Midnight Mass Preshoot


I am entirely embarrassed to publish these photos to my blog, but these are the only images we have in our possession of my outfit for this event. Shane was out of town for the car show and pageant, so I enlisted the help of some dear friends to accompany me for the day. Unfortunately, without the adoring husband en towe, I have no pictures of Midnight Mass 2014. Jason with Outlaw Photography and I enjoyed two fabulous photo sessions at Midnight Mass, and I look forward to publishing those images once we get our hands on them. Meanwhile, I will talk about the experience using these practice shots we took just before, yes BEFORE detailing my car in preparation for the show. Yes, I am wearing no makeup and my hair is thrown into a clip.

I purchased three separate outfits, but this is the one I chose to wear. Authentic 1950s vintage lipstick red acetate taffeta dress volumized by my favorite slip company, Malco Modes. My hat is also authentic 1950s vintage procured on Etsy. I am wearing nylons! I never do that. These weren’t so bad for comfort, and they totally finished my look to make me pageant-worthy. I suppose those back seams are rather sexy. Too bad I cannot find where to procure more…

I shopped for shoes in my favorite shoe store, Zappos, where I get to read all the reviews. Three hundred gave these puppies five stars out of five, including points for comfort. Those are my shoes! I had a second pair shipped directly to Florida, where Darrell Roberts pin striped them to match a purse. A photo shoot dedicated to this matching set is in the works. For now, here is a bit of detail that went into my look.

I had my buddy, Bobby Hunt, escort me for much of the day. We met on the dance scene at Spotlight Ballroom and I enjoy the dips he places his follows into which display a feminine beauty I thought would be marvelous for working the crowd. We ran behind schedule arriving to the show, and between photo shoots and check in times for the pageant, Bobby and I did not get a chance to dance until after the pageant was over. His presence with me at the show was a true blessing and kept my fragile nerves in check, reassuring me with every knowing glance as I posed in photos and stood lined up for the pageant. Support systems are critical when a gal takes on an exciting or high pressure role as a pageant participant. I cannot express the value of attentive friendship.

My family also offered invaluable support. Mom parked herself at my car. My sister and her kids came out and later reported a temperature at their car of 109! I was delighted that Shane thought to order me a black parasol to stave off the sun rays.

Regret for the day is that I did not have more time to roam and enjoy all the handiwork of those car owners in attendance. Such excitement filled the air as the engines fired up to leave. I thought I may actually swoon for all the exhaust and revving and rumbling filling the night air. Anyone else find cars sexy?

My favorite things during the day were of course the company I was blessed to enjoy, and the photo shoots with Jason of Outlaw Photography. My husband usually takes all my photos, but we enjoyed working with Jason at the Rumble in Gold Country Show. He’s a good guy. Our first session was with the Cadillac Kings and the second with a rat rod. I met Davy “Gravy” Castillo Blues dancing Sunday night, and as it turns out he is a male pinup model! Similar to my situation, he serves as more of a muse to a dear friend with a camera, but he is very photogenic. I was thrilled to participate in my first shoot with him and hope for more. I will look forward to sharing those images once we have them!

As far as the pageant is concerned, my role for the day as a bad girl was certainly stretching. I enjoyed my character, but suppose I could have toned it down enough to be friendlier with the crowd. I just wasn’t sure how to interact at that distance and still be inviting. I was relieved to chat with other contestants and discover I am not the only one who lost sleep all week and experienced nerves taking over every cell in my body. My mantra all afternoon was, “A flower does not compete with the flower next to it, it just blooms.” My goal was to deliver my introduction to the best of my ability and to stay in character with focus and attentive execution. I feel I did that well and am pleased with my performance. Called back on stage for the top ten was rewarding as we fielded surprise quirky questions. Backstage while waiting for the top three to be announced, a member of the Cash Prophets snapped a photo with my squatting self in the grass self and I wish I had a copy. So relieved was I when he allowed me a drink of cold water, because between nerves and heat I thought I may pass out. Curiously enough, the photo featured a man’s shadow though none was there standing. The final three called forth, I was relieved to have the pressure subside and to get on with enjoying the fabulous cars and attenders of the show. I left thinking, why don’t I go to more car shows?

Speakeasy Photos
MUAH: None, this is raw baby!

Authentic Vintage Head to Fingertip to Toe



Fashion Show! Everything I am wearing is authentic vintage! The hat is real ostrich feather acquired at Racks Boutique in Midtown Sacramento. The homemade 1940s dress, 1940s patent leather platform shoes, and gloves were each separately acquired on OLL. I adore this look, but have nowhere to enjoy donning it. The dress fits as if made for my body. There’s a CAPE extending from the black velvet trim attached at the back, swoon. I LOVE IT!


Speakeasy Photos
MUA: Alyssa Plough
Hair: Self

Asian Dress 2



Anime, anyone? The yellow Asian dress, one of three I purchased from the lovely Bunny Rocket in Southern California. These gorgeous handmade dresses, however top quality the stitching and craftsmanship of the 1950s home sewer who stitched them together, were stored folded up. Shane stands by his original sentiment that it ought to be a crime to fold vintage clothes except for the brief time they are in transit. This dress fits as if painted on, and in some opinions may be too snug on my bod. I certainly could not dance in this, nor pick up my children. Loaded with snaps, I need help in and out of it. Lovely show piece, but for me this silk beauty is just that, a beauty without much use. My shoulders are a bit broad, and this was made for a tinier lady than I. Eventually this dress may one day be for sale. I simply adore the bird over the chest. Do you see his eye looking back at you? Yellow is also simply a lovely color that would not show correctly on a white back drop, hence our choice of the black back drop. I am wearing Nonnie’s ring my mom inherited, the last ring my Papa Ken gave her before he passed from lung cancer six years ago. I loved that man, a Viet Nam Veteran and doting grandfather even though we were not his by blood. That’s a man.

