on an international fire-eating tour, we can guarantee you that mesmerising fire duo Shade Flamewater and Mini Azur will be like nothing you have ever seen before…
Watching their act is like feeling both at once connected to the elements and betrayed by them. Mini and Shade guide, mould and play with fire as if it were completely at their whim, from the start you are under their spell
We asked Mini a couple of brief but beautiful questions:
What do you live most about burlesque and cabaret?
La vie en grand !!!
What is your most memorable performance so far?
Festival cultural de Mayo in Mexico. We did a 30 minutes show called the "Rise of the Phoenix" - it was made specially for the occasion.
Can you give us a retro or burlesque style tip?
Less is more. But not all the time ; )
Mini and Shade will be at our HELLFIRE - Grand Halloween Ball on 28th October
DO NOT MISS THEM!
The last time we embarked on a road trip to the big City we were headed to the same location.
We adventured to London in July 2016 to check out the cabaret show scene.
We dressed in vintage frocks and bought tickets to Hotel Black Cat in the Wonderground ( Underbelly Festival ) Speigeltent.
As the show finished we gazed around the beautiful mirrored vintage circus tent in wonder.
It suited us darlings.
We felt as snug here as we do in our well-tied corsets.
We headed out to the open top bar to sip our drinks in the fairground style seating.
Fairy lights twinkled above our heads as we admired the beautiful selection of huge show posters on the wall.
"I think we should put on a show here" said Ruby.
And here we are.
Less than one year later.
The first of TWO shows that we are holding here this year.
We do love our Ruby and her determination.
The famous Underbelly Festival is underway on the Southbank until September.
We headed outside to join the fun and meet the festival goers.
We love how bright and quirky it is here!
We squealed with joy when we saw our show posters! all THREE of them!
And we posed for lots and lots of pictures with them.
Because they are fabulous.
And we are fabulous.
It was almost too much fabulous to bear.
The doors opened and the show began.
The line up was as splendid as the venue.
"No stranger to the absurd, Joe Black creates a world where the shocking is the sublime and the ridiculous is the beautiful"
He was our perfect Mad-Hatter.
Lena Mae hopped on with her first act as the white rabbit.
Popping giant white balloons and riding an enormous phallic golden glittery carrot.
She's so freaky.
We LOVE her!
Ulrike Storch was our lovely little Alice.
Beautiful and poised she juggled dancing objects effortlessly on the end of her toes.
Such a curious talent to have!
Augusts Dakteris wowed us with his incredible strength during his ascent to the sky.
Is he possibly the most handsome caterpillar in the world?
Ruby Truelove ruffled feathers with a gloriously beautiful display of fan-dance fantasy as the regal Queen of Hearts.
Then Lena returned and painted all the cheeks red!
Beautiful Ulrike performed her second, more sultry act, through the swish of her exquisite cloak.
Unbelievably wonderful LED poi by Arcturus Light bounced amazing Wonderland style visuals around the interior of the beautiful mirrored Spiegeltent.
The whole cast hit the stage for our incredible Mad Hatters tea party food fight finale.
We all ended our night thoroughly covered in cream and champagne. As any good night should end...
Our first Neon Moon Big Smoke road trip was incredible!
And thank goodness it doesn't end there!
Come and join us for our next appearance at this extraordinary big city venue.
We will be back at The Underbelly Festival with The Electric Rodeo Circus in September!
Circus, Cabaret and Burlesque mixed with stunning visuals - an unmissable and electrifying ride!
BOOK YOUR TICKETS NOW!
Thank you so much to our incredible audience who made us feel so wonderfully welcome!
With our first show Wonderland at Underbelly Festival on the London Southbank only two days away we catch up with Costume Design Student, Emma Ahlberg who helped Neon Moon Director and performer Ruby Truelove transform her iconic Marie Antoinette dress into a bespoke Queen of Hearts for the show:
“For the Queen of Hearts outfit, both Ruby and I discussed what sort of style she was after.
We decided that deep red sequin hearts would compliment the vintage aesthetic of the costume and we roughly placed them around where we thought they were best onto her corset, thin petticoat and underwear.
Next, I pinned the hearts into place. I then roughly stitched around the corners of each one, to make sure they were still secure, but easy to remove after the show.
I then added a large red bow to the front the the petty coat. I pinned it on with poppers, so that Ruby could simply pull off during performance… You will have to see the video to see what I mean!"
"For accessories, Ruby will be wearing a collection of large flowers in her hair - to pick up the same effect that comes out of the light-catching sequin hearts on her outfit, I have also added sequins to the corners of some of these flowers.
I'm excited to see Ruby in full costume for a dress rehearsal before the show, this will tell me whether anything needs to be added or removed.
The queen of hearts is as much as a diva as I believe Ruby is during performance, so I have no doubt in her wowing her audience this Friday!”
"I had fun with this outfit and am now planning out my own costume! Watch this space!…."
Join us for a psychedelic trip to Wonderland with the Underbelly Festival on Friday June 23rd!
This one night only show promises to be one of our best shows yet - tickets are available now!
Excitingly, we will also be bringing our brand new TOURING SHOW The Electric Rodeo Circus to The Underbelly Festival Speigeltent in September!
Watch this space for our full lineup but for now, a little something special from our featured Wonderland artist :
WORLD CLASS FOOT JUGGLER Ulrike Storch!