Tag Archives: Portland

Dita Von Teese: Strip Strip Hooray

Saw Mizz Dita Von Teese and her burlesque buddies on Memorial Day in Portland at the Aladdin Theater.  I anticipated this show for months, set out on an epic journey to be there, and even built a Pacific Northwest trip around it.  So did it live up to all the expectation? 

In two words:  FUCK YES.

Dita started the show with her now classic martini glass routine.  She lip-synched a song about liking it slow, and stripped down from a perfectly fitted tux to a gorgeous corset. Her body is every bit amazing as it looks in pictures.  Her waist is really that tiny and her skin is milky white and flawless.  In between Dita’s four performances, other well-known burlesque stars like Dirty Martini and Catherine D’Lish punctuated the stage with their unique flavor.  This show was interesting because there wasn’t any singing and really not much in the way of dancing.  I’d call it more coquettish posing and prancing.  It is like watching a live editorial photo shoot.  Strike a pose, click.  Strike a pose, click.  The audience takes in a series of beautiful images, but really not much more.  The whole shebang amounts to a gorgeous puff of powder, but what it lacks in substances it makes up for in style.Not to say there are no skills involved; Dita completed much of her mirrored-compact routine en pointe in Louboutin ballet point shoes.  She definitely looked a little nervous and strained during the more challenging balancing requirements of the act.  Truthfully, there were more than a few moments where Dita telegraphed her anxiety.  When the fasteners on her garments didn’t cooperate with her quick release commands a palpable panic swept over both her face and her gestures.  I found this surprising for such a seasoned performer since I’m sure in this type of show wardrobe hiccups are par for the course. While physically stunning, there is a classic stripper disconnect between Dita and the crowd.  Many of her hand-selected co-stars made more meaningful connections with the audience than Dita.  No one looked better, but there was definitely a wall up between Dita and her fans.  Almost as if she was looking past us, or maybe down at us?  Dita closed with a big opium den number set in part to a remixed version of the Cure’s Lullaby.  The incredible finale climaxed with four gloved hands pawing Dita’s body into ecstatic submission.  Nary a nipple was exposed, but the entire show was a pleasing, erotic, and light-hearted delight.  This show was well worth the price of admission, and even worth traveling a distance to catch.  We owe Von Teese a great debt in keeping the art of burlesque alive and relevant, and she’s obviously one of the most stylishly influential women on the scene.  Three cheers for Dita indeed, Strip Strip Hooray!

IMPORTLAND

Want to make a late correction to today’s post.  I believe I may have misidentified the shop where I bought my dress as Flutter Clutter when it is in fact called EdenEden has a website at edenportland.com.  I’m going to leave information on the sister shops in this post because both are worthy of attention, but to be clear, Eden is the extra cute store where I bought my reasonably-priced reworked vintage.  I wholeheartedly apologize for any confusion.  There is just so much sweetness in Portland, it is hard to keep it all straight. Stumbled upon a darling shop in rosy Portland today called Eden.  I was drawn in by a rack of adorable dresses outside the store and made my way in to discover a number of unique treasures.  Eden stocks all sorts of fun, like quirky found items, granny’s thrift store dresses reworked into modern shapes, souped-up vintage furs and lingerie, delicious perfumes, books, cards, cute tid-bits, and whimsical what-nots.  Often when I stumble across a store of this nature, it is full of sweetness, but the prices are astronomically bitter.  Not at Eden; their special finds are priced to move.  How does $52 for a one-of-a-kind frock sound?  Sounds totally reasonable to me, so I picked one up.  Check out both websites flutterclutter.com and edenportland.com; the online inventory is more limited than the in-person browsing experience, but you can get a taste of their eclectic offerings.  Enjoy free shipping on orders exceeding $100.  This shop is well worth a look and full of intriguing gift ideas.

Famished from shopping, sustenance shifted to the priority.  Prasad answered the prayer of our longing tummies.  Vegan, wholesome, and delicious, Prasad provided us a hearty meal we devoured with a smugness that comes with consuming only the healthiest and guilt-free dishes.  With fresh-squeezed juice and a protein-packed salad followed by a soothing peppermint tea, we left refreshed from our weary travels.  Portlanders keep a number of vegetarian restaurants and food trucks thriving, and Prasad is a standout among them.  Prasad shares space with a yoga studio – Yoga Pearl.  Didn’t get a chance to take a class, but yoga + a delicious vegan lunch sounds like a fantastic afternoon to me – a great concept for a shared space that is well-executed.  Leave it to Portland to get it right.

Portlandia

Portlandia, the newish sketch show from Carrie Brownstein and Fred Armisen, strikes right at the heart of the Nirvana generation’s collective ennui.  My affection for this super clever show continues to grow even though I got a late start out of some misplaced sense of loyalty to Elisabeth MossDon’t miss “The Dream of The 90′s,” a nostalgic musical tribute to the most memorable qualities of last decade of the 20th century.  Portland, where “All the hot girls wear glasses.”

Enjoy a hilarious skewer of arbitrary cutesy animal placement on fashion and housewares in “Put a Bird on It.”

Portlandia.  Do investigate.  Don’t let the collective ambivalence about Fred Armisen’s short-lived marriage to our little Peggy Olson keep you from the funny.