NOIRVEMBER Day 14 – How To Be a Femme Fatale

NOIRVEMBER Day 14It’s already the end of Noirvember’s second week! I don’t know where all this time went to be honest. Do you?

Tonight I’m publishing an English version of one of my older posts – still on topic though! So if you are an aspiring femme fatale and in need of some tips, read on…

Femme Fatale - Dita Von Teese

The fatal woman. Mysterious, strong, sensual; everyone wants her, but no one can have her.

She’s got the look!

Take the example of film noir stars. Avoid flashy, bright colors. Choose subdued, jewel tones: black, bottle green, burgundy, dark violet. Match them to your skin tone. Invest in black or beige trench and some sexy heels. Emphasize your figure but do not exaggerate it. Remember about accessories – there don’t have to be a lot of them (there even shouldn’t), but a string of pearls, a pair of gloves or a stylish hat often give the whole outfit this desired note of elegance. Work on hairstyles, make-up, manicure – femme fatale certainly does not have short, bitten nails! Also have a characteristic scent of perfume – one that everyone will associate with you.
January Jones
Eva Green

Christina Hendricks

When I’m good, I’m very good. But when I’m bad, I’m better.

Speak in a low voice. Think about the way Scarlett Johansson speaks, or the way Lauren Bacall, Mae West, Marlene Dietrich spoke. Women with low voices are seen as more sexy! In the movie “The Iron Lady” there is a scene when Margaret Thatcher’s advisor tells her, “[,,,] the main thing is your voice. It’s too high and it has no authority”. Meryl Streep as Thatcher immediately lowers her voice register by an octave and responds, “That’s the tone that we want to strike.” A high, squeaky voice is associated with infantility, and this is about being a femme – a woman, not a girl. Try also not to speak too loudly. The trick is not to suddenly start whispering, just to talk so softly that people have to get close to you, to hear you.

how to be a femme fatale

Have a sense of humor too. Think of May West or Lauren Bacall. Dialogues from their films are full of sparkling double entendres. A sense of humour is a sign of intelligence, which is very sexy.


Be mysterious. Do not let everyone you know how you feel and what is happening with you. Being a riddle is part of the charm of the real femme fatale. Be a lady. Be independent. A femme fatale is certainly a strong woman. A person who can take care of herself and is not afraid of responsibility. She pays for her drinks, opens the door, drives the car. That does not mean you cannot let a gentleman do it for you – but let him know that you can take care of yourself too. Also know how, if needed, to politely but firmly say “no”. Femme fatale often plays with fire, so she must be able to take care of her own safety.

how to be a femme fatale

What are you drinking?

“Femme fatale” drink:


  • 1 oz of vodka
  • 1 oz Southern Comfort
  • 1 oz Grand Marnier
  • 1 oz Amaretto
  • 2 oz of pineapple juice
  • 2 oz orange juice
  • 1/2 oz Grenadine

oz is an acronym for American ounce which is approximately 30 ml. Southern Comfort is a bourbon liqueur with 35% alcohol content.

Combine all ingredients in shaker, shake, serve on ice. Most recipes suggest the use of a hurricane glass, but a martini glass looks much more elegant;)

4 Things


Some time ago Jessica from ChronicallyVintage posted a fun tag post with 4 answers to different questions about herself. I rarely post stuff about myself on this blog but it’s my birthday this week so I thought it’d be fun to do  something more personal in between the more substantive posts 🙂 I’m not going to post yet another wishlist, because how many of these can a gal have, right? (although *hint hint*, you know, you can still check out my previous ones)

If you feel like doing it, I encourage you to do so, it’s fun!

4 Places I’ve Lived

Old UK

  • my mom’s flat
  • a shared flat in Warsaw for a year
  • student campus in Crewe, UK
  • my friends’ flats (well, that one’s a stretch, but there was a time when I had emergency keys and frequently house/cat-sitted for no less than three different groups of friends)

4 Jobs I’ve Had

H. Armstrong Roberts/Retrofile/Getty Images

  • movie theatre employee
  • translator/interpreter
  • office clerk
  • English tutor

4 Things I Don’t Eat

Sweet Pics / Retro Diner Signs

  • seafood
  • dairy (except cheese sometime, because life without cheese would be pointless!)
  • bananas
  • cauliflower

4 of My Favourite Foods

Classic Retro Everything Stops For Tea framed print from The Contemporary Home | Diamond Jubilee home accessories | Home accessories | PHOTO GALLERY | 25 Beautiful Homes | Housetohome

The Contemporary Home

  • lemon sorbet
  • strawberries
  • sushi
  • jasmine green tea

4 Films I’ve Watched More Than Once

(more like 4 films I’m too embarassed to admit how many times I’ve watched…)

