In the 1800’s the word ‘Burlesque’ referred to a raucous, bawdy form of Variety Theatre. It was originally based on a troupe of women dressed in minimal costumes which focused male attention on the female body.
These women would perform through dance, dialogue and very weak plotlines. Although ‘Burlesque Shows’ started to lose their popularity in the 1920’s there was a revival in the 1980’s of the clothing side of burlesque – mainly corsets and stockings. This was brought about with the success of the film ‘Moulin Rouge’ starring Nicole Kidman and Ewan McGregor.
Since then however, all things ‘burlesque’ have continued to grow and capture the imagination of people from around the world and it has taken on a slightly different connotation in modern terms with the emphasis now being on the provocative and essentially feminine.
There is a whole burlesque strip tease industry with well known names such as Dita Von Teese topping the bill. There are Burlesque Clubs in most major capital cities and there are even international Burlesque Week events that attract people from all over the world to display their own style of burlesque and mix with like minded individuals.
A new film is coming out in December directed by Steven Antin. With Cher, Christina Aguilera, Alan Cumming and Kristen Bell it is called simply ‘Burlesque’ and is based on the story of the Burlesque Lounge which has seen better days and which is eventually revived when the owner falls in love with art of burlesque.
In particular these days, the clothing sector has taken burlesque under its wing and there is now a vast amount of clothing and lingerie all devoted to the Burlesque Style. At the top of this chart is the burlesque corset which has become massively popular even outside of the ‘Burlesque Community’.