Charlotte Pacelli and Storm Hooper dish on burlesque-style hula hooping, hula hoop costumes and the music which brings it all to life.
HULA HOOP DANCE COSTUMES
Charlotte Pacelli (@primpmycostume): As I am interviewing a circus performer this week, I thought I’d start with asking you about the constraints that I might not usually have to take into account when working with Burlesque artists. I wondered what you need to take into account when buying or designing a costume for hula hooping?
Storm Hooper: A few different things to be honest. I guess I always have a vision to start, and that’s always influenced by the music which is normally the complete inspiration for act. The music will also determine the likelihood as to whether it will be a purely cabaret act or a potentially more family-friendly piece.
I prefer to have my arms and legs bare as I find it easier to hoop on bare skin, however I often need to be more covered for corporate or family audiences. So the materials can’t be too slippery or parts of the costume can’t get in the way or caught.
This means I normally go for more streamlined and tighter costumes. One act of mine has a jacket, but even a simple move is so muck trickier with it, so I actually had to alter the choreography and make the strip of the jacket a feature a little way in. It was too good to not use at all!
CP: I’d guessed about the bare skin but not thought about slippery fabric before for hoop performers. Moving on to what inspires you - is there a current live show that you feel is really exciting and relevant? What was interesting about it?
SH: At the moment I haven’t actually seen anything recently that has me super buzzing. However I am currently involved with a new project which is! I can’t reveal much right now but the concepts and ideas are something new, which I’m incredibly excited and proud to be working on.
CP: Cryptic! Ok, I shall keep my eyes peeled on that one. Now anyone that follows you on Instagram knows how fashion-forward you are and I’m sure would be keen to get some tips. How can we incorporate an element of your fashion style into our everyday look, without looking like we're wearing a stage costume?
SH: I think just always have a statement item. Be it a hair style, a jacket or a boot. It doesn’t haven’t to be a lot but pick something to say.
CP: You are indeed Queen of the jackets and pink hair. Taking it back to the stage, what do you consider to be the most important element to a costume?
SH: I think it’s the relation to the music and act as a whole. You can have a beautiful costume but if it doesn’t fit the music or style you are performing in, it can often always just feel a bit off.
CP: I would agree on that one. I’ve often seen people get carried away with wanting feather fans or Isis wings just for the sake of it and ‘tacked’ it on the start or end of an act without it corresponding to anything else or developing it anywhere. Finally, I’d like to know which of your costumes you find the most fun to wear and why?
SH: I have multiple hula hoop costumes I love, actually. My rock and roll jacket is one of my favourite things. It started life as a hip-length sale find and I cropped, fringed and crystalled it all myself.
I also love some of my more fetish looks, like my pony head harness. Since I have less gigs allowing me to wear them so always feel a little more special.
THANKS TO OUR GUESTS
Thanks to Charlotte Pacelli and Storm Hooper for taking their valuable time to dish on hula hoop costumes, music and dance moves. For more information or to follow them on social media, see below.
OUR COLLECTION OF CRYSTALS AND FRINGES
Interview by Charlotte Pacelli (Liberty Sweet) - Director of costume makeover service @primpmycostume (IG/ Twitter/ Facebook) / co-founder of London’s leading Burlesque Troupe @follymixtures/ original Hurly Burly Girly for @misspollyrae
Photos by @adamrobertsonphotography