RETRO Classic Influence. Contemporary Style.
Kitten von Mew UK’s leading burlesque artist reveals herself
Steampunk Twisted Victoriana crashes through the Noughties
NightBus Steely Dan meets Wham! on Mcat. Tickets please
Dive in to find this season’s 50s inspired swimsuits
Hello Retroites, Firstly, welcome to the fourth issue of Retro Magazine, and let me introduce myself. I am the newest addition to the Retro Collective, and, yes, the main reason/culprit (delete as applicable) as to why we’ve gone a bit girly this issue. I hold my hands up, and apologise to those offended, but it was about time we ladies managed to wheedle our wiley way into the coveted pages of Retro and give it a touch of gloss, glitz and glam. However, fear not, far from running riot and stripping the mag of its cheeky chappy charm, we’ve merely added a touch of fashion to complement the gadgets, and balanced the enthusiast motoring pages with a smidgen of beauty. See, no harm done. But the fun doesn’t stop there. In this issue we get down and dirty with NightBus, the newest hedonistic pop tarts to be spawned since the B-52s. Throw into the mix an interview with the minxy Kitten von Mew, the UK’s queen of burlesque. And chuck on your Persol shades for a stroll down memory pier as we get all 50s in our beachfront swimwear shoot. If you’re happy, and you know it, swing your nipple tassels!
Julia Brandon Co-editor Retro Magazine firstname.lastname@example.org
Inspired 4 10 16 22 26 32
Cameos Top Five Gadgets Lifestyle Fashion Motoring
Features 36 48 54 58 62 68
Swimwear Kitten von Mew Rock, Paper, Vintage Home Front NightBus Steampunk
Perspective 72 Angel Delight 74 Wayne Hemingway
STREET STYLE Cameos
Retro Magazine packed up its cameras and hot-footed it down to Beyond Retroâ€™s newest store in Brighton, UK to meet the customers and see the latest trends on the street
Name: Lauren Age: 25 Occupation: Visual merchandiser Fashion influences: Jane Russell, Karen Oh, early Madonna Where do you usually buy your clothes from: Beyond Retro, and other vintage and charity shops What are you wearing: Brogues from Office, and a hat from Accessorize, both bought secondhand
Name: Laurence Age: 19 Occupation: Film student Fashion influences: Lady Gaga, David Bowie, Ian Curtis Where do you usually buy your clothes from: I steal my parents’ clothes What are you wearing: Levi’s jacket
Name: Megan Age: 20 Occupation: Student Fashion influences: Whatever floats your boat Where do you usually buy your clothes from: A mix of vintage shops and high street What are you wearing: Cath Kidston bag, H&M shoes, 6 year-old Top Shop jumper
Name: Ali Age: 21 Occupation: Artist Fashion influences: Boy George Where do you usually buy your clothes from: Route 1, and I borrow my sisterâ€™s What are you wearing: adidas
STREET STYLE Cameos
Name: Taylor Age: 18 Occupation: Student Fashion influences: Beyond Retro Where do you usually buy your clothes from: Beyond Retro! What are you wearing: Primark tights, bodysuit from Beyond Retro, necklace was a gift
STREET STYLE Cameos
Name: Dan Age: 22 Occupation: Freelance illustrator Fashion influences: Hip hop music Where do you usually buy your clothes from: Beyond Retro What are you wearing: Vintage Disney T-shirt, tapered Levi’s, Supreme hat, and a real shark’s tooth necklace
Name: Janine Age: 30 Occupation: Dancer Fashion influences: Grace Jones, Bob Fosse, and rock ‘n roll Where do you usually buy your clothes from: Charity shops, secondhand stores, and high street sales What are you wearing: Nike trainers, American Apparel socks and bodysuit, vintage trousers, Karen Millen cardigan from a charity store
Name: Nadia Age: 23 Occupation: Store supervisor Fashion influences: Chanel Where do you usually buy your clothes from: Beyond Retro What are you wearing: Secondhand dress, cardigan from Zara, vintage boots
five 1 the top
Privé Gold Plated Phone www.stuarthughes.com £139,995.00 Oh my word, Stuart Hughes has collaborated exclusively with Privé International and goldfingered the brick phone! Only 10 of these will be made, ever. And with it setting you back…hold onto your gold teeth…five pounds short of £140K, you’d better have a couple of Number 1 singles in your back pocket to pay for it. Man alive, there’s gonna be one hell of a rapper’s bitch fight over these! “Sorry P, you can’t have one, 50 Cent has already snaffled the lot!” Check out the stats: 76 diamonds IF flawless 23ct, 22ct solid gold circa 900 grams, WAP, text SMS a colour screen and a direct line to Jimmy Saville. Individuals purchasing this phone will receive a one year free membership to Privé International (value $20,000.00) which gives you access to all of Privé’s luxury amenities, from private jet/yacht charters to vacation properties. How fly is that! Okay, we made up the bit about Jimmy Saville.
Gold Plated iPad www.stuarthughes.com £129,995.00 And if that wasn’t enough there’s the world’s first solid gold and diamond iPad designed and crafted by Katherine Hughes. Encrusted with 25.5cts of IF flawless diamonds, a total of 53 gems set in the solid 22ct Apple logo. The rear and screen surround are made from a single piece of solid 22ct gold, weighing an immense 2,100 grams. Again, there are only 10 units to be made, which makes this apple iPad exclusive and golden delicious!
five 2 the top
Mini Moderns www.minimoderns.com Mini moderns create wonderful retro influenced interior products, all made in the UK. The Camberwell-based company made a name for themselves with their inspired wallpaper designs, and the brand have gone from strength to strength with their range of products for “kids, adults and kidults!” Photo includes: Hand tufted 100% wool Clock £495.00 Ruby Cushion £35
five 3 the top
Roberts Revival DAB/FM Radio www.robertsradio.co.uk ÂŁ150 What do you get if you cross a radio with a handbag? The Roberts Revival! Stylishly combining retro 50s design with up to date technology, the Revival features include multi station presets, line-in for iPod/MP3 playback, an easy to read LCD display as well as 120 hours of battery life - around five times more than your average radio. This iconic radio is now available in five new colours, making 10 in the total range, including Duck egg, Cocoa and Saffron - itâ€™s the radio that looks good enough to eat.
five 4 the top
Dr. Martens Valentine Rose 1460 8 Eye Boot www.drmartens.com £85 Happy birthday Dr. and we want some of that prescription, because Dr. Martens is looking as stylish and fresh as when they arrived kicking and screaming on to the scene, 50 years ago. To celebrate the anniversary they’ve launched: 10 artists. 10 tracks. 10 videos. Artists include Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, Buraka Som Sistema, Michael Davis of MC5 & D.O.A and the Noisettes (doing a version of Ever Fallen In Love With Someone You Shouldn’t ‘Ave). It’ll be well worth a listen.
