LB caught up with Californian bloggers Tara and Ashlyn, who blog over at The Pink Collar Life. Take it away, girls!
What made you decide to start your blog? Soon after meeting, we quickly became good friends. We had discussed how we had both been working on individual blogs for several years, but neither of us had officially launched. We were both so amazed that we had the same vision in not only a blog, but our fashion choices and styling choices were also identical. It only made sense to team up and create The Pink Collar Life.
Tell us about the story behind the name of your blog?
“Pink Collar”is a phrase derived after WWII in the 1940’s, referring to feminized industries dominated by women. From Beauticians and Couture Dress Makers to Flight Attendants and Diner waitresses, the Pink Collar boom made women more than just homemakers. It is with this notion that “The Pink Collar Life” came to be. We both thrive on nostalgic glamour and have created a lifestyle true to that of the Golden Age. The Pink Collar Life simply means a life full of pink, nostalgia and old Hollywood glam!
What do you love about blogging? When we create our stories, we sometimes collaborate with others. This is many times a clothing company, but we also work with photographers, hair and makeup artists, property owners, and any others we meet along the way. We always say to each other how great it is when we work on a project, as it always leads to meeting a new person that makes all the effort worth it. We have made so many new friends, and no one has ever complained about that! This is also a place for us to showcase our vintage collections and finds, which are near and dear to our heart.
How did your love affair with Old Hollywood begin? Tara's started with her interest in burlesque: "After seeing the movie Cabaret at a young age, burlesque just seemed like a thing of the past, never knowing til I was a teenager that there was a worldwide scene. By this point I was already working in a vintage clothing store, with an eye for hour glass silhouettes, and a sucker for sparkles. In the store, images of Mamie van Doren and Jayne Mansfield stuck out to me as the epitome of womanhood. So it was platinum hair, red lips, and any sparkly dress I could find from then on out! I quickly began modeling and performing, and have always kept their classy personas in mind." Ashlyn's started when she was a little girl snooping around her uncle's basement. "He had a massive collection of Marilyn Monroe and Pin-ups all over the walls. My aunt's would give me old costume jewelry and I always loved the glitz and glamour of it all. Maybe it's an Italian thing, but my family seemed to live life as if time never passed, like they are still stuck in the 50's. Now, i get a high off nostalgia!"
Who are your ultimate pin-up icons? As mentioned above Marilyn, Mamie, and Mansfield stick out for us both! But others also include Lili St. Cyr, Joi Lansing, Jean Harlow, Bettie Page, Diana Dors, Lana Turner, Rita Hayworth, and Betty Grable.
What is your top tip for an aspiring pin-up girl? Have fun, be honest, and be happy with your own style. Tara says, "I started so that I could have pretty pictures of myself, and have slowly found a way to generate income from it. I still have fun, and have always maintained my own style within our subculture. Staying honest with a good attitude has greatly worked in my favor over the years." Ashlyn adds, "Be comfortable in your own skin, and only do what makes you feel happy, not what others are doing. Also, remember the pin-up look for what is was, classic! I personally love how things were, and try not to change or alter what once was."
What music and films do you like? From Tara: Being a busy mother, blogger, wife, and business owner, I rarely have time for movies. Some of my all time favorites are Cabaret, Mary Poppins, The Dolly Sisters, and I enjoy a good documentary. As a teen I was a crazy punk rocker listening to tunes such as The Clash, Cocksparrer, Sham69, The Weirdos,The Pogues, and so much more. As an adult my music taste has widened to a variety still including my collection from my teens, but also old country, big band, and rockabilly. Some of my all time favorites are: Harry James, Artie Shaw, The Blasters, Chubby Checker, Wayne Hancock, Webb Pierce, and Jimmie Rodgers. I could talk for days about music! From Ashlyn: I can't remember the last time I went to a theater, because I just enjoy the classics I have on DVD, or watch TCM (Turner Classics). I'm a huge fan of Marilyn's and Jayne's comedies like The Seven Year Itch and The Girl Can't Help it, as well as some Film Noir. I loved Marilyn's Niagara and Marlene Dietrich in Witness for the Prosecution. Marlon Brando in Streetcar named Desire is also a favorite. As for music, I have a really wide range. Like Tara, I loved punk rock in my teens, and also love old country, big band (Rosemary Clooney and Louis Prima) and instrumentals from the 50's such as Santo & Johnny and The Ventures. I also really love classic Italian singers like Connie Francis, Jerry Vale, Dean Martin, and my favorite Bobby Darin. The Misfits with Danzig is one of my all time favorites though.
We'd love to visit California - what would be your top tips if we flew over? Since we do not have good public transportation and the best places of interest are many and far between, you will want to either rent a car or be ready to pay for taxis. Disneyland is one of Tara's favorite places to go, and you can purchase a three day pass which will get you into both amusement parks, and we'd recommend going on weekdays. Also not far from Disney is the Orange Circle, which is full of antique malls, vintage clothing stores, and original buildings. You should make your way toward Hollywood for shopping, concerts, theater, restaurants, and people watching. A must see for any pin-up is The Hollywood Museum which is in the historic Max Factor building. It is full of costumes, cosmetics and more personal belongings of our favorite stars like Monroe, Harlow and Hayworth. Cinespia has movie screenings at Hollywood Forever Cemetery, where you can bring a blanket and a picnic while watching a classic film under the stars (with the stars!) There is so many fabulous dining spots once frequented by Marilyn, such as Canter's and The Apple Pan. The Dresden is also a wonderful Old Hollywood fine dining experience full of nostalgia. Speaking of our sweet Marilyn, you can visit her resting place in Westwood near Beverly Hills. It is extremely peaceful and a really emotional experience. If you head up north a few hours, you can visit the incomparable Madonna Inn, which is the most Pink Collar wonderland you will ever have the pleasure of visiting - Don't forget the Pink Champagne Cake!
You both look perfectly stunning in all of your photos - what are your hair and beauty secrets? Oh wow, thank you! There's not many secrets with us, but we have been planning some tutorials since we are always being asked. I would say that for photoshoots, fake eyelashes (that are not too long) will help define the eye, use plenty of hair product to hold your curls, and Tara prefers to slightly over line her lips using Mac Russian Red lipstick and Ruby Woo Liner. Although we love a matte red lip, Ashlyn uses a little pop of pink gloss over the red in the center top and bottom lip for some extra vavoom. We also have naturally pink undertones in our skin, so we use a heavy concealer as a base all over before adding our foundation, for a perfectly even look. A snood is also very helpful when we aren't quite ready to shoot, as this holds the curls from falling and adds some extra bounce when the time comes to shoot!
What is your favourite Lindy Bop dress? Definitely the Myrtle (see picture)! We can't say how many times we've found a clothing item we like, but its not made in the color we want or in enough colors we want. The Myrtle comes in several solids, and one of our favorite prints, gingham. We also love it's simple, classic, true-to-vintage design and it's flattering bust line.
Thanks girls! It's been a pleasure!