You read it here first! Coleen’s new book The Costumes of Burlesque:1866-2018 with the publishers Routledge, Taylor and Francis is OUT. Shopping links below! If you are a book store, museum or college that would be interested in hosting a book-signing event, please get in touch directly, or contact CRC Press!
About the book:
“The Costumes of Burlesque 1866-2018 presents the history and development of this American art form by documenting the origins, influencers and genuine articles that created its aesthetic. Showcases of legendary performers including Lydia Thompson, Gypsy Rose Lee, Sally Rand, Bettie Page, Kitten Natividad, and Dita Von Teese demonstrate costume styles through the 150 years of burlesque’s history. Detailed costume documentation of more than a dozen ensembles is combined with dynamic interviews featuring significant burlesque costume designers like Catherine D’Lish and Garo Sparo. The lush imagery and comprehensive text will give the reader a clear view of how burlesque costume looked and why as it describes the influence of circus, ballet vaudeville, obscenity regulations, Hollywood, the feminist movement, the adult film industry and more. Whereas most burlesque histories stop after its final heyday in the 1950s and early 1960s, this book is the only one of its kind, inclusively documenting burlesque costume from its birth in the 1860’s through the global burlesque movement in 2018.” For more, check out The Costumes of Burlesque Press Release
We wanted to send a huge thank you out to everyone who was able to make it to The Pastie Project book launch party recently. It is such a pleasure to share this book with you, and we are grateful for your support. This party was for all those who contributed to the making of this book, and without whom, there would BE no book! To our little book design and production team: Ben, Tiny and Liz- it couldn’t have happened without you.
Thanks to Peter Aguero for being an excellent party host, and my favorite interviewer.
To Cheeky Cheetah of Glorious Pasties, thank you for letting us use your pastie on our logo, and what a pleasure it was to have you at the party vending your beautiful work.
To Miranti from The Joy of Feasting, who really outdid herself, designing the beautiful tower and bejewelled macarons for the event- THANK YOU SO MUCH!
And, finally, thanks to the Berg’n, for providing a beautiful space, wonderful apps from Lumpia Shack, and a gracious and supportive staff!
Come one, come all, to our BOOK LAUNCH PARTY! Wednesday, June 28, 7-10PM at The Berg’n in Brooklyn!
It’s HERE! The Pastie Project Book was successfully funded by a Kickstarter campaign in March of 2017, and we hope you can make it to our book launch party to pick up a copy of own, or bring yours by to be signed by the author, Rosey La Rouge!
This is a FREE open-house style event, with snacks from Lumpia Shack, drink service, and special treats.
The Pastie Project books are available for purchase at the party for $45, which is a $20 discount off the cover price. Proceeds will go to The Burlesque Hall of Fame Legends Challenge for next year. We will have other Pastie Project merch for purchase as well, including stickers, Pastie Timeline prints, and Pastie Project playing cards!
Aaaaaaand! In case you need some amazing sparkly pasties all your own, Cheeky Cheetah of Glorious Pasties will be there vending her gorgeous GLORIOUS wares!
Party Host with the most @Peter Aguero will guide us through the night!!
We would love to see your smiling faces out to support this labor of love and Rosey’s personal gift to the burlesque community. Thank you to everyone who contributed to make this project happen! Come celebrate the book that celebrates burlesque costume history!
THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU from the bottom of my heart, to all those who helped The Pastie Project reach over 160% of our Kickstarter goal!
Because we surpassed our publishing goal, we will be able to send $500 to the Burlesque Hall of Fame Legends Challenge Fund, which helps Burlesque Legends with travel expenses to get to the BHOF Weekender in June.
The books and rewards will be sent out in June, and we will have a book release party late the same month to celebrate The Pastie Project’s success and its availability on Amazon.com.
The magical burlesque community, it’s supporters and fans have made this dream possible, and I cannot be more excited to share a book made with all of my love for the change, art and joy burlesque has brought to my life.
THANK YOU THANK YOU to everyone who has donated, shared and promoted this Kickstarter! We are so very excited to have reached our primary goal last night!
What does this mean?
Reaching our primary goal means that we can go to print with the book, so everyone’s orders will be filled! Hooray!
Now that we have a whole 11 days left to continue our fundraising, here is what will happen-
We might actually recover some of our costs for creating the book, meaning money we paid for photo rights, illustrations, and services! Woo!
After we recover some of these costs, the rest of this fundraiser $ will be donated to The Burlesque Hall of Fame Legends Challenge, which helps to fund travel expenses for Burlesque Legends who want to come to the BHOF Weekender. Additionally, we hope to donate swag to the Weekender Volunteer/Performer gift bags!
What should happen now?
Continue to spread the word, continue to pledge! Anything we make over our goal and costs only helps the BHOF Legends Challenge more!
Plus, anyone placing a preorder for the book here will be saving 25-40% off the cover cost after this challenge, so, if you want the book, order it HERE and now! Let’s make a new goal of $12,125, which would up us to 150% of our original goal.