Neptune Daybed/Sun lounger www.gomodern.co.uk £1400 We think the The Neptune, or Bubble, sun lounger tips its hat rather splendidly to the 70s. As part of a garden furniture collection from Spain it’s made from synthetic rattan on an aluminium frame. An all weather furniture it’s designed to be left outside all year and the cushions are covered in a water resistant outdoor fabric. So perfect for the British summertime. This is the ultimate in chill-out and we can imagine spending the whole summer on this, by the pool. That’s if we had a pool, of course. The Neptune sun lounger is available in dark, white, or natural and weatherproof cushions are included, and they deliver throughout Europe.
five 5 the top
Inspired New products Classic influence
Vespa Handlebar Lamp (Prices on request) Crafted by Italian Maurizio Lamponi Leopardi, this is from a collection of motorcycle lamps using reclaimed and restored handlebars. They may not be the perfect mood lighting, but who cares, these lamps will look great on or off. Maurizio says on his website “My lamps are not gadgets.”…I hope he doesn’t mind. www.lamponislamps.com
Snowball USB Microphone from Blue £85 Apparently based on a softball, the Snowball microphone from Blue is claimed to be the world’s first professional USB mic. This lightweight little beauty gives crystal clear sound, with a switch on the back to change from unidirectional to omnidirectional recording. User friendly, with a simple plug-and-play system, this is a must have for anyone wanting hassle free recording - with a price that’ll make you smile. www.bluemic.com
gadgets Olympus EP-2 £849 “Not a compact. Not an SLR. It's a PEN.” Well, we can’t argue with that can we? Once again the chaps over at Olympus have surpassed themselves by creating the EP-2. The newest addition to the PEN family features a standard articulating VF-2 electronic viewfinder that gives different framing perspectives, as well as a new accessory slot for add-ons such as a microphone to give clearer sound quality. It may look similar to the EP-1, but this version has boosted the power and performance making the mighty even mightier. www.olympus.co.uk
Sony Qlasp Earbud £17 Despite looking like they’ve fallen out of Mr Motivator’s gym bag, the Qlasp is Sony’s offering for the next generation of in-ear headphones. Designed to stay in place in almost any situation, the 9mm drivers and 6–23,000Hz frequency response ensures you can have great sound wherever you go. www.sonystyle.com
gadgets Revo Heritage Digital Radio £229.95 This may look like it would sit comfortably in a 60s living room, but the retro feel to the award-winning Heritage radio runs only skin deep. Beneath the wood and metal exterior lies the very latest multi-platform digital radio technology, with a variety of radio broadcast types, wireless audio streaming and docking for all current iPod models, as well as ‘secret-until-lit’ graphical OLED display and innovative joystick control system for maximum ease of operation. www.revo.co.uk
Inspired New products Classic influence
Numbers LED clock £74.99 Designer Jonas Damon gives us his take on the humble clock by presenting the Numbers LED version. It consists of 4” x 2” cubes displaying LED digits and the numbers can be arranged in to any combination you want. Which seemed like a great idea on the drawing board, but we’re not so sure how that works when you actually want to know the time! www.scp.co.uk
iPhone Docks Could it be that the novelty of the iPhone has finally worn off? After so many years spent trying to make mobile phones smaller and smaller, now it seems people want a phone they can put on their desk that won’t be completely obscured by a flyaway post-it. Why not get yourself one of these rather stylish docks and the risk of losing your phone will be banished forever. From Left: iRetrophone Base Desk Phone Dock Moshi Moshi MM03i
£133 £TBA £110
www.etsy.com www.deskphonedock.com www.nativeunion.com
Inspired New products Classic influence
Old Time Computer Customisation (Prices on request) To add that bit of class to the humble PC, Old Time Computers will handcraft a new identity for your Mac or desktop. Using wood with bronze finishes and custom made keyboards to finish off the Victorian-esque Steampunk look these creations perfectly combine the technology of today with the style of yesteryear. Unfortunately these works of art arenâ€™t in full production, so contact Old Time to make an order. www.oldtimecomputers.com
gadgets The Aviator headphones from Roc Nation & Skullcandy £TBA June 2010 sees a unique collaboration from audio specialists Skullcandy and Jay-Z’s entertainment company Roc Nation. This rather surprising joint venture is said to offer “The best way for people to experience the soundtrack of their lives.” Well, if your lifestyle is that of a 40s pilot then you’ll look the part as well. The Aviator headphones are made using superior materials, including some only previously seen in the realm of high fashion eyewear, as they try to raise the bar in headphone quality. Chocks away! www.uk.skullcandy.com
Tivoli Wine & Oak Model One Radio £134 We do love a good radio. And despite this being a gadget section, it's refreshing to see a radio that isn't so - gadgety. The Model One gives superb audio quality without all the fumbling through buttons and sliders, keeping it simple but hugely effective. Behind the solid oak casing and beautifully coloured front panel is a modest 3" speaker, with a tuner that brings clarity to many of the weakest stations. Also compatible with the iPod and other MP3 players, this vintage styled beauty certainly gives radio a face worth looking at. www.redcandy.co.uk
lifestyle Cyclops Meter Lamp by Robolux $500 Robolux offer a collection of one-of-a-kind industrial lamps, customised using reclaimed and restored metal. This particular piece is a 60s vintage Conar volt meter with internal lamp, red neon front panel, and top mounted flexible lamp. The front knobs function as an on/off switch and a dimmer for the top mounted lamp while the Meter display emits a warm glow which also shines through the side vent holes, so itâ€™s perfect to use as a night light for any baby robots. www.roboluxstudio.com
The Retro Bullet Planter from ÂŁ99 Not just for plants, these brightly coloured bowls can also be used as an ice bucket or to tidy up odds and ends. Just what every household needs! Whatever your purpose for the Bullet Planter, the textured and moulded fibreglass bowl is available in 16 colours and gives your plants (or car keys and loose change) a stylish retro twist. www.hiphaven.com
Inspired New products Classic influence
