Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Living Dolls - Miss May 2010

Allow me to introduce our beautiful living doll for the month of May......the ever elegent Sue Cadzow

What does 'vintage' mean to you?

Gorgeous, pre-loved items that were created prior to 1980. The 70’s are the cut-off point for me! The fact that the eighties are considered vintage still shocks me!

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

Oddly enough it was country television in the 1970’s! We had limited reception (ie a choice of Ballarat, Bendigo and the ABC channels) and the only late night movie that ever seemed to on, and was repeated endlessly, was “Dial M for Murder”. I was besotted with with Grace Kelly. Her hair, her clothes, her style. My mother had a collection of 1950s dress patterns from her younger days and as soon as I discovered these I started making my own outfits. This lead to a bit of an obsession. Next came “Happy Days”, “Old 55” and “Grease” and my major HSC art project was based on the life and death of Marilyn Monroe. Then I moved to the big smoke to attend art college ansd I was thrilled to find I wasn’t the only one – there was a whole bunch of people obsessed with vintage stuff the same as me!

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

I think my favourite era would be the mid 1950’s – early 1960’s – Basically the atomic era when space travel and rocket ship styling was the inspiration for design. My house was built in the mid-sixties. It is filled with furniture and knick-knacks from the era. My wardrobe is filled with vintage clothes and accessories (And anything new is made from an old pattern!) All my vintage appliances are in daily use and I drive a 1962 EK Holden. Mind you, I’m a graphic designer so at the other extreme I utilise the utmost in modern computer technology!

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

Too hard to choose! I love all things plastic, especially coloured kitchenware. I use all my kitchenware – the canisters, the utensils, the crockery, but my pride and joy is the Sunbeam Mixmaster which is identical to the one my Gran used. She taught me how to bake, and I swear the Sunbeam makes the lightest sponge cakes and pavlovas! I also love my bakelite and lucite jewellery and my (small but ever-growing) collection of lucite handbags. I guess I’m a real Plastic Queen.

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

I love the quality and design of vintage pieces. Things were made to last. The workmanship is just amazing. Even machine-manufactured items are far superior and much longer-lasting than what is available today. I love the fact that there are other people out there who treasure those qualities as much as I do. And I love the fact that anywhere you travel in the world, like-minded people will seek you out and ask you about your handbag!

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

Follow your heart! There are plenty of people out there who are vintage snobs and will look down their noses at the newcomers who may not know as much as they do or have such an extravagant collection. But just remember there are plenty of other people out there who will support and encourage your obsession! The internet is a fantastic resource for purchasing vintage items (if you have the cash) but also researching the history and background of the era. When I started out we had to read books and magazines and watch old movies for information, we scoured the op shops and markets, and a lot of first-hand knowledge was gleaned by chatting to the old ladies behind the counter who had lived the era first hand! They used to always say how lovely I looked compared to all the other young girls (who looked like Madonna and Cyndi Lauper at the time – it was the 80’s!)

Now is your chance to provide us with an overview of who you are and what you do. Tell us as much or as little as you like !!!!

I’m a graphic designer with my own company Red Pepper Graphics http://www.redpeppergraphics.com.au/ I’m currently in the process of setting up Red Pepper Retro, which will be an arm of the business dealing exclusively with vintage-inspired graphics and custom artwork with a retro twist. Even my main-stream clients seem to be chasing the retro look these days!

Finally, what or who inspires you and why?

Lauren Bacall, Rita Hayworth, Katherine Hepburn – those sassy, sexy women who didn’t put up with chauvinistic nonsense from the menfolk!

(Bottom two photographs thanks to Stuart at http://www.facebook.com/l/2ca7b;www.stuartleal.com.au )


  1. Sue always provides a bright spark in anyone's day- such a dazzling smile and a gorgeous lady inside and out. Lovely to see her here!

  2. Amen to those sexy, sassy, elegant women such as Hepburn, Hayworth, Russell, Lombard, Leigh etc. Love this series and really enjoyed this post. Thanks beautiful Sue. xx

  3. I just wanted to stop by and say thanks for the comment on my blog! I've never been to Wintersun or Greazefest and doubt I'll be able to afford it, alas, though I'd really love to go!
    -Andi x


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