Thank you again! Let’s see how far we can take The Pastie Project together!
They are here! The Pastie Project Playing Cards! $20! Available for preordernow, on a limited printing of 150 decks. The sooner we sell, the sooner they print! Buy 2! Buy 5! Give them as gifts to your favorite burlesque lovers! More photos to come, but for now, here’s a link to purchase!
My experience discovering the burlesque community in New York City was a lot like coming upon a magical field of unicorns, and then, turning into one. Like a lot of fellow performers, I had life experiences that led me to look for an outlet of artistic expression through performance. Unlike a lot of performers, my day job was as a costume designer, and I had been involved in the theater and entertainment industry for my entire professional life, behind the scenes. The combination of my love for colorful, sparkly, extravagant costumes, and the desire to personally express myself artistically through performance came together, and the early connections I formed with some of the most brilliant people in burlesque made me fall in love with this art form, and it’s history.
Finding my place
I would attribute the beginning of my burlesque career to a handful of performers and producers who instructed me, hired me, taught me magic and self confidence, and helped me understand the business, and what it means to be a good producer. To Veronica Varlow, Albert Cadabra, Gal Friday, Jo Weldon, World Famous * BOB *, Legs Malone, Runaround Sue, and Joe the Shark- you made me Rosey La Rouge. After being under your tutelage and gaining your friendship, I have performed everywhere I ever dreamed of in New York City and beyond. I have produced shows made with love and art, and with some of the most amazing artists I have ever seen. I have conquered my fear of singing thanks to Shelly “The Singing Siren” Watson, The Burlesque Choir, and Peter Aguero. I have met the love of my life and my artistic partner Ben Trivett. I have seen burlesque grow and change exponentially in just nine years, and I am excited to see it continue to burst into the world by way of new schools, festivals, and via The Burlesque Hall of Fame in Las Vegas.
I have always felt that I was a good performer, and I love being on stage, but I know that when it comes to performance, I am a hobbyist. I was never the most famous, and I never strived to make a full-time career as a burlesque performer, but I now know that I have a very important and different role in burlesque. As a professional costume designer and historian, I feel that it is my personal calling to document the costumes of this art form, in a way that has not yet been done.
The history of burlesque has been documented by many historians, women’s studies experts, and in the biographies of individual performers. “Horrible Prettiness” by Robert C. Allen should be called the bible of the early history of burlesque. Gypsy Rose Lee, Georgia Sothern, Ann Corio, and many more, have fantastic biographies and burlesque books. There are even some writers and lovers of burlesque who have delved into the costume aspect of the art, most notably, Liz Goldwyn with her book “Pretty Things” and Jo Weldon with “The Burlesque Handbook”. It seems though, that no one has comprehensively photo documented pieces, and focused on construction and innovation through burlesque history.
As a costume designer, I understand construction and fabric. I understand costume history in depth. As a performer, I understand movement, reveals, and styles of burlesque. I believe, with my qualifications, that I am one of the most capable people to take on the challenge of documenting burlesque costume history. I also believe this is a formidable task. It is this daunting thought that led me to focus for the moment, on one part of the burlesque costume: the pastie. The most important part of what makes a costume ensemble “burlesque”, and a piece that was created because of laws about nudity ,many of which originated in New York City. The pastie is a part of what makes burlesque a truly American art form. Burlesque history has been a source of pride or shame depending on who you ask. Regardless of whether you think that burlesque is a legitimate part of American Theater History (clearly I think it is, and deserves documentation), there is no denying that the costumes themselves, and more specifically, pasties, are works of art. They are pieces of body jewelry as varied as the performers who wear them, and are influenced by their time period, and place of origin.
There is no way to document all of the pasties throughout time, and all of the wonderful artists who wore them. (In fact, pasties seem to be the hardest costume articles to track down when buying vintage pieces) There is no way to showcase the thousands of performers who currently take the stage with brilliant ideas, classic storytelling, legendary tributes, and boundary breaking acts. There is, however, a way to tell the history and evolution of the pastie and its construction that will inform and inspire. That is the goal of this project. Whether you are interested in The Pastie Project to learn more about costume history, or you just appreciate the art form that is burlesque, thank you. For the rest of you, who already know and love burlesque and this community, it is a pleasure sharing this beautiful world with all of you magical unicorns.
The Pastie Project is fundraising for the upfront costs of production on their book project. Please donate here if you can, and thank you in advance!
Copyright, Rosey La Rouge, 2016. All rights reserved.
The Pastie Project NEEDS YOUR HELP! Contribute to our GoFundMe to help offset production costs of our book. We are adding so many special elements to this publication, including original illustrations and historic photos. We will put you in the special thanks for your contribution! Thank you in advance!
You’ve been asking for it, and now, it’s up! A sample of our archive is posted here to give viewers an idea of how we are photographically documenting all the pasties shared with us. The collection posted is the personal collection of Rosey La Rouge.
All photos are by Ben Trivett. All rights reserved on written content, images and objects photographed.