Friday, April 14, 2017

Have A Honky Tonkin' Time with Miss 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!