STARE CASE: Lustreality in commuter-dazzling corset outfit
StripLite is the new, monthly offshoot of newish quarterly London fetish/crossover event Festival of Sins. It’s held on the last Friday of every month at The London Stone, an atmospheric cellar bar opposite Cannon Street Station.
I’d been persuaded by my pal Sammm Agnew to check it out, and sure enough, when I finally made it to July’s gathering — tagged One Night of Passion — a fine welcome awaited me. It was a balmy night and hostess Lustreality was greeting people outside on the pavement, clipboard in hand and resplendent in a stunning red and black skirted-corset ensemble guaranteed to stop commuters in their tracks.
Heading downstairs, I found an odd-shaped space with lots of wood panelling and antique décor touches that gave it an almost Dickensian feel, and lots of friendly people, some watching the art-video premières that are a regular precursor to StripLite’s cocktail of live entertainment.
This is not a strict dresscode event, though dressing up is certainly encouraged. The dominant style on this occasion leaned towards vintage/burlesque — no great surprise given the part that performance plays in the night’s proceedings. What was a surprise was how tiny the performance space itself was — literally just a corner in front of some antique wall cabinets, where swinging a cat would be no small feat.
Despite this, the corset-clad duo from Inko Dancers managed to execute a pretty manic routine –— one that ended up with both of them (but amazingly none of the audience) smeared in stage blood. And burlesque performer Des O’Connor managed to squeeze in a whole bevy of beauties (as they say) to distract us from the ukelele-playing. The acts were as usual introduced by Nathan Shame, the affable MC who also comperes Festival of Sins.
By the time Sammm arrived with EmmaJ and thoughts had turned to serious drinking, the place was getting seriously full, and it continued to fill as people pitched up from earlier engagements. Even packed to the gills, the atmosphere remained convivial, and felt to me less like a club and more like a big house party where everyone has some personal connection to the hosts and to the event.
StripLite may be fetish-lite but it’s certainly fetish friendly, and pervs who fancy schmoozing from time to time with other sympathetic souls without always going the whole dresscode hog will probably find it as agreeable a way as any to spend one Friday night each month.
And if that doesn’t get you along, then the cupcakes certainly should. Every StripLite features wonderfully concocted confections courtesy of dancer and ‘cake-making vixen’ Nyuszi. Free cake — what more could anyone want?
The atmosphere felt less like a club and more like a big house party where everyone has some personal connection to the hosts and to the event