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Thursday, 31 March 2016

Paris in the Spring

The Opera House, Paris: so beautiful, I almost wept. I get very emotional when I see something really transporting and ornate. My slight champagne hangover from Dita's Crazy Show vaporised in an instant! This room didn't so much take my breath away, as knock it right out of my body!

After the opera house, we had a quick coffee opposite at the Grand Hotel, then grabbed a cab for a glass of pink champagne and some caviar at Prunier, a funky art deco seafood restaurant frequented by Dita Von Teese and Jean Paul Gaultier. I don't think about what I'm "allowed" or "not allowed" to eat too much when I'm abroad; I think it's important to enjoy the local specialities to really submerge oneself in the culture.

Anyway, to stick to a strict diet in Paris, one would have to lack a pulse!


A last boutique I had to visit before we left was Caron, where I bought two of these gorgeous swan's down powder puffs. I am collecting beautiful objects for my dressing table at Peng Towers :) I don't have the actual dressing table itself yet, but whatever... for now I have a dreamy peach powder puff for my future dressing table, and a miniature baby pink one for my present makeup case. They are the softest things I have ever ever touched!

I also took away some French perfume samples, including one that smells just like fresh pink roses, my favourite flower.

Our last stop before picking up our cases from the concierge and leaving for the airport was the Musée de l'érotisme, which had two whole floors dedicated to late C19th and early C20th erotica, including lots of vintage photographs of the the ladies of the night of Pigalle, and real 1920s pornography playing on a loop on TV screens!

"Gigolettes" of the 1890s- the lack of makeup was compensated for by every kind of lace, silk, velvet, ribbon, pearls, corsetry and other intricate lingerie, and any other glamorous trimming you can think of!

One thing I learned at the Musée de l'érotisme is that the moment cameras were invented, the first thing people did was use them to record sex, and pictures of beautiful naked women. At the time, brothels were perfectly legal in Paris and many had stunningly beautiful ornate interiors with the ladies who worked there sometimes wearing ballgowns in sumptuous fabrics as well as the more expected lingerie (or nothing but shoes!). It seems that high heels, stockings, garters, lace, corsets, gloves, waved hair, smoky eyes and round bums have been sexy since at least the 1890s!

Parisian prostitutes in an opulent brothel in Pigalle in the 1910s.

Now to catch up with emails! Au revoir for now x

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Wednesday, 30 March 2016

Dita Von Teese at The Crazy Horse, Paris

After champagne, oysters and ile flottante at Bofinger, Boyfy and I spent a rainy afternoon shopping in Paris. I love to visit the original Dior flagship store, est. 1949. I also don't mind being offered complementary champagne while I try on dresses, that's for sure.

I wanted to go to the Hemingway Bar at the Ritz, but when we got there, the whole place was closed for refurbishments. Disaster! I've added a book called The Cocktails of The Ritz to my Amazon Wish List so I can make them at home, but I think it will be a while before I order myself any more gifts- living it up in Paris comes with a price tag!

The evening was the highlight of our trip, Dita's Crazy Show at the legendary Crazy Horse, which has been a burlesque house since the 50s. We saw Dita perform her new acts, which made clever use of lighting technology and the small space. The Crazy Horse has a small stage with the audience almost touching distance from the action and no room for feather fans, giant Martini glasses, or the like- but there was room for the Lili St Cyr-inspired bathtub :)

I'm happy to say that photography of the show was strictly prohibited, so the audience wasn't constantly alight with people trying to record everything on their phones, blocking each other's view, checking in on Facebook, etc etc. In fact, I didn't even take my phone with me on this trip! I really wanted to just live in the moment of being in Paris, thinking only of the now, and not of how best to record it for when I'm back home. It was a good experience. I'm sure I will still take photos on my phone from now on, but probably fewer pointless selfies. I'm getting a bit bored with this "pics or it didn't happen" social media culture we have.

So, here is a photo I lifted from Dita's Instagram (I also reposted it on my Instagram) of her first of the five acts she appears in (maybe call it four and a half as her final appearance is really at the end of the finale, where she just comes out and waves goodbye). I have to say, this show is genuinely very sexy, and definitely not a family show or something toned down for tourists! It is a proper strip show- just an extremely imaginative and high calibre one!

The founder of the Crazy Horse said of the world-famous nude-dancing Crazy Girls,
"...what we do with the girls is magic, too, because they aren't as beautiful as you see them onstage. It's the magic of lights and costumes. These are my dreams and fascinations..."
There are even strict guidelines on how the dancers may appear offstage, on their way to and from work. A man after my own heart! Modelling is all about lighting, costumes and fantasy, too, or at least, it is for me. I go into this subject in depth in my book, The "Ugly" Girl's Guide to Modelling, which is £12.99 from various online retailers and should be of interest to all self-made glamour goddesses.

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Monday, 28 March 2016

Le weekend

Let me tell you all about my Easter weekend in gay Parree!

I finally made time to go on a long-overdue holiday to one of my favourite cities, Paris. All I can think about when I'm here is La Belle Epoque, the Roaring Twenties, artists and courtesans drinking absinthe in art nouveau bars, the "leg shows" at the Opera House, the New Look, Jean Paul Gaultier...