The AGS Blog

  • Casablanca
  • Singin’ In The Rain
  • Amadeus
  • Cabaret

4 TV Shows I Watch

  • Marvel’s Agent Carter
  • RuPaul’s Drag Race
  • Penny Dreadful
  • Hannibal

4 Things I’m Looking Forward To This Year

Mikrofon, Muzyka, Vintage, Retro, Mic, Dźwięk, Audio

  • recording music
  • learning how to take photos
  • making an act I’ve been dreaming about for a year now
  • spring (I’m always looking forward to spring, especially that moment when lilies of the valley are in bloom)

4 Things I Can’t Live Without

  • coffee
  • Internet
  • the color red
  • hugs

4 Celebrity Crushes

Esquire UK 2011, photo by David Titlow

  • Alan Cumming
  • Eva Green
  • Tom Hiddleston
  • Vivien Leigh

4 Pet Peeves


  • spelling mistakes
  • cute clothes not designed for busty girls #bustygirlproblems
  • warm toilet seats
  • the color beige

4 Things I Wish I Could Do


  • play piano and sing at the same time
  • do my hair like Mama Q
  • a split
  • speak another foreign language fluently (preferably French)

4 Subjects I Studied At School

(that means university, right? or at school in general? I’m going to assume the latter and pick the most interesting stuff)

  • Golden Age Hollywood Cinema
  • 20th Century Art
  • English (since age 4)

4 Things Near Me Right Now

  • coffee
  • my phone
  • a notebook for all my burlesque and blog ideas
  • perfume

Favourite Quotes of My Vintage Idols

I think everyone needs a little inspiration from time to time. I definitely need it, especially on Mondays, which is why for quite some time now I’ve been posting inspirational quotes tagged #motivationmonday on my fanpage.

I also look for inspiration in the people I admire. Personally, I find that even decades ago the women who are my idols today had some wise things to say. Their quotes remind me to stay focused on making my dreams come true and on being kind to myself. And since I’m a big believer in karma, today I want to share these inspirations with you!

What about you, do you have your favourite quotes that you like to come back to?

Mae West quotes

You only live once, but if you do it right, once is enough. (Mae West)

Audrey Hepburn quote

The beauty of a woman is not in a facial mode but the true beauty in a woman is reflected in her soul. It is the caring that she lovingly gives, the passion that she shows. The beauty of a woman grows with the passing years. (Audrey Hepburn)

Eartha Kitt quotes

It’s all about falling in love with yourself and sharing that love with someone who appreciates you, rather than looking for love to compensate for a self love deficit. (Eartha Kitt)

Marilyn Monroe quote

I believe that everything happens for a reason. People change so that you can learn to let go, things go wrong so that you appreciate them when they’re right, you believe lies so you eventually learn to trust no one but yourself, and sometimes good things fall apart so better things can fall together. (Marilyn Monroe)

The last quote is by a contemporary star, but hey, very vintage-inspired!

Dita Von Teese quote

You can be the ripest, juiciest peach in the world, and there’s still going to be somebody who hates peaches. (Dita Von Teese)

New Year – New Beginnings!


You guys! In the beginning of this year I set myself a number of goals that I listed on my facebook:

  1. record some acts (possibly all of them, because I’m never happy about the videos I have)
  2. do some new acts (planning on two)
  3. fluff up my new burlesque website and buy own domain (like a pro)
  4. go abroad to a festival/competition
  5. record music & put it online
  6. prepare a workshop
  7. keep having fun doing what I love and loving what I do!

I am so proud to announce that I’ve officially fulfilled one of my goals (and time will tell whether I will fulfill another ^^). WELCOME TO MY NEW BLOG AND PAGE! It took a lot of time for me to set it up all by myself but I am so happy with the result! I am still learning everything on the go, so expect me tweaking with stuff in here.

I have so many plans for this space! I really want to develop the “lifestyle” part of this blog, so in the near future you can expect the following:

  • make up reviews
  • make up tutorials
  • retro-themed book reviews
  • fashion posts (I will actually try and take pictures of what I’m wearing)
  • as usual, event reports
  • more TV & film reviews
  • scenes from a life of a burlesque performer/producer

This change is really important to me, as a lot of things are hapenning right now both in my personal and professional life. It truly is “new year – new beginnings” for me, but I’m so excited about it! Is there anything you would like to see here? If you do, let me know!

Quick Christmas Wishlist!


Christmas is right around the corner, so I thought I’d create a quick wishlist (although I’ve already treated myself to two early presents* – everyone knows the best presents are the ones we give ourselves!)

Greta Vintage Store – Burlesque Garter Belt

Why? Several reasons… but mostly why not!

