Diamonds are not only a girl’s best friend, they’re a best friend to all sorts of show boys and show offs of all genders. From Preciosa, to Zodiac, to Swarovski, it’s wild to think the power a rhinestone has with us cabaret performers; we get ‘glammed’ up in these beautiful crystals, walk out onto stages of all kinds and by simply standing in these costumes, audiences go “woaaah.”

I’ve been on both sides of that statement; I still remember watching my first cabaret show and seeing the likes of London’s stars step out onto those stages and sparkle like Christmas lights. It took my breath away and I knew I wanted to be one of them. Now years later, I’m dubbed London’s beast of Boylesque, I’m Sebastian Angelique, a boylesque and fire artist, I’m hoping this to be one of many posts about the beauty of crystallising, and hope that you take this journey with me, on the ins and outs of embellishment.Being able to walk out onto the stage dressed literally head to toe in crystals, gives me a huge boost of confidence in sharing stages with some of the world’s brightest and most talented artists. I started off working in acting and small town musical theatre where costumes weren’t really under massive consideration. When I made the change over to cabaret and burlesque it really put into perspective how far costumes can go, in both senses of technicality and aesthetically. With burlesque, it’s not just about how you remove your costume pieces but also about what they look like and the impact they have on different stages, both big and small. The intricate design and detail you can put into a baseline with costume rhinestone embellishments really makes it your own and makes your costumes stand out.As I’ve reached this point in my career (going on 4/5 years now) I’ve been able to see the difference the level of sparkle makes on a performer’s costume. There are all types of crystals out there that work for different performers, including sew on rhinestones, glue on crystals and crystal shapes, and I’ve been able to

really sit down and spend the time to hone my design style and level up my costumes to a west end standard.What I’ve learned with cabaret is that more is always more; we can allow ourselves the indulgency of adding a couple of thousand rhinestones, in all shapes and sizes to help celebrate our idea, our concept and our finale piece. Rhinestones help bring out that extra sparkle we have in ourselves, they help hide our insecurities, our worries, our doubts about if we’ll be good enough. When you put on that costume you’ve spent hours, weeks, months on, hurt your back from repetitively gluing on every individual crystal, you see yourself in the final product as the one that audiences have paid money to see for their night of escape, the one who’s spent countless time training up your skills and performance style. You look in the mirror and see yourself, as the performer and the audience member and who thought “woaaah.”

Performance costume