Monthly Archives: June 2015

Aurora’s Botanical Garden

Recently, Pin Up Persuasion made an open call to all independent vintage inspired designers in hopes to showcase some fresh new talent and to support small businesses. Many may assume that these entrepreneurs might not compare to the household brand names but you would be quite surprised as their attention to detail and creativity often outshines their larger counterparts. On the flip side of the coin, those larger brands started somewhere years ago and most often than not…it’s these passionate creative minds that followed their dreams. It was so exciting when the lovely Alixis from Ains & Elke StyleHaus reached out, as I had heard such incredible things about her creations from several fellow pinups and can truly foresee the day when we can all say, “we knew her when…”. Luckily for all of you, this is a special two part feature to showcase the variety of designs you can expect from Ains & Elke StyleHaus. First up is the magnificent Aurora Dress in Botanic Print.

IMG_5347 IMG_5357The wonderful thing about purchasing from a small independent shop like Ains & Elke StyleHaus is that most items are made to order therefore sizing can be customized to fit your measurements. In this case, I fell in love with the design of the Aurora Dress and was able to select from the wide array of fabrics that they had on hand. It was definitely like being a kid in a candy store being told you can pick whatever you want! The moment I laid eyes on the Botanic Print, I knew it was a match made in heaven. Since this was a complete custom order, I provided Alixis with my measurements (bust 36”, waist 27”, skirt length 27”) and patiently waited for my Aurora to come to life. Needless to say, when she posted a photo of my Aurora in Botanic Print…I was speechless and couldn’t wait for it to arrive. Without a shadow of a doubt, the Aurora Dress lived up to every expectation when I finally saw it in person. The fit was spot on from head to toe and I was pretty excited at the fact I could wear a normal bra with the perfect placement of the straps. The Aurora Dress features a darling sweetheart neckline with contrasting faux petal bust detail, a fully lined bodice accented by a nipped in waist with gathered full skirt, and back metal zipper. Since I prefer my skirts to fall a few inches below the knee, I opted for a longer length (27”) although I’m only 5’-4” tall in order to encompass as much of the print as possible.

IMG_5392 IMG_5369The Aurora Dress has a truly a classic elegance that flatters the body beautifully. The fabric is quality medium weight cotton with vibrant and rich botanic print capturing the most gorgeous lush floral print. As you can imagine, the correct placement of the print is essential in making this design; clearly done to perfection by Alixis’s keen eye to detail with the flow of the bodice print in combination to the skirt. I absolutely love how comfortable and lightweight this style is, easy to wear to every occasion. The quality in craftsmanship is superb; I would compare it to Heart of Haute and other small scale locally made garments. A little part of my wishes this dress was one of a kind for selfish reasons but I honestly couldn’t do that to all of you because it’s just too gorgeous not to share.

IMG_5367With all the rich colours in the mesmerizing botanical print, the options to embellish are limitless. I chose to contrast with white accessories (belt and wedges) in order to not take away from the beauty of the bold floral. The wonderful thing about a gathered skirt is that you can wear a petticoat for added volume or go without and still have the right amount of fullness. As I mentioned previously, this particular style and print is versatile for work, an afternoon BBQ, or even a summer wedding. When I wore the Aurora Dress to work recently, I simply added a cute white bolero for added coverage and to keep warm from the chilly air conditioning.

IMG_5375 IMG_5388The splendor of Aurora’s the classic style is truly reminiscent of its name. If floral print is not your particular cup of tea, there are a plethora prints and colours available from Ains & Elke StyleHaus and they also allow customers to provide their own fabric as well. This is definitely one of the great benefits of working with smaller independent designers, with superior customer service and many customization options available. Stay tuned for part two of the Ains & Elke StyleHaus feature…showcasing versatile separates that are sure to become instant wardrobe staples for every pinup.

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Vintage Style for the Casual Pinup

Although it may seem like I live in dresses all summer long, I can’t deny the fact that I like to indulge in wearing tee shirts and jeans on the weekends. Recently I spotted the cutest vintage inspired tee shirts being worn by a bunch of our fellow pinups on Instagram and I immediately set out to hunt them down as they were exactly what I had been searching for. It wasn’t long before I found Atomic Swag Apparel; a USA founded tee shirt Company using designs based on actual vintage prints from the 1940-50’s. It was nearly impossible to pick a favorite, as each design is so unique and versatile for any wardrobe. Atomic Swag recently released several new designs in time for the Viva Rockabilly Weekend this past April, including the Santa Rosa Round Up and Nevada State tees.

