Lauren Jiles ( known on stage as Lou Lou la Duchesse de Rière) has been performing burlesque for more than a decade, but her latest win as the 2018 New Orleans Queen of Burlesque is extra special, as she is the 1st Indigenous woman and the 1st Canadian to win the title.
Jiles is Kanien’kehá:ka (Mohawk) from Kahnawake and is well-known in Montreal’s burlesque community. When she started her career 13 years ago, she was one of only a handful of Indigenous performers across Canada.
The international festival, which is in its 10th year, is known for crowning the top classic striptease dancer. Jiles was crowned on September 22nd, 2018 at New Orleans’ Civic Theatre.
Rick Delaup, founder and producer of the New Orleans Burlesque Festival, said Jiles had an edge over other contestants.
“All seven of the contestants are really established burlesque performers who are very skilled at what they do,” he said. “But when you have them all at one showcase where only one of them wins the title, you have to stand out among the others. She had everything in that performance. She had a really stunning costume. It was more original and it was just really noticeable.”
Watch her award-winning performance for yourself!