TinaCortina's Blog

Musings of a Tgirl

Fabuliss Goes from strength to strength!

Fabuliss Goes from strength to strength

by TinaCortina ~ roving Hampshire reporter

Is there such thing as bad publicity? Well despite the ‘infamous’ Daily Mail article back In January, headlined ‘transvestites invade sleepy village’, and the cruel expose of organisers Linda Bryant and partner Natasha, Fabuliss (www.fabuliss.co.uk) continues to go from strength to strength.

Sitting on the A3 in Hampshire half way between Guildford and Portsmouth, Liphook may be a sleepy commuter suburb but to tgirls from all over the South East it is quickly becoming an established venue and calendar event on the 2nd Wednesday of each month. Located at the Millennium centre Liphook, opposite Sainsbury’s, the large hall offers plenty of scope for the larger events involving dancing and food, smaller rooms for hire when needed and a separate bright modern bar area, where Angela runs a very cheerful bar.

Unique to most tranny events is the large posse of genuine women (and I mean that is the nicest sense!) that are always present at the events. Linda herself an enterprising local businesswoman herself running Bliss2Dress (specialist corset & fashionwear) as well as a wedding cake business. Angela, Sue and daughter Rowena, Michelle, Claire, Mandy…the list goes on, all do their bit.

Every month has seen something different. Not content with putting on the traditional Christmas and Valentines Balls, running theme nights….etc, Linda has taken to inviting local businesses in to ‘meet the girls’ and there has been no shortage of volunteers. After that unwanted national exposure, Linda started a friends of Fabuliss scheme that meant that supporters from the local community could, by prior arrangement, join in the evenings and spread the message that we are just fun-loving girls doing what we do best…having fun.

For the growing band of girls that have been going regularly, myself included, this has meant a safe place to dress as girls, chat and make friends with other girls, but also to meet with the ‘public’ or at least those from outside the ‘scene’. It’s like going to a mainstream venue, but for those that might be worried about that, no risk because its all in protected circumstances.

Last night I met up with a local councillor Eve, who along with bar manager Angela and a string of our gorgeous bevvies, did a London theatre trip recently, meal first then ‘Les Cages aux Folles’. Later this summer, they are planning to do something similar for the stage production of ‘Priscilla, Queen of the Desert’. For those that are a little nervous stepping out in public, these group trips are ideal.

But heh this is progress isn’t it. A few years back, we’d be saying, ‘I’m in the closet, I need to find a safe venue to be dressed’ (and be non too fussy about the décor). Now we take the best there is to offer, use it to make friends, gain confidence and pretty soon, we’ll all be doing the theatre trips.

And for those who are less confident? Well Fabuliss (via Claire) can offer you a make-over (for £25), deportment lessons from Mandy or just the advice of those of the women around. And if you still want to sit in the bar, with your legs wide open……well I guess you can do that too….but expect some backlash.

So more on last night, Wednesday 13 May. Well this was a ‘trade fair event’ where many of the people that had visited individually in previous months, were invited back with others to set up a stand, selling their wares. It was all very informal and I don’t know how much other girls spent, but I was happily sporting my new wig by the end of the evening!!

Let me give you a flavour, by doing a quick tour……..

There was Paradise brides, based in Copnor, Portsmouth run by a lovely lady called Pat. She does the Bournemouth Wedding weekend and others and had brought some gorgeous outfits. The feature dress on show was truly beautiful…. and not cheap at over £400. That didn’t go, but I gather she sold a couple from the rack that evening and she was glad to have made the trip.

I stopped off on Diane’s stand for coffee and cake, and while munching said hello again to Tim Savage and his girl friend Sue. 2 months ago, Tim visited Fabuliss, set up in one of the adjoining rooms and all night long took photos in studio conditions of any tgirl that fancied it. That night he took over 700 photos of nearly all the girls there that evening (40+?). Within a week, everyone had 3 snaps or more free of charge. Tim is a professional photographer (http://www.savagephoto.co.uk/) that was looking to the transgendered community to provide the inspiration for his MA in photographic art. He featured four of the fabuliss girls in an exhibition at the James Hockey centre Farnham and a group had got together for a preview show of his work.

