Today's blog post is the third installment in my Pinup Q&A series. Today we are finding out about the mouthwateringly stunning and self proclaimed YAP (Young Aged Pensioner) Dolly Daydream.
|Dolly Daydream. Photo by Terry Mendoza of Retro Photostudio|
When did you start to get into Pinup and why?
It all blossomed from my love of fashion I would say. I always dressed a bit “quirky”, or so my classmates would say when I came in on non-uniform day. During my late teens I developed a love for 80’s fashion and music, which you’ll find takes a lot of influence from 50’s style. Then when I turned 20 my style really started to evolve. I realised I didn’t need to dress like everyone else or look like a Topshop model, and when I wore things that actually flattered my curves I felt much more comfortable and confident.
Victory rolls started to creep in my cropped hair and I got braver with headscarves and hair flowers. I always had my Grandma to help too. Growing up, I was round at my grandparents every week, and she had an unhealthy obsession with buying clothes, and no qualms about a bargain, so it’s clear where I get my charity shop eye from!
As a kid I was always fascinated with history and used to do school projects on World War 2. Being in the WAFs, my Grandma had some great stories to tell, from helping build spitfire planes, to flirting with Canadian guys to get some chocolate or nylons. The tale that I always remember though, is her trips to London. Her and pals would hop on the tube and see where it took them. And in the evening they would get dolled up and go to black out dances (they couldn’t have any lights on – obvs!). When I started to dress with a more retro theme, it was this that I channeled. They still had a ball and found glamour even though times were tough. Keeping this glamorous normality was their morale booster. And now it’s mine too.
How did you get into modelling?
After entering Miss Pinup UK, I put myself on PurplePort. Coming from a performing background I’d already been a part of websites like Model Mayhem before, so wasn’t going into it totally blind. But meeting people at the Tattoo Convention who were already established meant I could pick up tips and chat about the pinup modelling scene.
I started with a bit of a bang as Collectif messaged me on there after just a couple of weeks to go and do a casting with them. I went along, tried on some things, hit some poses and the rest is history. It also helped that we were Insta friends and they knew I was a genuine fan of their stuff already. From there, it was all so dreamy. Lindy Bop and Victory Parade followed and I have so many more I intend on working with. The best part is I get to try before I buy, and all the brands are run by the most babein’ people ever!
What is it like modelling for such well known vintage clothing companies?
So fun! Albeit long old days and so many costume changes which can be tiring. But I’m yet to model for a brand where anyone is anything but lovely.
Fellow models, designers, photographers, makeup artists, everyone! It seems to be a community that is all about supporting others. Which is why I obviously keep doing it, I enjoy it!
What is your favourite pinup look?
I think I’d have to say classic, mid 50’s pinup. I don’t have any tattoos or piercings (I change my mind far too quickly and am scared of commitment!) and the lines of the garments of that era really suit my figure. I just sat so comfortably in that bracket. It’s almost like it found me and I didn’t even realise it. Tiki is a close second though as I have major wanderlust for Hawaii. So if I dress it, I’m basically there, right?
What was it like competing for Miss Pinup UK?
As corny as it sounds, I’d say a life changing experience! I toyed with entering for months before taking the plunge. I’d just given up the performing lifestyle about a year earlier and was changing career path, I did it as my last hoorah really. Getting up and performing again (I tap danced) was nerve racking but something I did to prove to myself I still had it. Another reason was to meet like minded pinup people, and that I did! Taking the title was just the cherry on top!
I met some friends for life, and the Class of ’14 still have a Facebook group today. We talk nearly every day and share all sorts of secrets, advice and general funny tales. Some days just that bit of a shoulder to lean on really gets you through a rubbish time.
What was it like doing your first photo shoot?
I had done some hair modelling, and photo shoots back when I danced and performed so I wasn’t shy when it came to being in front of the camera (also helps when you and your pals are absolute posers!) But pinup posing was slightly different. You have to find your own persona and own it. I just threw myself straight in and found that the poses I would do day-to-day were the ones that came out the best, and from there, Dolly got her own pinup personality for everyone to see.
What is it like working with the girls at The Pinup Academy?
