Pinup of the Month: Carmen Lee

Photographer: Varga Photography MUAH: Kristen O'Conner
For the month of April, Miss Carmen Lee is your leading lady! She's a honky-tonkin' classic country style crooner, vintage lover, photographer, and pinup model. Scroll down to learn what inspires this extraordinarily talented pinup gal!

Photographer: Postcard Photos MUAH: Stephanie Strowbridge
Tell us about yourself. How long have you been into pinup and/or pinup modeling? 

Even though I have loved everything 50's (such as Elvis, polka-dots, ’57 Chevy's, etc.) since I was about 12 years old; I don’t think I realized there was a ‘term’ for it all until I was well into my twenties. I had always sang/wrote songs (wrote my first song at age 4), but it wasn’t until about 10 years ago that I formed my own country/rockabilly band. I enjoyed dressing pinup style on stage which led to me getting more into the fashion aspect of it, which then led to me vending at car shows with vintage clothing. During the very first car show I vended at, there was a woman putting on a pinup contest and she asked me to participate.  While I was quite nervous, I decided to give it a shot and to my surprise I made it to the top 12 contestants which resulted in doing a photo shoot with a Bel-Air for the car shows calendar. That was my first ‘real’ pinup shoot about 6 years ago. I loved it so much that I’ve been doing it ever since. My favorite style to shoot is classic 50's pinup but, since I love classic horror films, I love throwing horror themes like pinup zombies, pinup devils or Vampira in there once in a while for fun! 

Photographer: Dynamite Dames MUAH: Vintage Flair

Do you participate in a vintage or pinup lifestyle? 

Yes… I have my own country/rockabilly band (Carmen Lee and The Tomorrow River Two), I vend at car shows with retro/vintage clothing (Big Star Vintage), I do pinup photography (Lucky Penny) and I like to use vintage decor in my home and listen to vintage vinyl, go vintage thrifting, etc…I guess you could say I’ve had a lifelong love affair with vintage!

Photographer: J Miller Photography 
What is your favorite band or musician? 

Elvis Presley…when I was 12 years old I discovered Elvis and his music. I fell in love with everything about him from his style, to his music, to his dance moves, to his stage presence. I’ve been hooked on good old fashioned country/rockabilly ever since…my favorite is his early years in the 1950s/his Sun Studio sound. In fact I love Elvis and ’57 Chevy Bel-Airs (see next question) so much that the title of my upcoming album (set to be released this summer) is about three of my favorite things “Elvis, Zombies and ’57 Chevy's”! 

Photographer: Varga Photography MUAH: Kristen O'Conner
Your favorite classic car (owned or not)?

I’ve always wanted to own a 1957 Chevy Bel-Air…two-toned…it’s so hard to choose one color…maybe sea foam greenish blue and white…or pink and white…or red and white…or black and white… leopard print interior would be sweet! There are so many options I guess I’d just have to have a bunch of Bel-Airs to match all my different outfits and moods and I wish someone would buy me one! 

Photographer: Dynamite Dames MUAH: Vintage Flair
Who is your pinup inspiration? 

My biggest pinup inspiration would have to be Gil Elvgren. I admire his artwork from the 1950s; the sexy cheekiness combined with the classic innocence embodies the American Pinup. I love to try and re-create the vibe of his paintings and capture that feeling with my modeling and photography.

Photographer: Marilee Caruso MUAH: Brandi Proffitt

What makes you an extraordinary pinup? 

I’m not just into pinup for a fun ‘fad’ that may be ‘cool’ at any given moment or for show; I am into pinup because of a lifelong love of all things vintage. I understand and respect the history and the tradition behind it and I hope to keep that classic tradition alive; like the image of a pinup gal on a B-17 bomber in WWII giving the pilot strength and hope to make it through many trials and tribulations until he can make it home to his sweetheart; that Classic American pinup that embodies sexiness while at the same time wholesome class. I infuse pinup into everything I do; on stage with my country/rockabilly band, in front of the camera with my pinup modeling, vending at car shows, and behind the camera with my pinup photography. My hope is that I can keep the tradition alive by sharing my love of vintage/pinup and hopefully spreading the love in the process!

