Image: Jean-Paul Bichard
Fräulein Frauke, was once referred to as Felicia, a girl with a big heart, whose hobby was to collect beautiful lingerie. Her interest for femininity and fashion developed into costume making. Coming from a musical family background and jazz music she realized she had a knack for singing as well, eventually she started adding all these together. She had always been interested in burlesque, even before she had a name for it.
At an age of 22, she started pin-up modelling and right after building her own empire. From which, her own burlesque club emerged called Fräulein Frauke Presents. The shows are inspired from Felicia’s own fantasy world, and hints of New York and Berlin in the 20’s with live jazz, burlesque and performance art that permeate the whole experience. Five years have gone by, and what she presents today is more spectacular than ever, it’s the unimaginable, the mysterious and the beautiful. Think Alice in Wonderland and Jungle burlesque themes with mandatory costumes.
Many wrongly mistake burlesque for stripping, but burlesque is meant to tease and not fully undress, the audience is a mixture between old, young, men and women, gay, straight and couples. When the doors to burlesque open, it opens for everyone. Femme fatale meets vibrant colors, spectacular music and teasing dance performances where women and men celebrate their bodies in a respectful matter. It’s a theater for all senses. Fräulein Frauke feels blessed to work so closely with her husband and photographer John-Paul Bichard, who stands behind her as a strong pillar of support. Together they work towards creating incredible shows, new ideas, and innovative acts. Future endeavours include taking Fräulein Frauke Presents to new heights and to new grounds other than Stockholm. Being raised in a cultural family household brought out her creative side and has helped her with everything from musical inspiration to concocting new costume ideas.
Where do you find your inspiration?
I find inspiration in the vintage world, through music, theater and books, but my main source of inspiration is Liza Minnelli and Miss Piggy. They have both formed me and my personality. I remember watching the Muppet Show with my family as a child, which had a lot of burlesque in it.
What are your favorite show numbers and costumes?
I have a big closet filled with vintage darlings, and after a lot of years of collecting it’s difficult to name just one favorite, but if I would pick one it would be my pastel blue 50’s tulle dress I got married in. My favorite performance costume is my cupcake costume which I got as a wedding gift from my husband and completely adore. My favorite show number would probably be “the bird number” where I sing opera wearing a big red glittery swan on my head!
Why are you so influenced by jazz music?
I grew up as the oldest out of three in a real jazz family out in the country side, my dad was a jazz pianist and I remember singing with him ever since I was a young girl. We only listened to classical jazz at home and I guess it’s only normal that it stuck with me.
Has your family been supportive of you carrier choice?
My whole family is super supportive, which is a beautiful thing. My dad is a part of our house band and plays piano during all our burlesque shows, my mother always comes and watches the shows wearing the most gorgeous hats! My siblings have always backed me up, and my little sistrer even contributed though baking 250 delicious cupcakes for our latest five year show.
What impact has Fräulein Frauke Presents had on your life?
It is absolutely amazing and it has enriched my life so much! It’s a great feeling to work with what I want and what I believe in. The fact that people are so appreciative of everything I do is incredible. Getting to build something creative just based on my own dreams feels too good to be true. Getting to create my little fantasy world and inviting people to take part of it as well as seeing their dedication, creativity and joy is completely priceless!
Do you have any upcoming projects?
I along with John-Paul Bichard also run the Stockholm Burlesque Festival, which was started by the Duchess Dubois and The Amazing Knicker Kittens in 2010, which we have now taken over. This year will be with 40 acts from 13 countries.
Tags: Burlesque, burlesque show, fashion, Nordic fashion, Swedish Burlesque, Swedish Model
Swedish freelance journalist and artist Derya Aktas thrives from finding inspirational stories and hidden gems around the world. Meeting and interviewing interesting people is something she loves with her job. When she's not painting or writing, she spends her free time backpacking, hiking and getting out of her comfort zone.
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