Arriving at 23 Paul Street I had no idea of it’s heritage, although on entering the tall grey town house I sensed there was something special embedded in the walls, woven in the fabric of the building. I was greeted by Oscar the Rhodesian Ostrich, encased in a glass cabinet, a skeletal shadow of his former self .. a sucker for ‘one for the road’.
The fading yet familiar smell of stale tobacco and old liquor sent a buzz of excitement through me. For years I working in pubs, bars and cocktail lounges, the nostalgic aroma of debauched nights transports me back in a second to my own crazy crazy nights. Smiling, I walked through the beautifully dressed rooms and up the many stairs in search of The Skirt Club
Hoisting my case of goodies up the flights of stairs there’s no surprise I reach the top floor knackered…but lets face face it, all good things in life are worth putting in a little effort. I walked into a room brightly lit by the same vanity lights you’d find back stage in theatres, glamorous with settee’s suitably covered in underwear, heals and a menagerie of erotica.
The previous night I’d spent celebrating the 40th of a close friend, a sober night for me as I chose to drive, my insurance of getting up early. If it wasn’t for the promise of filming a troupe of sexy women dressed in Darkest Star I would have seriously rolled over and gone back to sleep.
I wasn’t to be disappointed, the charming Genevieve welcomed me into the room and introduced the team. A women strong team.
Models: Jessica, Olivia, Jazmin, Mary, Genevieve. Producer : Riannah Bowden ( Henry & Bowden Productions) Director : Laura Henry ( Henry & Bowden Production) Photography: Victoria Dawe Stylist: Alexandra Darling Hair & Make Up : Sian McCauley
Being on a tight schedule the day had begun early, way before I arrived. Some girls were being photographed and a film set prepared. I was introduced to model Olivia and Alice, designer of A E Intimates, a great lingerie label with a young fresh aesthetic.
Starting to unpack my bags I find a space to begin a day of dressing, blogging and no doubt a touch of voyeurism. I don’t consider myself shy but like many people I take a little time to warm up and get comfortable with a new situation. On reflection I wasn’t sure how the day would go, knowing there to be an all woman team, it only takes one personality to clash with another to throw dynamics off kilter.
Only when the hard work began did the dynamics truly kick in…
The Power of Women
I can’t remember the last time I was on a set that was so focused and calm. With two shoots going on simultaneously and a full running order, the photographer, stylist and production team worked together seamlessly. All the models I’ve worked with have always been gorgeous creatures with big hearts and huge work ethic, the Skirt Club ladies were no exception.
I went in search of the action….
And, boy did I find it.
Oh my god, this room was beyond awesome. Clearly this is no ordinary strip joint. I can only imagine what it’s like on a busy weeknight with amazing women, stripping, teasing, commanding the attention of their clientele. This is definitely on my ’To Do’ list. I missed the filming but no doubt it’ll be exquisite.
Ironically today this beauty was the only cock in the gentleman's club ... and stiff for all the wrong reasons.
23 Paul Street was from 1911 to 1924 a site of the infamous Gold Price Fix, where powerful men met in secret to decide the price of the world’s gold. Fortunes were made as Empire waned.
One door that could't be missed was Mr Stendhal's. Rich cobalt blue with a gold plaque, obviously this was one fella who left a legacy.
Monsieur Stendhal was a French hellraiser of note. Who is considered to be one of the earliest and foremost practitioners of realism.
In Stendhal's 1822 classic On Love he amusingly describes or compares the “birth of love”, in which the love object is 'crystallized' in the mind.
- Admiration – one marvels at the qualities of the loved one.
- Acknowledgement – one acknowledges the pleasantness of having gained the loved one's interest.
- Hope – one envisions gaining the love of the loved one.
- Delight – one delights in overrating the beauty and merit of the person whose love one hopes to win.
If Stendhal were around today I've no doubt he would have fallen in love many times over...the ladies were not overrated.
The warm, friendly atmosphere on the day reflects the ethos and ethics that Genevieve penetrates into her Skirt Club events. A chic celebration of women, empowerment, and yes .... incredibly sexy.
And on that note...I will love you & leave you...until next time
Always a Pleasure
Darkest Star are dressing the Skirt Club ladies at their next event 'Leather & Lace' on March 19th. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org for tickets and additional information.