Weber Smokey Joe Premium Barbecue £53 Summer’s on its merry way, so time to head for the great outdoors in search of food, fun and frolics. This lightweight and compact barbecue is the perfect accompaniment, featuring porcelain enameled bowl and lid, with non rust aluminium vent, as well as a glass reinforced nylon handle. Also includes a lid lock for carrying which lowers to double as a lid holder, so this summer my friend, you’ll have absolutely no excuse as to why you’ve cremated the snarlers. www.birstall.co.uk
Cyclone Dining Table inspired by Isamu Noguchi £536 Japanese-American designer Isamu Noguchi conceived the idea for the Cyclone table in 1953, originally as a rocking stool made from metal wire and wood. The design evolved into a table in 1957, and is still made today - more than 50 years on. www.express-furniture.co.uk
Inspired New products Classic influence
Giant 1227 floor lamp £2,199 Admittedly, not the most practical or affordable lamp on the market - but just look at the size of it! Anglepoise celebrates the 70th birthday of the 1227 lamp by bringing out the Giant 1227, which is three times the size of the original. So, if you have two grand burning a hole in your pocket and need a room floodlit, or just want to scare some old people, you know what to do. www.scp.co.uk
Wesco Spaceboy XL Silver Bin £220 We never thought we’d be raving about a dustbin, but then we’ve never seen one dressed like a spaceship before! The people at Wesco haven't concentrated just on the looks - you'll find it has everything you require when purchasing a new bin: A lid, a flap for ease of disposal and a 35 litre capacity so you can avoid emptying it for a really long time! At just under a metre high, we’re pretty damn sure this beauty is going to take off. www.redcandy.co.uk
lifestyle Rosendahl Wallpaper Magazine Rack £88.99 One of the drawbacks of print magazines (unlike eco friendly old us!) is where to store them when they’re not being read? Well thanks to Rosendahl, you can give your magazines a new and stylish home. The magazine rack consists of two wave-shaped brushed anodized aluminium plates producing varying reflections, and is extremely simple to mount. With or without magazines, this piece looks great and makes a definitive design statement in any room. www.hometemptations.com
Eclisse Lamp £91.99 A slightly more everyday offering from SCP this time, in the shape of the Eclisse. Possibly inspired by The Hitchhiker’s Guide, the lamp’s made from powder coated metal, and available in orange or white. Small, but effective, giving a warm glow to all nearby. www.scp.co.uk
Retro Style Washing Machine with Intergraded Sink £TBA Part of Smeg’s growing cutesy-coloured Retro range, which solves the worldwide problem of getting a sink into the laundry room without having to plumb for it. Don’t let the pretty exterior fool you though, the washing machine inside is top notch; featuring 15 programs, variable spin speeds, an LCD screen, Aquastop (leak prevention system), and other exciting extras. Warning: If you have a girl under 10 in the household they’ll want to take this to school to show off to their friends! www.smeguk.com
fashion Ellie Cherry Peep Toes £37 You might just pop your cherry when you catch a glimpse of these glamorous black retro-style peep toes with a mouth-watering cherry print. Sporting an adorable red patent bow on the toe and a stonking 4" heel, whoever braves a night out in these pretties is sure to be rewarded with the fruits of their labour! Available in size 5-10. www.unique-vintage.com
Betsey Boutique Alice in Wonderland Necklaces £12-13 Curiouser and curiouser! These magical Alice in Wonderland-inspired necklaces from Betsey Boutique bring out the dreamer in us all. Adorn yourself with this fanciful array of brass charms and glittering gems strung together on gold plaited chains, and you’ll never be late for that important fashion date again! www.betseyloves.com
Inspired New products Classic influence
Muscle Car Clutch Bag £18 This fabulous large clutch bag decorated with a print of a 60s style car advert has got us harping back to the days of The Avengers. Not only stylish on the outside, it’s also practical on the inside with no less than nine card spaces, plenty of zipped compartments, and a choice of black or hot pink interior. A nifty, detachable shoulder strap is also included to make holding on to this steal of a buy a little easier! www.jijikiki.com
Benefit Bathina Body Balm £22.50 We’re no stranger to the sexy, kitsch creations from cosmetics house Benefit, but the white blossom fragrance of this silky smooth body balm will have you floating on cloud nine all day, and your skin will be left with a velvety touch. A deep, sexy moisturiser, combined with a fashionable packaging fix in one. What more could a girl want? www.hqhair.com
Yumi 3 This Dress £68 We’ve heard of wearing your heart on your sleeve but this floaty, sheer number by UK designer Yumi takes that expression to a whole new dimension. Its delightful ruffled sleevelets, tiered skirt, and plunging neckline will flatter any figure, while the dazzling amorous theme can’t fail to win over the affections of any suitor. This cute summer favourite is a sure fire heartbreaker! www.modcloth.com
Inspired New products Classic influence
Jacey Chae Shutter Speed Bag £308 Created by Korea-based designer Jacey Chae, this luxe, black leather bag contains all the essentials for a night out on the town. Shaped in the style of an old skool camera, even the non-photographers among us can appreciate the cool, retro vibe that this versatile fashion item oozes. Wear it low-slung round your hips, or tuck it neatly under your arm, but wherever you go remember to take your shades, ‘cos this smoking hot accessory is sure to get papped. www.modcloth.com
Kalandra Jane Pink Leopard Print Sequin Fascinator £25 This gorgeous furry, pink and black leopard print fascinator is handmade by Kalandra Jane. Made from a sturdy, stiff base fabric, with a pink sequin trim and delicate black veiling, it’s topped off with a pretty matching black faux satin and sequin bow! Lined with black faux silk and secured to your hair with a comb fastening, it measures approx 12 cm across. An admirable combination of trashy chic, it’s the perfect accessory for any burlesque, retro or rockabilly girl! www.jijikiki.com
Kensie Girl pumps £36 A heady mix of navy, saffron, white, and cherry red ribbon, which swoops and angles down to beige fabric sides into a multi-layered bow at the toe, these cute Kensie Girl pumps are a contemporary take on preppy 70s wedges. Made from vegan-friendly materials, they’re both kind to animals, and your wardrobe. www.modcloth.com
