Monthly Archives: November 2012

The Lady Behind All The Epic Cuteness

During my recent trip to California, I was excited to have visited a little boutique that carried the most adorable accessories. Instantly I fell in love with the cutest little pin up girl…her name is Suzy Sailor by Fluff. Maybe I was living in a bubble all these years but I had never seen Fluff’s line of fun girlie accessories until that moment. Needless to say, it was love at first sight! After doing a little research on the brand I was happy to discover it was the work of one creative genius, Claudette Barjoud. Let me just say, she is a true sweetheart and very interactive with her fans. The fabulous Claudette has graciously accepted to tell us more about the lady behind the art.

Tell us a about the lady behind Fluff; did you take formal artistic training; what do you enjoy outside of your work…

I went to a wonderful art high school in Miami, New World School of the Arts, the teachers there were really inspiring and I credit them for opening my eyes to the possibility of being an artist! Then I went to Pratt Institute in Brooklyn for a year, then graduated from New World School of the Arts college program through the University of Florida.

Outside of work I love belly dancing and samba. Going to art shows, watching old movies: anything with Marilyn Monroe, Sophia Loren or Cary Grant and checking out interesting hotels. My latest favorite is the Riviera in Palm Springs. I love its glamorous retro vibe!

How did Fluff come to be?
I always dreamed of designing my own line of cute, sexy stuff inspired by vintage design. and always kept my ideas scribbled in a sketchbook for years. After graduating I started designing for different companies. At my last job at Frederick’s of Hollywood, I had the project of redesigning the packaging for some fun products (edible undies, whipped body cream etc…) I had seen some old Frederick’s catalogs from the 1950’s. They were filled with illustrations of pinup style lovelies! Such glamour, cheekiness and sass! It was exactly what these products needed! So I did my own version of glamorous, sexy girlies for the packaging and the products started selling out! People even started collecting them. So they had me draw more and more! I was in heaven!

After the success of the product line at Frederick’s, I thought to myself, maybe it’s time I do it for myself. So I decided to give my dream a chance…To make Fluff! A world of sassy, vintage inspired girly cuteness to make people squeal with delight! (Like I do when I see things I really love!)

What are you inspirations behind your designs, what inspires you as an artist?
So many things inspire me! Art Deco style. I adore Erte´, Fetish illustrations and fashion. I love the artists John Willie and Gene Bilbrew. Fashion, furniture, graphics and general style of the eras between the 1920’s – 1960’s. I love old James Bond movies, Elvis, Russ Meyers films, Roger Water’s films, Hello Kitty, vintage Barbie and much more!

Do you plan to expand your current line in the future?
I hope so! In the future I would love to introduce handbags, more jewelry, clothing, and maybe body products. Also more collectible pinup dolls!

What is the meaning behind Fluff?
Actually at first I was thinking about calling it Crush because I wanted it to be so irresistible it would make you get a crush on it! But decided on “Fluff” because it sounds fun, fanciful, frivolous and girly! I could also imagine an ‘ol timey brand being called Fluff. It just felt right.

You definitely have a retro/rockabilly vibe to your designs and style, who are your favorite pinups models? Do you incorporate the rockabilly/pinup style into your personal life?
Yes! I love Retro/ Rockabilly style! I am very inspired by it. There are really too many models to name, but I really love Marilyn Monroe, Betty Grable, Bettie Page, Tura Satana, Jadin Wong, Jayne Mansfield (I know some are known more as actresses but they were pinups too! Some, like Marilyn, actually started as pinup girls)

I incorporate Rockabilly Pinup style into my life by drawing pinups and art inspired by the style and also whenever I have the chance to get out of my painting garb, I love to dress up too!

What is your all time favorite design you have created and why?
Oh! That is a hard one to answer! I like different designs for different reasons. But one of my favorites is Mr.Pinky’s Punishment. I was inspired by 1940’s and 50’s fetish art. I love how the girl turned out and the bunny in the cage always makes me laugh.

On average how much time is invested to complete a new painting/design?
It varies for sure. If I am in the zone I might complete a painting in a few hours. But usually I like to keep coming back to it with fresh eyes because I see things that I did not see before.

