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Happy Halloween everyone! Check out our zombie juggler T-shirt designs to get you in the mood!
A little demonstration video to show off our beautifully original handmade fabric poi.
This got me thinking about how I have discovered different styles and genres by pursuing random tangents. I realised this is a little bit like the six degrees of separation (from a creative inspiration perspective) and thought it was worth while exploring in my next post.
Ok, so I have previously mentioned that the discovery of hoop dance became a massive turning point in my life. This image dates back to 2008 when I first discovered the joy and addiction of hula hooping. It is also the first hoop I ever made.
Hooping has led me to discover so many other sub genres and this post aims to track the meandering tangents I have followed over the last five years, which has now culminated into the creation of Vaudeville Hippie.
Hoop Dance Aesthetic
Like many newbie hoopers I became obsessed with all things hoop related from learning tricks, making hoops, visiting forums and the hoop dance style that seemed to be emerging. At the time I would not have known how to describe this style but now I would say that the hoopers fused styles from cyberpunk, tribal fusion belly dance and hippie faerie wear, amongst other influences. This is probably most notable in ‘The Good Vibe Hoop Tribe’s‘ video, which is the first hoop dance video I fell in love with, despite the low quality I still enjoy watching this from time to time.
I kept watching these hoop videos on YouTube, which left me desperately trying to find information about this style and in particular a style of trousers that many of the hoopers were wearing.
After a lot of searching on google images, tribes.net and even eBay using terms like ‘hoop trousers’ or ‘split flared trousers’ I discovered that this style of trouser originated from tribal fusion belly dance and the trousers in question are Melodia Pants.
Tribal Fusion Belly Dance
Up until this point I was only aware of Cabaret Belly Dance so the discovery of Tribal Fusion was really exciting. I became interested with this style of belly dance, not just for it’s aesthetic but also for new ways of moving with the hoop. There are differences in dance moves and technique too. When compared with each other, visually they are very different. Tribal Fusion and Gothic Belly Dance are much darker in colour using heavier fabrics and embellishment. Whilst reading up on the Tribal Fusion style the phrases ‘earthy’ and ‘grounded’ kept cropping up and it took me a while to fully understand what that actually meant.
During my quest for comprehensive belly dance instructional DVD I came across the World Dance New York series who specialise in all genres of belly dance, as well as other forms of dance. Here I discovered Sera Solstice and her East Coast Tribal Belly Dance DVD.
I must admit that for a time I became a little bit obsessed with belly dance and felt compelled to dig a little further, which led me to the discovery of Rachel Brice. I love Rachel’s style, she has collected and combined a range of accessories from around the world, which has allowed her to achieve her unique tribal fusion costume style.
I later discovered that Rachel also dresses and dances in a vaudeville style.
Pin Up and Rockabilly
Although I was aware of the ‘vintage look’ it had never occurred to me to explore the style visually. I love the elegance, but also the bright red hair and lips. Whilst delving into the world of pin up I stumbled across rockabilly.
The styles are similar in terms of hair, make-up and choice of 1950s fashion, however pin up is more glamourous ad more focused on modelling whereas rockabilly grew out of a style of music and has a bit more attitude with the girls having tattoos and piercings.
So there you have it, my creative journey from hoop dance to rockabilly.
What interesting tangents have you recently followed?
Second in the DI Jewell series.
Both book covers were designed by Vaudeville Hippie's Steve Kermode.
“No matter where you are (and where you’ve been), I’m certain you’ve stumbled upon something extraordinary: a place that blows your mind; a work of art or object that speaks to you; or even a location or scene that’s special, unusual, or even magical in some way.”
This was taken at the Moscow State Circus. This captures the mastery of a circus skill. Capturing true human potential. Definitely extraordinary, certainly magical and always blows my mind. Therefore worthy of a masterpiece in my eyes.
Last night we experienced all the fun of circus with fifty high energy acts packed back to back into one hundred minutes from the best of the UK’s Gerry Cottle’s Circus who recently celebrated their fifty year anniversary.
