There’s always this moment when you finally get the costume in front of you, you have your crystals ready, you have your design in your head or sketched down and you know what the end product will look like - but how do you start it?

Welcome back to the Angelique Boutique blog, I’m Sebastian Angelique, London’s Beast of Boylesque and Fire and in my next feature I’m here to talk about the quality of rhinestones, embellishments, claws, colour schemes, what pairs well together and hopefully help get us all over that oppressive hurdle we have, when the time comes to lay down the first rhinestone. Now if you’re a regular Crystal Parade purchaser, you’ll know that there are many different types of embellishments and rhinestones out there; not just hotfix and non hotfix, there’s also rounds, shapes, claws, flatbacks, shimmers, SS5 to SS20 and more. If you’re new to embellishing, sometimes when you’re scrolling through websites and thinking of a design, it can get a little overwhelming to see it all in person. I was teaching myself over time, and have been embellishing my own costumes to a west end level. I now get multiple requests, commissions and questions from a variety of performers about their costumes and embellishment work, and I always think that it’s down to the variety of the rhinestones you use.

Something as subtle as pairing Clear to Moonlight rhinestones can give your costumes that extra depth when it hits the stage lights. Maybe you want your costume to enhance your character, maybe you want your costume to have a character of its own, however you utilise your unique pieces, adding shades of colour to your costume can make your act go from 10 to 100 within seconds of stepping out on stage. Say, for example, your base costume has a vibrant colour like red or blue, adding a variety of colours that pair well with it will give that base a glittery sparkling depth.

The way to succeed at this is simple stuff, I always work with embellishments that are similar to the base colour and use mostly those, then within that I throw in some Clears as they pick up the stage light, and to give the base some extra flair it’s always good to add just a small sprinkling of crystal rhinestones that are a totally different colour but go well together. For example, in a sea of Siam, Siam AB and Ambers, sprinkle a few Amethyst in the mix and it’ll add some dynamic to the costume.

The same applies with sizes or styles of rhinestones too. Personally, I always like to work with a variety of SS10 to SS20 crystals and working with clawed rhinestones, starting with the bigger ones and getting that initial sparkle, then going in with the smaller sized crystals and filling in that detail throughout the whole piece will help create that ultimate glamour look and movement when you walk onto that stage, no matter how close or far away the audience are. Now my intention after reading this, is that when you look at that base costume, with the packets of Crystal Parade rhinestones ready and laid out, you feel as confident embellishing the outfit as you will when you walk out on stage in the finished product hearing that very ‘woaaah’ I mentioned in my first post.

Tune in soon for more from Angelique Boutique.

Performance costume