All I can say is we’re all crazy cats! Of course I got to meet October when she was judging Miss Pinup back in 2014. And even then, her questions were thought through and really got me thinking about why I was up on the stage and what pinup really meant to me.
A shoot or event is always super fun. I think the key is that we constantly take the mickey out of each other and willing to make a show of ourselves at any moment. Every girl is so different and brings something unique to the girl gang (plus Mr Pinup Pictures, Simon!)
I’m known as the granny because of my silver hair, love of gin and Jessica Fletcher inspired wardrobe. Don’t be fooled though, I’m first to flirt with the boys and last the night on the dance floor!
What sort of music do you like?
I’m a bit of a sucker for old school R’n’B and current chart hits. No sad songs allowed! I find these keep me jazzed and ready to take on the day. With a love of old films though I can’t resist hearing Fred Astaire sing Cole Porter or Gershwin. And my favourite tones come from Doris Day or Johnnie Ray, if I could bottle their voices and keep them I would!
What do you like to do in your spare time?
Living in London I am super social as there is always so much going on. Gins festivals, street food, bottomless brunching, strolls around all the beautiful parks. Luckily all my pals live close to me in east London and we always have our ears to the ground on the next fun thing to do together. We all have different styles and musical tastes but luckily all open minded and spontaneous. Big fans of getting invited to something last minute, sending out a text and seeing who comes along- those are the best nights!
When we’re not doing this though, I often bake and we grab M&S snacks, prosecco and head to someone’s flat for a gossip. So basically, I heart my friends!
What is your favourite film?
This is a tough one. Growing up I was made to watch all sorts with my family.
• Aladdin is the go to, to cheer me up.
• The Sweetest Thing is my ultimate chick flick.
• Dumb & Dumber and Anchorman are comedies I could recite to you.
• And Top Hat is one of my favourite old school song and dance movies, which is still makes me laugh out loud today.
If you could go back in time to one era, when would it be and why?
I think it would be the end of the 1940’s, post WW2. I’d love to experience the uplifting feeling spreading across the world once the war was over. It would be fascinating to see make-do fashions from wartime become actual trends too. However, I’d be single for life- ain’t nobody keeping me at home to do the cooking and cleaning!
What is the best part about being a pinup?
The community. I’ve always surrounded myself with great friends, but since immersing myself in that world I have met so many beautiful humans. Everyone is so supportive of each other, sees the beauty inside and out of people, and no matter whether you’re Insta pals (like us) or have met in real life, no one thinks twice about helping a girl out!
Who is your favourite pinup and why?
Another tricky one! I get a lot of likeness to Marilyn, which is so flattering, beyond belief! She is one of my style icons of course. But I have big love for the squeaky clean, animal loving, ever changing talent of Doris Day. And the sex appeal, intelligence and ballsy nature of Jane Russell. Modern day though has to be Mosh. Hair goals that I will never achieve, and she has the perfect balance of sex pest and classic pinup. Me in a nutshell basically- ha!
What clothing labels are your favourite and why?
Collectif will always be my go to. Their measurements fit me perfectly. They were the first modern day, vintage inspired clothing range that I found to fit my curves. I no longer felt bad for not being able to get my boobs in a size 10 when the waist would usually drown me.
Before this though, I was always finding my stuff in charity shops or Beyond Retro (because they are affordable!) And again, it’s because the old school stuff was a better fit, and the choice is just out of this world.
Vintage shoes though are always a struggle as they are often smaller or very slim fitted. Rocket Originals are the comfiest and a true reproduction. If I could have every pair I would. I’m also a fan of super massive high heels! Finding a comfy pair means I can be the giantess I was destined to be!
Do you have any advice for anyone starting out in pinup?
Go for it! Throw yourself in the deep end now!
Go to every little pinup meet up you may see on Facebook!
Discover girls and styles you may think suit you and ease this into your wardrobe slowly.
You’ll soon get used to embracing your body, or seeing 3 big flowers in your hair when you look in the mirror.
You definitely won’t look back, that’s for sure. Maybe just pre-warn anyone you live with that you’re going to need a lot more storage space!