What is your favorite artistic medium to work with?
My favorites change. I was working in watercolor and gouache for a bit, then switched back to acrylic, then to ceramic sculpture. Lately I have been using resin for the pinup dolls I am making. I am quite schizo went it comes to materials!

Did you ever think you would see your artwork tattooed on your fans?
It is quite a thrill to see my designs tattooed on people. I LOVE it! I never imagined that someone would like my artwork so much they would want it tattooed on themselves! I think it is exciting and quite an honor!

What can we expect to see coming soon from Fluff?
Well the latest release coming is the Wall Dolls™ ! I am so excited about these! They are inspired by vintage chalkware busts and plaques. Pinup dolls for your wall. it will be a fun way to bring my designs to life in 3D! So far people seem to like them. I am actually sculpting, molding and hand painting the edition myself! I can’t wait to release two of the most popular Fluff designs Suzy Sailor and Molly Mermaid as Wall Dolls!

Also, so excited about the collaboration with Tiki Farm! Purveyors of Polynesian Pop! They are releasing in just a few days a Classic Cocktail Set – complete with decanter and two martini inspired mugs. It is of my design Tiki Temptress. Girls, fire and cocktails, what could be better!? They are hand etched and beautifully made. I can’t wait to use it myself!

Where do you envision Fluff in 5 years?
I envision opening a fantastical boutique where you can get lost in wonder and glamour while shopping for enchanting things you cannot find anywhere else!

What would you like everyone to know about Fluff?
I would like everyone to know how much I appreciate all the love I have gotten back from fans. It is overwhelming and really what keeps me going. Whenever I am down and think I may just give up, I will get a message or sweet comment from someone who was touched by something I created and that will inspire me to keep making Fluff!

Is there anything else you would like to share with us?
Yes! I just want to thank you Jessica at Pin Up Persuasion for asking me to do this interview. I am honored to be featured on your fantastic Retro/ Vintage blog!

A BIG thank you to Claudette for taking the time to share a little about her with all of us. She has kindly extended a special discount code to use for the month of December to get 15% off everything in her online store(with exception to the limited edition wall dolls)! Just use code PINUP15 before checking out…click HERE to go shopping!

P.S. My cart is already full of goodies like the Tiki Temptress Cocktail Set,Le Siréne Petite wall hanging, cupcake keychain & I’m anxiously awaiting the Suzy Sailor wall hanging as well!

Categories: Accessories, All Posts, Randomness | Tags: , , , , , , | 7 Comments

Winners Announced ~ Win Some Bling From Rockabetty!

A BIG thank you to Rockabetty for sponsoring this fabulous contest for the Pin Up Persuasion readers! It was truly a treat to read what inspires all of you. The lucky winners were selected at random.

Drum-roll please…

What inspires YOU!

I am inspired by the glamor of old school pin up and burlesque. I love odd pieces and cherries. I like to use an outfit to express how I feel that day! I really love when I see a piece at a flea market or yard sale.

What inspires me? A lot inspires me. I am a recovering heroin addict with almost two years clean so i try to find inspiration and motivation in everything. My nephew and brother who are both handicapped, but you would never know it, inspire me. My family in general. There is inspiration everywhere you look you just need to have open eyes to see it. And an open mind. Fashion wise i am inspired by tempest storms burlesque costumes, minimally of course lol. Obviously i love Bettie page and i love how you are bringing back an amazing era.

Everyone faces difficulties in life and with those difficulties comes inspiration and the strength to keep going. My inspiration comes from my daughters. I’ve lost my mom to cancer, my house to a fire, was a single mother for 6 years but I’ve always stayed strong because I’m inspired by my little girls, who help me to keep my faith in humanity and my sense of humor about life. They are beautiful, unique, intelligent individuals and I’m so grateful for their love! Not a day goes by that I don’t smile, laugh, hug, and feel lucky to be alive because of my girls. Right now I’m taking college courses from home; it isn’t easy to be full time mom, homeowner, and college student but they push me to keep going. I want to finish not just for myself but so they’ll be proud of me. If they aren’t the definition of inspiration then I don’t know what is!

