Thursday, December 3, 2015

Immodesty Blaize!

The last month of 2015 is here, and boy-oh-boy what a year it has been!  We have had the pleasure to share with all of you, several Pink Collar Gals, that are inspiring in their art, nature, and how they conduct business.  For December, we are going out with a bang, bringing to you the classic burlesque artiste, fashion icon, producer, novelist, and living legend….Immodesty Blaize!

When my career first started in burlesque, Immodesty Blaize had just won the Miss Exotic World title.  It was no surprise as she had been an overwhelming site on stage.  Known for her larger than life props, embellished costumes, and a figure to die for, she is a site that is incomparable.  Over the years I have been able to get to know Immodesty more than just what is seen in the spotlight, and today I am able to share with you a round of questions I had for her! 

Q: Where do you get your good looks from? In other words....What's your ethnicity?
A: My family is Croatian, Russian, French and Irish.

Q: You are a classic beauty with memorable style very similar to Sophia Loren, have you ever had the opportunity to meet her?
A: Ah thank you for such a compliment! No I’ve never met her unfortunately, though I do have signed photos and a signed beauty book of hers.

Q: What did you want to be when you grew up?
A: An artist or a veterinary surgeon!

Q: You are most known for your work as a burlesque dancer, but also have done work as a model, producer, director, and author.... What other titles can we expect from Immodesty Blaize? Future projects/books?

A: I guess that’s quite a few titles! But they all cross over really, I just like to make things; if I didn’t I’d go crazy. Whether it’s writing or creating film or music or painting or designing, it’s all just a way of expressing something and making something happen. 

At the moment I’ve just collaborated with The Pretty Dress Company on one of their ranges which I’ve enjoyed immensely, and I do hope that in the future I will have the opportunity to design my own collection. 

I’m currently writing my third book, which is non-fiction after my two ‘bonkbuster’ romance novels. In 17 years of performing I’ve had so much fan mail from women worried about their lack of confidence, or about their bodies and looks, (sadly quite often with eating disorders) and asking for advice. I always felt it wasn’t enough to just reply. So for a few years now, triggered by a knee injury that blocked me from dancing on stage for 6 months, I’ve been studying under an incredible doctor of nutrition, and learning with neurobiologists, psychologists etc, in order to research and write my book. It’s a book to stop women dieting and get them building healthy self esteem and goals. It addresses the psychology of food among other things, as well as solid, non-fad driven nutritional advice and busting apart myths we’ve grown up with (like the myths of calories in, calories out, or that cholesterol causes heart disease). 

Quite simply, diets and manipulating the nutrition on your plate, doesn’t address the root cause of any problem in your mind that causes you to eat a certain way in the first place, or to have destructive beliefs about your body. Dieting sees us having negative dialogues with ourselves. Some of the tasks I’ve included in the book have a profound effect that following a diet sheet will never address. I went through it myself to be able to get my body back in shape, and get back on stage after my knee injury! Perhaps why I’ve been so close to this issue for so long is that in the performance industry our looks are so intrinsic to what we do, and too many colleagues and fans have come to me ill, and unhealthy in body and mind. I’m not concerned with a woman’s lipstick, or what shape nails she has, or if she has the right hairstyle to be considered ‘glamorous’…but I am very interested in her inner beauty, strength and confidence. Makeup can be lovely, but it’s not what makes women shine brightly, character is. Inner power. That’s what interests me, and it’s what I delve into in my book. It’s been a labour of love, and an amazing journey to write it.

Q: Will there be another Tease Show?

A: I’ve no immediate plans this year to produce one as after the film, I didn’t want to keep doing the same thing over and over, and I’ve been developing some other performances such as my opera-burlesque which I started testing out this year. But I’ll definitely bring back the Tease Show again in the future, it was too much fun!

Q: Recall a memorable, awkward, or funny story that happened while performing on stage.

A: I set the stage alight with my bra in my West End show. I flung it off and it landed on a hot light. I carried on performing unaware, until black smoke started billowing behind me, we had to drop the curtain and put the flames out, the theatre smelt of burnt feathers for days.

Q: Describe a typical day for Immodesty Blaize?

A: No typical day as such, as it depends what projects or shows I’m working on or what country I’m in. But wherever I am, the day starts with a sunrise meditation and a Nutribullet! It might sometimes end up with a dry martini too, but being somewhere between meditation and martinis is fine.

Q: Congratulations, you are a newlywed! What inspired your wedding dress design/selection and where did you get it from? 

A: Thank you! Monaco law means you must have a legal civil ceremony before you can have the church ceremony. So my first dress for the civil ceremony was an original !950s Priscilla of Boston oyster satin tea dress. I had no idea she designed the bridesmaid gowns for Princess Grace of Monaco so that was a nice touch to discover that later. I just wanted something fresh and romantic, with a French/Italian 1950’s feel, so I sourced it from Elizabeth Avey Bridal who specialize in vintage and antique gowns. 

For the cathedral at first I just knew I wanted lace. I spend my life in costume and can wear one any day, so I wanted my dress to be less showgirl, more bridal. I still like a ‘look’ though. So, my main inspiration was Ava Gardner in Barefoot Contessa, the scene where she’s posing for her statue in bare feet, also Marlene Dietrich in Devil is a Woman. Then Maria Callas (hair) and Yma Sumac (the lace cape) I had it all made by Whitechapel Workhouse, who make some of my costumes, and the headpiece was by the incredible Stephen Jones.

Immodesty on her wedding day

Q: What is your favorite accessory?

A: My wedding ring! That probably doesn’t count…well I’m an accessory queen; turbans, scarves, antique hair combs, bun pins, box bags…but I guess one thing I’d be lost without is my trusty simple black beret.

Q: For fun, tell us two fibs and one truth about yourself...Don't reveal the truth

 * I once met Zsa Zsa Gabor and had no idea who she was until someone had to explain

*I have the most famous freakshow Italian Siamese twins from end of 19th century in my family tree

*My birth name is actually Frederica but my mother got so tired of people calling me Fred she changed it.

Immodesty Blaize is on:

<3 T & A

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