Available in sizes XS-2X (Ladies) & XXS-3X (Men’s) ~ MSRP $24-27

IMG_5543 IMG_5556When it comes to tee shirts, I prefer to wear them quite snug to the body over a looser fit. Following the Atomic Swag size chart, my measurements (36”-27”) fell within their size Medium. Normally, I always have to size down in tees for a snug fit but I was hesitant not knowing if these ran true to size. When I’m shopping in a store, I can determine my size immediately by holding up the tee and gauging the width of the waist. In this case, I had to rely on the size chart and hope for the best. When my two tee shirts arrived, I knew right away they were going to be too loose and needed to size down to a Small. Thankfully Atomic Swag has a great 30 Day Return/Exchange Policy for when these things happen. Definitely keep in mind, if you wear tee shirts more loosely…do not size down. Once I had the right size, I couldn’t wait to wear these everywhere as the graphics were truly spectacular. All of their tees are made of 100% cotton, pre-shrunk, and the ladies’ styles are tapered for a feminine fit. Since I sized down, the arm holes were just slightly tight but they quickly loosened the first time I wore them.

IMG_5549 IMG_5552What makes Atomic Swag stand apart from the mass produced cheap tees? It’s the unique printing process used in the 1950’s with soft waterbase inks so that the inks are an actual part of the tee shirt making it smooth to the touch and will never crack, peel, chip or fade away. On top of all of that, they are made in the USA and sold at affordable prices under $30. The Atomic Swag tees are so soft, comfortable and most importantly don’t stretch out to lose their shape. I seriously wear them every chance I get! The Santa Rose Round Up is by far my favorite at the moment; it was inspired by a 1940’s Rodeo poster. The bold image paired with the rich colours truly captures the history of its origins. Miss Nevada State was also inspired from a vintage image; Lady Luck rolling a 7 and losing her shirt along the way. This gal is a little risker; therefore you may want to gauge your crowd ahead of time…I had to skip wearing this one for casual Fridays at work.

IMG_5547 IMG_5554When it comes to styling, the possibilities are endless. I chose to showcase two great casual summer looks; high waist shorts and regular rise skinny jeans. Most vintage ladies style their tees fully tucked in their high waist bottoms, but these tees are also a perfect length to wear untucked. They are great to run errands, casual days at work or simply a fun summer BBQ. I’ve seen many ladies pair them with cute hair or neck scarves, cowboy boots, converse shoes, etc. There’s no right or wrong way, these are the quintessential casual basics for any wardrobe.

SantaRosaTee NevadaTeeFor those of you who are not avid vintage collectors, these types of graphic tops from the 1950s are extremely rare and sought after. That being said, you will rarely find these at a bargain…I’ve seen several sell for upwards of $200-300. Now who is going to actually wear a top that cost them a small fortune? No one! Atomic Swag has truly captured a part of history and allowed budget conscious vintage lovers to own great casual basics ideal for all lifestyles. I can’t wait to see what other iconic images they recreate in their upcoming designs. I’m already planning to order at least another four as soon as my spending ban is over 🙂

Now here’s the exciting part…TWO lucky readers have a chance to win a Santa Rosa Round Up and Nevada State tees in size MEDIUM only.

AtomicSwagGiveaway

>>>CLICK HERE TO ENTER<<<

Contest will run from Fri. June 19 and ends Sat. July 4th.

The winner will be announced right here on the blog, good luck to everyone!

_______

Prizes must be claimed within 7 days of contest end. Any unclaimed prizes will be forfeited and redrawn on the 8th day from the existing pool of entrants.

 

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Strawberry Fields Forever

Let’s just state the obvious…I am OBSESSED with all things strawberries! Yes, there’s no denying it…when I see clothing that has these adorable little fruits on them, I simply cannot resist. Some of you might be wondering, how can a person justify owning several things in such a specific print? Let me tell you, it’s not crazy at all because there are so many diverse designs that they are truly unique from one another. Strawberries have such a whimsical childlike feel, they instantly bring back fond memories of summertime. Luckily for all of us fruit lovers, Collectif has been inspired by this delightful little berry and designed some darling pieces in this season’s collection. The moment they released their Ginger Strawberry Print Wing Bust Dress, my compulsion kicked in and I had to have it!

