Street Style: Burlesque Queen Chelsa Joy Shows What's In Her Bag

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Bohemia Burlesque costumer, hairdresser, makeup artist and performance artist Chelsa Joy believes in opulent accessorizing. We spotted the multi-disciplined creative near 14th and Champa streets during one of the warm winter days this month, and chatted with her about her personal style, where she shops and what inspires her look. Joy even gave us a glimpse of what's in her bag. 

Necklaces are Joy's favorite accessory, while dark purple is her color of choice. "I fell in love with Dior when I was in sixth grade. I fell in love with fashion and started sketching," says Joy. As for more current inspirations, she cites "the whole Burning Man community and the creativeness of all of those people.... They are always making new stuff and none of it is mainstream-style, either. The Burning Man subculture and people in the underground have great fashion. I love the shapes of the '50s. I love the Victorian and Bohemian styles from decades past."

Joy makes one-of-a-kind accessories that she sells on a made-to-order basis. Her day job is being a hairstylist, and she accessorizes her own hair with such items as feathers, lace, yarn, ribbon, crocheted lace, jewels, safety pins and pearls.  

Joy's flowing outfit is what she wears to style hair. Her custom accessories are items she creates especially for her Bohemia Burlesque performances. 

Joy created this headdress for one of her burlesque performances. "I am a Taurus and an Aries, so this made a lot of sense to me," she says. "My fashion has a lot of vintage stuff. I have a girlfriend named Driver and she goes to estate sales and thrift stores to find me items. She is an underground artist.  I try to support my friends who are artists by buying their creations, be it fashion or a work of art."

Joy has two fashion perspectives: on-stage and off-stage in her day-to-day life. "My fashion on stage is lots of gems," she explains. "Depending on the roles, I make my clothes specifically for that show. I do hair out of my house. I live my life in a lot of free-flowing yoga clothes. I like clothes that are easy to move in and if I get some bleach on them, I won't be devastated."

She fills her life with art. "I've been listening to a lot of Tool lately," she says. Some of her other style icons are the rap duo Die Antwoord, designers Alexander McQueen and John Galliano, and drag queens, of course. 
Joy's boots have a furry texture that makes them eye-catching. 

Joy's purse is shiny tan leather. Let's take a look inside and see if we can learn more about this versatile artist. 

Inside Joy's purse are a slew of accessories — a necklace, a feather headdress, Ray Ban aviators, a bustier and belly-dancing bra, a bustle and a1920s hat that was created for a performance. 

Joy exemplifies the fusion of fashion and art into one creative lifestyle.

Always dress to impress yourself and don't be afraid to express yourself through fashion, Denver. 

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