Tres Noir Handmade White Bombshell Sunglasses £62 Grace Kelly, Jackie O, Audrey Hepburn – these super trendy shades would look fetching on them on all, but far from being a vintage pick-up, all Tres Noir shades are handmade items using limited edition acetate, hypo-allergenic metal frames, and shatterproof lenses that offer 100% UV protection, with a polarised option in certain styles. Look the part, with all the modern trimmings. www.unique-vintage.com
Scrabblicious Necklace £2 You’re sure to score triple word points with this little on-trend Hasbro fancy. Already favoured by the likes of Pixie Lott, there’s no need to hold back on your levels of creativity now that Scrabble has made pronouns officially acceptable. At an irresistible price of just £2, this necklace spells out bargain! www.rocknretro.com
Rebecca Cella Collection £POA Rebecca Cella is the British knitwear designer who has impressed fashion heavy hitters such as Giorgio Armani and Anna Molinari with her hand-knit yarns and fabrics. This latest collection boasts a sultry mix of burlesque tease and figure-hugging seduction that only a bespoke, handmade garment can so elegantly capture. www.rebeccacella.com
fashion Magenta 8 Hummingbird Collection £POA Magenta 8 designer, Giovanna Velasquez, specialises in handmade tailored jackets, coats, capes and boleros made from luxurious baby alpaca wool. These two designs - the Button Close Jacket and Tuxedo Jacket – hail from the 2010 Hummingbird Collection, from which the satin lining on each piece features a hand drawn hummingbird motif by illustrator Vicky Murdoch. Reminiscent of the female dandy, these exquisite designs are cutting edge in their dramatic, vintage-esque vision. www.magenta8.com
Mini Mix Tape Necklace £5 They say love is mix tape, and we certainly love this 80s inspired homage to the cassette tape. An icon of our youth, it’s true to say that CDs and digital downloads just don’t cut the mustard. So if you’re craving your boombox, and a sprinkling of Salt ‘n Pepper, this dainty real plastic mini tape necklace will help push you down memory lane. www.rocknretro.com
Inspired New products Classic influence
Fables by Barrie High-Waisted Lucy Tulip Skirt £68 They say the devil is in the detail, and that’s certainly true with this pattern-clashing ray of sunshine. From its eye-catching yellow fabric trim, to its high-waisted cut, right down to its hounds tooth cheque buttons, we love, love, love this tight, zipper backed design for its clamorous mix of style and class – it’s a skirt that every bottom wants to wear! www.unique-vintage.com
Nous Savons Suit Yourself Necklace £43 We give this dandyesque tailored accessory a cautious nod of approval. Neither jewellery nor clothing, it threatens to hang in limbo around the neck of whoever braves to wear it. But we’re also appreciative of the far fetched appeal of this item that enables it to happily mingle with both the latest menswear trend, and a pair of sexy stilettos. This has Grace Jones’ name written all over it. www.unique-vintage.com
Corioliss Mini Vintage Travel Dryer £25.99 We’re blown away by this cool, vintage state of the art travel dryer due to how much style it packs in one small punch. Brandishing a powerful 800w A/C motor, it’s ergonomic, lightweight and quiet, with two speed settings, one heat setting, and a dual voltage circuitry. Perfect for those weekend mini adventures, each dryer comes with its own vintage travel bag in a matching colour. Cute! www.hqhair.com
Wiesmann Roadster MF5 Lim L
ooking like it should belong to one of Batmanâ€™s many nemeses, this has got to be the car every child imagined owning in later life. Wiesmann unveiled the MF5 at the International Motor Show in Frankfurt at the end of last year
to a hive of excitement. Under the classic jag-like bonnet lies a 5.0 litre V10, giving a top speed of 193, and 0 to 60 mph in under 4 seconds - that should give the Batmobile a run for its money.
an’t decide between buying a car, a moped or a mobility scooter? Well you’re in luck! This quirky little critter is the latest offering from Swedish company Vehiconomics, designed to meet the ‘needs of urban passengers’. Available for around £6K, the super lightweight hybrid weighs a mere 130kg, runs for 80km per recharge and can easily be remodeled into a convertible or roadster by changing the rooftops. This nippy two seater may not be very suitable for long drives down to the south of France, but at least you can park in the motorcycle bay!
All swimsuits and bikinis available from www.forluna.co.uk All props supplied by www.beyondretro.com Photographer: Sarah Gawler Hair stylist: Nathan Gooding Makeup artist: Adjhani Barton Model: Jessica Monroy
Esther Williams Black & White Polka Dot Swimsuit ÂŁ59.50
Esther Williams White Cherry Print Swimsuit ÂŁ59.50
This Page: Red or Dead Vintage Swimsuit £57.50
Left: What Katie Did Sailor Bikini £64
Esther Williams Leopard Print Bikini ÂŁ55
Red or Dead Vintage Bikini ÂŁ52.50
Red or Dead Flora Skirted Bandeau Swimsuit ÂŁ60
Julia Brandon journeys into the beguiling world of burlesque to discover what excites one of the UK’s most celebrated talents, Kitten von Mew.
he art of tease is a dangerous game. It tempts and taunts with scintillating arousal, and cloaks itself in erotic mystery. It’s where the taboo of the nude meets giggling girly modesty, and a dazzling feather boa comes into its own. The flash of an ankle, the hint of inner thigh, pouting red lips and long batting eyelashes that torment us with the promise of a glimpse of flesh. It hunts down the voyeur in us all, luring us in with the thrill and glamour of vaudeville variety. It’s cheek and charm working in harmony, whipping up the audience with a heady mix of daring strips, whooping cheers, hypnotic dances, and titillating pasties (nipple tassels to you and me). It’s burlesque at its best, and we can’t get enough. But the true appeal of burlesque lies in what it’s not. Far from the seedy suburbs of any red light district, and the antithesis of a modern day strip club, burlesque belongs in the gritty underworld that
celebrates the glamour of the 50s pin-up. They were glitzy, Hollywood wartime heroes, who entertained the troops and upheld the allusion of high-end, couture fashion during an era cursed with rationing and despair. And there’s a certain innocence to burlesque, which makes it playful and inoffensive. Not revealing too much to the audience is integral to maintaining that allure, because, in the words of Kitten von Mew, “the mind is stronger than the eye”.
GIRL WITH A DREAM During the 1990s it was the American burlesque performers, including Catherine D’Lish and then later Dita von Teese, who consumed much of the media limelight, but today UK born burlesque artist, Kitten von Mew, is the rising star of the Noughties to keep a roving eye on.
