Monday, May 18, 2015

On "Why Is Vintage So White?" by Emileigh of Flashback Summer

Emileigh on the blog Flashback Summer ran a conversation with some women about how white the vintage community is. She spoke to pinup goddess Angelique Noire, Candace, the creator of Black Pinup Models, Carla of Tiny Angry Crafter, Nora of Nora Finds, and the lovely Daffny of A Vintage Nerd. All the women gave thoughtful, honest answers. I'm glad this is getting out in the open, especially with the help of a white woman; it makes it harder for readers to say, "Oh, people of color are just complaining about nothing." I've gotten some crap for bringing a lot of the same issues up (I had to eventually stop reading the comments on my The Frisky/xoJane article about being one of the few black people at rockabilly events--it got a little ugly).

There is, of course, nothing wrong with white people. But when things like Confederate flags alienate people of color from subcultures that claims to celebrate the work of many black artists, it's time to ask questions. And you have to wonder why it is that there aren't many people of color at events that celebrate, say, the Jazz Age (hello, Harlem Renaissance) or at Northern Soul nights. Or how, with the tons of pinup magazines in print and online, so few feature models of color.

What's keeping people of color away?

Some thoughts from the ladies:

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Viva Las Vegas 18: I can't believe I have to wait another year

Viva photobooth fun!

In the past month, (can't believe it's been a month), I've learned it takes roughly two weeks to recover from Viva. That's counting the time it takes to overcome withdrawal--you feel so sad you don't have bands or sunshine to look forward to--and to gett over the post-Viva plague. Days with almost no sleepand being around thousands of people leads to a nasty cold. File this away for next year: do not head out to Vegas without some Airborne or Emergen-C.

So to answer your question, yes, I had an amazing time at Viva, and I still can't quite believe it was a month ago.

Thursday, April 2, 2015

I'm Here! Hope Vegas Is Ready for Me

A photo posted by Desiree (@itsdlovely) on

I arrived in Vegas yesterday afternoon and I'm so, so excited to be here. I did a little sightseeing yesterday evening and had a great time at the pre-party. Now I'm starting to plan the rest of the weekend.

A photo posted by Desiree (@itsdlovely) on
Bowling? Burlesque Bingo? What will I do after helping Pearl Davies at Saturday's car show? Watch Instagram for updates and please say hi! I'm all about meeting cool new people here at Viva.

Monday, March 23, 2015

Viva Las Vegas Advice for First-Timers and Everyone Else, Too

Last year, I went to my first Viva Las Vegas and had the time of my life. It is intense. Viva is a marathon, not a sprint, so it helps to plan ahead. I've been combing the Viva Las Vegas Facebook group for tips (I'm not a four-, nine, or even -18-year veteran like a lot of the people going!) and compiling my own so we can all have an amazing time. Please come say hi if you're there!

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

"Mad Men" Mood Boards to Inspire Us All

Creator Matthew Weiner on set (via)

The end is nigh--"Mad Men" is drawing to a close after seven incredible seasons. To celebrate the show's swan song, the costumes and props landed at the Museum of the Moving Image in Queens this past weekend. We've all loved the costumes for years, so it's really exciting to see them honored in a museum. A big part of the exhibit is seeing the inspiration behind the show, so it was pretty cool that costume designer Janie Bryant shared mood boards for some of the key characters with T: The Times Magazine.

Friday, March 13, 2015

Retrofit: Sisterhood of the Vintage Dress

Months ago, I agreed to participate in Joanna of Diving Vintage's Sisterhood of the Vintage Dress. Joanna selected a dress that travels to different bloggers, getting a different look each time.

The dress, a 1940s print rayon dress, made its way to me about a month ago, and I finally got to wear it last week.

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Q & A with Black Pinup Models Founder Candace Michelle

I have no idea how I found the Black Pinup Models Facebook page and magazine, but I'm so glad I did. It's great to scroll through all the beautiful women of all shapes, dressed up and looking gorgeous. It kinda goes without saying that sites and mags like Delicious Dolls don't feature a lot of models of color, which is a shame, because they're definitely out there. After ogling the beauties of Black Pinup Models, I figured it was time to talk to the founder, Candace Michelle of Dallas, Texas.
Candance Michelle

What inspired you to finally start Black Pinups?
Candace: I'm an old soul and I've always been into history since I was a kid, so that's where it all started. Two years ago I was online and I just happened to type in "black pinups" and I'm like, I wonder if there are any black pinup models out there? I didn't see any. The only one I really came across was Angelique Noire and I followed her on Tumblr and then I found Ashleeta. Then I friended them on Facebook and started a page and it's been going ever since. That was three years ago. January 12, 2012, when I still lived In North Hollywood, California.

At what point did you say, "I have to start a magazine"?
I think it was around October of that year and I went on another pinup page and this voice said, 'Hey, you should come out with a magazine!' I had no idea what I was doing; I went to school for fashion design, but I just slowly put together a magazine and I made the announcement the following year. My sister, thank God, she told me that to create a magazine, you have to have InDesign, so I went from there. It was slow, but I launched the magazine December 27, 2013.

Tell me more about your background.
Fashion has always been in my family. All the women on both sides of my family made clothes and quilted and cross-stitched, so I was always busy with my hands. So, I just decided one day I wanted to be a fashion designer. My style is kind of in between J. Lo and the classic Kate Middleton styles.
Candace with models

What attracts you to both of those styles?
I love sparkly things, and I love how J. Lo is with her clothing. I'm a real big fan of Selena, and I feel like if Selena were still here, she and J. Lo would have similar styles. My mom raised my sister and I to be Audrey Hepburn and little Princess Diana, so I have that classic style that's always in. And because I'm into the pinup world, I think that style is adorable.

Do you collect vintage?
Not vintage clothing. I collect a lot of antiques. That's why my apartment's not furnished. I can't find stuff that fits my style online.

Have you gotten in front of the camera?
Only once. I want to do it again, but it's just time and money. I do want to set up photoshoots this year. I want to do five. I don't know what photographers I want to work with because I'm a fan of so many photographers.

How did your first shoot go?
I felt fine. I wasn't nervous. We were copying Jean Harlow. I think I was more of a director than the photographer was, like, "Why is this not looking the way I wanted it to?" I watched a lot of "America's Next Top Model", so I kind of had that modeling experience in a way. I took a lot of pictures of myself posing, working on the facial expressions.

How do you pick the photos that get featured?
They have to be professional, and I pretty much pick anybody. Everyone's accepted. As long as it's a time period before 1980. I don't really share a lot of selfie pictures of the girls.

Do you have any involvement in burlesque, car shows?
I don't have any experience with burlesque. I just go to watch. There just aren't enough car shows in Texas. In LA, there was a car show or a rockabilly show every weekend. There are a few car shows in the summer in Dallas. Everything's a lot slower in Dallas as opposed to LA.

Have you been to Viva Las Vegas?
I keep trying to go but it hasn't worked out. I wanted to go last year but I had just launched my magazine. I wanted to go for fun before I started the page but now that I have the magazine, a lot of the ladies are going and they keep asking me and they definitely want to have a meetup. There's the whole thing of setting up a party and getting everyone together. Oh dear, it's very overwhelming. I'm still not 100% sure how to do that yet.

What comes next for Black Pinups?
I have five pages of what I want. There's going to be the calendar and then I just started another page called Pinups of Color that includes all ladies that are ethnic. I'm still not sure if I'm going to do a magazine for that. We'll see. I want to work on a documentary but we'll see what happens. That might be next year.