Need more Carmen Lee in your life? Stay tuned for an upcoming giveaway! But in the meantime, check out her Facebook or website!

Pinup of the Month: Ginny Rosewater

Photographer: Matthew Leeland Photography
Checkout Ginny Rosewater, pinup of the month for March! This gal pushes her limits to create her own destiny. Even if you feel you don't fit the mold - don't let it stop you! You can be or do anything you want to! Scroll down to see how this pinup meets her challenges and rises above - extraordinarily!

Tell us about yourself. How long have you been into pinup and/or pinup modeling?

I come from a small town in Central Wisconsin and I've always had a love for antiques especially things from the 40's and 50's. When I was a teenager I discovered rockabilly music and loved the style that went with it but it wasn't until college that I discovered the pinup scene. I was getting a tattoo at a local shop and saw a poster for a pinup contest hosted by Carmen Lee. I looked into it and discovered there was actually a pinup scene right here in Wisconsin. I signed up for the contest even though I had never done anything like it before and it really changed my life. I used to be very shy but by pushing myself to do things that scared me, like getting on stage at contests, and even talking to the other ladies at contests I've made so many new friends and gained so much confidence in myself. I always wanted to be a model but because my body didn't fit the mainstream beauty standards I didn't think it would ever be possible but pinup really is something that embraces every figure; short, tall, thin, curvy, every woman can look and feel beautiful in vintage fashion. Five years later and I'm truly living my dream.

Photographer: Riley Kern
MUAH: Miss Rockabilly Ruby
Do you participate in a vintage or pinup lifestyle?

I like to add some vintage flare to my everyday style. High waisted jeans, and undies are great for accentuating that classic hour glass shape and paired with a band tee I can keep things casual. If there's any excuse to dress up I'll throw on a wiggle or swing dress and style my hair but for the most part I'm a very casual girl. I love decorating with vintage accessories and my home has become a very cool mid-century eclectic but I wouldn't say I really live a vintage lifestyle.

Photographer: Shannon Brooke Imagery
Hair: Madame Pomp
Makeup: Malicious Makeup
What is your favorite band or musician?

I go through phases where I can't stop listening to a certain band so it's impossible to say I have a favorite but I can tell you I've been listening to Tiger Army since I was 17 and their latest album is currently in my car's 6 disc changer. Alongside them you would find a mixture of alternative rock, indie folk, and outlaw country. I love checking out and supporting local music and love going to shows any time I can.

Your favorite classic car (owned or not)?

I don't own a classic car yet but it is a dream of mine to some day get one and be able to work on it myself and it's gotta be a GM. General Motors really had it going on in my opinion with the 1954 Chevy 210 and '57 Bel Air; the '51 Buick Special and the '53 Roadmaster, and the '51 Oldsmobile Super 88 being some of my favorites.

Photographer: Wisdom Photography
Who is your inspiration?

I am constantly finding new inspiration when it comes to modeling. Mosh is one of my favorite models to follow for posing inspiration, she is so innovative with the way she uses her surroundings, posing on just about anything she can find and making it look fabulous. Masuimi Max is the queen of facial expressions, something I would really like to improve on in my own photo shoots. I also follow the work of many photographers, my favorite being Shannon Brooke. I try to study the way she uses light and shadow when positioning models so I can try and make better use of light when I'm shooting.

Photographer: Decadence Dolls 
What makes you an extraordinary pinup?

I like to think that what I do inspires other women to follow their dreams, find confidence in themselves and break beauty standards. As I said before I'm from a very small town in Central Wisconsin and I can tell you, modeling was a dream of mine but I didn't think it was something I could really go anywhere with being only 5'2" and 135 lbs. I certainly don't have the body of a typical model and I feel like I'm really just your average girl but I've pushed myself to do what I love and embrace my figure. I've been posting unedited photos lately to show my "imperfections". I have stretch marks on my thighs, spider veins, rolls when I'm sitting or bending, things that almost every woman also has but that are edited out of photos. I just want other women to know that no one is perfect and none of us should hold ourselves to such unrealistic beauty standards. I hope doing so helps others to embrace their "flaws" because we are all beautiful just the way we are.