What more could a girl ask for? A trip out, more photo opportunities. Even better, Tim says he doesn’t want to stop there. He wants to do more work with tgirl models, either in the studio or on location and he will be knocking on the door again in a month or two.

I had met Sue Love and daughter Helen, back in January. We were on the same table on the burlesque night (with Miss Honeymoon) eating the gorgeous buffet meal that night. They operate the Butterfly lingerie business with a shop in Petersfield near the folly market www.butterflylingerie.co.uk . They have girls come in to the shop, ‘dressed’ or not and promise a friendly welcome. On Wednesday, Helen was ‘modelling’ a gorgeous Voller’s corset, which they stock. These aren’t cheap, most are around £150, but they are the best if you have too many excess pounds in the wrong places!

Next a quick chat with Maria Jones (www.TVamc.tv). Maria is a tgirl about town and can be seen at all the venues from Magic Theatre in London, Pink Punters in Milton Keynes, to Transisters in Brighton. With wife, Claire, they run a make-over business in Weybridge, Surrey and have been expanding rapidly these last few months, incorporating escorted shopping trips and new club Candy Girls features regularly.

There was also a Maria from Bu
dgie footwear (
www.budgie20020.co.uk) who had a great stand of platform shoes, thigh boots and extra high heels. Again a second time visitor to Fabuliss, she had travelled from Swindon with a large stock of the ‘larger sized’ shoes and boots. She and her friend proved you can look good and stay in them all night by wearing their own merchandise. Later, they had a pair of killer heels in a smaller size ready for raffle winner Rowena at the end of the evening.

Claire Dennis runs Colour Technics (email clairecolourtechnics@yahoo.co.uk) from Headley Down, just up the road and amongst other things offers the £25 makeovers, which spruced dear Patsy that evening. I was listening to her chatting to Dee about the special care, we ‘girls’ need to take of our skin, to soften and to moisturise, but I think I would need a special training course to get that right. Now that is a good idea!! On the same stand, Carol was recommending the benefits of drinking Aloe Vera gel.

Natalie from Treloggan Wigs (www.trelogganwigs.co.uk) also came up from Portsmouth, in February I think and I’m glad they came back as I managed to bag an £80 bargain. It’s a funny think trying on a wig. You have these pre-conceived ideas as to what will look good or bad on you. Thankfully they had brought with them a large stock and on a about the 5th or 6th try, we found something. I had managed to persuade my wife to join me. She liked it. So I spent a part of the evening walking around, complete with labels asking everyone whether I should buy it. Anyway, I can certainly recommend

Last but not least, Zoe runs Buttercup handmade jewellery and did a steady trade all evening (www.buttercup-designs.co.uk). She sells mainly around Portsmouth & Southampton and also takes part in the Southampton art market. I definitely had in mind a necklace or my birthday and was keen to buy something, but my wife stopped me ~ ahh sweet, she must have already bought all my presents!

If I’ve missed anyone, I’m sorry. Everyone was so good natured and happy to take time to chat. They also all contributed to the raffle and there were some seriously sublime prizes this time, shoes, makeovers, money off vouchers, clothes. Wow, I wished I’d bought more tickets, but then I did win last month.

Increasingly, everyone in the retail sector is becoming tranny friendly. Lets face it in these difficult times, they can’t afford to turn us away, but hats off to those that actually come out and seek our trade and well done Fabuliss for getting them to us.

Next month we have the Miss Fabuliss 2009 award evening to look forward to. It’s on Wednesday 10th June and winners will get a photoshoot courtesy of Tim Savage, and a variety of other prizes from sponsors Transliving and the Wayout club.

Don’t miss it ~ it could be another ‘fabuliss night’.

TinaCortina 17 May09

May 17, 2009 Posted by | fabuliss, musings of a tgirl | , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments