Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Interview with The Dark Muse of Vaudeville, Mr Pustra

Mr Pustra in Villains
Mr Pustra in Villains 
Dress by Lenka Padysakova.
Image by

I bring to you today an interview with the talent Mr Pustra - Vaudevillian extraodinaire - an interview which I've wanted to do for ages and have finally done. If you haven't already, don't forget to check out my feature on him but now, it is time to sit back, pop your feet up, get some bubbly and see what makes Mr Pustra, well, Mr Pustra!



SBS: You're about to embark on a tour for your show, VILLAINS - are you excited? How long have you been preparing for it, from the concept to end product (set/costumes, etc), and where did the inspiration for VILLAINS come from?

MR PUSTRA: I am excited indeed but many sleepless nights lay ahead. 'Villains' started out as an idea to do a show with only boys in it. I wanted to create a fantasy, a dark tale, a dream world where Mr Pustra could run free and the show just gradually developed and grew. Like mould. 'Villains' started in May of this year as a revue in London. I wasn't sure what I wanted it to be. I knew I wanted to do something theatrical. Cabaret has served me well but I wanted something more, Cabaret is not very satisfying, so a bigger platform is needed. I met a director in Rome last year and he told me: "you need a bigger stage for your art. You're a shark in a small pond and you need to swim in the ocean". He will be involved in 'Villains' so it's a great opportunity to work with him.

Of course, I will marry this man and move to Capri.

SBS: For people who aren't aware of your work, what is your show about?

MR PUSTRA: 'Villains' is an offbeat fairy tale set in different locations: Hungary, Berlin and Coney Island and of course ... Hell. It has a distinctive style and as I am all about the visual, the costumes and content is carefully selected. We are lucky to have this show in Teatro Palladium as it's quite an experimental theatre in Rome. The story has 2 main characters: Mr Pustra and Joe Black. They are very different characters with different layers. It's turning out to be quite autobiographical.

Joe Black.  Image by Scott Chalmers 
Joe Black
Image by Scott Chalmers

SBS: Joe Black is your chosen partner in crime, so was Mr Black a natural choice for you to work with in VILLAINS?

MR PUSTRA: I invited Joe to come do the London show with me as I thought we would complement each other and it would be interesting to see two strange boys, with the same 'look' on stage.

Mr Pustra + Joe Black in Villains.  Image courtesy RomaEuropa.net
Mr Pustra + Joe Black
in Villains. 
Image courtesy RomaEuropa.net

SBS: Your VILLAINS show will be in Rome on 1st + 2nd February 2011 at the Teatro Palladium. Why did you decide to take your show to Italy?

MR PUSTRA: The promoters approached me while I was in Hong Kong on vacation as they had two dates available in Teatro Palladium. I worked with them before and they knew of what I did and wanted to stage a show in a theatre rather than in a 'cabaret' space. So here we are.

SBS: How would you describe your journey into the world of Vaudeville?

MR PUSTRA: I come from a musical theatre background but never quite 'fitted' or made it into mainstream musicals. (Obviously). The parts of men were either too 'butch' or too specific and I just couldn't see myself in any of the shows around. I gave up on auditioning as I was getting nowhere and drifted for a few years doing shit soulless jobs. About 5 years ago, a friend and I formed a double act called PUSTRA/VILE-EEN, as you know, and our love for comedy and the absurd just took over. Vaudeville was then still an unknown term as it was all about the Neo-Burlesque scene that exploded in London. Now, every venue or artist calls themselves a Vaudevillian. It is funny.

SBS: What particularly inspires you about the dark, melancholic side of Vaudeville?

MR PUSTRA: I am attracted to the darker side of theatre and life in general and I have always been a melancholic person. That interest has nothing to do with Vaudeville really, but just how I want to express myself as an artist and what I want to communicate to other people. So I am using Vaudeville as my platform. I have a special affinity with the downtrodden, misfits and the lonely souls out there. I am my own person and don't fit into the various 'cliques' of the London Cabaret scene. I don't lick anyone's arse and I follow my own path.

SBS: Does Vaudeville's Darkest Muse have a muse of his own?

MR PUSTRA: Klaus Nomi, Anita Berber, Claude Cahun, Andy Warhol, Edith Piaf, Coco Chanel, Toulouse-Lautrec, Tennessee Williams, Poppy Z. Brite, Elvira and Depeche Mode. The list is infinite.

SBS: How would you describe yourself + your style?

