News and a bit of fluff (make that flowers)

Hi.  I hope the hail didn’t get you today.  That was a pretty instant storm that seemed to disappear as fast as it turned up.

I’m currently doing a re-trial of setting lotion, being that I got my hair cut shorter, and felt a more in-depth study was needed on the Top 4 lotions.  See here for the progress up to now.


Setting Lotion Trial – the results

Well, it’s been a long time coming, and a ton of hair curling, and some searching the city for some of the products used in my trial. But finally at the end here is the collated results of the trial.


Setting Lotion Trial – Reno Setting Lotion

Well, today is the last lotion on my list.  I am quite excited about this one cause it’s the middle range price, and has a label that actually says “regular setting lotion”.  Gosh oh gee.


Costumes – fastener inspiration

Currently at Miss la Belle’s House of Burlesque, we have Radiance class, which are the class that goes on to perform at Frolic Lounge Student Showcase.  Things like choreography, costumes, make-up, theme are all on the minds of the student glamazons getting ready to hit the stage.

Making or putting a costume together can be a bit tricky for a number of reasons and here are some ideas for costumes and fasteners.

Costume makers

  • We are fortunate enough to have Flo Foxworthy in Wellington.  She makes costumes for burlesque performers such as Roxi D’Lite and Catherine D’Lish.  She is a lovely lass and loves costumes.  And may not cost as much as you think.  She makes amazing feather fans too.  She also highly rates….
  • Cathy Tree.  Cathy was behind some of the inspiration and costumes for Monster Burlesque.
  • Debbie Eve aka LadyTramp Designs – specalises in sequins and nipple pasties.
  • For off the rack corsets and costumes – Mellypop is local, she has a shop, also you can shop online.
  • Trade Me is also a great place to find costume bits.

Of course you can take existing costumes, such as that amazing 1980′s sequin frock and change it into a burlesque stripping frock.

A quick general write up about tear away costumes by transforming an existing costume.  And here’s a little more instruction from the same Ehow website.

General advice from me is, if you want an existing garment (one you haven’t sewn) to be transformed into tear-away, sometimes getting a size larger is best.  Unpick the seam you wish to tear away.  Finish the seam again if you want to use this costume a bit more than once or twice.  And then sew snap domes along the seams.

I haven’t had a lot of tear away costumes but here’s some of the pros and cons of fasteners.



  • Simple to sew on (straight lines)
  • Once closed, wont come apart mid performance
  • Come in a range of colours


  • Once closed, wont come apart mid performance, without you really having to yank it
  • The bristles can damage delicate fabrics such as lace and netting
  • Makes a noise when you are opening.  Riiiiippppp!
  • Matching colours can be hard to find.
Advice – sometimes the velcro dots are a better choice, being that they are a smaller area of grip they should come apart easier than say, a whole armpit.



  • Quiet to undo
  • Come in a range of colours


  • Takes ages to sew buttons and button holes
  • Hard to undo with gloved hands
  • Takes longer to undo – cant pull away
  • Have to look the part

Gorgeous vintage snaps.



  • Quiet to undo
  • Can pull away – fast
  • Small (audience may not notice them)


  • Take ages to sew on
  • Sometimes can get damaged if you accidentally stand on them
  •  Only come in two colours, black and silver
  • Can pop open around stress points (tight areas such as hips and curvy areas)

 Hooks and eyes


  • Quiet to undo
  • Small (audience should not notice them)
  • Easy to undo
  • Wont come open in stress points


  • Can be hard to undo with gloves
  • Can get snagged on fishnet tights, corset laces etc.
  • Takes a while to sew
  • Again, selected few colours

Ribbon or ties


  • Looks pretty
  • Quick to attach


  • Can get knotted easily
  • Can come undone and item falls off mid performance.

Advice – quite often you aren’t looking when you untie your bows, which may result in pulling the wrong part.  I suggest adding flair such as fringe or beading to the ends (something that feels different to the bow) or a sequin to the ends of the ribbon, so your hands feel for the sequin or beads and you can feel confident pulling that part.