Right from early on in the interview it becomes glitz”. She’s a consummate professional with her apparent that ‘Kitten’, the performer, is not simply performances taking her from London to Sheffield, an act or an alter ego. Fitting her burlesque routines Milan to Paris, and as the official Face of Glamour around her nine to five IT job, Kitten is in fact one at Blenheim Palace’s Festival of Flight for two years and the same on and off the stage. In the leafy running, her growing fame has seen her featured in streets of Stratford-upon-Avon where she calls national publications the world over. It’s fair to say home, Kitten is known as ‘the vintage girl’, aptly that when it comes to burlesque, Kitten has named for her 40s inspired wardrobe, her love of cracked it. vinyl, and sympathetic choice of art deco furniture. HELLO SOLDIER! Purring down the phone at eleven ‘o clock in the morning, she greets me as “darling”, and slips the But being centre stage was not always the master word “swell” into our conversation with such plan. “I chose to study film and animation at college amiable ease you’d think it were in every day use. so that I could work behind the camera,” says She’s open, inviting even, and disarmingly trusting, Kitten. “Being a curvy girl, I felt self-conscious about treating me like an old acquaintance rather than an my look when surrounded by a host of skinny inquisitive journalist, and catwalk figures.” together we plunge head first Purring down the However, one fortuitous day into her fanciful world of while working behind a bar dressed feathers, rhinestone corsetry, phone, she greets up like Betty Page, Kitten was and frontline troops. spotted by a photographer. A few me as ‘darling’, Inspired from a young age by friendly exchanges and a pinup vintage Hollywood icons, such and together we photo shoot later, Kitten von Mew as the sultry Elaine Page, the born. Adopting the iconic plunge head first was curvy Marilyn Monroe, and the poses with a natural flare, her first gravelly, earthy tones of into her fanciful live performance came at a World Marlene Dietrich, Kitten found War II re-enactment day where she world her calling early on. But a strutted her stuff in a burlesque act pastiche of her idols she is not. inspired by Sally Rand, and the of feathers, Keen to learn from the rest, as they say, is history. rhinestone archetypal trendsetters, Kitten Today Kitten has tailored her is always careful to pay homage routine to focus predominantly on corsetry, and to, but not imitate, the the 40s due to the “strength and original styles. frontline troops passion” of the artists in that time. “I’ve adored the 1940s ever World War II events remain since I was a little girl,” she says. “A day-dreamer Kitten’s forte, and she regularly performs at UK War and a miss-fit, I always knew I was different to the and Peace, the largest event of its kind in the world. other children. I shunned Top of the Pops in favour “World War II was a period in history when huge of Rock ‘n Roll, Doris Day, black and white films, demands – both emotional and financial - were put and I rejoiced in Fred & Ginger. But as much as I on the population, and yet still these women looked take inspiration from all my old favourites and work beautiful, wore fur, donned short dresses, and that into my act, it’s never my intention to simply upheld the aesthetic of the day. They kept glamour copy their performances.” alive in the factories, and managed all of this on a Kitten refrains from attending other burlesque rationed, shoe-string budget, and I respect shows in order to keep her ideas fresh and unique, that immensely.” and her name – although using the ‘von’ like Dita Already a permanent fixture in many of the USO von Teese – is derived from her childhood re-enactment shows that tour the globe, Kitten nickname, Kitten Ears. A skilled seamstress, she dreams of taking her traditional, tongue-in-cheek designs and creates all her own costumes, routines to the frontline troops fighting in the current knocking up rhinestone covered outfits in as little as Iraq war. “The secret to burlesque is the escapism an hour, and referring to the process as “blitz the that it offers. People aren’t purely interested in
“as much as I take inspiration from all my old favourites, it’s never my intention to simply copy their performances” Photo: James Thorpe
seeing girls strip, and I for one keep my bra on. We’re opening their eyes to a world of fantasy, we interact with the crowd, give them a giggle by dabbing a feather in their face, and just generally make them feel part of it, and it’s that escapism that the soldiers enjoy,” she says. We’re in the throws of attempting to take our USO show to the troops in Afghanistan, it’s just a matter of sorting the paperwork, so fingers crossed!” Rockabilly retro
in designer Wayne Hemingway’s new project, Vintage at Goodwood. Taking place in August of this year, it promises to showcase a proliferation of acts stretching from a 50’s rockabilly vibe right through to a 70’s roller disco, and lists headline guests, such as Lilly Allen, who recently launched her own vintage clothing range. Vintage at Goodwood marks Kitten’s 10-year anniversary as a bona fide burlesque dancer, and could be the occasion that plants her name firmly on the map. The question is, how much longer will our appetite for peep shows and variety acts last? “Burlesque has always been around since its inception in the 1940s, but it remained underground for many years, and only appreciated by a select few,” she says. “The ascent of Dita von Teese in her Martini glass shone a light on the movement and gave it some mainstream appeal, but like all fashion crazes it’s sure to go full circle and fall back out of favour eventually. That’s not to say I’m calling the end of burlesque though, it will simply continue to blossom as an underground movement once again…that is until another revival comes along in 50 years, of course!”
Now a seasoned pro, Kitten has clearly shed all previous inhibitions regarding her curvier figure, volunteering, for example, with animated enthusiasm the fact that she is a dress size 12 with cellulite on her bottom! Rather ironically, a size 12 is on the petite side for a genre that claims Dirty Martini – a larger than life US burlesque performer – as one of its own. But it would seem that in the romantic world of slap and tickle, pretty much anything goes, including, apparently, a penchant for stockings and the occasional foot fetishist. But having recently completed her first ever annual calendar, and receiving requests to perform from left, right and centre, Kitten’s star is indeed For all PR enquiries contact Sapphires Model Management rising. Most recently she was singled out to take part www.sapphiresmodel.com
ock Paper Vintage is always stocked with an eclectic variety of tightly edited fashions from multiple eras ranging from the 60s through the 90s - all hand picked from New York City. The entire inventory changes every week with a completely new set of dresses, blouses, jackets, jumpsuits, and more. Auctions start at around $9.99 (about ÂŁ7) and they ship worldwide. Retro Magazine loves the floaty, warm feel from their latest shoot so we decided to give you a sneak peek. This and similarly affordable, eco-friendly vintage fashion is available at www.rockpapervintage.com Enjoy!
