Diva does… Charm School

I just couldn’t resist when I saw the Leyla Rose Charm School advertised on facebook.

Leyla Rose

Leyla Rose - photo by Lorenzo Paxia


It was billed thus

“In this one-off workshop, international burlesque star Leyla Rose explores how the charms she uses to hold an audience of hundreds captive during her live performances can translate to every day life situations, so that even those without the confidence to step onstage can command the attention of those around them. She demonstrates how, through the use of traditional manners and observation of etiquette, along with the confident mindset of a performer, spiced with a little touch of tease, you too can possess the power of charm. We look at common situations such as meeting new people, going on a date, entering a room or exiting a vehicle and explore how with charm you can weave the spell that leaves them wanting more!”

She had me at hello. I wanted more. 

So along with Ms Curly Fabulous I hurried along to Miss Dixiebelle’s emporium for our edification. On arrival we were greeted with a level of Femme Fatal Fabulousness uncommon in Bruntsfield on a Wednesday evening. Our fellow ‘students’ were dressed in gorgeous retro attire – all form-fitting dresses, stockings, leopard print heels, red lipstick and smoky eyes.

Leyla Rose and a Super Foxy Charm School Student

Leyla Rose (right) with a Super Foxy Charm School Student

Leyla Rose is incredibly engaging. Take as evidence the dreamy way I was caught gazing at her in the photo below!

I love burlesque so I knew of Leyla before Charm School as I’d seen her perform. She is a style icon, a chisel-cheeked beauty and an international burlesque star.  I knew we’d be in for a treat and I wasn’t disappointed.

Leyla Rose Charm School

Leyla Rose Charm School - with me gazing adoringly on the right.

So to the lesson…
I liked Leyla’s recipe for charm.

C – confidence, creativity
H – humour, happiness
A – appropriateness, appeal
R – rapport, relating
M – magic, mischief, mystery, making friends and connections

Most of all she advocates a sense of fun, not taking it too seriously and playing. And if it all goes wrong it doesn’t matter because “a f***-up is a future anecdote”.

Leyla Rose

Leyla Rose - dress by Vivien of Holloway - photo by Cherry Bomb Rock Photography


My favourite Leyla Rose tip
While Debrett’s (guide to etiquette) recommends that one avoid applying make-up in public, Leyla Rose is an advocate. Well rules are made to be broken! As Leyla put it – while retouching her powder and ruby lipstick in seductive fashion – “making-up draws the eye of an admirer to the luciousness of your lips, the smoothness of your cheeks…” Watching her I could only agree.  And the pièce de résistance was when the aforementioned lipstick was produced from her cleavage in a move that would have made Mae West blush. And all done with an air of nonchalance I suspected would be difficult to replicate…

I tried this one over drinks with Mr Mac but fell at the first hurdle because my lippy got ‘lost’ inside my bra. Digging around in one’s brassiere does nothing to increase one’s allure and ‘showcases’ neither one’s lips nor one’s cheeks. Further tuition required methinks. Leyla when is the next installment?!

Christina Hendricks from Mad Men

Christina Hendricks from Mad Men - Charm personified


Charming women on screen
Leyla suggested a number of films which feature thoroughly charming women. I plan to watch them. Post a note in the comments below if you’re interested in seeing these films and I’ll keep you posted with dates. A bottle of bubbly, a few nibbles and a classic film, what could be better?

* Jayne Mansfield in The Girl Can’t Help It
* Marilyn Monroe & Jane Russell in Gentlemen Prefer Blondes
* Bette Davis in Now Voyager
* Grace Kelly in Rear Window
* Joan Harris aka Christina Hendricks in Mad Men

Divine Dixiebelle
You’ll notice from the pictures above the gorgeous venue for this charming evening was a fab-u-lous new vintage-inspired boutique. It’s called Miss Dixiebelle’s

Ladies if you want a dress with  über  flattering fit and va va voom like this or lingerie that loves your body like this then Miss Dixiebelle’s is the place to be. The shop, like it’s owner Emma, is a delight. You must go and visit soon.

Christmas party season is almost upon us, after all. And when the DixieGirl mantra is “Celebrate your curves – because it’s better to be looked over than to be overlooked” you know your new look will be high octane rather than high street.

Dixiebelle Photoshoot

Retro Chic at a Dixiebelle Photoshoot

The Dixiegirls also do vintage styling and fabulous photoshoots which would make a great present for you or someone you love. And Mr Mac, in case you’re reading, that was a hint.

Find out more
Leyla Rose on myspace
Visit Miss Dixiebelle at 19 Bruntsfield Place, Edinburgh, EH10 4HN or
Miss Dixiebelle online or like Miss Dixiebelle on facebook

Over to you
Are you interested in seeing the films?
Do you want more of Leyla?
Are you infatuated with Miss Dixiebelle?
Do you know of Edinburgh burlesque events we should know about?
Whatever your thoughts, I’d love to hear from you. Please leave a comment below.


6 responses to “Diva does… Charm School

  1. and along the road at 170 Bruntsfield Place is ‘Fabulous Fakes’ – sparkly and fun fake jewellery. I just bought a wonderful Butler and Wilson champagne glass brooch, complete with ‘bubbles’. All I need now is an outfit to go with it!

  2. Could you possibly get any more va va voom Steph!! I don’t think the world could cope if you do……. sounds fab-u-lous….

  3. But Stephanie… you already possess the power of charm. Bags of it!

  4. Thanks for the tip marchmont0201! And Sarah and Lesley I love you!

  5. Lipstick down the cleavage. Yup, that’d be more my style too.
    I suspect I’d flourish more at Clown School than Charm School! Does look fun though.

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