#badgirlcrush - Rachel
Q: Rachel, thank you for being our #badgirlcrush of the month! The aim with the #badgirlcrush is for our readers and followers to get an insight into ladies that inspire us, you are one of our instagram crushes at TOBG HQ and we love your vintage vixen style!
A: Thank YOU! I have been following TOBG since before your launch and absolutely love each collection you’ve come out with. I’m excited to have the opportunity to share a bit about my style and inspiration.
Q: Can you tell our readers a little bit about yourself?
A: I’m a mid-century enthusiast, history nerd, and adventurous spirit. I’m often described as an “old soul” and have always found a connection to the past, but I’m very much a modern gal at heart. My taste in music, film, fashion, design, and style are decidedly mid-century. In my free time, I love getting lost during weekend adventures, and exploring new places. My fiancé and I are planning a road trip up the coast of California for our honeymoon, which I’m so excited for.
(Since the time of interview Rachel has since been married to her partner)
Q: We can see you recently got engaged, congratulations! Without giving away too much how are the plans going? We can’t wait to see your dress!
A: Thank you! My fiancé and I both love vintage, so we chose a 1920s ballroom for our wedding venue. I will say, the dress won’t disappoint! It was the first dress I tried on and I knew right away it perfectly embodied my style and the classic, glamorous look and feel of the wedding. Undoubtedly influenced by my favourite vintage bombshells—but you’ll have to wait and see! There will be many personal touches throughout the wedding, including walking down the aisle to a modern take on Elvis’ classic, ‘Can’t Help Falling in Love.’ We have an amazing band and photographer lined up, and can’t wait to celebrate with our friends and family.
Q: Can you tell us how you became interested in the old Hollywood era, was it from a young age?
A: Where to begin! My grandmother was a performer in her younger years, and introduced me to classic Hollywood musicals as a young child. I remember watching the 1962 film, Gypsy, with her when I was maybe 3 years old, and that was it. I was so enamoured with the glamour, fashion, and performance that Natalie Wood infused into the legend that is Gypsy Rose Lee. That love of film and glamour has only continued to grow. I’ve continued to be a movie lover, and even studied history and film in college. The femme fatales, Technicolor, and overall aesthetic of some of my favourite directors—Douglas Sirk, Alfred Hitchcock, David Lynch—have continued to define what I find interesting and beautiful. I acted a bit in a local theatre group when I was young, and always loved playing dress up as a little girl. I think that ability to constantly transform and redefine yourself through clothing and makeup has stayed with me, but I have always gone back to old Hollywood and the starlets of that era to draw inspiration. What started off as admiring my on-screen idols for their costumes and performances as a young girl, has come to define my personal style and how I’m able to express myself as an adult. Going back to my early memories of watching Gypsy, I think that film has also had a huge impact on my love and respect for the female form. I have a collection of 1940s and 1950s pinup calendars, prints, playing cards, pulp fiction novels, and other ephemera. I also credit my parents for keeping me connected to family history. Family stories and old photographs were always around when I was growing up. Seeing photos of my grandmothers in the 1940s and 1950s completely influenced me. There’s just something undeniably special about the class and sass of a mid-century woman.
Q: We seriously love your style, do you have a favourite decade you use as reference?
A: I love 1940s to early 1960s style, but the 50s are consistently where I draw inspiration in terms of personal style, design, and music. There’s something so seductive about the meeting of class and kitsch, sultry and sweet, and to me that defines how I interpret, and why I love, 50s fashion. The silhouettes from the 50s also happen to work best with my figure, but I’ve always been drawn to the classic, sexy, and glamorous look of the decade. But it’s more than just aesthetic. My home is filled with family hand-me-downs and years of collecting and hunting for mid-century furniture and décor. I’ve amassed a sizeable record collection over the years, and absolutely love 1940s-1960s country, soul, and rockabilly music. In my home, some favourite pieces include my collections of vintage pastel coloured hair dryers and head vases, our Heywood Wakefield dining set, and a mid-century print of artist Vladimir Tretchikoff’s 1953 Chinese Girl. I love being surrounded by history and knowing that many of the clothes I wear and items in my home had a life before me.
Q: With curls like a pulp fiction cover, we have to know how you set your hair! Do you wet set or use tongs? Any tips or tricks for our readers? (And us!)
A: When I was younger, I hated how my red hair made me stand out. Now, I couldn’t imagine not having red hair, and it’s definitely an important part of my identity. So hair is a big one for me! Admittedly, I can never get pin curls just right, so I typically use foam rollers for my wet set. This set is perfect if I’m looking for a tighter, poodle style curl, and can last a few days. I’ll use hot rollers if I’m going for a sleeker, pageboy style (my favourite). My biggest tip would be, listen to your hair! Hair can have a mind of it’s own, and some sets inevitably come out better than others, so work with what you’ve got. In terms of products, I use a teasing brush, fine tooth comb, and boar bristle brush to brush out my sets, and bobby pins and duckbill clips to shape and mould the set. Complete with some hair spray and pomade, and you’re good to go!
