Friday, January 29, 2016

Adventures in Pin-Up

Greetings Vixens and Beaus!

Since I said I'd write about things other than fitness, I decided to make this post about pin-up. I've always been captivated by the 1940s/50s pin-up art... especially the WWII nose art (originally used to identify friendly units.)

Memphis Belle and Sentimental Journey are probably my two favorites.
That being said, I decided to enter a pin-up contest last summer after moving back to the States. How nerve-racking! I've never done anything like that before and really had no idea what to expect. I tried to do some research on what "competitors" have worn in other contests, how to walk, how to stand out, etc. Unfortunately I didn't find much helpful information. I had to wing it and hope it would work! If you're considering a contest, hopefully you find my experience useful. I'd love to hear your ideas as well!

The Art of Dressing

For my outfit, I didn't want a reproduction. Don't get me wrong... I love the modern looks inspired by vintage (basically anything from pinupgirlclothing) but I thought most of the other girls would do something like that. You know the look, the polka dot circle skirts or the 40s nautical outfit, possibly using a parasol as a I said, I wanted to stand out! After getting advice from the beautiful Desiree Noir, I went with my late 50s/early 60s Delta stewardess uniform. Do you know how difficult it is to find one of those?! I had to be soooooo patient, for a couple of years, before I was able to get one. Well worth the wait! (I'm still looking for a hat to go with it, so if you find one, let me know!)

Here's a similar look to mine, though I have a lighter shade of blue. But I made a pillbox hat, wore a 1960s collared blouse, white gloves, and found blue/white vintage spectator pumps on Etsy. Dez and I had talked about using a vintage suitcase as a prop, but I decided against it because a) I didn't want to carry it around the car show in the humidity and summer heat, and b) I wasn't exactly sure how I would pose with it. I actually didn't even know how I would pose WITHOUT it either....:)

The Art of Posing

Okay so I have the outfit. Now for posing/walking. I had NO idea what the stage would be like, or if we'd even be walking across anything, so I had to practice a couple different things: entering from one side, walking up to the center to pose, then walking back...or pretending like it was just straight across, etc. I put on Brian Setzer's Stray Cat Strut, turned on my video camera, and went to it! Plus I needed to practice walking in the pumps since they were a tad loose and slick on the bottom. My poses weren't anything crazy or super pin-up structured -- couple of turns, a salute (it just felt right), blowing a kiss, etc. The main point was to show the crowd love. In any pin-up-related event, always flirt with the crowd! Otherwise you come across too nervous or that you aren't really sure what you're doing. I mean, I didn't know what I was doing...but I PRETENDED to, and it worked! Check out these videos by Cherry Dollface on how to pose! Here and here for regular poses, and here for posing with props.

The Art of Speaking

The next part of the event was answering a couple of questions. Luckily we were given a sheet with a list of 10 questions. We had to write down the answers to three of them, and we would be asked one of those. They were pretty basic..."why do you like pin-up?" "what is your favorite movie and why?" etc. I didn't think I'd be nervous about that part since I knew what to expect, but when you're standing in front of a large crowd with a microphone and you can't QUITE remember what your answer was, you can get a little shaky! 

The Art of Judging 

So now that all components of the event were complete, it was time for the judges to make their pick. Out of 18 girls, they narrowed it down to five. (That's when we had to answer the question.) 

Can you guess which one is me?? :)

From there it was narrowed down to three. (I made the top three!) And then the crowd chose the winner with how loud they cheered. I didn't realize it would be up to the crowd...and I didn't bring anyone to beef up the cheers for me either! I was the last girl in the row, so as the other girls were getting all kinds of cheers and whistles, I started to get even more nervous and a little embarrassed. I didn't think I'd get much volume. As it turns out, the crowd went crazy when it was my turn! How unexpected! All I could think to do was smile really big and try to try to flirt some more (blowing kisses, a couple of poses). I got first place! It was really a very exciting moment for me. For someone who had never been to a contest to see how they were done, nor having had any experience doing pin-up, and then to come in first! What a thrill! I've always wanted to be a classy pin-up model...I think this was the first step. Plus I did a mini photo shoot with some of the old cars right after winning. But the main prize is that I do a studio photo shoot with Ric Frane and am featured in a garage calendar. YES!


The Art of Winning

Here's a quick recap of what worked for me: 
1) If you can do true vintage and do it well, you will stand out!
2) PRACTICE your poses in front of a mirror. Record yourself walking and posing, and then critique your form. The more you practice, the more natural it'll seem on stage.
3) It never hurts to get used to public speaking. Again, practicing in front of a mirror or video camera so you can see your facial expressions, mess around with your tone and inflections, etc. will really help when it comes down to actually doing it.
4) Never be afraid to step out of your comfort zone and try something new! Especially if it's something you've been dreaming about....
5) Don't get discouraged if it doesn't turn out the way you had hoped. Keep at it!
6) Most importantly, HAVE FUN!! Go in with that expectation from the get-go and you won't be disappointed!

See you at the next car show ;)

Fit Dame

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