Photographer: Connie Wang Stylists: Jen Rosado and Tiffany English Makeup Artist: Kelly Tabone Model: Linde Stoel from Women Direct
property with a fantastic past and present history: Originally commissioned by the theatre impresario Sam Wanamaker who was responsible for the recreation of Shakespeare's Globe on the South Bank. Zoe Wanamaker, his actress daughter, discovered in the BBC programme ‘Who do you think you are?’ that the flat was subject to surveillance in the 60s by the FBI who suspected Wanamaker of being a Russian spy! Elaine Ronson, the current owner of the property, says “I wouldn't be surprised if MI5 are aware of this flat once again, as my husband is the writer Jon Ronson, whose book The Men Who Stare At Goats, deals with covert American military experiments in psychological warfare and was recently made into a movie starring George Clooney.”
his extraordinary warehouse photographic studio, in central London, is divided into evocative room sets, jam-packed with antiques, bric-a-brac, drapes and classic furniture. All the fixtures and fittings of this property have been collected over the years, or made or recycled from items which the owners have rescued from skips, car boot sales etc. If you have a property that you want featured in Retro Magazine then contact us at email@example.com or if you want your property to be listed by the Location Works, whose library contains more than 60,000 images of locations of all kinds (including these two properties) and range from bedsits to battlements, derelict to hi-tech, from faded grandeur to extravagance and from prisons to palaces then contact firstname.lastname@example.org
ry pranksters NightBus are careering round the UK on their first national tour. Bruce Hudson hopped on board to chat with the Routemaster, Jackson Kennedy, who unveils the band's exciting timetable
ightBus are the wildest all night party to blaze out of Hackney (via LA) this decade. They write blitztronic new wave-disco songs about orgasms and heavy metal bands sacrificing Sting. They dismantle ice-rinks in their spare time, feast on gourmet offal while recording and only met each other thanks to a Hollywood haircut. Their promo shots are an X-Ray Spex homage set on the back of a Routemaster and they share beds together for months on end. Oh, and they won’t rest until they’ve made the next Thriller. Retro Magazine bought a ticket for one hell of a ride. How did you all come to meet? We met on the 345 night bus to Brixton on Boxing Day 2008. Where did the name come from? Jackson had a playlist on his iPod called NightBus specifically for listening to on the night bus. It looked so good we decided to make it the name. After the success of Kennedy, what made you want to move to London? I had the opportunity to move out here when Warner France picked up my Kennedy record and I took it. I always loved London and had recorded a
large part of the Kennedy record in Battersea. Things are going well for you guys; would you ever consider taking NightBus to America? Will you rename yourselves Greyhound bus? NightBus is coming to America. I'm not sure which is worse, a night bus in London or the greyhound bus in America. The first time I went to Alaska I took the greyhound all the way from Union Station in Los Angeles. It was hell. You’re currently in the middle of touring with Example, what’s been the best crowd, venue, do you have groupies…what’s the most bonkers experience so far? Norwich was the best crowd. After the show the crowd actually picked Hannah up on their shoulders and carried her down the middle of the high street like she was a war hero or had won a boxing match. Ben makes gourmet offal banquets for recording sessions…wtf!...is he Heston Blumenthal in disguise? Ben is an amazingly well rounded Renaissance man. He studies cooking, chemistry, botany, music, and the fine arts. However he doesn't change his socks for weeks and he eats soup with his hands. We call him soup hands.
we are happy with good friends and the simple niceties of life like 600 thread Egyptian cotton sheets
Is there anyone you would like to collaborate with in the future? Elvis Presley, John Lennon, Marc Bolan, Jimi Hendrix, ah you get the idea. NightBus hasn’t been together for long, how are you dealing with your new found fame - has anybody bought something ridiculously expensive yet? Ben had his shoes resoled. I got my guitar fixed. I think we are all actually really down to earth people. We're not looking for fake tits and expensive cars. I think we're happy with good friends and the simple niceties of life like 600 thread count Egyptian sheets. What are your goals for NightBus over the next year or so? We're hoping to do a headlining world tour with U2 as the opening act. How has your life changed since signing to Island Records? Hannah quit her job. Ben is still moving piano's here and there and we all live in the same houses. I think the big change is people are starting to hear our music which is so exciting. What are the dynamics of the group like? Who’s the bossiest? The funniest? The most creative? The smelliest!?! Laura is the bossiest. Ben is the smelliest. Jack is the
most aloof and Hannah is the one asleep in the corner standing up. We're all very creative and hands on with making our music and designing our artwork. How much say or creative input do you have with your music videos, album covers and image? We have all the creative input we want. It’s fantastic. Jack almost drove the directors of the Be You video crazy with edit after edit, but they kept going until we were all happy, which was amazing. Who would you like your music to be likened to? Steely Dan meets Wham! on MCat Who do you guys admire? Jacques Cousteau, Dolly Parton, and Buddha. What’s playing on the NightBus bus when you’re on tour? Or do you travel by Nightplane? Radio 2 baby. If you could choose an era to live in, which one and why? Who is your hero? The late 1800s in New Mexico. We'd be The Regulators. Jack could be Billy the Kid, Laura would be Doc Holliday, Ben would be Pat Garrett, and Hannah would cut our hair. How do you describe your own personal style? We all have our own styles which are independent of trends and fads. Hannah wears a muumuu while Laura prefers a bum bag. It’s all good. What has been your strangest experience since forming as a band? The whole experience has felt dream like. Everything has happened so fast and at the very right moments in all of our lives. It’s a true example of synchronicity. The quick fire round: Early bird or night owl? Night owl Meat feasts or nut roast? Nut roast 2 wheels or 4 wheels (or no wheels!?) 2 wheels all the way Acoustic or electric? Both Musician or pop star? Both To love and then lose or to never love? Love and keep forever
All dressed up and
orget plastic ready-made fancy dress. June sees the launch of Bizarre Bazaar, a giant travelling dressing-up box filled with a spectacular array of costumes. Guests step inside the converted horse box where they are transformed by one of the costumiers, or ‘Bazettes’, who mix handmade designs, with vintage finds, clothing, accessories and props. Bizarre Bazaar can be hired for events, parties, photoshoots, cocktail parties and can even seat 20 for dinner. Well, that’s Retro Magazine’s christmas party sorted then. Enquiries contact Victoria Vengco on email@example.com or 07833 513 420
d nowhere to go?
