Hooray! I got my first #AskJayneKitsch question a few weeks ago from the awesome Twitter buddy @tofudogprincess, we share a love of Adventure Time and cosplay plotting. It’s taken me a while to get around to answering this one but it’s a goodie!
Here’s Charlotte’s original tweet based question…
— Charlotte (@tofudogprincess) July 10, 2015
I think I could write a book about how I originally became interested in the vintage, kawaii, kitsch side of life, there are so many people, places and things that have influenced me. I think it’s quite an interesting series of posts in this question so I’m going to probs break it up into a few and just write about the vintage thing first.
For a start, I grew up with pretty nerdy parents and that’s a good thing. We always watched Star Trek, Stargate and The Simpsons together and encouraged to read, be creative and have unusual hobbies. I had medals for archery and fencing thanks to encouragement from my Dad and I gained a mini obsession with vampire things via Anne Rice thanks to my Mum.
At high school, I was a kind of hippy goth hybrid. I read non-stop Anne Rice, listened to bands like Placebo, HIM, Linkin Park, Nightwish and A Perfect Circle. I had a subscription to Kerrang, Rocksound and Empire magazine and spent a lot of time on MySpace. I think the start of my vintage interest started from this era and my discovery of Dita Von Teese via Kerrang posters and stories about Marilyn Manson and the following of people like Viktoria Modesta and Frankii Wilde on MySpace.
Being a bit of a scruffy dresser at the time, Dita gave me inspiration to be more feminine and I loved her bold, classic vintage look. It wasn’t until I was about 16 that I started implementing some of her traits into my own style, but she definitely triggered my interest into Pin-Up and Burlesque.
That’s where I was in the Winter of 2008!
When I was at Uni, I worked in a vintage style apothecary called Rose & Co (you’ll know this name from the beauty brand that’s quite big now, when I knew them they were just two shops in Yorkshire) we played 40s and 50s music and sold cute gifts, vintage style lingerie, corsets and make up. The manager and lots of the staff and customers were vintage gals and many of them into Burlesque too. Working at Rose & Co taught me all about fitting corsets, seamed stockings and how to do eyeliner flicks and victory rolls as well as introducing me to lots of amazing people!
Through working at Rose & Co I got to know lots of the vintage repro brands too like What Katie Did, Vivien of Holloway, Pin Up Girl and Stop Staring and these fed the sort of things I blogged about too.
One of the first photos I took of Anna Fur Laxis performing live.
I started photographing a Burlesque night in Leeds called The Wet Spot and leading on from that I photographed lots of Burlesque girls for Uni projects too, my degree was in Cinema, Photography and Television and I did my dissertation on the History of Glamour which documented old Hollywood photography up until the invention of Glamour as we know it created essentially by Playboy in the 1950s.
My photo of Anna Fur Laxis on the cover of a Bettie Page tribute issue of Burlesque Magazine.
I also worked with Fran (who I’m still in touch with now) who was involved with the reinvention of Burlesque in the UK and she introduced me to some amazing performers such as Anna Fur Laxis and Beatrix Von Bourbon as well as sharing lots of stories and inspiration from her own adventures. I thought she was so cool when I was working with her and I still do! I think Fran and Sam from the shop were the first people I ever met who were heavily tattooed and I thought that was amazing!
My portrait of Diva Hollywood for my dissertation.
I’m really proud of my work from this time, I got to work with some INCREDIBLE people like Frankii Wilde, Diva Hollywood, Dani California, The Boneshakers and my fave, Anna Fur Laxis who taught me all about the wonderful Bettie Page.
I’ve never really been one for vintage clothes shopping because frankly I’m too lazy to browse! However, when I was modelling during my time at Uni I did lots of shoots with vintage clothing, one of my fave shots ever was with Carolyn Mendolsohn wearing clothes from the House of Rose and Brown in Saltaire, near Bradford with the amazing Sam Myers doing hair and make up. I’ve always loved the styles and shapes from vintage fashion and it’s influenced my personal style for sure. I’ve also done plenty of vintage inspired shoots with the amazing India Hobson, who you should check out too.
Me photographed by Carolyn Mendolsohn
I’ve always followed online lots of vintage style people, I think one of the first I followed on MySpace was Frankii Wilde who I later got to work with on a few occasions and is now a very successful vintage model and burlesque performer. Later on I stumbled upon people like Fleur De Guerre (who I’m now proud to call a friend) and some of the more rockabilly style girls like Sabina Kelly and Bernie Dexter. Would like to add that Fleur was also responsible for my first ever Vodka shot.
Through my friendship with Fleur and reconnecting with old colleague, Liz I’ve been introduced to a broader range of vintage too from the vintage clothing collectors to those who dress vintage everyday. Although I don’t call myself a vintage girl at all, I can definitely say that vintage is something that I love looking at and has definitely influenced my personal style, make up preferences and blog over the years and I’m sure it will continue to do so.
I think that a pretty through explanation of how I got to being interested in vintage, the kawaii and kitsch aspects kinda fit into this but I’m going to expand on these at a later date as this is a fun and interesting thing to do I think! Digging up these old photos has been weird but also lovely, reminds me how much I’ve achieved so far in my life, I really ought to recapture some of this excitement at some point!