Tag: Jackie O

Fifties Fashion and Glamour with Elsa Riot and Pearl Buttons

Fifties Fashion and Glamour with Elsa Riot and Pearl Buttons

You guys! It’s already Thursday and that means we are just over a week away from our Decadent debut in Boston. We thought you’d like to meet two more Boston-based performers, Elsa Riot and Pearl Buttons, the dynamic duo who will be putting the FAB in ’50s.

Elsa Riot

Web: elsariot.com
FB: ElsaRiot
IG: elsa.riot

Elsa is producer, curator, and host of Somerville’s premier variety show Smoke & Shadows and the monthly midnight vaudeville pop-up Top Shelf Burlesque.

Pearl Buttons

Web: pearlbuttonsburlesque.com
FB: Pearl Buttons
IG: pearl_buttons

Pearl has been dancing classical ballet and American jazz since she was three, and melds her dance roots with a love for Old Hollywood and all things sparkly to achieve a truly spectacular stage presence.

Elsa and Pearl encapsulate the glamour of classic burlesque, adding a twist of their own earnest charm and signature doofy grins – perfect representatives for the 1950s’ simple luxury and cool-headed quirk!

Let’s learn more about them…

1. What is your favorite thing about the 1950s?
Elsa: The “Beat Generation” counterculture. The 1950s stand out as a stringent time in American history that wanted to see conformity and consumerism from citizens more than anything else. That pressure gave way to interesting and radical movements, styles, culture, and politics – these were the first echoes of sexual liberation, pacifism, anti-capitalism, the end of segregation, rock & roll, and so on. Our act for this show communicates a sexual transformation that mirrors the rejection of traditional 1950s homemaking in favor of freedom and sensuality.

Pearl: Movie musicals. The beginning Cold War meant that this decade was a terrifying time for a lot of Americans and I think the escapism that lighthearted films offered was really important and continues to be now.

Photo: Striker Posie

2. If you could have drinks/dinner with any person from that era, real or fictional, who would it be and why?
Elsa: Marlene Dietrich! She was a sharp and fearless woman in every sense. She was a brilliant variety performer and a sharp businesswoman. She exuded glamour with flawless makeup and the slinkiest dresses and would still put on a top hat and tails to sing songs written for men. She owned her sexuality and laughed in the face of criticism from American churches. She was politically outspoken and anti-war, and as a German during WWII condemned the Nazi party and mobilized with other American stars to help Jews and dissidents escape Europe. And her impeccable style is all over my Pinterest boards. I think she would be amazing to learn from and laugh with over drinks!

Pearl: Probably Charles James. He’s described as “America’s first couturier” and Christian Dior credited him with inspiring the New Look. His designs were so amazingly structured and impeccably tailored. The Met costume institute did a display of his work and showed the inner structure of some of his most famous gowns and it was so fascinating. James also created the “taxi dress,” which was designed to be so easy you could slip it on in the back of a taxi. I love when couture designers also create work that is practical and wearable. He designed right up until his death and that passion for your art is so important. I’m a total tailoring geek and I’d love to discuss technique with him over coffee

3. Is there anyone from today you think embodies the idea of the 1950s?
Elsa: Today’s politics certainly ring familiar to the McCarthyist vibes of the 1950s, but to look at the brighter and more forward-thinking side of the ’50s, I often think about Michelle Obama as the new Jackie O. At first glance she’s a paragon of what is expected of American women – a good mother, supportive wife, smart and attractive but not intimidatingly so – but is in fact strong, independent, glamorous, accomplished, and spirited all on her own. They both stand out as First Ladies who excelled in the public eye, shifted American culture, and left a legacy separate from their husbands.

Photo: Striker Posie

Pearl: I definitely agree with Elsa on Michelle Obama. I think her grace under pressure is remarkable. I admire her ability to balance the traditional role of a first lady while being an incredible political force in her own right. They also both know how to seriously rock a sheath dress.

Come see Elsa, Pearl and the rest of our magical lineup on October 7 at The Rockwell, 255 Elm Street, Somerville, MA, 02144. Doors open at 9:30. A portion of proceeds will benefit The Hispanic Federation to help with hurricane and earthquake relief.


Fashion Flashback Friday: The ’60s

Fashion Flashback Friday: The ’60s

Happy St. Patrick’s Day, peeps! We hope you’re getting your green on today. And speaking of fashion, the ’60s had some dope styles.

’60s fashion ran the gamut from buttoned-up and tailored at the beginning to wild and crazy at the end. Jackie Kennedy was the style icon of the early ’60s, with her tailored, smart Chanel-type suits and pillbox hats. The mid-’60s gave us the bright colors and patterns of the Mod movement and by the end of the decade, “anything goes” and hippie chic were all the rage.