Full Steam A Steampuffin, a design competition for serious Steampunkers, has been launched in Massachusetts by Bruce Rosenbaum. Retroâ€™s Bruce Hudson has to step back in time to see what the future holds for the event organiser
oll up, roll up, because it’s time to wax your design and craftsmanship with modern functionality moustache, don your aviator goggles and and usefulness”, and within this culture it’s acceptable strap on a pair of braces as you’re about to to swing both ways. They are perfectly at home taking authentic Victorian items or homes and modernising enter the seriously wacky world of Steampunk. Steam and punk. Cuddling up as bed fellows does them for today’s use, or taking modern items and seem slightly curious but if you gel them together, you ‘Victorianising’ them to appear as though they are end up with the wildest ‘alternate reality’ movement from the original period. As Bruce describes it “either way – you get an of the decade. Who would have thought! The name, Steampunk, was coined in the 80s, but amazingly beautiful, well-crafted piece that fits into the movement, rather aptly, has taken some time to today’s lifestyle and use”. The Steampunk bug bit when he and his wife reach a full head of steam. Although not conclusive Melanie ended up fixing the leaking roof the derivations of the word seem to If the Victorian on their 100 year old home this. This have been coined by science fiction author K. W. Jeter to describe an age coincided with “snowballed into having the chimneys replaced, new soffits and gutters alternate reality where the Victorian the computer installed, cedar clapboard and period (late 1800s or early 1900s) age – what kind of decorative elements put on,” says coincides with the modern technology era. The term can refer to a subculture inventions would Bruce, “and we painted our old ‘new’ home with six colours”. (think ‘renaissance’) or fashion (think have been The challenge of joining improbable ‘goth’) or design aesthetic (think Jules produced? items into perfectly functioning pieces Verne’s 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea seems to be an attraction for Bruce. “If or H.G. Wells’ The Time Machine). But unlike for blokes like me; the new wavers, the Victorian or Steam age coincided with the romantics and punks of the 80s (whose mascara and computer or information age – what kind of eyeliner application is now restricted to our daughters inventions, innovations and gadgetry would have on dress-up days!), this movement has produced been produced?” he asks. His passion is exemplified by the staggering array adults who have adopted it with a borderline of products that Bruce has Steampunked in his obsessional devotion. But what is it about the collision of the old and the house. The kitchen alone includes stoves, cabinets, new that so excites Bruce and the neo-retro offspring new period lighting, a banquette seating area, and they’ve even installed an antique kitchen island by he’s creating? As he succinctly puts it he loves “the idea of restoring an 1800s printer’s desk with added brass combining the best of both worlds of Victorian high kickplates, restored a hollow walnut pedestal base
King of Steam Bruce Rosenbaum with his finest creation - the Steampunk Organ Command Desk
Bruce’s home is a mix of traditional and modern, including this genuine antique cast iron stove (attached to the main kitchen island) and created a pull out drawer for storage of dog food! It’s Pimp My Ride on acid…actually, thinking about it, more likely… absinthe! The man is on a mission and at ModVic (the company he launched with Melanie in 2007, www.modvic.com) their aim has become to authentically restore historic Victorian homes (1850 – 1910) back to their original beauty and richness while completely modernising the home’s systems, functional layout and conveniences for families of today. Demand is growing as his reputation for quality and attention to detail spreads, and Bruce sees the movement as a whole expanding too. “I’m not sure of the numbers, but it has definitely grown with the advent of certain Steampunk movies like Sherlock Holmes and Wild Wild West. It is also a worldwide phenomenon – and is very popular in Russia, Poland, China, Japan and many other countries.” So what does the future (or the past for that matter!) hold for Bruce? Well, just in case you didn’t think he was busy enough he is launching
Steampuffin, a competition that rewards outstanding Steampunk design innovations. Bruce was approached by The Charles River Museum of Industry and Innovation (www.crmi.org) to help organise the New England Steampunk Festival. “After about a month of planning, I thought it would also be a great way for the museum to increase membership by holding a worldwide Steampunk design competition. In addition, I wanted to get to know more Steampunk artists so I could create a network of talented folks to work on bigger Steampunk projects in the future.” But, why the puffin? Bruce explains: “I’m a puffin fanatic – learning how to sail on a small sailboat called The Puffin. It taught me valuable lessons on how to be independent and how sometimes you need to tack back and forth if the wind isn’t going your way. I collect lots of puffin stuff and thought that Steam Puffin would be a great image for a new business. (www.steampuffin.com) I wish Bruce all the best with the competition but it’s definitely time to go because I get the feeling if I sit still for too long, Bruce will start Steampunking me!
Jeremy Daldry Where angels fear to tread Jeremy Daldry spends most of his time skulking round kitchens or with his nose in an obscure cookbook. He’s also made food shows for the BBC, commissioned food shows for UKTV Food and had a brief career writing in the national press, about food.
nly once has a dish been served to me in a have such an effect I was fascinated, if slightly restaurant that moved me to tears. As a alarmed, to find out what a taste of a long forgotten relatively well-adjusted and emotionally childhood delight might do. So I set out to retaste balanced chap, I find this fact slightly embarrassing Angel Delight while fully contemplating the possibility to admit, but there were extenuating circumstances. of a complete mental breakdown. It was the last day of my 30s, the millimetre of my Having tracked down three flavours; butterscotch, life was hours away from ticking over to hit 40, I was chocolate and strawberry I was more than a little sitting in Pierre Gagnaire in Paris, one of the best surprised how easy each were to make. 300mls of restaurants in the world and, more importantly, I was milk, quick whisk and then leave for 5 minutes. I sitting opposite a beautiful woman remembered much more complexity Long forgotten who a few months later was due to from my childhood although that could scents were become my wife. have been down to the elaborate And she was also picking up the bill. beginning to surface; addition of some squirty tinned cream So…if ever I was allowed a tearful the smell of a space and a glace cherry. Classy, our house. moment surely that was it. But these Having whisked and waited the hopper on a hot moment of truth came and, armed with a tears came out of nowhere, welling up from a deep part of my mind as summer day, the large box of Kleenex, the tasting began. my taste buds and brain connected, feeling of my Action First up Butterscotch. resulting in a jolt of food memory And…oh…it was horrible. Maybe I’d Man’s ‘life like’ crew that left me blubbing like a little girl. got the ‘complex’ cooking instructions And the cause? A relatively simple wrong but it was rubbery and tasted cut under my dessert of banana purée with a little faintly of furniture polish. fingers... mango, on a biscuit base and a soft Next up chocolate; a better texture but set cream, from the multi-course tasting menu. What none of the deep cocoa flavour that you would expect this sublime piece of cooking did was, in an instant, or want and a disturbing visual double for something catapult me back to being five years old sitting next our dog is known to produce. to my mother who had just given me a plate of Finally, and always my childhood favourite, mashed banana with top of the milk and a sprinkling strawberry. of sugar. And, as any Freudian will tell you, there is Despite the violent pink colour, this looked good, nothing more likely to get a fella to shed a tear than this looked like I remembered from my 70s childhood memories of his mother. childhood. Long forgotten images and scents were But, what has this got to do with Angel Delight? beginning to surface; the smell of a space hopper on Well, apart from mashed banana and top of the a hot summer day, the feeling of my Action Man’s ‘life milk the only other dessert that resonates strongly like’ crew cut under my fingers, watching Ipswich from my childhood is Angel Delight and if a mere, all Town winning the FA Cup (the one and only time I’ve be it Michelin-starred recreation of one dessert could ever shown any interest in football) and then I tasted
the pink goo and, drum roll please, it tasted almost exactly like strawberry doesn’t. What a disappointment, what a let down, part of my childhood had died a little with the tasting of those convenience desserts and that should be enough to bring a tear to anyone’s eye.