What inspires me is to live each day to the fullest, appreciate those in my life and and just be thankful for what I have.

Lately, the thing that inspires me the most is everything that has to do with pinup girl clothing and the social network Pinup girl style. The friendships that I have made with all of the lovely women of PUG have demonstrated to me that it is ok to be me, just the way I am. It inspires me to see such lovely women that promote such a positive message, 50’s style! I have always been a 50’s girl at heart and soul, so having clothing that rocks the 50’s is an added bonus.

What inspires me? I suppose the easy answer would be the glamor of old Hollywood, the beauty of Marilyn Monroe, but that’s not entirely true. I’m just honestly inspired by finding clothes that fit me well, and often fit me better when I’m a little bit curvier…which vintage inspired wear does! I know I’m not heavy, but I’m pretty soft around the middle, and always have been, even when I was barely 100 lbs. In my early 20’s the handkerchief top was all the rage, but I would never wear one because of my love handles, which I’m pretty sure were all in my mind! I remember doing sit-ups to flatten my belly in high school…never mind that I was only 98 lbs when I graduated! About 6 or 7 years ago my then boyfriend (now husband) bought me an outfit when he went on a business trip, the skirt is a wiggle skirt with a ruffled hem that is just fantastic…still one of my favorites! I remember thinking that it had a vintage style about it, and I felt like a WOMAN! It slowly started from there, and then I discovered, and the rest is history! So what inspires me? FEELING GREAT!

What inspires me is my kids. they are both strong independent adults.
They are respectful and good hearted. they see the humor in life
and strive to make others happy.
That’s what inspires me.

Staying inspired for me is about keeping my eyes and most importantly, my mind open. With an open mind, you can “own” any outfit! More specifically, I look to bloggers for inspiration. My friends generally don’t dress vintage, and I don’t watch many old movies or TV shows. While people accuse me of wanting to live in the past, in reality I subscribe to a particular aesthetic. I stay “current” by drooling over others’ flea market and online finds so I know what to look for.

What inspires me most is love. With Love anything is possible. Add love to any circumstance and it changes everything.

What inspires me: I planned my birthday party coming up to be a retro party of the 1920s-1950s.  What inspired my party was the type of music I most enjoy, which is music from the 1950s.  I really love that era and found a 1956 retro dress pattern and sewed my little black party dress.  I have several accessories that go with my outfit too to complete the look.  I am encouraging everyone to dress up from one of the eras and we are going to play games and dance the night away, retro style.

I am incredibly inspired by women who are proud of who they are. I am lucky to have been raised by a strong woman who taught me to never be ashamed of myself or what I believe in, and I am blessed to have 2 wonderful kids, a boy and a girl, that also are learning that very important lesson.

I am most inspired by dancing. It is such a creative exercise that it inspires not only what you do in the moment to the music, with or without a partner, but also what you do for the rest of the day. It is my greatest creativity booster!

What inspires me? Seeing people smile, hearing people laugh, helping people have a fun time. My audiences inspire me to keep doing what I’m doing and try to improve whenever necessary.  I’m an entertainer and I am influenced by such extrodinarily talented stars as Bette Midler, Tom Waits and Frank Zappa. This is an eclectic mix of wonderful show people who love or loved to entertain! Each of them has a style unlike the others. I love an entertainer who dresses the part as much as I love the fashions of bygone eras. I love entertainers that have some vaudevillian spirit in them. That motivates me as well.

Categories: All Posts, Randomness | Tags: , | 1 Comment

Do You Believe In Magic?

Often times I find myself making impulse buys when an item is on sale; something that I probably would never have considered if it was full priced. This can be quite dangerous for your wallet and leave you with buyers remorse but sometimes…you may stumble on the greatest finds literally by accident. Recently I was scouring JBR Clothing‘s Ebay store when I saw the Heartbreaker Sweetie Teresa Black Floral Dress for a steal of a price and the rest is history.

