This month, to celebrate a whole year of collaboration between Primp My Costume and Crystal Parade, Charlotte Pacelli has decided to try something a little bit different!
I’ve turned the tables and asked every one of my group chats (there’s fourteen…) if they had any questions they’d like me to answer about the world of embellishment. With Primp My Costume over steaming towards its second birthday this summer, I thought it might be a nice moment to flip things and let others give me a grilling for once!
Question one comes courtesy of my fellow Co-Founder of London’s showgirl burlesque troupe, The Folly Mixtures, (and my mid-week wine ride-or-die)
Sarah-Lou: What would be your dream costume item to primp?
Charlotte Pacelli: I’m desperate to sparkle up a pair of Louboutins. I always have one eagle eye on eBay for a bargain. I’ve been a fan of both @crystalledbyjane and @joseph.limandri for some time, who are the absolute nuts when it comes to blinging up shoes.
Their Instagram accounts are really inspiring and have given me the itch to have a crack at a pair for myself. I always love being given a corset too. Huge items are always a bit of a slog (I’m basically a child and get bored quickly of using one colour) but a corset is a reasonably sized blank canvas.
It’s lovely to create designs on a flatter base, it feels like painting. If you feel nervous about where to start with a big piece, my advice is to sketch out the basics of an idea and then just be brave and start gluing. Trust yourself and just get that first patch down. It might surprise you what patterns you end up creating. Sometimes I will test out a pattern by spacing out crystals on paper first, to check it works well.
Question two is from another Brightonian. She’s the ultimate triple threat of dance teacher, hot mama and burlesque showgirl.
Sinead: What’s the weirdest place you’ve ever found a crystal?
CP: Now I thought that this question would be difficult to win at, because my friend found one in her dog’s excrement. However I’ve just remembered that I once found a rhinestone in my eye! I’d been rubbing my eye and it had got caught between my eyeball and the socket. Totally gross but really made me laugh when I realised what it was. Surely that is the ultimate commitment to my craft?!
Question three joins the hot mummy dancer crew. Rianna can often be found in the Legoland Friends show as the iconic Andrea.
Rianna: Who is your Blingspiration?
CP: I love the costumes from Kylie Minogue’s ‘Showgirl’ tour and Beyoncé ‘Live in Atlanta’ performance. There’s some geeky design nods in there to a variety of burlesque, such as the Crazy Horse Paris. Kylie and Beyoncé serve top quality showgirl. Catherine D’lish has really pioneered inspirational new work with jewellery stones and marabou gowns. ‘Jubilee’ in Ballys Casino, Las Vegas was the most beautiful, sparkling and ridiculous show I’ve ever seen.
Blinged-up showgirls re-enacting the sinking of the Titanic? Take my money. My bling-guru is Bettsie Bon, who is my go-to if I get stuck with a technique or need to source a particular random object. An unsung hero of mine is a can of tuna, which has had a secret input on every pair of pasties I’ve ever sold! My husband is very aware never to use the last tin of tuna for cooking dinner. Hell to pay.
Question four comes from my previous work wife, who doesn’t do thing by halves and is due to both give birth and get married this year.
Ysella: Who would be your dream person to primp something for and what kind of thing would you like to embellish for them?
CP: The pair of thigh high silver boots that Jonathan Van Ness from Queer Eye did a nude Insta-shoot in for his 30th birthday. Cannot get enough of JVN.
Final question is from the most intelligent woman I’m friends with. She is not only is super skilled in knowledge about VR but also in my super good books after speeding to my house to rescue a terrible haircut I was recently subjected to! (Curtains. Don’t even…)
Morwenna: I’d like to know about aftercare - how do you keep your garment looking primp-tastic for as long as possible?
CP: Storage! Store items somewhere protected and preferably padded with tissue or bubble wrap. Sadly, unlike diamonds, rhinestones aren’t forever and will require a bit of upkeep every now and then. But if you take good care of them they will serve you well. I use Gem Tac glue, which can go in a washing machine and survive. But I wouldn’t tumble-dry a crystalled item and handwashing (if you can be bothered) will always prolong its life. Insider tip, showgirls love Febreeze.
You can also give crystals a bit of a lift with either a slightly damp soft toothbrush and warm water, or a diamond dazzler stick. If you don’t have one of these for your jewellery, get it immediately. Best tenner you’ll ever invest!
Thank you to all my interviewers and readers for supporting my little crafting project that got out of hand.
I’d also like to thank Crystal Parade for a year of fabulous support, and for always sending me sneaky peeks of new products with my orders. Thank you for keep PMC in sparkles!
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