Saturday 4 October 2014

Interview with 21st RED Burlesque Girl Chrys Columbine

Photo by Miran Hawke

If you read my blog then you will have come across previous pieces I have done with Chrys from interviews, show promotion, magazine articles etc. Chrys is a good friend of mine and top international burlesque performer with incredible talent and skill.
To remind you all, Chrys Columbine is one of burlesque’s most renowned international stars. Chrys Columbine is the only performer who combines the art of burlesque with her breath-taking skills as a trained-concert pianist.
Hailed in the press as the “porcelain doll” of burlesque and "Britain's answer to Dita Von Teese", the London-born showgirl is known for her unique, exquisite routines, dazzling audiences all over the world with crystals, classy costumes, fire and classical piano. 

From the likes of her enchanting Venus show – a must see (inspired by Botticelli’s painting The Birth of Venus), her out-of-this-world Fan Dance Phenomenon, to her impossibly seductive Naked Nocturne which sees her playing Chopin’s Nocturne in C-Sharp Minor whilst disrobing, Chrys is a truly compelling performer whose musical prowess puts her own, unique spin on the art of burlesque.

Having captivated crowds the world over, her stream of prestigious clients have included Dom Perignon, Cannes Film Festival and London 2012 Olympics. Amongst her countless media credits, are BBC, ITV, Channel 4,Vogue, Glamour, Playboy, The Mail On Sunday, The Guardian, OK! And Time Out to name but a few.

Chrys was an original headliner from 2010 - 13 on burlesque’s biggest theatre tour An Evening of Burlesque at major theatres/venues all over the UK and Europe (including O2 Arena), on the Burlesque Ball  2010 theatre tour of Australia (Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Perth & Adelaide).

Chrys is the first burlesque performer to have graced a public theatre stage in the UAE, at prestigious theatre-nightclub The Act Dubai - largely due to her unique ability to combine her pianistic skills with the art-form.
As one of the most unique, alluring and celebrated figures in the industry, Chrys is a dynamic force alongside her acclaimed contemporaries in bringing burlesque and cabaret into the mainstream.
In exciting news RED Burlesque have just launched their 21st shade of lipstick handpicked by and named after Chrys Columbine. RED Burlesque lipsticks are 100% allergy tested, fragrance free & enriched with Vitamin E to moisturise your lips, and of course they are cruelty-free. I personally love the lipsticks I have and always receive compliments on them.
Learn more in my interview about Chrys and her recent work with RED Burlesque and get your own Chrys Columbine lip shade here!
Photo by Miran Hawke

It’s been a while since we last caught up! What’s been keeping you busy lately?

Mahmoud Kheir of The Daily Star
Lebanon with Chrys Columbine
by Venetia Rainey
Last time we caught up? Lol, that was probably at your Tease Bar show before Christmas, and I wouldn’t say we really had time to catch up as you were running around being a producer for the first time (and most-successfully too if I may say). 

This year has been a case of journeying into the unknown... The ever-so-slightly scary yet awesome adventure of launching my work and brand over in The Middle East.

Photo by Mahmoud Kheir
of The Daily Star Lebanon
I made my Dubai debut in the spring at what has been so far in my career, one of the most beautiful venues I’ve ever performed in, The Act Dubai. It is the highest theatre in the world on the 42nd Floor of the Shangri-La Hotel, and The Box (London/NY)’s sister club.

It was such a learning curve for me as I worked with an amazing creative team, and am starting to get the hang of what I can and can’t do in terms of bringing in the “burlesque” part of my show. Obviously, the piano plays a massive role in my acts over there. And after pushing a few boundaries and a few press interviews, I am en route to furthering my work over there. 

Article by Venetia Rainey
of The Daily Star Lebanon
Some amazing exclusive gigs also kept me very busy this summer, in Cyprus and in Lebanon - both of which came not without creating some media stir. A most memorable moment for me, was running into the middle of Hamra Street (Beirut’s equivalent of Camden high street), in not much more than Jimmy Choos, a 20-inch corset, Frou Frou Feather Fans and my RED lipstick, being photographed by The Daily Star Lebanon.
What I feel so elated by more than anything, is that I’ve seen so much more sunshine and seafront this year, than I thought I would.

I am delighted to hear you are a RED Burlesque girl! How does it feel to be the face of the 21st shade of RED Burlesque Lipstick?

It’s an honour and a delight, not only to have my own shade, but to be part of a team of elite, outstanding burlesque performers who all have their unique styles and standpoints on the art form, and a shade to reflect this. I rather hope mine does too.

Photo by Hype Dubai
How did the partnership with RED Burlesque come about?

