We are very thrilled to reveal that we will be joining forces with purveyors of luxury teasewear, Holloway Smith Noir, who will be stocking the Burlexe boutique with hand-selected goodies, which will also be seen on stage. Alice Holloway-Smith talks us through the business’ inspirations and ethos.
Inspiration: The business is predominantly inspired by burlesque. Sophie is very passionate about fashion and I love making things, but both of us are a bit frustrated with the way fashion can make people feel about their richly diverse faces and bodies.
Burlesque does have a fundamentally different approach in that the sexiness is all in personal expression of the performer. It also has a lot of humour and doesn’t take itself too seriously (the good bits anyway) so it was the perfect inspiration for me to start designing some beautiful things that would incorporate our slightly vulgar sense of humour.
Background: I’ve loved working with fabric since I was very young, I used to make tiny clothes for my Barbies rather than playing with them. As a teenager I worked for free for a local dressmaker that did all the costumes for a rather ambitious local dance school. I think we would make 200 national (River Dance) dresses in green crushed velvet every year!
However I ended up moving away from my roots and doing a degree in jewellery design at Central Saint Martins. I absolutely loved how practical the course was and how symbolic and personal the work was. That’s something I’ve tried to carry forward as much as possible into Holloway Smith Noir. It’s one of the ways that we encapsulate our anti-fast fashion values which we both get from our mum. Whilst I was busy finding myself, Sophie, who is considerably more practical, was capitalising on the boom years with a proper career in private healthcare sales, luckily I managed to convince her to give up the stability and prospects and come with me on the Holloway Smith Noir adventure.
Describe Holloway Smith Noir Our business is what I think Wilberforce would have done if he’d been really good at making nipple tassels.
Favourite pieces: We have some really exciting new products in design development at the moment, lots of beautiful organic silk and delicious vintage lace in ice creamy colours. Yum. My favourite pasties at the moment are the peach pearl decos because they remind me of Bellinis and summer!
Why should we shop Holloway Smith Noir? The only reason not to shop at Holloway Smith Noir would be if you don’t want to have sex ever again.
Burlexe is a sensational London burlesque show inspired by the women who created the genre and perform the art. It fuses burlesque performance with storytelling, dancing with acting.