Monday, 28 September 2015

Friday, 25 September 2015

La bella di Roma

Our new favourite Italian nonogenarian diva - Signorina Sylvana Pampanini (born 25th September 1925)

Saturday, 19 September 2015

If you want to achieve your dreams, you must follow them

"One magazine said that no-one writes sex in the back of a Bentley better than Jackie Collins."

"The biggest critics of my books are people who never read them."

"If anything, my characters are toned down - the truth is much more bizarre."

"Do not copy my style! The first rule of writing is write about what you know, not what you think you know. So, think about what you've done in your life and write about that."

"If you want to achieve your dreams, you must follow them, and the best way to follow them is not to think about wanting to be very rich, but to think about doing something that you really want to do."

"My weakness is wearing too much leopard print."

RIP darling Jackie, doyenne of the "bonkbuster", chronicler of the salacious underbelly of Hollywood glamour. We'll miss you...

Jacqueline Jill "Jackie" Collins, OBE (4th October 1937 – 19th September 2015)

Friday, 18 September 2015


...Garbo did it so well, n'est ce pas?

Greta Garbo (born Greta Lovisa Gustafsson, 18th September 1905 – 15th April 1990)

Tuesday, 15 September 2015

Embrace the Diva

"I decided that I would simply embrace [the term 'Diva'], and therefore change the meaning of it, because, if you don’t, then, of course, it’s used in a way that is most unflattering and is meant to indicate somebody that is capricious and just sort of difficult to be around. And I would hope that that is not true."

"I was always intrigued with the theatre, getting dressed up and putting on a costume and being someone else for a while. [As a child] I liked to put on some of my mother’s costume jewellery and a feather boa or something, and pretend I was some grand singer."

"A person has the right, and I think the responsibility, to develop all of their talents."

"I like so many different kinds of music that I've never allowed myself the limitations of one particular range."

Miss Jessye Norman, proud possessor of one of the finest operatic voices of the late 20th century, is 70 years old today.

Here are just a few samples to prove that this woman has no "limitations of one particular range"...

Mild und leise wie er lächelt (Isolde's Liebestod) - Wagner:

Beim Schlafengehen (from the Four Last Songs) - R. Strauss:

...and (with one of my favourite video clips, ever) When I Am Laid In Earth (Dido's Lament) - Purcell:

Jessye Mae Norman (born 15th September 1945)

Saturday, 12 September 2015

This weekend, I'm mostly dressing casual... birthday girl Miss Alice Lake (born 110 years ago today)!

We're off to celebrate the fabled "Last Night of the Proms" at Proms in the Park - seven hours in Hyde Park - so it pays to wear practical clothing.

Wednesday, 9 September 2015

Our Rainbow Queen red. orange. yellow. green. blue. indigo. violet...

...and in pink!

Congratulations to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, nee Elizabeth Alexandra Mary Battenburg-Windsor, who after 63 years on the throne has surpassed her great-great grandmother Queen Victoria as as Great Britain's longest-serving Monarch.

We salute you, Ma'am!

Saturday, 5 September 2015

It's the weekend, and thoughts turn to balls...

Oh, those fabulous balls we used to hold!

Well, we can only dream of being invited to one of the notorious bals masqué held by one of the early 20th century's most extravagant society hosts Count Étienne de Beaumont.

His guest list alone was a glittering tableau of previous "exhibits" here at the Dolores Delargo Towers Museum of Camp - the Marchioness Casati, Jean Cocteau and Jean Marais, The Comte's niece Comtesse Jacqueline de Ribes, Serge Lifar, Christian Dior, Alexis von Rosenberg Baron de Redé, Nancy Cunard - as well as luminaries such as Romanov Princess Natalia Pavlovna (Natalie) Paley, the Viscount and Vicomtesse de Noailles, Marcel Proust, Pablo Picasso, Oliver Messel, Erik Satie, Duc Fulco di Verdura, Tristan Tzara, billionaire Gerald Murphy and his wife Sara and Leonide Massine. Man Ray was his "house photographer"...

The Comte was bitterly satirised in Raymond Radiguet’s Le Bal du Comte d’Orgel, yet he was not merely a spoilt aristocratic party-giver. He was also one of Paris's foremost patrons of the arts - notably the more avant garde ones that were the penchant of some of his guests - and his money ensured that some of the 20th century's most influential works were brought to the public's attention.

Regardless of his influence, it's his balls we love!

Le Comte Étienne Bonnin de la Bonninière de Beaumont (9th March 1883 - 4th February 1956)

Wednesday, 2 September 2015

Three different faces, but in tight places, we think and we act as one

We bid a sad farewell on Monday to Joy Beverley, one third of Britain's favourite vocal harmony group the Beverley Sisters.

  • Born to parents who had a Music Hall act, Joy, together with her twin sisters Babs and Teddie, was helped on the way to fame and fortune with the support of none other than Glenn Miller.
  • In the early 1950s, the Beverley Sisters were the highest paid female act in the UK, earning more than £700 a week at a time when the average weekly wage was £5; they were also the first British female group to break into the US top 10.
  • The sisters (scarily) always appeared in public in identical matching outfits.
  • Joy was one of the first "WAGs", famously marrying England football team captain Billy Wright in 1958, a move that led the trio into semi-retirement at the height of their fame.
  • In the 1980s the Beverleys made a "camp comeback" of sorts, performing on the gay pub and variety club circuits.
  • The sisters entered the Guinness Book Of Records in 2002, as the world's longest surviving vocal group without a change in the line up.
Here are the girls, with a couple of their typically tongue-in-cheek numbers - It's Illegal, It's Immoral Or It Makes You Fat:

And... Her Bathing Suit Never Got Wet:

RIP Joy Beverley (born Joycelyn Chinery, 5th May 1924, died 30th August 2015)

Such was the "camp icon" status of the girls, even Rod Stewart, Elton John and Freddie Mercury desired their "look": [In 1978 the trio discussed] "...the possibility of the three of us forming a supergroup; the name we had in mind was Nose, Teeth & Hair, a tribute to each of our most remarked-upon physical attributes. The general idea was that we could appear dressed like the Beverley Sisters. Somehow this project never came to anything, which is contemporary music’s deep and abiding loss."