Stela Licina - Our May #badgirlcrush.
Stela wears our BB Top available here. Photography by @lanayaf
Thanks so much! I stumbled upon your Instagram when it was still a collection of b&w photos and I was intrigued! Loved it when the line launched and the tops were all inspired by my favourite babes.. a perfect fit!!
Can you tell our readers a little bit about yourself?
I'm a makeup artist, vintage hair stylist and jackass-of-all-trades based in Vancouver BC, I was born and partially raised in Bosnia until the mid-90s and have been in Canada ever since! I was always a pretty curious little oddball kid who began sneaking into the living room late at night and flipping to the sexy cable channel that always showed sleazy old B-movies after 1am. I discovered the movies of Russ Meyer, John Waters etc. which pointed me towards weird, primitive, fucked-up, glorious rock & roll!! My young eyes and ears were perverted forever, the sounds and images were immediately burned into my little lizard brain. Thankfully, I’ve never recovered! I continue to be inspired by the wild, twisted, surreal, sexual and subversive side of ‘50s and ‘60s music, art, film and culture. I also enjoy taking long, romantic walks to the record store.
You are a very talented hair and make up artist, how did you get started in these creative jobs?
I started playing with makeup when I got into my dad's Ben Nye stage makeup kit (he was an opera singer!) I'd sit in front of our big hallway mirror with his greasepaint palette and play for hours. One day, after my mom caught me with my face looking like a melting Joan Crawford mask, she brought me a Kevyn Aucoin book that became the light and the way!
I kept practicing on myself, eventually on my friends and not too long after I graduated high school, I ended up taking a makeup artist course and began putting my own stamp on the mid-century glam makeup that I was crazy about. Eventually, I skipped town to Vancouver where I was pretty sure I'd find a way to collaborate with awesome creative people, and almost immediately, I did! I began styling hair when I was working with a very talented photographer and great friend Shimona Henry in a studio in East Van. I was there to do makeup for a new model we'd never worked with and we weren't able to find a hair stylist that day so Shimona said, "You can do your own hair, right? Well, you're doing hair today, kid! Fake it til ya make it!" So I did, the photos ended up getting published and I've been doing it for a couple of years now, it’s so much fun, I love it!
We love your style, is there a particular era you like to reference, or do you prefer to mix elements from different decades together?
I do tend to mix it up pretty often and I find inspiration in elements from every decade but there's something about the aesthetic of the 1950s and early 60s that speaks the loudest to me! I love big hair, a cinched waist, torpedo tits, a killer heel, a wildcat eye and as far as dressing to impress (myself) if I try something on.. I say if it ain't tight, it ain't right!!
Are there any vintage shops in Vancouver our readers should visit?
There are quite a few good stores in town that have great selections. Little Miss Vintage on the Drive, Scout Boutique,True Value Vintage and Woo Vintage on Main st and Community Thrift in Gastown! Pinball Alley Vintage in Port Moody has a ton of great stuff, I've never walked out of there empty-handed! Also make sure to hit the Flea Market, you can usually find some gems for a pretty good price!
If you could raid any Hollywood starlet’s wardrobe, who would it be and what pieces would you have your eye on?
If I could get my hands on everything Jayne Mansfield wore, I'd weep tears of joy! From her amazing dresses to her swimsuits to her casual wear, she always looked like a bombshell.. I absolutely adore her & her style.
Let’s talk sweaters! We are seriously jealous of your collection, and you have the Sweater Girl look perfected! Do you prefer vintage or reproduction bras to enhance your silhouette?
There’s nothing like a tight sweater filled out just so! Finding vintage bullet bras that fit a 34G bust is no easy feat but I have found a few and I take very great care with them! They do make an enormous difference in making a top look amazing. I have a couple of reproduction bras that also look great and are a little bit easier to wear, especially on the shoulders, oof!
Your hair could rival femme fatales on pulp fiction covers, do you have a particular setting pattern?
I use a curling iron and pincurl! It's the fastest way for me and gives me the best staying power since my hair is medium-fine and super-straight! If I want an S-wave, I can get a few days of wear if I set it before bed with a one-inch barrel and curl one inch sections in a reverse-row pattern. If I want a looser curl, I'll use a larger barrel and 2 inch sections curling away from the face. It took a bit of practice to master it, but I've got it down to a science.
Do you have any tips or tricks for our readers struggling to tame their pin curls and brush out?
Be patient! And keep brushing! The style will take shape, just be gentle and make sure you have a nice boar bristle brush if you have fine hair or nylon bristle paddle brush for thicker hair. To smooth it out, dab a little bit of lightweight pomade in your palm, rub hands together and work it through your hair. Once you get the shape you like, spray with an anti-humidity, firm-hold hairspray and you are golden.
With flawless pin up make up, what items couldn’t you live without in your vanity case?
I keep it really minimal makeup-wise most days but if i'm going out or doing a shoot.. I have way too many to list! Current faves are Armani foundation, Urban Decay setting spray, Stila waterproof eyeliner, KVD liquid lipsticks and ABH brow products! Also, coconut oil for pretty much everything skincare-related! It's magic!
If you could pick one, who would your Ultimate Bad Girl be and why?
I don’t know if I have an ‘ultimate’ one, there are so many babes who epitomised different variations of that image to me. The common thread has always been their attitude, their strength, wit and style. Growing up and discovering these strong personalities whether it was Jayne and Mamie squealing and wiggling, Tura Satana and Haji sneering, or the incredible Divine chewing up every scene in Female Trouble.. these characters made the strongest impression on me and their style was so visually exciting, it inspired me tremendously. By some evil stroke of good luck.. I was built like a brick shithouse by the end of middle school and could not be contained by tragic early 2000s mall fashions, so I ended up walking into a vintage store, zipping myself into a super tight 50s dress and actually seeing myself for the first time, it was wild! Bad girl style has been my jam ever since!
What do you love about The Original Bad Girl?
I’ve always been a zero or 100 type of girl (my look is either ‘painted-up tart’ or ‘rambling hobo’, it's totally true!) because it can be kinda tough to find flattering casual clothing that still looks awesome so I love TOBG because it's great to see a company making stuff that’s super wearable and that can be dressed up or down!
What are your goals for the rest of the year?
Several in the works but I’d rather brew the magic stuff on my own quietly and put it out into the world when it’s ready!! It’s the way I’ve always done things and it’s worked pretty well so far!
Patsy - Jungle Pat
(Columnist for The Original Bad Girl Blog)