The tale of the burlesque cape

Holy crap, I’m ahead of my time! Sometimes fashion takes a look at my wardrobe and thinks it’s found something to resurrect and that day has, once again, arrived. Back in 2006, I broke my wrist and ended up with a massive plaster cast on my arm. Annoyingly, with it being a rather cold January in Manchester, this meant that my left forearm was too big to fit into the sleeve of my winter coat. What to do? Well, I emailed the lovely Flic at Rags to Bitches and asked her if she had any wide-sleeved coats, cloaks or capes in stock. Thankfully, she did, so I popped into town to pick up something practical to keep me warm and ended up with a cute 1960s cape that looks like it should be hiding a nurse’s outfit underneath. Once my arm was back to normal, however, the cape didn’t get much wear as I had a cross-body handbag back then plus rather cold arms. Still, I felt that it was awesome enough to keep.

Miss Lolly Pops, photographed by Laura JungLast year, this rather odd garment came out of retirement to become a key item in a burlesque act I created for Christmas, called ‘A Simple Mistake’. Wrapped up in a cape, scarf, gloves, ear muffs, and carrying ice skates, Miss Lolly Pops gets off the plane to discover that she was in Australia rather than Austria (suspend your disbelief here, people) and so completely inappropriately attired! This bit of 2009 silliness received much love, as did the cape, so The Rebel Rebels‘ audience were thrilled when said cape made a return to the stage for ‘Uprising’ in March 2010. Political commentary is rarely this sassy or, it would appear, stylish. By the time Miss Lolly Pops showcased an updated post-election version of the act earlier this month, the aforementioned cape was looking like this season’s must have item. Capes are everywhere for A/W 2010, as is the colour grey (not that I can find a link to back up that claim anywhere now, but I’m sure I read it somewhere). Next thing you know, my cowboy hat will be fashionable again. Oh, wait… Depeche Mode style? Now you’re talking!

Portrait of Miss Lolly Pops by Laura Jung.

4 thoughts on “The tale of the burlesque cape

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  1. Love capes!! I have a mini blue capelet from when Marc Jacobs made them popular circa 2006/7ish, I wore it to work last year and I swear NOONE got it. They even text me to ask WTH I was wearing. Do it I say, even in the face of disbelief 🙂
    After watching Atonement I instantly began a search for a nurses cape, Lori I reckon you can start a fashion turnaround 🙂

  2. Like-wise, on a whim, I bought a vintage wool green and cream one from Broadway market a couple of years ago and after being a little wary of wearing it due to the pattern, it never fails to bring a 'Wow' comment. 🙂 Autumn is the perfect time to wear them. Might even procure my mum's 60's cape for the winter months.

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