Monday, January 3, 2011

Living Dolls - Miss January 2011

What does 'vintage' mean to you?

It took me a while to answer this question (not least because, for some reason, I kept singing it in my head to the tune of ‘What Christmas Means to Me’ by Stevie Wonder!) but I suppose for me it means not having to wear what mainstream media tells me a woman should wear. I can pick and choose what I want and create my own style.

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

I suppose, in some ways, I’ve always had an interest…I grew up watching things like Miss Marple (with Joan Hickson) and old Hollywood movies (my favourite actresses have always been Audrey Hepburn and Doris Day) and listening to 50s and 60s pop music. I think it wasn’t until I was 20 or 21 that I realised I could dress just like the women in the films I loved watching all the time, if I wanted to, though. For my 21st birthday I had a 1940s themed party and it just snowballed from there.

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

Sometimes I’m torn between loving the 40s and 50s equally and some days I will love one more than the other. I’m currently more in a 40s mood. I don’t dress 100% authentically because, to be honest, it’s too time consuming. A lot of people think my look is authentic, anyway, and I suppose that’s because I’m more inspired by old movies & photographs than current pin up or burlesque culture (which, by the way, I LOVE). But I suppose I like to think that the spirit of the eras I love is alive in my outfits, as pretentious as that may sound. I’ve been swing dancing for a year, now, and that’s another way I keep in touch with the past. I also like knitting and things like that – I suppose some women still find that an uncomfortable thing because they see it as a symbol of oppression but the rise of crafts like knitting and cross stitch over the past, maybe, decade, has definitely come from more of a feminist, DIY culture, I think. Plus, I find it so sad to think of these crafts disappearing!

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

Oh, gosh, I don’t know if I can pick a favourite anything! Although, I recently inherited a 1950s chrome-edged laminex kitchen table from my dad. That’s pretty special. It’s red and will look great in my future kitchen (I still live at home and can’t convince my mother to use it in lieu of her IKEA table).

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

I feel like I’m always discovering something new and learning different things about the way life was, the fashion, the design, etc. I still have a lot to learn and discover and that’s exciting for me!

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

I suppose it can be a little overwhelming to begin with, especially seeing others who have been around for a while – I think remembering that everyone hard to start somewhere is a good idea. Knowing if you want to go for the look of a specific decade will help. Do research – there are a lot of great sources out there: blogs, old photos, movies, etc. I think making sure you’re having fun is one of the most important things, though.

Now is your chance to provide us with an overview of who you are and what you do.
I’m 23; Adelaide born and bread. I spent the last three years doing a Bachelor of Visual Arts, majoring in photography, which I loved but I’ve taken a bit of a break from the world of art, this year. I’m a would-be movie buff and spend far too much time watching TV shows; I suppose I’m a bit of a pop culture junkie.

My main love at the moment is ukulele; one of my friends and I have formed a duo and we’re going to start performing soon. I also always feel a bit cheesy trying to think of things to write about myself!

Finally, what or who inspires you and why?

There are so many things that inspire me but I would say the ones that I keep returning to are:

Dolly Parton – I used to sometimes wonder if I might be perceived as a little ridiculous (I don’t have many of those moments any more) but then I would think about Dolly and how she is never anyone but Dolly and she doesn’t make any apologies for being true to herself.

Wanda Jackson – she’s 72 and still rocking! So inspiring.

Audrey Hepburn – I think she was a truly beautiful person, within and without.

My mum – she always encourages me and tries her best to fill me with hope when I despair.


  1. Hurray. Thank-you. =D I was just thinking about this the other day. Hehe.
    -Andi x

  2. Andi, that is such a pretty photo of you smiiling, and what a gorgeous dress.



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