We first saw Cottle’s last year when their Big Top arrived in the recreation ground just around the corner. As circus enthusiast we had to go along and thoroughly enjoyed their draw dropping fiftieth anniversary show.
So we were absolutely delighted when the tent started to go up this summer and waited with excited anticipation until it was our turn to sit in the Big Top once more.
Steve and I were not disappointed and this year I made sure I had my camera charged and ready as regrettably I did not take camera last time. Circus forms a massive part of our inspiration, hence the name Vaudeville Hippie therefore last night’s show provided a perfect opportunity to get first hand inspirational imagery. All photos were taken with my Canon 600D. As the action was quite fast paced and the lighting already good, I kept it in flash off mode.
Are there any events you have attended recently that have inspired you?
We are continuing to enjoy the hot weather, so much so that at midnight last Saturday Steve and I decided to set up a moth trap to see what we could find. We were certainly not disappointed. Naturally we photographed the event and had great fun naming the varieties of moths the next day with our newly bought wildlife book, identifying at least ten different species of moths.
The photos will also fit in nicely for future steampunk inspired creations like out most recent handmade stamp design.
Tell us about any of your recent encounters with natural world or what inspires you within nature?
It’s been a busy couple of weeks, particularly with all the sunshine we are currently experiencing here in the UK. We’ve been out and about in the sun to make the most if it and away from the computer!
Folk on the Quay in Poole
We did not quite make it to Glastonbury this year. Fortunately Poole put on it’s own festival ‘Folk on the Quay’. The weather was amazing and the beer was flowing, helping us the enjoy diverse range of acts.
Bonfire in the Garden
The sunny weather finally dried out all wood in our back garden. We celebrated by having a bonfire and to clear bit of space.
Out and About
We headed out and about in Bournemouth taking the slack line and circus toys with us.
This weekend Vaudeville Hippie headed down to Bournemouth’s very own vintage festival in Southbourne, which we discovered through Bournemouth based Crafti Creations Facebook page. The Shake and Stir event was themed as vintage and handmade, combining the very best of Bournemouth’s local makers as well as whole host of vintage inspired music, fashion, dance and much more.
Despite the lousy British weather I was glad to see plenty of people milling around the craft stalls and enjoying the live music being played on the bandstand. This was complimented by jive dancers dressed in authentic full vintage clothing, make up and hair. Surrounding them was also a range of conventional and unconventional food and drink stalls, of which the candy floss stall smelt amazing! Not to mention the circus area for the children and the ladies who were creating the most fabulous hairstyles straight out of the 1950s. All this of course fits in nicely with our Vaudeville Hippie theme.
Initially we wanted to run a stall, but after a bit of research Steve and I decided that we are not quite ready. This is mainly due to stock levels and the need to organise public liability insurance! Instead we decided to use the fair as a networking opportunity and to research how other people go about setting up and organising their pitches.
We learnt that it is definitely recommended to get involved with social media sites such as Facebook to successfully sell on the internet and that Folksy can be just as an important platform for selling online as well as Etsy. When selling at a fair or market it is a good idea to always take sandbags to hold down tables at outdoor events and to explore ways to arrange your stock on different height levels to make it more visually interesting. Consideration to lighting should also be made and to avoid using a dark gazebo or tent as dark stalls seem less inviting to the customers. We discovered that there are a range of other regular local craft fairs coming up over the next few months like Boscombe Vintage Market and the Bournemouth Artisan Fair.
Meeting the Makers
It was really nice chatting to some of the stall holders, all of whom were happy to discuss their work and provide advice with things that had worked for them. In particular the following crafters who kindly allowed us to photograph their tents for this blog.
Caroline Tucker from Caroline Tucker Designs (Caroline studied Contemporary Textile Practice with me at UWIC):
Clair Halls from Magpie Boutique:
And Lucy Brasher from The Cat in the Shoe:
Even the strong coastal winds were not enough to stop us enjoying this wonderful event. We look forward to the day when we can launch the Vaudeville Hippie market stall.
If you know of any up and coming craft events or have any advice for newbies getting a craft stall together then we would love to read your comments.