Available in sizes 6-22UK ~ MSRP £65.00

IMG_5459 IMG_5477Seeing as I am no stranger to the Collectif brand of clothing, I know without a doubt my measurements (bust 36″/waist 27″) fit well in their size Small (UK10). If you are unsure on sizing, follow their size chart and whether or not the particular fabric has any stretch to determine if you should size up or not. In the case of the Ginger Dress, the elasticated back panel gives you some flexibility in the waist allowance. When mine arrived, I couldn’t help but be a little giddy because the adorable strawberry print was even more enchanting in person. Second to those, the petal bust design is what makes this dress truly spectacular. The wings can be worn folded up or folded down, creating a little versatility in your styling. The Ginger Dress also features multi-way straps, sweetheart neckline, nipped waist, full skirt and side zipper with contrasting cherry red belt. Initially I was a bit at odds with the elasticated back panel as I found it was puckering oddly but this seemed to adjust much better once I wore it for a few hours. The full skirt is created by numerous panels that flare out from the nipped in waist, this unique design element was quite different than I have ever seen before and worth mentioning. At 5′-4″, the hemline falls a couple inches below the knees.

IMG_5469 IMG_5483The Ginger Dress instantly became a permanent piece in my collection; its delectable strawberries and chic cherry red petal bust make it a fabulous combination. Personally, I much prefer wearing the wings folded down since the red contrast really makes the strawberries pop. With the back elastic rushing panel, I found pulling upwards on the fabric helped loosen the tension that caused the slight puckering. Made from a lightweight quality cotton, the fabric is quite thick and not transparent with the white background thankfully. The Ginger Dress is superb in comfort and I didn’t find the halter strap to cause any neck unpleasantness for a change. Although I wore a petticoat here, I much prefer the Ginger Dress without due to the tapered panels that start at the waist and gradually flare out more towards the bottom. The petticoat seemed to cause the skirt to not sit as nicely around the tapered area. When I wore it to work without, the skirt draped beautifully.

IMG_5478In addition to all the wonderful strawberry frock designs being released, there is a myriad of adorable accessories to match. Collectif has the perfect accents for their Ginger Dress with the Punky Pins Strawberry Plant Charm Bracelet and Necklace finished off by the Strawberry Stud Earrings. These lovely pieces are hand crafted and printed on lightweight Latvian birch plywood. They quality is quite superb and truly adorable to say the least. Shortly after my Ginger Dress arrived, Collectif surprised us all the with the most incredible Strawberry Bamboo Bag. The stock flew off the shelves, selling out in a matter of days but luckily I nabbed one the day they were released. Since mine didn’t arrive in time for our photoshoot, I paired the Ginger Dress with my vintage beaded strawberry clutch, my red Dennise wedges from B.A.I.T. and Hellbunny white petticoat.

IMG_5487 IMG_5489 IMG_5485This fascination with all things strawberry is nothing to be ashamed of by any means, especially since those close to me actually contribute to the addiction by alerting me when they spot something I might like. Collectif also released the adorable Milena Playsuit in the same strawberry print as the Ginger which can easily converted into a versatile 2 piece set with their Nani Plain Swing Skirt in red. Although the Ginger Dress is currently sold out with Collectif, there are a few online retailers (including Ebay) that still have a few left in stock. Make sure to snap one up if you find your size as they are likely not being restocked for the remainder of the season.

 

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Orchard Corset Pin-Up Invitational

From the very early beginnings of my journey as a blogger, Orchard Corset has truly been one of the most incredible sponsors that I’ve not only come to know but seriously consider a part of my extended online family. They have been a constant support and seen me grow over the past few years, meanwhile they have also flourished exceptionally into a household name in our pinup community. A few months ago, I received an email that changed my entire life in a matter of minutes. Orchard Corset was inviting me to their very first Pin-up Invitational in Wenatchee, Washington…I nearly fell off my chair in shock and excitement. I think I reread the email about half a dozen times before it truly sank in and enthusiastically said YES!!!

OCLogoIn the weeks leading up to the Pin-up Invitational, Renee and I exchanged dozens of emails in preparations of the two day event. My role as a blogger was pretty exciting…I was interviewing the three lovely pinups Jen Kaboom, Ruby Roxx and Betty Bleu, participating in a photoshoot, and documenting the entire event for all of you! To make things even more fun and lighthearted, I came up with some wacky off the wall questions to ask the delightful ladies along with the fan submissions.

When the big day finally arrived, I set out on the long journey of flying across the country from Ontario, Canada to Wenatchee, Washington. When I arrived in Seattle for the connecting flight, I met up with two of my fellow Canadians Jen Kaboom and Ruby Roxx. These dolls are seriously two of the most down to earth gals, I felt among old friends instantly. The flight into Wenatchee was a very brief 30 minutes and we could barely contain our excitement when we were greeted by the phenomenal Renee from Orchard Corset. It was the moment we had all been waiting for after months of planning and it was beyond surreal. Meanwhile, we were blown away at the magnificent views of mountain landscapes surrounding the city as we set off to get settled into our hotel.