Can't get enough of Ginny? Follow her on Instagram @ginnyrosewater or her fan page for more inspiration and lovely photos! 

Pinup of the Month: Introducing Miss Valerie Voiture!

Photographer: David Rocha
Miss Valerie Voiture is the extraordinary pinup for February! Due to the shortness of this month and her extraordinariness (yes, that is a word now) her reign as Pinup of the Month shall be extended to the first week of March! What makes this gal so extraordinary? I can't dish too much or I'll ruin the surprise but her vision of pinup is a glamorous dream that includes everyone! Valerie is a host of many pinup events throughout the year welcoming and inviting all pinups to create a group of confident and empowered pinups through camaraderie. Read on to see this gal's visionary impact on the pinup community!

Photographer: Dynamite Dames MUAH: Valerie
Tell us about yourself. How long have you been into pinup and/or pinup modeling?

I grew up with cars and a love for vintage so it was a natural progression to become involved in pin up.  I met my ginger hubs in 2009 and he introduced me to scene.  I loved it and all the girls immediately.  I started getting invited to events and made many friends easily.  I know some girls struggle with "cattiness" of the scene but I have always felt you get out what you put into any given situation.  For me that meant discovering a whole world of like-minded ladies with whom I became fast friends and am still to this day.

Photographer: Motley Cat Studio MUAH: Valerie
Do you participate in a vintage or pinup lifestyle?

We own and operate a hot rod and custom shop so we live and breathe the lifestyle everyday. Additionally, I like to organize and host pin up social events in the West Michigan area to boost morale and camaraderie among the local ladies and strengthen our friendships.  Occasionally I organize events statewide but being a busy graduate student, that gets challenging.

Photographer: Dynamite Dames MUAH: Valerie
What is your favorite band or musician?

Music tastes are all over the board.  I grew up in the punk era so I'll always be a little punk rocker inside.  That said, I have been to numerous operas ( a GREAT excuse to get fancy!) and I love live jazz.

Photographer: Trish Huhtala MUAH: Valerie
Your favorite classic car (owned or not)?

I own my own 49 Ford Shoebox.  I've been approached to sell but there is no way.  She was my first and I cant part with her.  I do hope to add to my collection, however.  I'm looking at a '59 Impala convertible.

Photographer: Dynamite Dames MUAH: Valerie
Who is your inspiration?

My greatest inspirations are the models who first and foremost are nice people.  There are some bullies out there unfortunately, though, luckily they're few and far between.  Boycott their businesses, avoid them socially, whatever you need to do to not get into their drama.  No one needs that in their lives!  

I do appreciate the models who are able to be very diverse in their work.  Models that bring it in so many different ways than just the traditional cheesecake pin up style like Mia Campbell, Riskay Business, and Leena Allure drive me to do better each time I work.  These girls will bring you whatever you need to your sets.  Their versatility is inspiring.

Photographer: Roy Varga MUAH: Valerie
What makes you an extraordinary pinup?

I've been around a while so I'm proud of being able to continually work and producing great images.  I'm proud of surrounding myself with great pin up friends and being allowed in their lives.  Lastly, I'm proud of being a voice for those who get bullied or taken advantage of who may not be able to stick up for themselves.  I'm an extraordinary pin up because I do the right thing even when it's not a popular choice.  At the end of the day I can go to bed knowing I used my place in the community to influence and help protect, encourage, and empower other pin ups to love themselves and be kind to each other.

I think it can be agreed we all need more gals like Valerie within the community! I'm so glad to have met her last year and worked with her for a photo shoot. Excited for more events, car shows, and photo shoots to come!