I also advise grosgrain ribbon based on an experience of my  bustle falling off mid performance.  I used satiny ribbon which slipped it’s knot and came undone and fell off from underneath my frock.  Grosgrain is not satiny, and has a sort of rough surface and therefore has more grip.

Test, test and test some more. I have a show apron that ties behind my neck.  I never fully tie it up, and just do one knot.  I know that I can move around for up to two minutes before it starts slipping, its made of cotton and therefore not slippery.  I also know that previously when tied properly that I have had ‘that’ moment practising when it knots itself and I can’t get it to come off.  Since it’s worn on top of the rest of my costume, its a fairly huge risk.  Simply tying one knot, no bow, and leaving the ends in a place I can easily find them works.

Snaps and fasteners available locally



  • Lovely smooth sexy reveal
  • Quiet
  • Effortless
  • Come in all colours


  • Not great for a fast reveal
  • Have to find zips long enough.  Some places you can custom order by length
  • Once damaged, fairly laborious to replace

There are other options, such as pins and safety pins, magnet fasteners and even glue.

Have you got any favourite fasteners – or links to costume makers?  If you need more inspiration look on You Tube for costume sewing, or search for bellydancing costume tutorials.

Looky Links – - >  Frank’s tear-away suit  Jo Boobs Weldon on Costumes   Interview with Melody Mangler  Main Features to a burlesque costume

Setting Lotion Trial – Homemade Flax Seed Recipe

Aloha – I’m back from Auckland and the Very Vintage Day Out.  And what a great event it was.  All day entertainment and all thee things you could ever want for vintage styled glamorous marauding.  Fanciforia Foxglove and Penny Pins both said it was almost overwhelming.  Well done to Miss la Vida and Miss T Pinups for such a well run, glamour packed day.

This week I’m reporting back on my setting lotion trial with a vintage recipe of flax seeds and water.  This recipe was posted on Noir Girl’s website – and she is a frequent Fedora Lounge visitor.  Fedora Lounge is an online forum for discussions on everything vintage.


Setting Lotion Trial – L’Oreal Techni-art Pli Thermo Fixing Spray

Well I am getting down the list of the ole Hair Setting Lotion trial.

Here is the progress so far…The Mission, Test parameters, No lotion result & List of products, Lottabody, Tousle Me Softly, Pin-Up Setting Lotion, mister fantastic, Lemon and water, Le Curls.  After today’s I have two more, Flaxseed and Reno.

Today I’m reporting on one of the harder to find setting lotions.  At least for me.  L’Oreal was suggested by Make Up Artist Jamie Leigh, who said it was used on King Kong for setting finger waves for  1920′s/30′s look.  I started casually looking for it ages ago, at first by just popping into any hairdresser I saw that had L’Oreal products.  But to no avail.  Then more urgently looking for it in the last few weeks.  I tracked it down in a sort-of treasure hunt fashion.  Where one hairdresser says another has it, the other says someone else has it and so on.  Luckily this was just a three hairdresser visit, with Puddles Hair Salon (Cambridge Tce) producing the goods.  Since then Sharyn has told me Rodney Wayne stocks it. (more…)

Bonus Hair Setting Lotion – Le Curls

Hi – I’m fresh back from the Whangamata Beach Hop, where I had a couple of days of all out car craziness and working a market stall at the KickAss Collectables & Coastal News Beach Hop Vintage Market alongside The Vanity Case.  I took Mister Fantastic with me, and totally worked two hair sets without having to add more, all whilst Glamping.  The amenities weren’t all that glamorous but we sure were in our hair nets and pin curls (yeah right).  I had a wonderful time, and got to judge the Inagural Burlesque Competition alongside  Bettsy Rose Lee and Rosina Lee.  Miss Oh La La Paree from Hamilton won, what an amazing firecracker she was too. 


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About Miss La Belle

Hi. I'm a Wellington burlesque dancer and dance teacher. I enjoy having a great giggle in class whilst I teach lovely lasses to dance and to enjoy feminity. Vintage dresses and lingerie are my passion. I love chocolate but dislike pumpkin. I love coffee but loathe licorice. In 2010 I won Miss Burlesque New Zealand with a housewife turns pirate act. You can follow me on Facebook.
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