20150428_152459 20150428_172832That evening, we headed off to dinner with part of the Orchard Corset team. There, we met the owners Jeff and Leanna who are two of the most kindhearted people in the world. They welcomed us with open arms, like we were a part of their family. We were also joined by Cheri, who I had known for almost three years now so it was such a delight to finally meet in person, Nick our videographer documenting the whole event, and the darling Betty Bleu who drove in from Spokane. The whole time there was endless chatter as we were finally getting to connect on a personal level with the people we’ve only known through online communications over the years. After dinner, the lovely owners of Orchard Corset invited us all over for a bonfire at their home. We were having a great time when suddenly there was a noise and within seconds a large fire engulfed their little chicken coop. Everyone sprung into action and within minutes Jeff extinguished the fire but we all feared the worst for the little chicks. One by one, Jeff and Jen Kaboom counted them out 2, 3, 4, 5…but where was 6? A wave of sadness washed over everyone at the thought of losing the one chick but to our delight she was just hiding in the corner.  It was a true miracle not only that they all survived but the fact we were at their home. If we weren’t outside visiting, we shudder at the thought that they would have been sleeping while the fire broke out against the wall of their bedroom. Seeing that we had a huge day ahead of us and a rather emotional filled evening, we all turned in shortly there after (plus I was contending with the 3 hour jetlag and a long day of traveling).

20150428_203347DAY ONE

Wednesday morning began with a tour of the Orchard Corset Headquarters and we had no idea what we were in for. The building dates from the 1920’s and was the home of the historic Elk’s Lodge, where they hosted lavish banquets with celebrities and a place of known for its brotherhood. Jeff took us all up numerous flights of stairs (some of us really regretting wearing high heels) all the way up to the roof. There we saw a spectacular 360 view of Wenatchee, and how gorgeous the surrounding landscape truly was. Each floor was truly mesmerizing; there was a grand ballroom with hundreds of vintage roller skates, available for the staff to go for a spin on their downtime; a fitness area which used to be part of the Elk’s Lodge (members were exclusively very wealthy) now being converted into a modern fitness center for the staff; an in-ground pool that lie untouched for almost 50 years which they are currently restoring; the OC photostudio filled with endless props and wardrobe; their warehouse with endless racks of corsets, customer service area, shipping and receiving. The main floor was like walking onto the pages of a lifestyle magazine…Leanna (the owner) has designed and decorated a heaven for the entire staff. There is a full kitchen stocked with endless amounts of food and beverages for the staff, large dining area for them to gather, living room, conference room, the marketing team offices, and a women’s washroom that none of us ever wanted to leave. We were seriously awe struck the whole tour and couldn’t decide what was more incredible as each floor just held such spectacular highlights so unique from the other. I know we were all thinking the same thing…can we work for Orchard Corset???

20150429_091543 20150429_091536 20150429_092912 20150429_101909 20150429_101127 20150429_101529 20150429_101752 20150429_094839 20150429_095249 20150429_094140 20150429_093642 20150429_093633Following our tour, we each broke off into our groups. Betty Bleu went to teach the first group of the OC staff on pinup posing along with hair and makeup tips meanwhile I interviewed Ruby Roxx and Jen Kaboom. Although I was incredibly nervous being in front of the camera asking the questions, they truly made it super fun and are both such a joy to be around. After we completed the interviews, I headed off to meet with Cheri to discuss some exciting new projects they are currently working on. It’s top secret for now but I can promise you all that it’s going to be well worth the wait. Amongst the busy schedule, we had a fabulous lunch with the entire staff…who are all so incredibly sweet and welcoming. After lunch, the pinups switched roles and I interviewed the darling Betty Bleu. Once we wrapped, it was my turn to be interviewed by Cheri. Her and I have known each other for over 3 years now, when she first began with OC and I was just getting my toes wet as a blogger.IMG_9659

20150429_110250 20150429_123625 20150429_124833 20150429_133515(0)Later that afternoon, we took part in a spectacular photoshoot with Trixie and Lance from Old School Pinups. There Leanna had coordinated wardrobe for each one of us along with the cutest sets, while Trixie glammed us up with hair and makeup. Since the ladies are all professional pinups, they were on point as soon as they walked on set. It was truly a sight to see and wished I had a smidgen of the incredible radiance they bring in front of the camera. Thankfully Trixie and Lance were excellent coaches, they walked me through the whole process and it was so much fun despite my nerves. After everyone was completed their individual set, we shot all together which was such a blast. Once our photoshoots were a wrap, the pinups were busy filming a quirky little video for all of the Orchard Corset customers to announce a site wide sale the following week. The outtakes were rather hilarious, it was impossible to not crack up laughing behind the scenes. These ladies sure know how to put on a great show and have a blast while doing it.