Fashion Friday: Support Your Local Car Club

This week's look is a casual, rockabilly style - great for running errands and looking fabulous in dismal winter weather. I recently acquired a Gasoline Dames CC supporter tee and couldn't wait to wear it! Likewise, I really can't wait to pair it with a skirt or capris but jeans will have to do as the temperature is plummeting, again. Boo. Pardon my roots showing in the pictures. I'm getting my hair done next Wednesday - just in time for the Dita Von Teese show on Friday! Just one more week!

Outfit details:

Tee - Gasoline Dames CC supporter (if your local car club has support merchandise show your love!)

Jeans - Levis High Rise 

Leopard Skate shoes - Vans

Bandanna - Had this one for ages but usually around $1 or so at Walmart, JoAnn, and Michael's.

Lip Stain - "Pucker Up" by Tattoo Junkee

What is your favorite outfit for running errands? Why? Let me know in the comments!

Fashion Friday: Pinup at Work #1

Some of you may or may not know that I'm currently working as a page at a local library. Which is to say I'm the person putting away all the returned and misplaced library materials along with any other projects that come my way. This March I'll be taking *gah* the GRE so I can pursue my Master's in Library Science this fall to become a librarian with a specialization in technical services! I'm so excited! Here's my winter pinup work attire to inspire you on dreary cold mornings - unless it's subzero out winter pinup is possible! 

Outfit details:

Pants - Banned Apparel Party On Wide Leg Trousers

Top - Sourpuss Sugar Sweater

Necklace - Classic Hardware Retrolite Swallow

Shoes - CL by Laundry Suzie Flat

What are your favorite winter pinup outfits? Let me know in the comments! See you next week!

Fashion Friday: Miss Victory Show Pinup Contest *Exclusive*

Photographer: Dennis Schroader
This Fashion Friday is a throwback to a previous photo shoot taken at Fort Knox, which is one of my favorite shoots as I always wanted to and finally did shoot there. Unless you know someone, it's extremely difficult to get clearance to shoot on base. Glad I can cross that off my modeling bucket list! 

Photographer: Dennis Schroader
Photographer: Dennis Schroader

Photographer: Dennis Schroader
Please use these photos as inspiration for your outfit at the Miss Victory Show/Miss Jalopy Fest '17 contest! That's right, darlins! Miss Jalopy Fest has teamed up with a military charity, allowing each participant to help raise money, for a spectacular contest! Submissions will be accepted starting in July - don't delay as there are only 15 spots available! Start planning now!

Fashion Friday: Golden NYE Outfit

Welcome back dolls! I took a little break to get my career going and to reformat this blog to its original purpose of featuring awesome pinups and equally awesome, affordable pinup styles. I'm back on track and pleased to show you my spectacular NYE ensemble. It came together better than I could have imagined!

I'm not often very lucky finding vintage clothing scores at Goodwill but every so often I do and it's *amazing*. This was one such occasion. Before heading down to Kentucky to visit my family for Christmas, I got the notion to stop by Goodwill as we headed out of town. Thank goodness! Inside was my gold lurex 60's dream dress for $5! Wowee! This outfit was stunning and perfect for running around Chicago - from the train station to Reggie's was a bit more than the 4 blocks google promised us and I was so glad to be wearing not quite flats but not full on wedges either. Not to mention my dress was stretchy, not binding, so great for dancing! I danced the night away through the Krank Daddies and Slim Jim Phantom - I was exhausted but had a great time!

The last photo is just for giggles - silliness! I had no idea a giant poster of Tom Jones was behind me on the wall. I'm really observant sometimes. 

 Outfit info:

Dress - Vintage but similar ones available
Shoes - Suzie flat by CL by Laundry  

Hat - Vintage and borrowed from my friend for the evening. This one is almost exact!

Bracelets - A plastic black bamboo bangle, a black wood bangle, and a gold flecked lucite bangle made by Splendette! 

 Belt - Purchased some time ago from a vintage shop. This black belt from Micheline Pitt's Vixen line is reasonably priced. 

Simple yet stunning! I love this outfit! What will I wear next? Find out next Friday!