La Savona, Indianapolis, Indiana (2012)
Last week the death of burlesque legend Blaze Starr reminded us all of a far cheekier era of stripper—an anachronistic kind of T and A, with a little more glam and giggle to it than today’s Las Vegas-style bottle service strip clubs. It’s easy to crystallize someone like Starr in our memory as a young bombshell, taking it all off for roaring crowds, scandalizing politics with the Governor of Louisiana (and probably JFK, too), but we should always remember—there is life after pasties! For her book Legends The Living Art Of Risque, French photographer Marie Baronnet captures the fabulous ladies of mid-century burlesque in all their mature glory.
Although I do appreciate Miss Toni Elling and her “hey, fuck it, I’m old” ensemble, the majority of the women featured remain gloriously glam, with sparkles, feathers and cheesecake pouts. There are some ladies who actually took it all off for Baronnet, but in the spirit of the vintage striptease, I’ve kept the selections pretty safe for work. Mostly it seems to be about muscle memory; there is a kind of sexual performance that these women still know how to work for the camera.
Camille, Fort Pierce, Florida (2000)
Stephanie Blake, Simi Valley, California (2013)
Barbara Yung, San Francisco, California (2012)
Lottie the Body, Detroit, Michigan (2012)
Holiday O’Hara, San Francisco, California (2012)
Suzette Fontaine, New York, New York (2014)
Miss Toni Elling, Detroit, Michigan (2012)
Monique Marlow, Chicago, Illinois (2014)
Wild Cherry, New Orleans, Louisiana (2012)
Via Feature Shoot