MR PUSTRA: I am complicated. I have a strong work ethic which can cause a lot of frustration for myself as I don't find that in most people I work with. I understand everyone works at their own pace, but it gets on my tits when people are lazy and just rude or want to be famous for doing nothing. Work for it.

My style varies. I love fashion and love to experiment. I love Gareth Pugh and Vivienne Westwood. I would love to use more fashion in my performance work. I love edgy looks; Weimer Berlin is a big part of my style, Circus, Vintage, and even New Romantic styles. I love looking at Haute Couture. I don't like Lady Gaga btw, she annoys me.

SBS: Your aesthetic is repeatedly likened to Tim Burton - do you think this is a fair analysis?

MR PUSTRA: Yes. It was a calculated move on my part - my style is evolving constantly and I am attracted to his work as film is my favourite mistress. I want to work with him - he should do a Pustra animation.

Anita Berber.  Image courtesy connect.in.com
Anita Berber
Image courtesy connect.in.com

SBS: You seem quite natural and uninhibited on stage. How easy is it for you to become Mr Pustra? Which aspects of his persona do you relate to the most?

MR PUSTRA: Oh, nothing came natural to me. I had many inhibitions to overcome, hence my admiration for Anita Berber. She just didn't give a shit and I like that. When I was about 19, I went to a fortune teller in London to have a tarot reading done and she told me Showbiz is not the career for me; I am too sensitive and weak. I had to face this at college and only in my second year I blossomed. I wanted to give up as I struggled like hell. I felt stupid. Even then I was very determined with a clear mindset of what I wanted to do. I wrote my own little show after leave college and had no support from them as I wouldn't submit or conform to their mold. I didn't want to be 'produced' by them.

SBS: Which performers of the 1920s + 1930s inspire you in your work, and why?

MR PUSTRA: Anita Berber: she pushed people's buttons and was very forward thinking. I love that she exposed herself in hotel lobbies looking great in fur with her pet monkey. How fabulous! Oh, and Josephine Baker. What a story she had.

SBS: You have quite an underground following. Do you find that you have 'regulars' frequenting your shows, and if so, how as an artist and performer does this make you feel?

MR PUSTRA: I think I have a 'small' following, I think a lot of people are unsure of me and don't know how to 'label' me. I get many emails from people all over the world telling me they really appreciate my art and 'get' the emotion in what I do. Joe (Black) tells me I need to be more specific as people don't know what I am about: I am a performer and that can mean many different things to different people. I try to be an all-round artist: Fine Art, video, performance and writing. After a show, I do get really shy or uncomfortable with compliments or praise. I tend to hide backstage. It's weird. We were in Dublin a few weeks ago for 'Villains' and people were really kind and showered us with admiration. So, I don't think I will cope well with fame. I just want success.

Success I have earned by working hard. But I guess the two go hand in hand?

SBS: Do you design your own costumes, or do you have them commissioned?

MR PUSTRA: I source different items and style myself. When you have no money you learn how to do that. I have also learnt to make may own props and customising various costumes.

Lenka Padysakova + Mr Pustra.  Image courtesy daemiane.blogspot.com
Lenka Padysakova + Mr Pustra
Image courtesy

SBS: Lenka Padysakova created your costumes for VILLAINS. How did that come about?

MR PUSTRA: We met in Rome last year and I wore some of her garments for a photoshoot. We stayed in touch and developed a friendship. She supports what I do and wanted to create some costumes for me in 'Villains'.

Mr Pustra + Adam Ant.  Image courtesy daemiane.blogspot.com
Mr Pustra + Adam Ant
Image courtesy daemiane.blogspot.com

SBS: I read somewhere that 80s music icon, Adam Ant came along to your show and loved it. How did you feel about meeting him?

MR PUSTRA: I was quite embarrassed and flattered - I was introduced to him when he arrived at the club and then was given the green light to perform. I met him afterwards briefly and heard later he liked my act and wanted to book me for his show. But of course, that never happened. That's showbiz!

SBS: You recently produced a video for avant garde fashion designer, Marko Mitanovski. How did that come about? How did you find the experience?

MR PUSTRA: I was asked by my friend, Nina Butkovich-Budden, who runs a salon in London. She knew Marko and loved my video work and is very supportive of me. I was thrilled to do it as Marko's designs are amazing and right up my street. The video did a lot for my self-confidence and I loved directing and editing. So it was a very positive experience to be part of a great designer like Marko's rise to fame. I am planning to film showreels next year and start a small business. The day job on the side thing.

