Saturday, February 13, 2010

Living Dolls - Miss February 2010

Meet our beautiful Miss February - Mimi Kersting ........

What does 'vintage' mean to you?

Anything before 1968. I get irritated when I see things from the 80's advertised as "vintage". To me, vintage stands for quality, which is something that seemed to not matter much after 1968!

What was it that first prompted your interest in vintage culture?

I would say my interest in rockabilly music, but really it goes back further than that. The way my depression-era grandparents lived was a big influence on me - they were very old-fashioned. They had their original curtains and furniture from the 1940s and 1950s, and saved every dime. Even as a child, I noticed how the older things were of better quality/design than what was new (this was the 1970s, so you can imagine!). And they played music from those eras too - anything new was seen as unacceptable.

What is your favourite era, and do you 'live it' every day? In what ways?

I like the late 1940s -early 50s the best - the fashion was the best! I suppose you could say I live it every day, because even when I try to dress "modern", people tell me I look like I'm from that time period. It never fails to surprise me...

Tell us about your favourite item of vintage clothing, kitchenalia, music, furniture or whatever !

That would be my vintage confession magazine collection! You know - Torrid Confessions, My Secret, True Romance... right now it resides in my parent's house in Buffalo, NY, and I miss it so much. (shipping it to Australia would be outrageously expensive). I used to live in New Orleans, and after I left, the collection was stored at a friend's house. Hurricane Katrina came along, and about 1/2 of it was wiped out. This was heartbreaking, as I had the largest collection in the U.S.! Confession mags had it all - the fashion, the J.D. stories, the ads!!!

Can you share with us why vintage culture continues to hold such appeal for you?

It really comes down to quality and aesthetics. Everything was so well made back then, and of quality materials. And the aesthetics couldn't be beat! The cars, the clothes, the houses, it is really superior designwise to what we have to put up with today.

Do you have any tips for anyone starting out in the vintage scene?

Don't be a "moldy oldie" - what this means is, don't be such a diehard that everything in your whole life has to be "vintage". There are SOME good things out there today, not everything is garbage. I find people who absolutely obsess over vintage to be a little cloying...and irritating. Life is too short to be so narrow-minded and two-dimensional.

Now is your chance to provide us with an overview of who you are and what you do......

I'm a medical & scientific illustrator by day, and run a few little businesses at night (medical freelance illustration (Medica Graphics) and my vintage repro apron company ( I also do paintings inspired by the 30s, 40s and 50s as well - I'm having a show in Brisbane next year if it kills me! I'm a total rockabilly nut, but love bubblegum pop music from ANY era. I'm also a big fan of 60s garage music.

Finally, what or who inspires you and why?

Joan Crawford and Barbara Stanwyck for being beautiful and tough, The Cramps for appreciating creepy old 50s/60s music like I do, and Gil Elvgren for being the 1950s equivalent of John Singer Sargent, and Erskine Caldwell (mid-century author) for all of the backwoods shanty tramp stories.


  1. Ahh Mimi you look gorgeous and I loved hearing your story.

  2. I love these interviews. I found myself nodding along in agreement to a lot of this! What a fascinating and multi-layered woman! xx


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