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Arts and Entertainment

Photo Essay: Velvet Hammer Burlesque Book Release Party

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La Luz Photo Gallery | All photos by Elise Thompson for LAist

Saturday night La Luz de Jesus hosted the the book signing for The Velvet Hammer Burlesque Book, in conjunction with opening reception for the group exhibition of photographs from the book. The beautifully bound and printed coffee table book was worth every penny of the 60 dollar price tag, as you will see in some of the featured artwork after the jump. Beautiful women and elegant men turned out in droves to appreciate the majesty of feminine form, in its various shapes and sizes.

Based in Los Angeles and founded in 1995 by Michelle Carr, Velvet Hammer kick-started the current era of Neo-Burlesque and caused a furor on stages worldwide. The infamous troupe's shows were a potent cocktail that mixed elements from traditional American Burlesque revues with a post-feminist punk attitude. -Michelle Carr
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Photos after the jump are pretty sfw -- depending on where you work

Bubbles LaRue and Selene Luna/Bobbi Pinz | All photos by Elise Thompson for LAist

A Temptation of Gallery Photos

Vivian Escalante, president/coordinator of Dyke March, and DJ Lee autograph each other's books. Vivian's Dungeon Designs designed and maintains the Velvet Hammer website

Kerri French/Carlotta Blue

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Selene Luna/Bobbi Pinz

featured photographs

model Jenny Shimuzu and the equally gorgeous Louise

Velvet Hammer featured photograph

Popular and debonair William Mitchell, and Catherine "Tiffany' Lugo Lychkoff. He had such good manners, introducing me to everyone we passed, that I became overwhelmed and forgot everyone's names.

Cady McClain, who recently finished shooting Soldier's Heart and editing a book of her artwork and poems (the first of three) called “Conversations with the Invisible.” But of course I blurted out, "Aren't you Dixie Martin?" Luckily we managed to get past that and have a normal conversation about museums and restaurants instead of how bizarre it was that they killed her character off with poisoned pancakes.

The Gallery filled with admirers

The charming and gregarious Joe Berardi Richard Edson

One of the Poubelle Twins Jewel of Denial. Such a fantastic hat. Peacocks have become a recurring theme of late. I hope it's a good omen | All photos by Elise Thompson for LAist

"The Velvet Hammer Burlesque" book presents photographs of the group's
voluptuous ensemble of dancers and performers - from their savvy on-
stage performances to an intimate glimpse behind the curtain.
Vivacious women of all shapes and sizes (the Velvet Hammer troupe
welcomed organic individuality) radiated an authentic, raw energy in
their routines that mesmerized the audience until (almost) the last
shred of clothing was stripped away. Every page of "The Velvet Hammer
Burlesque" serves up true rebellious American beauty fueled by a
passion for the wilder side of life. "The Velvet Hammer Burlesque -Michelle Carr" Published by Die Gestalten Verlag, Germany, 144 pages, hardcover,
$60.00, ISBN: 978-3-89955-202-7. Publisher contact

I saved the best for last. Nothing can follow this photo by Patrick Morrison. Except maybe a cold shower

Photo exhibition remains open until Mar 2, 2008

La Luz de Jesus 4633 Hollywood Bl. Los Angeles California 90027 (323) 666-7667

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