The second installment of my weekend modelling at Sexhibition 2016…
The evening of Saturday’s Sexhibition involved a burlesque show like no other called ‘After Dark’. This was hosted and produced by UK Legend Goodtime Mama Jojo, founder and principal of the London Academy of Burlesque. This woman is a powerhouse of body-positivity, and beautifully eloquent too:
“My self-imposed mission is to help all women who attend my academy to lose their inhibitions, let go of negativity, explore their creativity and rejoice in the sheer joy of being female!”
The star attraction of the show was none other than Immodesty Blaize, British born showgirl with an incredible list of celebrity and industry clients and fans. Immodesty is elegance personified, with classic beauty echoing Sophia Loren and pin-ups gone by:
“The tiger-eyed temptress Immodesty Blaize continues to captivate audiences internationally with her sumptuous curves, high voltage glamour, and world-renowned spectacular shows and showpieces.”
I also saw a performance from the incredible Sir Midnight Blues, a UK Boylesque and pole performer. He was breathtakingly talented, and an absolute sweetheart when I met him earlier that day. Sexhibition held a VIP Supper Club dinner for the show, which involved a gourmet dinner and table service throughout the night. This meant the audience area around the stage was taken over by large, round tables, and the guests who had not booked the Supper Club were left to watch the show from behind barriers next to the stalls. This experience has definitely encouraged me to book the ‘Supper Club’ option next year, as it really was an incredible show from what I could see. Plus, I’d quite like to sit on a chair and get sozzled, instead of teetering in my heels, regrettably sober.
I was thrilled to run into both Mama Jo and Immodesty on the Sunday, where they were indulging in a spot of shopping. Of course they were lovely, friendly, and happy to chat and take a picture. I made my admiration no secret, and they graciously accepted my compliments. I praised Mama Jo for her invaluable industry input, and thanked her for her influence on my journey so far:
Not wanting to be branded a wallflower, I had previously planned my risqué evening outfit with the help of my fellow plus-size vixen Sian Yapp. Sian turned heads at last year’s British Plus Size Awards, gracing the red carpet in nothing but negligee and lace. What a stunner:
She received high praise for her fearless choice of formal-wear, and she absolutely rocked it. I messaged her begging to know where the dress was from, and she kindly offered to let me borrow it for Sexhibition. I wore it over my new Parfait by Affinitas set that I bought from Large Cup Lingerie last month. I’ll do a seperate blog post to review this set, as it deserves its own limelight! The dusky pink colour looked perfectly nude under the lace, and was ensemble was accentuated by this divine black net steel boned corset from Fetish Corsets which I think I’ll be ordering in nude very soon! Candid snap (with sweaty face):
That silhouette though…
I should mention, the transition from black and red ensemble I was wearing during the day, to this look, was not a simple one. You see, there was not much time between the daytime events and the evening show. Mags, Jess, Phil and I nipped to the nearest Nandos for a bite to eat, then returned to the car at the venue, where I transformed into this black and nude goddess by heroically contorting in the back seat. It was a sight to see, I tell you. Thank you Sian, I turned a few heads too, and had to try on the dress once more at home before I gave it a handwash and sent it back to its mama!
The evening event was a blur, and the venue was still a little hot, so we retired around 11:00pm after the show finished. An evening spent with Raven, Dave, Jess, Phil and Mags was just what we all needed after a long day, and we were all pleasantly fizzy and exhausted by the time we went to bed. Still, we had a hilarious time at Mags’ house:
Those closest to me will know that the glamour certainly fades quickly and my favourite time of the day is when I get through the door, remove my bra and makeup, and wear significantly baggier clothes. This is why I look like an ogre sandwiched between two BDSM nymphs!
Sunday celebrated the kinky, edgy side of Sexhibition. This was Mags, Dave and Raven’s turn to shine, modelling latex and fetish-wear throughout the day. Raven and Dave are no strangers to modelling, and happily introduced me to a lot of their industry contacts and fellow models. They oozed sex appeal on stage and I was starstuck even after spending the weekend with them! Mags was onstage quite early, and brought this incredible Tron-inspired latex catsuit by Zhyon to life, complete with Identity Disc:
I spent a lot of the day cheering by the main stage, super proud of my beautiful friends. The rest of the day I spent with Jess and Phil, following the floor plan around the stalls a few times and networking. One stall in particular really caught my attention, Koolies Kreations, and I adored the designer’s enthusiasm so much that I decided to request an interview with her, which I’ll publish on a separate blog post! As we had been up quite early, and we had already done the venue circuit several times, Jess, Phil and I decided to take a quick trip into the sunshine to refuel. We weren’t too far from a retail park, so we had a hearty combination of fresh air, KFC and coffee. Delightful! Phil took this lovely picture of Jess and Myself, with a few extra layers of appropriate clothing (Vans, fishnet tights, pajama bottoms and AAA model pass is a good look!):
Now I mentioned in my previous Sexhibition post that I had contacted several brands to sponsor me over the weekend, and one brand in particular made me incredibly excited. Playful Promises is a British lingerie brand with a flair for unique and glamorous cuts. In July 2016 they released their Curve range, expanding their sizes from a UK 16 up to a UK 24. They now go up to a 42G bra, and I’m not kidding when I say these are lust-worthy pieces of lingerie. Once again, George of Fuller Figure Fuller Bust is a stunning example of curves, and she was invited to model the range when it first launched in this stunning photoshoot. This began my obsession, quickly followed by a whole bunch of gorgeous girls showing off their own Playful Promises styles. Check out my babes Sam and Hayley reviewing their Juliet and Emerald sets. Stunners!