Q: As a mid century enthusiast are there any particular shops in your state you can’t resist popping into?
A: Bobby From Boston (Boston), Bananas (Gloucester), Circa Vintage (New Bedford), and Vintage and Antique Textiles (Sturbridge) are some of my favourites. I lived in New York City before moving to Boston, and Manhattan is home to one of my all time favourite vintage shops, Stella Dallas. It’s a must-visit for mid-century loving gals. My best find from Stella Dallas is a 1950s gold lame swimsuit that fits like a glove.
Q: If you could describe your style in three words what would they be?
A: Classic. Glam. Feminine.
Q: So you can raid any Hollywood starlet’s wardrobe, who would it be and what iconic pieces would you have your eye on?
A: Diana Dors is not only my hair goddess, but a total style icon to me. Diana was in part known for her sex appeal and wild parties, but there’s also a sweetness to her. I find her look and style to be so versatile. From classic 50s bombshell to film noir seductress, to total bad girl babe, Diana’s style inspires me to acknowledge that my look and style doesn’t have to fit into a box. In true bad girl fashion, when so often compared to other blonde bombshells of the era, Diana infamously stated that she’d rather be known as “the hurricane in mink.” I love this. So many beauties from the 1950s were reduced to their looks (Diana, Jayne, Marilyn, to name a few), but they were also smart and complicated women. Diana’s style and personality as a “hurricane in mink” inspires me beyond just aesthetics. I think all women are forces to be reckoned with, and personal style is absolutely a way to connect with this. I’d take anything from Diana’s wardrobe, but give me all the sequins, lurex, wiggle dresses, and springolators, and I’d be a happy girl.
Q: Let’s talk red lips! Your pout is divine!, can you share with our readers your favourite lipsticks?
A: That is some high praise! To me, every day is a red lipstick kind of day, and I feel most myself when I’m wearing a bright bold lip. Kat Von D liquid lipsticks, Rimmel London lip liner, and Bésame Cosmetics are my go-to’s for reds. I’ve recently become obsessed with Black Moon Cosmetics’ Harvest. It’s the perfect shade of burnt orange, a colour I’ve been after for ages.
Q: With flawless old hollywood make up, what items couldn’t you live without in your vanity case?
A: I tend to stick with the classics - red lipstick, black liquid liner, lashes, and the right brow products. I have sworn by Revlon liquid liner for years, and have been donning a cat eye for as long as I can remember. I have naturally thick brows, but use Brett Brow products by Brett Freedman to help achieve a full, well-shaped brow. He has amazing tones for blondes, brunettes, and redheads—‘Auburnista’ is my go to. I finish every look with a spritz of Coco Mademoiselle. The most important items in my vanity case are a good face wash and sunscreen.
Q: If you could pick one, who would your Ultimate Bad Girl be and why?
A: It’s impossible to choose just one! There are so many different women I draw inspiration from and admire for their beauty, talent, fashion sense, and timelessness. Diana Dors, Rita Hayworth, Dorothy Dandridge, Jane Russell, Sophia Loren, and of course, Marilyn, just to name a few. There are also many modern women in the vintage community, including some previous #badgirlcrush gals, that I’m in awe of.
Q: What do you love about The Original Bad Girl?
A: I love how TOBG distinguishes itself as an original brand, rather than reproduction, and there’s an undeniable sense of authenticity and originality. But, what I love most is how TOBG embodies and encourages confidence. TOBG’s clothing, blog, and social media accounts celebrate women and inspire the bad girl in all of us. And what’s more badass than a woman embracing her figure and dressing with confidence?
Q: Can you describe to us your perfect weekend?
A: My perfect weekend would start off with an intimate dinner and cocktails with my love. I’m a sucker for great conversation and a gin martini—straight up, with olives. No weekend is complete without a trip to a flea market or vintage/antique fair. While I love a beautifully designed and organized vintage shop, there’s nothing like the thrill of the hunt.
Q: What are your goals for the rest of the year?
A: I find that I’m never quite settled or content, so my goals are constantly evolving. I do know that I want to focus on my family, saying “yes” more to things that scare and excite me, and travelling as much as possible. I’ve also started sewing. While my skills leave much to be desired, I’m hoping with practice I’ll be able to make some progress with the bin of vintage fabrics I’ve been hoarding over the years!
Thanks so much for taking the time to talk to us Rachel!
You can find Rachel here
Patsy - Jungle Pat X
(Columnist for The Original Bad Girl Blog)