SBS: Next year you'll be appearing at Coney Island, New York. Will this be your first time in the States? Why did you choose Coney Island? A short US tour will follow - when will this take place, and which cities will you be including in your tour?

MR PUSTRA: I was invited by Dick Zigun who runs the Sideshows by The Seashore to come play the Musical Saw in some event. My other interest is of course Circus/Freak Shows and to be part of the legendary Coney Island is just a dream come true. I am still working our the details for the rest of my trip, but it may include Washington DC and more dates in Manhattan. Hopefully LA as well. Stay tuned.

SBS: Your fan base is global. Is there anywhere in the world you'd like to tour which you haven't already, and do you think you would pop down to Australia at some point in the near future?

MR PUSTRA: I have a global fan base?

Mr Pustra
Breeches by Lenka Padysakova.
Image by Matilda Temperley

SBS: If you had your time again, what would you do differently?

MR PUSTRA: Made an effort in dance class. I really admire dancers.






Friday, December 24, 2010

London's Foulest Gentlemen of Vaudeville bring VILLAINS to Rome


“We're very Concerned … Bad Things Will Happen”

Described as “Wicked and Woeful” by The Londonist and “Hellishly Hot” by the Irish Independent, The Londonist is set to take stage at the Teatro Palladium in Rome on 1st + 2nd of February, 2011.


Set on the dirty streets of Berlin, Sideshows of Coney Island, numerous graveyards + other unspeakable locations, London's foulest gentlemen of Vaudeville arise from their mouldy graves in this gothic tale of woe to produce 'Villians'. With a visual feast of Tim Burton-esqe stylised illustrations, you will find hair-raising songs + deliciously black humour.

'Villains' is utterly charming and irresistibly dark.

VILLAINS is written + conceived by London's avant garde artiste Mr Pustra. With a background in musical theatre + fine art, his show has built a loyal following. Described as “A Creation of Beauty” by AGENT2 MAGAZINE, Mr Pustra is a character drawn on the styling of Weimar Culture and performers of the 1920s and 1930s. Also influenced by singer Klaus Nomi and German Expressionism, artist Otto Dix features in his work.

A visually compelling and often tragic character, Mr Pustra's ability to transform is both fascinating and truly inspirational.


Mr Pustra has teamed up with Joe Black (described as The King of Cabaret Noir by The Metro), who is no stranger to the ridiculous, the sometimes disturbing, or the downright shocking world of entertainment. Black hosts his own sell-out residency in the lavish Edwardian Kings Theatre (Hampshire), and regularly treads the boards of the sell-out sensation that is the world's biggest fetish club – London's TORTURE GARDEN. Joe Black also tours internationally with the critically acclaimed MINISTRY OF BURLESQUE, and is noted as one of the pioneering personalities in new Variety.

He is the unmistakable Vaudevillian Villain.

Show details:

1st + 2nd February 2011


8 Piazza Bartolomeo

Romano 00154 ITALY

Time: 8:30pm

Dress Code: Victims + Villains

Box Office: romaeuropa.net


Written/Artwork: Mr Pustra

Photography: Katherine Leedale

Live Music: The 5 Villains

Mr Pustra Costumes: Lenka Padysakova

Special thanks to Ros Allen and Matteo Tarasco

Translations by Chiara Lore






JOE BLACK website

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Great Last Minute Shopping Ideas At DimePiece

Alexander Tribute Tee

Here are some more ideas from DimePiece .....

Bougie Boy Tee
Agness DimePiece Logo Asymmetric Tee
DimePiece Logo Sweater

Burnout Skeletal Tunic

DimePiece Logo Crop Top

....... collars .......

Bitches Be Trippin Collar

Holy Cross Collar

Striped Collar

....... bags .......

Geometric DimePiece Duffle Bag

Iman Voodoo Oversized Tote

....... decor .......

Holy Pills Canvas
Yellow X-Ray Mickey Skeletal Canvas
Iman Blue Canvas

....... Get to the  
DimePiece online store 
for your
last minute shopping .......  

You can shop right up til 25th December and when you spend $65 or more, you'll get a little something from the girls (Set of Stickers + a FREE Tee).  


Monday, December 20, 2010

Hecking Shop for the Kiddies This Christmas


Save No Prayer This Spring 2011 with DimePiece Designs

Keeping true to DIMEPIECE's aesthetic, the girls have produced yet another winner with their Spring 2011 Collection, SAVE NO PRAYER.

Talented partners in crime, Ashley Jones and Laura Fama, are well known for their niche in the industry where garments are created to express and embody female empowerment.  