Greta Vintage Store

A ticket to Dita’s Crazy Show at Crazy Horse Paris

What a dream trip it would be! Plus a chance to meet my Parisian showgirl friends!


Besame Cosmetics Lipstick 

In any colour really… although Noir Red sounds just like the shade for me 🙂

Besame Cosmetics

Rago Open Bottom Girdle 9357

In black, obviously. Worn as a costume rather than underwear, obviously.

Rago Shapewear

A high heel chair

…I’m not even going to try and justify that. I’d pick a different colour scheme though. Maybe something red and black, to fit the rest of the gifts 😀


* If you’re curious, this is what I gave myself:

Dita Von Teese “Your Beauty Mark”

Dita Von Teese

Rebel Madness Pure Red Underbust Corset (that just begs for some bedazzling! ^^)

Rebel Madness

(all  product photos taken from original sites, none belong to me and everything was for informational purpose only)

Difficult words to use when talking about why burlesque is, despite the appearances, an intellectual activity (or at least it can be)


Dedicated to my mom.


Cultural and social identity associated to one’s biological sex. An object of fear and misuderstanding among heavily Catholic communities. Gender is understood as a sum of personality traits, behaviors, social roles and stereotypes understood as belonging to a given biological sex but not directly resulting from it. Contrary to what one might hear in a Polish church, gender is not endorsing any specific rules or behaviors (especially sexual ones). Gender studies make us wonder why we think of something as feminine or masculine and what are the social consequences of such thinking for us and others.


Not the summer one and not Kamp! (an excellent music band). Camp is a kind of hipster aesthetic. Something is cool precisely because it’s kitch. Ironically cool. The notion of camp appeared at the times of counter-culture of the 1960s. Accoording to Susan Sontag, who in 1964 published an essay Notes on Camp, the essence of this convention is conscious preferences to that which is clearly artificial, exaggerated. Kitsch may be unconscious, but camp is always premeditated.

Camp is art that proposes itself seriously, but cannot be taken altogether seriously because it is “too much.”

What art is camp? Ballet. Fashion (haute couture!). Glam rock. Drag. And of course burlesque!


In the context of burlesque we talk about normative and non-normative body. Normative body is the mainstream body. The one you see on TV, the Internet, on the covers of magazines. The body you think „normal” of in your cultural-social context. Non-normative body is any body that does not fit your standard. Talking about body normativity makes us wonder, what kind of bodies we consider “normal” and what kind of bodies are unusual and deviating from “the norm”.


The concept of gender perfomativity appear in Judith Butler’s Gender Trouble. Gender performativity means the the way of contructing one’s gender through play and repetition. Performativeness is then a concept turning our attention to the artificiality of activities highlighting our gender affinity. Such activity is, for example, make up or wearing a particular kind of clothing. It can be talking in a certain way. It can be correcting someone’s behavior as “unbecoming” of a person of specific gender. Gender performativity (like majority of “normsl”) is most evident when it is opposed, e.g. in drag show. Drag culture (here understood as performing as someone of a different gender than one’s own) has a long and rich tradition in theatre, pantomime, opera, later of course in the cinema, TV and contemporary music. Drag queens and kings are people specializing in performances where the idea is to show gender in an exaggerated, comical way.

Interesting fact: I studied American literaturę and I had a course titled „Literature – psychoanalysis – feminism” where we also discussed Butler. The conclusion of this class was „Every gender performance is a bit drag” 

I must admit that this is one of the reasons I like to say I’m a burlesque “performer” – because burlesque for me is a performance.


In the considered context (which is gender vs. sex), subversion is behavior or attitude negating the normative opinion on sex, gender or sexuality. Subversive behaviors denounce and undermine gender mechanisms and gender-related stereotypes; they deconstruct established bipolar divisions, androcentrism and heteronormativity (this I will not explain, check it out yourselves). This can be done in two ways – by taking behaviour of gender other than one’s „own” or by exaggerating behavior associated with one’s gender. You can also change the context of a specific behavior or stereotype, e.g. by taking a heteronormative song, film, tradition and embedding it in a queer context.

Third-wave feminism

If the first wave of feminism dealt with the position of women in the legal and educational context (the right to education, the right to vote, the right to own property) and the second in the professional and sexual context (gender equality at work, the right to contraception and abortion), then the third wave of feminism focuses on the importance of such factors as race, ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation or socio-economic position in women’s empowerment. The emphasis is put not only on fighting against gender-based violence, fighting for reproductive rights, but also linguistic violence, supporting motherhood, and finally freedom of expression of womanhood. So in a nutshell – a woman does not have to give up make up and high heels to call herself a feminist. She can be a wife and a mother, she can be single, she can work in a corporation, she lead a household and still be a feminist. In the context of burlesque? She can show her body onstage and still be a feminist. She can make her act a performance using camp, using stereotypes associated with what a woman does and how a woman looks and make it a personal manifesto. Or she can just have fun and enjoy her body and her sexuality. And still be a feminist.

