ED2013 Cabaret ED2013 Columns

Lili la Scala: Easy vintage at the Fringe? No such Thinge!

By | Published on Tuesday 13 August 2013

Lili La Scala

If you are performing at the Fringe, you need to look the part. And we mean 24/7. Here is Lili la Scala with some tips.

I like to treat the Edinburgh Fringe as a month long showcase. “So do we!” I hear you cry. But do you really?

When you step out of your front door, do you have your game face on? At three o’clock in the morning are you feigning inebriation (you’ve given up drinking for the month) in the Loft Bar, still with face and heels attached even though your feet are burning more than those of a Hans Christian Anderson mermaid? Are you flirting with, charming and desperately bewitching all you meet whilst clinging insanely to your sanity? If not, try harder my darlings.

Don’t let your first meeting with your future director, producer or spouse be when you are lying in your own stress-induced vomit in a rain-soaked gutter clutching a deep fried haggis. Be like the swan, gliding elegantly from home to mile to venue ad infinitum. “But how, Lili, how?” you clamor. Hush dears, and Lili will tell you.

Prepare, prepare, prepare. I cannot stress this enough. Decide in advance (six months I find is plenty) what clothes you are taking. The clothes you wear influence the perception that people have of you and there is never another chance to make a first impression. So wear good clothes and ideally wash them regularly. At Edinburgh, you are on display 24/7, so if you are standing on the Royal Mile looking hungover and smelling like last week’s rubbish, will I take your soggy pulpy flyer? Probably not. Look professional, act professional and the rest will follow.

Do something everyday which is completely un-Fringe-related. Take ten minutes to stroll away from the city, sit in a park, go to the gym, breathe. Let your mind take the time to reset, it is super important if you want to avoid Fringe Burnout.

For those of you with a vintage twist (and who doesn’t love a vintage twist?), ladies more than chaps, a headscarf covers a multitude of sins. Rain hair, bed hair, show hair, I cannot recommend the humble headscarf enough. I team mine with huge black sunglasses, a slash of red lippy and a statement cape. My current favourite cape came from Armstrong’s Vintage Emporium last Fringe and it is hooded, yellow tartan and almost ground-skimming (dangerous with Edinburgh’s torrential rain but who doesn’t like to live on the edge?).

A good cape or coat can disguise the most mundane of outfits whilst protecting you from the mid-summer Scottish chill. If a headscarf is a little too Monarch for you, wear a hat, but don’t let the hat wear you. There are several fabulous vintage-inspired hat shops in Edinburgh, my favourite being Fabhatrix, 13 Cowgatehead. I love this shop so much that each year I factor in a hat from them into my Fringe budget.

So my darlings, enjoy your Fringe, work hard, play harder, but most importantly, remember what Lili taught you; glamour, always glamour.

Lili la Scala’s ‘Another F*cking Variety Show’ was performed at Pleasance Dome at Edinburgh Festival 2013. 

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