Photographer: GSC4X | Skincare: Bareskin Beauty | Cosmetics: Mya Minerals

Pink hotel room! :D One thing I love about Paris is that decor- no neutrals, plain carpets or magnolia paint in sight! No-one is afraid to try and make a room special in Paris.

After a well-deserved lie-in at a little Baroque hotel I found online, where the rooms are named after glamour icons from Parisian history like Mistinguett and Coco Chanel, Boyfy and I went for brunch at Mariage Frères, an exotic tea salon from the C19th. We shared "Le Classique", but were so full, we still had to take the sakura blossom dessert away to share at the hotel later!

I love floral scents, so I purchased a box of rose and violette tea called Swan Lake, which will look really pretty brewing in my French press at home when I have the girls round ;)

We managed to sneak into Laperouse when it was closed at midday, for a little unofficial guided tour:

I also visited Notre Dame for the first time, which was as spooky and impressive as I'd imagined from Victor Hugo's book. I wanted to learn more about the history of Paris, so we visited the museum in the crypt.

One of the highlights of the trip so far has been dinner at Maxim's, an art nouveau restaurant and my favourite in Paris. The owner who made Maxim's so wildly popular at the turn of the century did so by ensuring the restaurant was always full of well-dressed women in all manner of lace, diamonds, velvets and ribbons, tactically seated in the windows facing the street. Jean Cocteau wrote that
"To undress one of these women is like an outing that calls for three weeks' advance notice, it's like moving house."

We ordered absinthe and champagne with our meal, the drinks of choice during La Belle Epoque, and it gave me a happy little buzz to listen to the pianist play and imagine how many grand dames and dandies had enjoyed the same drinks in the very same room since the late C19th...

The Bar at Maxim's

On Sunday, we went for tea and a single Marie Antoinette macaroon to share at Ladurée (I just wanted to taste). I like the Ladurée at Harrod's, but you can't beat the real thing in Paris.

The good weather lasted just long enough for a pretty boat ride along the river, where we got our first really clear view of the Eiffel Tower. Wow! Everywhere you look in Paris, there's beauty all around.

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Thursday, 24 March 2016

Gorgeous Freaks editorial

Gorgeous Freaks Magazine have printed an article about me featuring some fun pin-ups inspired by Wilma Flintstone and Xena: Warrior Princess!

I forgot I've been modelling since 2006 until I read the article. Weeeird! That's a long time.

Wardrobe: Leather Lovers and Fabulously Fetish shoes
Photographer: Luci Alice
Skincare: Bareskin Beauty

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Friday, 18 March 2016

Peng Towers :')

After spending over a year trying to purchase my dream house (my dream house was not the bank's dream house!), I got some magical, life-changing, opportunity-opening news this afternoon: I am finally, finally buying my first house!


I'm glad that it took so long and various other places slipped through my fingers, because it forced me to wait long enough to come across the bargain of the Nineteenth Century: a much bigger and better place than I could have hoped for, which is going to open a wealth of artistic opportunities, and make a beautiful home- the kind I've dreamed about since I was a little girl :D

I don't have any photos yet, but it will be redecorated from top to bottom before I'm done anyway, so I'll just describe it for now!

It's a three-storey Victorian house with high ceilings and big windows, perfect for photography, with French doors leading onto the courtyard downstairs, and a rooftop garden. There is enough space to have my own office, library, cinema, and a yoga/ meditation room hidden behind a secret door, as well as the usual lounge, kitchen, dining and powder rooms, and a couple of spare bedrooms for my model friends to stay in when they come and visit! I love making breakfast for guests; organic almond lattes, freshly squeezed juice, and poached eggs from the local rescue hens are my specialities!

I have no idea yet when I will actually be in and unpacked; hopefully by the summer. For now, I'm just making Pinterest boards of decor ideas and adding to my Amazon Wish List with growing excitement :D

New House is going to be re-christened Peng Towers, a nod towards my six years spent living in London while I established my career, and I hope it will be used for all of the following at various points:

  1. photo shoots
  2. making a music video
  3. making a movie
  4. making art films
  5. making fetish movies
  6. having big parties
  7. writing a novel
  8. recording music
  9. having sex in every single room
  10. collecting antiques
  11. practising French
  12. mixing cocktails (I have my eye on an Art Nouveau cocktail cabinet to go with my various vintage glasses...)

It's a short drive to Bristol, Bristol Airport and Glastonbury, closer to my nan, and 2.5 hours from London, so I shall be well-connected with the places I want to be. There is also a castle, caves and countryside!

If you'd like to help me with any of the above points (bar #9, which I can arrange myself), do drop me a line:

I can't wait to see what my cats will make of Peng Towers; Dexter and Lilith love chasing each other up and down stairs, and this place has one huge staircase spanning three floors for them to race on! I know they will also appreciate having top storey windows to survey the outside world from! They love people-watching...

Many thanks to every client who has ever booked me for a modelling job. You are the reason I can do this! I am eternally grateful x

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