A DimePiece woman is described as:

unique onto herself and doesn't place herself into any categories.  She's self-governing, opinionated and doesn't rely on her appearance for sole-recognition.  She is a positive representation of today's young female and is essentially the perfect ten ... all around.

Rebels by (professional) nature, both Jones + Fama produce unique and non apologetic collections with a modern pop art flavour.  Cheeky feminist phrases + slogans take pride of place across hoodies, sweats, tank tops + leggings.

I love it!

 This is a world of polarity.  Light and dark, maturity and innocence, pleasure and pain.  

DimePiece brings to light a darker side of the aesthetic fence and continues to convey concepts that reflect the empowerment of women in a deliberately darker, tainted manner.

This season
the designers had a particular
and uncompromising vision of
translating a woman who is aggressive,
yet feminine,
yet full of sin.

KATY PERRY fergie  AMBER ROSE  rihanna  NICKI MINAJ  juliette lewis  LINDSAY LOHAN  khloe kardashian  THE LIKE  kelly osbourne  M.I.A.  rye rye  ROSARIO DAWSON are fans


Let's Hear It For The Boys - Fashion For The Man

I don't always post stuff for the boys, but when I do I try to find the coolest threads for the lads.

Since it's Christmas in a few days and you're stuck on what to get your brother/boyfriend/friend etc, I hope that this will bring some inspiration to you.  Here are a few of my faves, clothes that I'd dress my man in (if I had one) or if I was one.

Black Noise White Rain 1916 High Top Boot

The BLACK NOISE WHITE RAIN label was created by Gareth Moody of Ksubi, and his footwear range is a fast growing collection of well designer shoes for the boys.  The guys @ Superette state that Moody's collections always have a waiting list prior to arrival, so indecisiveness may not be a good idea in case you miss out ... 

This leather 1916 High lace up ankle boot (above) comes in a vintage 'worn in' look, and looks hot worn with some skinny jeans.  The 1916's are available in black.

Bassike Mens 'Jersey Cardigan'
I'm personally a BIG fan of BASSIKE!  Their clothes are so comfortable and easy to wear.

Their mens long sleeve, button up v-neck Jersey Cardigan is made from 100% organic superfine jersey (comfort factor), and features pocket detailing on either side @ front.

It's available in my favourite shade of black - black - and comes in sizes Small through to XXLarge.

Black Noise White Rain 'Eliptic Blazer'

BLACK NOISE WHITE RAIN's Eliptic Blazer is a lightweight, long line knit cardi perfect which is perfect for the summer time. The Eliptic Blazer is prewashed to give it a lived-in look.

It's available in Black + Dark Grey, in sizes Small to XLarge.

Flux 'For The Love Of...' Long Sleeve Tee

I think it's common knowledge that Melbourne-based label FLUX produce a very well designed and carefully assembled collection each year, and their garments have been hand finished individually.

Their Spring/Summer collection, VICTORIE features a range which is torn, washed, crushed and faded. Key pieces include the ‘Fucking Skinny Leg’ jeans (which come in Headbanger Black, Midnight Rinse, + Worn out Blue), the ultra washed denim ‘Prison Shirt’, the ‘Home Bleached’ denim jeans and plenty of printed tees with themes of Lost Love, New Love, Victory & Death.

Available @ SUPERETTE

Friday, December 17, 2010

Rachel Freire is The Girl I Never Was

RACHEL FRIERE + VICTORIA McGRANE of Neurotica have joined forces to create a sculptural feast for Spring/Summer 2011.

This collaboration brings forth Freire's love of nostalgia and McGrane's 'delicately sinister drawings' to create a truly unique, and beautiful collection titled THE GIRL I NEVER WAS.

Clothing is our expression of self, our bodies are the one thing we control exclusively.  Clothing should amplify a person, not create one ... My aim is to create worlds which don't exist yet.  (Rachel Freire)

SMACKMAID, MINATOUR, + COURTNEY PICNIC are three special limited edition hand illustrated tees - the result of when creative minds, like these, collide.  (Below).



Courtney Picnic

These three tees are exclusive to NOT JUST A LABEL.

Rachel Freire is available @:

Coco De Mer
23 Monmouth St
Covent Garden  London

60 Berwick St

Beyond the Valley
2 Newburgh St

+ also online @:




Neurotica is available @:

Alfies, Sydney
The Collector Store, Sydney
La Luna, Cronulla
Elroy, Mount Lawley
Emporia, Perth

(full list here)

 *images courtesy NOT JUST A LABEL


More Fashion Posts

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...