Click any photo for more info.

Early ’60s dresses resembled ’50s styles
More ’50s style in the ’60s. Tight waist and full skirts. Shorter hemlines, though.
And then along came Jackie
And her pillboxes
And effortless style
Women copied her look
Women copied her look
The mid-60s gives us the mod look, with bright patterns and colors.

Twiggy was the mod “It Girl”
She embodied the “pixie” look
Audrey was another popular pixie
Brigitte Bardot rocked the sex kitten scene
More Brigitte
The Babydoll look was big in the mid to late '60s
The Babydoll look was big in the mid to late ’60s.
More babydoll looks
More babydoll looks
And then there were the hippies…London’s Carnaby St.
More British hippies
More British hippies
Festival hippies
Festival hippies
Protesting hippies
Protesting hippies
Who needs fashion? 1967
Who needs fashion? (1967)
Men's silhouettes were tighter
Men’s silhouettes were more tailored to the body
Mod Men, London
Mod Men, London
Male hippies
Male hippies

We hope you liked this groovy journey through history. To see more ’60s fashion, including hair, shoes and accessories, try the sites below. They have amazing info and you can even buy stuff.


Be sure to come back next week as we dust off our bell bottoms and tackle the Me Decade.

And if you haven’t gotten your tickets for Decadent: 100 Years of Burlesque you can do so HERE.

Have a great weekend!

How to Drink like Jackie O

How to Drink like Jackie O

Being a femme fatale can be exhausting. Between keeping track of all the men whose downfalls you’re plotting and trying to figure out how to bury the bodies without ruining your manicure, a girl sometimes just needs to kick up her stilettos and have a drink at the end of a long week.

But that raises the eternal question: “What should I drink?” Perhaps you’re bored with champagne or have had one too many run-ins with the Green Fairy. Or maybe you just feel like consuming a drink named after yourself. In that case, here are some suggestions.

Cheers, darling

This recipe bills itself as fruity like punch. Supposedly, it goes down really smooth and before you know it, you’re dead. Or at least passed out.

Sounds intriguing!

Femme Fatale

1/2 part Southern Comfort
1/2 part Vodka
1/2 part Amaretto
1/2 part Grand Marnier
dash of Grenadine
3 parts Pineapple juice
top up Orange juice

Put a scoop of ice into your shaker then add ingredients as listed. Shake then pour into a highball glass with ice garnish with a cherry, lemon and various paraphernalia. For a color variation make and pour the drink, then add the grenadine afterwards.

Recipe: Cocktail: UK

This next version is a little more classy, for you upscale femmes. According to the story, Jackie O. invented it at a fancy Cambodian hotel in 1967. I’m sure we all have a story like that. But it is pretty classy in its simplicity. And everyone has crème de fraise and Champagne on hand, right?

You wouldn’t serve Jackie beer out of a can

Raffles Hotel Le Royal’s Femme Fatale

1/4 oz. Crème de Fraise
Dash of cognac
4.4 oz. champagne

Pour the Crème de Fraise and cognac into a 5-ounce cocktail glass. Finish with champagne. Enjoy immediately.

Recipe: Raffles Hotel Le Royal via Andrew Harper’s Summer Cocktail Series

This labor-intensive version is for those of you who like to go south of the border. It’s made from cachaça, a Brazilian liqueur and it sounds like the perfect drink for not watching the Rio Olympics this summer.

Brazil’s finest

Dirty Habit’s Femme Fatale

1 1/2 oz. cachaça
1/2 oz. Ancho Reyes chile liqueur
3/4 oz. fresh lime juice
1/2 oz. coconut syrup
Glass: Collins
Garnish: lime wheel

Combine all ingredients and shake with ice. Strain into an ice-filled glass and garnish.

Coconut Syrup
20 oz. coconut purée
20 oz. cane sugar
5 1/3 oz. hot water
1 tsp. kosher salt
1 tsp. xanthan gum (as a thickener)

Add the sugar to a stockpot over medium-high heat to slightly caramelize (taking caution to not let it burn). Reduce the heat to medium and whisk in the coconut purée, then thehot water and salt. Add xanthan gum by pouring through a basket strainer to disperse properly (xanthan can clump up if poured in all at once). Let simmer for about 15 minutes; remove from heat and let cool to room temperature before bottling. Keep refrigerated for up to 1 week.

Recipe: Imbibe Magazine via Dirty Habit, San Francisco

There you have it, friends. Three cocktails that promise, in the best femme fatale fashion, to lure you in, then F you up. Do you prefer your poison punchy, classy or with a Brazilian kick? Have you tried any of these? Let us know!

Happy Friday!