It was quite straight forward - last year Adam Coutts, Red Burlesque's CEO asked me if I would be the then 20th shade of RED Burlesque, but due to a prior commitment I could not do so. Once I no longer had a burlesque/make-up tie any longer, I brought it up with Adam that I would love to be no. 20, to which he then told me it would be the 21st. Done!

Tell me about the shade you have chosen…

Well, although I have been a lover of red as long as I can remember, I have been known to be inconsistent in wearing it. This is largely due to, having a naturally-full, pouting mouth, I often either get asked if I have had my lips done, or told with red lipstick on that I look like a blow-up doll. So i wanted to find a red that was passionate, but not too invasive. It is quite a deep red, but with a hint of pink... I guess suits my pallor and my playfulness :)

Photo by Laura Donohoe Photography
How did you choose your shade?

It was a very simple, no-drama decision. Mr Coutts presented me with a few shades that he reckon I’d be drawn to and after a few minutes of the tryings-on, I pointed to the one I loved and said - “that’ll be the one”.

What are the key things that are important in a lipstick to you?

One that stays on for more than twenty minutes. One that doesn’t dry out your lips to the point that when you keep applying it, you get nasty residue even though you’re only a third of the your day through. 

Basically, lipstick that stays on your lips without you feeling the heaviness of wearing it gets my ultimate respect. 

Last but not least, a shade that you feel best suits and represents you.

What skin type will this shade suit? 

Photo from RED Burlesque
Well, being very-fair skinned myself, naturally it will suit ladies of pallor as the depth of red is a lovely contrast. But despite being quite a strong red, there is a hint of pink and I think of this being the key to being able to be carried off by all skin types. I think olive complexions look absolutely beautiful with certain brightness in shades. I’d say I’ve picked a pretty wide-spread one, so to speak. 

What is your top tip for someone trying to find the right shade for them?

Don’t shrink from trying on as many shades as it takes you to make that decision. And don’t be afraid to make a little bit of a prat out of yourself preening and pouting in front of the mirror - the shade wants to look fantastic from all angles, in all states of lighting. 

Of course you’re limited from doing the above when it comes to online shopping - and that is where the RED Burlesque app comes into play ;) 

Photo of Chrys at the top of
The Shangri-La Dubai before
her doll show at The Act
Tell me about your experience working with Adam and the RED Burlesque team? 

Adam has been a friend of mine since 2011, during a two-year period I was back and forth on tour in Oz a lot.

He has always been very encouraging and an advocate of my work, and also one of the key figures I’ve met in my career who advised me long and hard to think of myself, my work as a brand.

Working with him has been an absolute joy, super-organised, straight-forward, no-drama and a right laugh. But then I knew it would be. With his intercontinental advertising/marketing background, his attention-to-detail is perfectly compatible with my OCD!

Several meetings have been had on his beautiful roof-top terrace of Surry Hills apartment, also with me every-now-and-then being distracted by his lovely partner Beck and her beautiful fairy cakes!

What is the biggest faux pas when it comes to red lipstick?
I think it must be what I’ve heard too many, say too often in my lifetime so far; “I can’t wear red lipstick”. 
I think that’s some of the biggest load of b******* I’ve heard with regard to make-up. The shade in question is what it is - a glorious affectation and accentuation of one of a woman’s most beautiful and sensual parts of her anatomy - and I believe very woman has the right, or may I be so bold as to say, a duty to embrace and maximise her assets. 

Chrys Columbine Shade RED Burlesque
taken in 
It’s all about finding the right shade that suits your outer and inner beauty - you have to feel comfortable wearing it, after all. RED Burlesque is here to help you realise your counterpart.
So what can we expect to come from you next?
Well, next week I will be flying off to Warsaw to perform at an exclusive event at a newly-opened luxury hotel, H15 Boutique Apartments. The event is sponsored by Harper’s Bazar and Moet & Chandon, and organised by a very prestigious fashion photographer Rita Zimmerman (who shoots for Vogue on a regular basis). There WILL be a grand piano and the crowning glory - I will be “made” to wear diamonds.

Dubai Desert
Photo by Chrys Columbine
After that, starts the process of preparation to going off for a while, to the UAE. I will be returning  and basing myself in Dubai where I have a few events awaiting, and then planning a further tour, starting with the awesome theatre I made my Lebanese introduction at, in Beirut. Qatar is on the horizon too.

Most importantly, I am looking forward to a future closer to round-the-clock sunshine, sea and a beautiful, tranquil horizon that I can just stare at for hours on end. 

Photo by Miran Hawke

I would like to thank Chrys for her time with this interview . Stay tuned for more!


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