“Neo-burlesque performers, like strippers in nightclubs, play out fantasies about a woman, but we should note a significant shift happening in neo-burlesque scene. Firstly, performers working on an act go back to their own fantasis, seek their own alternative femininity. Secondly, these ideas constitute in an audience a kind of meta-fantasy of a self-confident woman who fully accepts her own body and is not ashamed of her sexuality, in other words, is not ashamed to desire and to be desired”


(Agata Łuksza, “Corsets, stockings, pasties. Femininity in neo-burlesque”, Tematy z Szewskiej 1(11)/2014, Wrocław)*

*translation mine

Burlesque – Audience Etiquette

burlesque audience etiquette.jpg

When I started this blog, I never expected that one of its most popular categories would be performance reviews. However, since I am a regular guest at burlesque shows in Warsaw and often outside of it too, I’d like to share with you some tips on audience behaviour during a burlesque performance.

1. If you like it, let them know.
Someone’s taking off a part of their clothing? You want someone to take off a part of their clothing? You see something you like? Cheer, applaud. There is nothing more disheartening than performing in front of an audience made of stone. Stamp, yell, clap, whistle! I guarantee you that performers like it! The energy from the audience gives them the energy to perform, and they, by performing in front of you, give you that energy back. There is no good show without this exchange! So don’t be shy to openly respond to something you like. There’s nothing wrong with – this is the sign of being experienced with this kind of show! Share it with your friends! Invited them to the next show!

2. Don’t be afraid.
Sometimes the performers invite people from the audience to participate in their act. It’s an honour so work with them and trust the person inviting you – you will never be asked to do anything you won’t be able to. Remember that your refusal tests the performer’s creativity and take into account that it may also result in a reaction from them – the performer whacking you with a cloth or splashing you with the vodka shot you didn’t want to drink 😉

3. Get into the style.
I fervently believe that a Special Occasion requires a Special Outfit. I know that not all of you agree, nevertheless I will try to convince you to put a little bit of an effort into preparing for an outing.
So you’re going to a burlesque show? Wouldn’t it be a nice break from everyday clothes, to dress more elegantly? Burlesque fans (myself included) often dress up for these shows in clothes they love but can’t wear on a daily basis. Most of the shows do not have a strict dress code but I guarantee that seeing people dressed fancily will only turn up the atmosphere of a hot performance. So please – ladies, dust off your corsets, stockings and fascinators. Gentlemen, wear nice shoes and a jacket (I dare not dream of a bow tie). Cocktail style is your friend!

4. Souvenirs from the show.
In most cases there is an element of striptease in burlesque. Performers often shed pieces of their clothing by throwing it into the audience. This doesn’t mean these are gifts – if someone (usually a stage kitten, the person who is in charge of collecting costumes and preparing the stage for acts) asks you to return the gloves or stockings that you caught, give them back. Costumes are expensive. Buying or making a new one for each show is expensive and unprofitable. But, for instance, if a performer’s boa loses a feather, you are welcome to keep it as a souvenir 🙂

5. Photographs.
If it’s not clearly stated (it might be!), most performance artists have nothing against taking pictures from the show. The bon ton is to take pictures without the flash so as to not blind the performers in a critical moment (they’d certainly want to avoid that).

6. What not to do?
Regardless of the amount of alcohol consumes, shouting stuff like “Show your tits” is absolutely out of place. Actually, this kind of shouting is always out of place. The same applies to criticizing the show loudly and attempting to grab any part of the performer’s body – unless they clearly give consent. Basically, a controlled consumption is recommended so that you don’t think you are more interesting than what’s happening on stage 😉
And beyond that? Don’t sit in the last row. The first has a much better view. Turn off the sound on your phone, too. You’ll be too busy to pick it up anyway.


Many thanks to Betty Q for helping me write this post!

Title graphic uses the “Red Stage Curtain” image by Sethoscope, released under BY-NC-SA license.

Naughty Lola

They call me naughty Lola
The wisest girl on earth
At home my pianola
It works for all it’s worth
Now I tell you a secret
Don’t hammer on the keys
For a little pianissimo

Is always bound to please

They call me naughty Lola
The wisest girl on earth
At home my pianola
It works for all it’s worth
The boys all love my music

I can’t keep them away
So my little pianola

Keeps working night and day

“Die Fesche Lola” – music: Friedrich Holländer, lyrics: Robert Liebmann. 

I am Lola. I do not have a pianola but a piano could be found. This is my place online in which I will share what I do and what turns me on. I’ll see you!