I began chatting to their Brand Assistant, Rebecca Lightbody, who sent me a list of what they had available in my sizes at the time. She kindly offered her advice on their sizing, and agreed there was wiggle room with a few pieces. After deliberating, I chose the complete Candace set in a 42G (to match my 40GG size) and 20 bottom (I’m usually a 22). Both Sam and Rebecca had suggested the bottoms came up large with Playful Promises, so I wasn’t worried about the dreaded muffin-top complications of a smaller size. Here’s how they describe the Candace set:
“In vibrant electric blue, the Candace bra proves that fuller bust bras don’t have to be boring! Combined with thick black elastic strapping for a frame harness over the bra, this bold set oozes confidence. The bra features a thick black band beneath the electric blue satin for extra support. Our well-loved harness briefs are now available in Curve sizes. These briefs feature vibrant electric blue satin and mesh panels, with a black harness that can be worn as a halterneck, or even adjusted to fit around the waist instead.”
Now I’m not here to fool you all… I don’t look like this delicious babe. I was worried the bra would not be supportive enough, and when I adjusted and pulled up the standard shoulder straps, the cups seemed a little flimsy. The second set of straps however, that run in a triangle over the central gore, made a huge difference. They pushed the bra closer to my sternum and lifted the cups at the same time. It then became an incredibly supportive bra, as well as being sexy. I look pretty darn good!
Although I felt sexy, I still wanted to feel comfortable all day walking around a convention of strangers. I knew I had to show this set off somehow, so I decided first to style it with some old lace/fishnet illusion tights from Ann Summers. My thighs still sometimes chafe through tights, so I wore my trusty Bandelettes underneath. I still felt a little exposed, which is where this old lace and mesh bodysuit from New Look came in handy. This also featured a harness detail, and a lot of people commented on the day that they assumed I wear wearing an all-in-one style. In fact, I was wearing 6 layers including some black lace shorties underneath! I also took a plain black kimono in case I felt shy, but after a few passers-by complimented my ensemble, the kimono was stashed away! Here’s me with the glorious Alix Fox on the Sunday afternoon (interview with Alix here):
Once I was home, I was able to capture the set in its true essence, and not cover up any of its gorgeous details:
(Recently I’ve been eaten alive by bugs, sorry for the bites!)
Teamed with my new black extra long hold-ups gifted from The Big Bloomers Company, this ensemble made me feel empowered, naughty, but also supportive in all the right places! The waistline of the briefs is *just* about high enough for my personal taste, and the additional harness feature almost had a cinching effect. I tried wearing it around the neck, like the model above, but I felt it detracted from the harnessing on the bra. You can see a little VBO (visible belly outline) here, but from a lower angle I felt the briefs actually smoothed my belly down a lot. This set currently retails at £60.00, and in this current market that’s a competitive price for genuinely sexy plus-size lingerie. I do look forward to any sales or promotions they might be holding though, as I feel the entire range needs to be mine. Here’s one more cheeky shot of Sian’s beautiful dress, and me posing like an 80’s backing dancer:
Overall, I’m pleasantly surprised by Playful Promises. The quality of the material is beautiful, but it’s the structure and fit I’m more impressed with. I worked in Ann Summers for over 2 years while I was at university, and at the time the biggest bra size they catered for was a 38G. They designed the initial bra/panties for a 32D/size 12, and then just made them wider. There was no thought for the body length (often too short/small), the width of the straps (like cheese wire cutting into my shoulders), and the amount of hook and eye fastenings at the back (we want 3! we want 3!). I witnessed women paying well over £50.00 for a lingerie set that wasn’t designed with their beautiful plus-size bodies in mind, and frequently became frustrated that Ann Summers were missing out on a gap in the market. And please don’t get me started on built-in-bra chemises and babydolls that are in dress sizes, and not in cup sizes. I have to admit, they have extended their sizes somewhat, but the larger options are rarely in stock. I feel they still have a long way to go if they truly want to advertise that they cater to plus-sizes.
Thank you to the Sexhibition 2016 for an incredible event, and for the opportunity you gave me. Thank you to Rebecca at Playful Promises for your generous gift, and damn you for creating a monster – I want them all! Thank you to Sian for the loan of your show-stopping dress.
Finally, thank you to my gorgeous little muffin Mags, we’re still going strong after 13 years and it’s like you said, no matter how long we are apart, it doesn’t seem like any time has passed at all.
P.S, you better start rocking that pin-up look more often, you’re divine