Online cabaret TV channel, Speakeasily, have decided that November shall be dedicated to that most delicate of the burlesque fashion accessories, the pasties.
To the uninformed (or the Cornish), pasties can be either a filled pastry snack or someone with a peaky complexion. At least in burlesque circles, pasties are perhaps a little better known as “nipple tassels”, those spangly, twirly and rather hypnotic circles of fabric that cover a burlesque performer’s delicate chest area and, quite often, have what can only be described as the edge of a curtain tie-back attached to the middle where one’s nipple generally sits. The performer then uses centrifugal force in order to twirl these tassels clockwise, anti-clockwise or, sometimes, both directions. The gyroscopic motion is often pleasing to the audience, who will tend to whoop and cheer that bit louder with every spin. Especially when they catch one in their drink.
Headbanging with pasties, whilst enormously enjoyable, is not something we condone but encourage you to try at your own risk.
Some pasties are homemade, others are made by dressmakers and some are even produced by Ann Summers. The latter are generally made of sweets or chocolate and, although uncomfortable, are presumably included in National Pasties Awareness Month (NPAM). If nothing else, they provide the wearer, and any persons within swinging distance, with something to dip in their tea.
Odessa Lil, Mistress of Ceremonies, explains in Speakeasily’s online video how to take part in NPAM. It generally involves a fair amount of shimmying, some twirling and frequently taking off your top in order to show off your pasties.
And, if you wish to make your own pasties, burlesque siren Bettsie Bon Bon has kindly provided this handy guide.
So, should you wish to show your support, grab your sparkly ribbon and twirl, twirl, twirl!
Image Credit: Miss Polly Rae by Mark Sherratt, Maren Michaelis Photography, Tigz Rice Photography.