Available in Sizes XS – 2X in various colors & patterns – MSRP $90USD

The Sweetie Dress is spot on with the size chart and would definitely recommend going by your largest measurements since it’s made from 100% Cotton with no stretch. Reminiscent of its name, the Sweetie features a beautiful classic sweetheart neckline with halter tie straps which can be converted if you prefer non-halter. The full swing skirt is super fun and flirty suitable for all body types. What I love most about this dress is that is has some magical powers to give the illusion of a tiny waist created by the Princess seams. The first time I tried it on, I was literally speechless at the reflection in the mirror…holy hell the fit was mind blowing!

Heartbreaker has several styles and colors available in the Teresa Floral, truly a classic and beautiful motif which is not overpowering in any way. I cannot get enough of it and already anxious to add another Aimee to my wardrobe in this same print.  The Sweetie falls perfectly just below the knee since I’m only 5ft 4 inches tall. A simple design that will knock your socks off and make you fall in love instantly.

The classic look of this swing dress allows you to accessorize in a variety of ways. Add a cardigan or bolero for the office, or a pair of pumps for a night out. A small petticoat will give the swing skirt a more flirty flair, which you can also try in a fun bright color for more pizazz. The possibilities are truly endless…

Normally most of my impulse sale buys end up staying in my closet unworn and eventually purged during closet clean outs but the Sweetie is here to stay! There’s a reason why the Sweetie Dress has been around since day one at Heartbreaker…I now know first hand it has magical powers.

Having a little fun!!!

Categories: All Posts, Clothing | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 10 Comments

Bye Bye Stomach Shame

For as long as I can remember, my stomach area has been problematic and always quite ashamed to be honest. Whether I was 88lbs as a early teen or my current weight, I have never known what it’s like to have a smooth flat stomach.  For years I hid under baggy over sized t-shirts, anything to hide my flawed shape. Thankfully I overcame my body issues over the years but never found a resolve to achieving a flat stomach.

After falling in love with vintage inspired clothing, it was time to find some tricks to give the illusion of a perfect silhouette since genetics didn’t bless me one. Then came the discovery of Rago’s line of retro inspired shapewear. All I can say is…it’s MAGIC! Rago has something for all shapes and sizes to help various trouble zones based on your needs. The newest addition to my collection is the Rago 21 Firm Control Control Waist Cincher from Orchard Corset.

Available in sizes XS/24 – 8XL/46 in White, Black & Custom Colors – MSRP $40USD

With all Rago, I find myself in-between the 28(Medium) and 30(Large) since my waist is 29 inches and hips 42 inches. Rago recommends to size up when you hips are 10 inches or greater than your waist; that being said, I always size up to the 30(Large). The Rago 21 Cincher is made from firm control Power Net Fabric which features contour bands for smooth shaping and flexible spiral boning for back support. The front hook and eye closer makes it so easy to put on by yourself and doesn’t take any wiggling or special tricks to get into. I opted to have the white custom dyed to nude so it would be more versatile under light and dark clothing.

According to the product description, if you wear the correct size you should see between 2-4 inches of reduction. In my case, I can say it is only about 1 inch overall but note I could have definitely sized down to the 28(Medium). Although there is less reduction than specified I really love this cincher as it creates the illusion an all over smooth stomach and is not overly constricting. After wearing it on several occasions for extended periods of time, the comfort level does not diminish and provides a level of control that is very satisfying. The cincher has a slight tendency to roll up on the edges if you go sans stockings but nothing a quick adjustment won’t fix.

The placement of the cincher is recommended at 3.5 inches above your waist but I tend to raise it a little higher to work with my short torso. This shapewear is perfect for any A-line or swing skirts/dresses since you may find it creates a little bulge in the hip area not suitable for wiggle styles like the Rago 1294 Girdle. The four garter tabs are removable, a nice option when you choose not to wear stockings.

Overall I would definitely recommend the Rago 21 Cincher to everyone that has ever had stomach control issues and looking for a comfortable solution suitable for everyday wear. If you are in between sizes, I would recommend ordering both to find the perfect fit since Orchard Corset offers a 30 Day No-Hassle Return Policy.

Categories: All Posts, Vintage Shapewear | Tags: , , , , , , | 1 Comment

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