20150429_145350

PSX_20150429_140936_wm20150429_143601 20150429_145847 20150429_145741 20150429_145648 20150429_151046 20150429_150518 20150429_153830 20150429_155040After a jam packed fun filled day, we headed back to the hotel for a little rest before going out for dinner at Garlini’s Restaurant. We quickly realized that Jeff LOVES pizza…but not just any kind of pizza; it has to be pepperoni, bacon and cheese, no vegetables! The food was absolutely delicious, it was impossible to leave any of my cannelloni on the plate but we were much too full to even consider desert. Everyone turned in after dinner, we were all pretty exhausted and wanted to get a good night’s sleep for what was in store tomorrow.

DAY TWO

The day started off with us all meeting up at the Orchard Corset Headquarters for a little down time together. Across the street, the town was hosting their annual Apple Blossom Food Festival so Renee, Ruby, Jen, Betty & I decided to head over for some amusing photos since the pinups were dressed for the part. These turned out to be some of my favorite shots of all of us together and the town’s folk got a kick out of what they saw.

20150430_102630 20150430_102707 20150430_102845 20150430_102805Just before lunch, we headed off to Horan Estates for some wine tasting. Although I am not a wine drinker myself, I very much enjoyed the chocolate truffles and chatting with everyone as they sampled the various types of wine. Lunch was catered from the same restaurant we visited on Tuesday evening (Tastebud’s), we were spoiled with savory sandwiches and salads along with some pretty incredible chocolate chip cookies. We wrapped up our visit with a tour of Horan Estates, learning all about their family run business and how they are growing so rapidly with the demand for their wines rising every year.

20150430_120828 20150430_123249 20150430_131912 20150430_133632 20150430_133648 11297821_934999836551259_535210513_n 523B2030Our next stop was Leavenworth; an adorable little town modelled on a Bavarian Village. With Ruby, Jen & Betty dressed up as delectable bar maids…there were plenty of tourists asking to take photos with them thinking they were a part of the village folk. These ladies are exceptionally kind inside and out, they graciously obliged to every request. We all shopped the various boutiques, taking in the magnificent décor of the Bavarian atmosphere. The mountains that surrounded us were truly breathtaking; I wished we had more time to explore as there was just so much to see. Leanna, Renee and I found a little shop that carried Voodoo Vixen, Effie’s Hearts and a couple other vintage reproduction brands…we were like kids in a candy store. The three of us didn’t leave empty handed, with fabulous cardigans and dresses going home with us. As we promenaded through the village, Lance and Trixie were photographing the four of us as we stumbled upon the perfect backdrops. The final images turned out so darling and fun, all the building surrounding us were absolutely splendid.

20150430_162613 IMG_9754 IMG_20150430_161929 20150430_153711 IMG_20150430_165818 IMG_20150430_165207 IMG_9784 OldSchool 523B2108 523B2088

11031046_885291364861539_4955065349456506292_nOnce we wrapped our afternoon in Leavenworth, we were on route to the Kupuis home for pizza and a bonfire with the entire Orchard Corset staff for our last night in Wenatchee. There we were joined by the family of several of the staff members for a splendid evening. We were quite thrilled to see the little chicks safe and sound in their new upgraded chicken coop. A few of us took advantage of the venue to roast marshmallows by the fire and make some delectable s’mores. Everyone spent the soiree chatting with one another; it was truly like we were longtime friends gathering together like old times. Since Ruby, Jen and I were flying home the next morning, we decided to head back to the hotel with Renee and Betty to have a girl’s hot tub party to end our week on a high note. Sadly we had to say our goodbyes much too soon but we definitely made lasting friendships as we really hit it off from the moment we met.

IMG_9614 20150430_194306 20150430_200126 20150430_194604 20150430_20265811291926_934999843217925_1749850100_nThe Orchard Corset Pin-Up Invitational was a smashing success as we all had the most incredible time of our lives. We are truly thankful to have been a part of this event and cannot thank Jeff, Leanna, Renee, and the entire Orchard Corset team for making this a dream come true! It was over way too quickly but we have memories to last a lifetime. The fours of us insisted that they make this an annual event and of course volunteered to come back if they would have us again!

 

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