January’s @crystalparade1 blog features classic Burlesque performer @rubydeshabille. A veteran dancer for famous UK venues such as Café De Paris and Proud Cabaret, she shares her costuming knowledge with Charlotte Pacelli, from costume restyle service @primpmycostume

Charlotte Pacelli: Let’s start with a budgeting question. I have £150 to make a classic burlesque costume. What should I invest it in?

Ruby Deshabille: Often the biggest investment (and my favourite) is a bespoke corset. That can make all the difference to a silhouette. If the costume is not including a corset, then well-made, well-fitting lingerie is next on my list.

CP: Quick fire round. Sequins, beads or rhinestones? Discuss.

RD: All can be used in such effective ways. Holographic sequins looks smashing if you’re on a budget. I adore the movement of beaded fringing but it does take a lot of upkeep to keep it looking nice. Of course, glass crystals are the Everest of embellishments. Even the lower-budget crystals will still sparkle like a dream onstage if they have an AB coating.

Photo by Steven Gregson

CP: Has another performer had a clever structure or fastening in their costume that has impressed you?

RD: I am an absolute sucker for a quick change costume. A quick change reveal is so outrageous and has such a huge impact. It shows such audacity and character in an act or a performer.

CP: Describe two places you’ve recently got costume inspiration from.

RD: I saw Strictly Ballroom in the West End a few months back and was absolutely in love with those swishy, frothy, floaty dresses. The movement of them is just so elegant and playful. My new revamped ‘Pony’ act has a strong Fosse and equestrian style influence. I love creating a sharp, tailored silhouette.

CP: Fantasy time. If you could swap your costume collection with a burly colleague, who would you choose and why?

RD: I’m currently lusting after all of Violet Chachki’s show wardrobe. She has an absolute dream of Diva costumes!

Photo by Chris Baker


Follow @rubydeshabille for details on upcoming shows

Interview by Charlotte Pacelli (Liberty Sweet)

- Director of costume makeover service @primpmycostume (IG/ Twitter/ Facebook) / co-founder of London’s leading Burlesque Troupe @thefollymixtures/ original Hurly Burly Girly for @themisspollyrae

Main photo © Ben Carpenter Photography.