5 Things I love from Daiso Japan

I love a good deal, and one place I go for belly dance essentials is Daiso Japan.  These cute little budget stores are filled with all the kinds of household goods you would expect at a dollar store. Almost all of the items on their shelves are from Japan and so it transcends the typical discount store vibe and feels more like a cultural import store.  Items start at $1.50 unless otherwise marked. It can be a little overwhelming at first, so let me tell you what I regularly buy!

Microfiber Towels

One of the ways to improve the efficiency of your makeup cleanup routine is to swap out traditional wash clothes for microfiber towels. There is some magic in the quality of the fiber that really picks up the makeup.  My trick is to use oil, my preference is for grapeseed oil, warm water, and a microfiber towel.  It saves time and money.  It’s also better for the environment than using disposable makeup wipes and cotton, and because it’s so efficient at cleaning your skin, you’ll use less water too!   I take these towels and cut them in half and finish the edges, so this pack of two is transformed into four.


Zip-top Laundry Bags

I have a fairly good-sized collection of costume pieces made from modern assiut.  I machine launder my robes and shawls on a gentle cycle, warm water, and protected in a zip-top lingerie or delicates bag.  My all-time favorite products is this mesh bag from Daiso.  At only $1.50 each, I buy one for each of my assiut pieces and I use it for storing the assiut between performances, and it’s easy to find when it’s time to do the laundry.

Packing Cubes

When I’m packing for performance, I like to keep my case organized using packing cubes.  This is the perfect size for me to keep an assiut robe and two shawls.  I purchased this one to replace a broken bag.  Although the brown and white polka dots is not my favorite pattern ever, for a mere $1.50, I don’t mind.

Small Bags for Zills and Jewelry

Although I didn’t buy this one today, Daiso sells some very well made and sturdy drawstring bags for keeping small items like zills and jewelry contained and protected in your gig bag.  Small bags are the kind of thing that I think to myself, “Oh, I could make that.”  But for a mere $1.50, and with lovely heavyweight fabrics and colors, I really couldn’t make it for that price.

False Eyelashes

Daiso Japan has one of the most remarkable, and affordable selections of false eyelashes.  This is a great place to experiment with different sizes and shapes on a budget.  At $1.50 for a package of three, you can get a pair for about .50 a pair!  I have quite a large back-stock of lashes at the moment so while I was tempted on this shopping trip, I decided to take a pass.  This time!

Shopping Discount Stores

Next time you are shopping at your local discount store, keep an eye out for great deals on the kinds of support items that make it cheaper and easier to live the belly dancer life!

Happy Shopping,
Dawn Devine ~ Davina
May 16, 2018

PS: True Confession, I also love to shop their stationery department for cute stickers, flags, pens and more.

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Weekend Dance Roundup – Bean Scene & Bras for the Cause

Hello Gang!  I thought I would take a moment to share a pair of events I participated in over the weekend.  I was fortunate enough to be invited to perform at a local dance show on Friday night and to join a belly dance cheer team on Saturday evening.  Here are some of the highlights of these events.

Friday Night: The Bean Scene

One of my favorite local events is hosted by the group and takes place at The Bean Scene in Sunnyvale, Ca.  They host several shows throughout the year, inviting local dancers to sign-up and perform.  The coffee is delicious, there is no cover charge, and we always have such a great time hanging out and enjoying an evening of dance.

Along with a line up of talented local pros, teachers, and students, I was delighted to find out that we had two touring celebrities joining us!  The beautiful Rosa Noreen of Portland, Me and Sophia Ravenna of Seattle, Wa.  I caught a few video clips of these fantastic performances and shared them on Instagram.

Rosa Noreen


Sophia Ravenna


I choose to wear burgundy assiut and swing a cane.  You can catch my performance over on YouTube.

Saturday Evening: Pleasanton “Bra’s for the Cause”

On Saturday evening, I joined my co-authors Sara Shrapnell and Alisha Westerfeld to cheer on the walkers for “Bras for the Cause.”  This 5k walk supports breast cancer research.  Each year, Sara Shrapnell gathers together a group of dancers to form a cheer team.  We were at the 1-mile marker, dancing and entertaining the walkers. The participants came in some amazing costumes, whimsical embellished bras, and stopped to take photos, dance, and grab a chocolate kiss or two.

Community fundraisers are always so fun to do!  I look forward to participating in this one and many more in the future!  Here we are striking a pose at the end of the event.  Once all the participants have walked past, and the sweeper limo went by, we headed off to have an author “power meeting” over hot chocolate. All-in-all this was a fun event!

There were many folks in great costumes, but most of my photos were quite blurry.  Here’s the “Bra King” posing with Zemira.  Because he was there taking photos, we got a chance to pose with him before the walkers reached our location.  If you are interested in joining Sara for some of these fun community events, visit her website and signup for her mailing list to get notifications about her future events.

Now I’ve got to go and do some belly dance laundry and give these assiut robes a good wash.
I hope you have a great first week of May!

Happy Costuming and Dance
Dawn Devine ~ Davina
April 30, 2018.



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Who’s That Girl in Assiut? Dagny Servaes

I recently spotted German actress Dagny Servaes wearing an assiut robe in her role as Theonis during act six of the movie 1922 film “The Loves of the Pharaoh.”  The full movie “Das Weib des Pharao” is available in the original German on YouTube. Here is a clip from the film at the 1:20 min mark, just before Theonis appears wearing her assiut ensemble.

Dagny’s costume is composed of two assiut pieces, a robe, and a shawl. Although it is difficult to see the base garment, she is wearing an assiut robe cut in the style of a 1920’s wedding dress of Upper Egypt.  Over the top of this robe, Theonis wears a glimmering assiut shawl.  Although this is a very short scene, I was able to grab a few images.

The film was artistical tinted in different shades to intensify the mood.  So these screen grabs look entirely different.  Because of the nature of taking screen grabs from vintage movies, some of these images are quite blurry.  In the image below, you can get a glimpse of the large central diamond motif on the front of her robe.

This film was released in different versions in Russia, Italy, and the US. Each country received a version of the film cut to suit the taste of their viewers.I really enjoy hunting down beautiful vintage assiut costumes in silent films. Want to read more of the “Who’s That Girl?” series?  Check out the links below.

Happy Costuming!
Dawn Devine ~ Davina
April 26, 2018

A few other blog posts in this series

Lyda Borelli Vilma Banky Terpsichore Yvonne Gall


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