So, Angel Delight is basically a fruit fool, one of the simplest and tastiest desserts there is. You can substitute any soft fruit; black berries, raspberries, banana and get a fantastic result although you might want to slightly alter the amount of sugar for less tart fruits
For 2 good portions. 250g strawberries 50g icing sugar A lemon 250ml double cream A large spoonful of full fat Greek yogurt. Take your strawberries and remove any green leaves, cut in half and if they are particularly large cut out the tough hull. Blitz them in a food processor with 2/3 of the sugar. Taste and if it’s too tart add a little more sugar. If it’s too sweet add a squeeze of lemon. Keep tasting until you are happy but remember this is a chilled dessert and chilling dulls flavour so you want your Fool to be as punchy as possible. In a separate bowl whip the cream until it reaches a firm consistency, but don’t over work it. Fold in the yoghurt, which will help stabilise the mixture and then fold in the strawberries. If you want to be extra fancy, pass the strawberry pulp through a sieve first to get rid of any little pips or hard pulp. Place in suitable glasses and put in the fridge for about an hour. If you want to be particularly classy garnish with squirty cream and a glace cherry.
Image: Hwa Young Jung
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Wayne Hemingway Wayne Hemingway, MBE, is the co-founder of fashion label Red or Dead and Hemingway Design. He is a Professor in the Built Environment department of Northumbria University, a writer for architectural and housing publications as well as a judge of international design competitions. His latest venture is Vintage at Goodwood an annual festival celebrating five decades of British cool. Blackburn to win the FA Cup or the World Cup for England? Both. But I support Blackburn over England, everyone does don't they?
Do you have a favourite song and why? Joy Division’s Love Will Tear Us Apart. So evocative of my teen years or Bacharach’s Raindrops Keep Fallin’ On My Head... oh that dreamy scene in Butch Cassidy.
Where did you have your most memorable meal? Christmas Day, trapped the wrong side of a river in Give us a record to get the place jumping. Queensland...no ferries...no food...no shops...cadged And one record to chill to. a burger off some very strange backwoodsmen. Hamilton Bohannon Let’s Start the Dance, always gets the party started. I can’t wait to hear it at Vintage What do you collect? at Goodwood. To chill to, Roy Ayers Everyone Loves So, so much ...7000 vinyl records, vintage clothes, the Sunshine. Benidorm 70's donkeys, mass market art, British cultural ephemera (the world’s biggest collection, see: If you had to go to a fancy dress party what would (www.lolc.co.uk/indexplus/findoutmore.html) you wear? I don’t like fancy dress as such, I dress up anyway, Do you have a 20th century hero or idol? as one should. Stevie Wonder What’s your favourite street market? What is your favourite film of all time? We started off at Camden but it has lost much of its Oliver, enjoyed it as a kid, enjoy watching it with my cool, so it would have to be Broadway Market. kids, will enjoy watching it with my grandkids. What’s your favourite vintage/retro shop? The 9 streets in Amsterdam, especially Lady Day. What was your first job? Red or Dead Have you lost anything that you really regret? I once left my vintage two tone Aquascutum Mac on Who is your all time favourite actor? a train ...got it back months later …a very happy day. Meryl Streep
(www.hemingwaydesign.co.uk/html/staiths.htm) What’s your favourite drink? Waitrose sparkling grapefruit water, or Marks & and staying in love with the same woman for nearly 30 years and being a good dad, even if I say Spencer sparkling lemon & lime water. so myself. What’s your favourite building and why? If you could live in any decade, which one, and Our own house, cos we did it ourselves. why? Who or what has been the biggest influence on Would have enjoyed the 1920s. Looking at pics of my family, they looked so cool, but I am looking forward your life? Mrs Hemingway, my mum, my nan, my pop, my kids. to the 2050s. Have you ever ‘splashed’ the cash on something big? On the Vintage at Goodwood festival Which career would you have most likely have (www.vintagegoodwood.com) ...a very brave followed if you weren’t doing what you are today? gamble indeed!!! Not wrestling… Is there one thing you want to do before you Can you remember your first boy/girlfriend’s depart the stage?! Run a couple more marathons (one with my eldest name and are you still in contact? Gerardine was my first love and she will be my last, daughter); find a mint copy of the soul record she is the future and she is the past...it Broomfield Corporate Jam, Doin’ it our Way; change the face of affordable housing for good; enjoy the rhymes...guess the song that’s based on? 25th anniversary of Vintage at Goodwood; DJ at all 4 of my kids weddings and enjoy an old age traveling What is your proudest achievement? with Mrs H. The Staiths housing development: What is your all time favourite TV show? World of Sport, my dad was a wrestler on it.
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Classic Influence. Contemporary Style. This issue features the UK's leading burlesque artist Kitten von Mew; an interview with Vintage at Go...
Published on May 21, 2010
Classic Influence. Contemporary Style. This issue features the UK's leading burlesque artist Kitten von Mew; an interview with Vintage at Go...