My makeup is thin, because we went dancing after taking these pictures and I do not like heavy makeup when I dance, I need no makeup or light makeup to be most comfortable. Lindy hop and Charleston are very athletic dances. Hence my hair is best pulled out of my face as well as the face of whomever I may happen to be twirling about the dance floor. The heavy makeup and heat combination has me concerned for Saturday’s Midnight Mass pageant. I will be wearing caked on makeup in hundred degree weather, because that is what shows best in pictures as well as on stage. Lord help us.

Speakeasy Photos
Hair: Mama
MUA: Self

Ains & Elke Style Haus



Introducing my birthday suit. Keep scrolling, but not the one I was born with, the one my husband allowed me to order this year as my birthday gift. Flip through mid-century mail order catalogs, and women were often marketed “weekender” ensembles with coordinating pieces which flow together, but also present variation. Beautiful handiwork work by Alexis of HesitantSmily on Etsy. I found this seamstress on OLL and fell for this fun atomic fabric. I receive so many compliments every time I wear any combination of this in public! Men particularly compliment this one. Women tend to compliment my jumpsuits. Interesting how that works. I stand by my original sentiment that men prefer skirts and dresses. Sure eases the process of using the toilet.


I am happy with about half of these photos, but want to show all combinations. The kids were running a muck the day of this shoot so I recall rushing and Shane needing to do real work between shots. No fun. But, here she is. Ensemble includes circle skirt, sarong skirt, two sun tops, a bolero, and two head scarfs which I ought to have folded in half. I’ve worn them folded in half, and they are much more flattering.


Speakeasy Photos
MUAH: Danyelle “The Hair Maverick” Johnson

Swimsuit


Baby weight down, time to look for new swimwear. Late enough in the season, perhaps the best move is to wait for sales at the end of it. Now, do I want authentic vintage, or a newbie?! Anyone know of a custom swimwear maker?
Let’s talk about sweat, baby, let’s talk…I have a friend from Burlingame, since she’s from there and has her Master’s degree she is a totally legit source, right? Anyway, she told me once while carpooling to our women’s discipleship group, that when people sweat it releases pheromones. Simply summarized, the smell of certain people’s sweat is actually attractive to certain other people. In theory, smelling your spouse’s body odor would act as an aphrodisiac or mating call, or at least not be a turn off. What do you all say? You dig the sweat smell on some folks, but not on others? Apparently there are types of smells aka Pheromones which attract certain mates and repel others. What is your experience? I do not mind the smell of my own sweat. Heehee. The theory makes sense though, right, being that a certain mating act increases sweat secretion. You better be diggin’ that smell. Were mates better matched before soaps and deodorants could hide our true colors? Keep in mind also that smell is one of the most powerful memory triggers, and therefor an element of bonding. Think about it.

Speakeasy Photos
MUAH: Danyelle “The Hair Maverick” Johnson
Swimsuit: Authentic vintage purchased on OLL Facebook group

Reversible Skirt Daze of Laur


The corset fashion show a few months back not only inspired the waist cincher, but as well to have made a reversible skirt with pockets! Laurie patiently worked with me, and my silly choice of fabric which was chosen purely to match my shoes, as this dress no longer fits me. Here is what she produced. Lovely.

The greatest appeal to the design of this skirt for me is the vast adjust-ability of the waist. Check out how to put it on. Tie and tie, it just may fit forever! Simply genius waist fit.


I have plans to make a sun top and a hat using vintage patterns with this fabric to match. Now to find the time…

I should probably start wearing nylons or stockings, but frankly they bother me and when I wear them I feel extreme irritation and like I could punch somebody in the face. Either way how un-pinup-like of me.

Speakeasy Photos
MUA: Alyssa Plough
Hair:Self
Swimsuit is a Ross find from a few years ago. Poetic License heels. Skirt made by Laurie Tavan

Asian Dress 1

I made a threesome purchase of Asian dresses from OLL Facebook group, yes I know after I said I would only buy in person. I could not pass up three for $60 deal. They fit like a tight glove, and therefor will not be practical for anything save taking pictures lest I bust a seam. Sad face, they would have been cute for dancing. Shane has concluded it ought to be a sin to store vintage garments folded up, because we cannot get some set in wrinkles out of the silk!


Speakeasy Photos
MUAH: Danyelle “The Hair Maverick” Johnson

Perspective


Has life ever laid you out on your back, leaving you wondering what the hell just happened? That’s what it could look like. I wish I looked that good when life lays me out. Isn’t persepctive and angle everything when you sit out to do a second take on your life?

Get low, on the ground to be exact. Now twist. I’ve talked before about camera angles and body positioning can do to much to flatter the body, or make it look worse than imagined in real life. I still have not nailed perfect posing and posture and most of what we shoot are throw-aways. You all see about one twentieth-forieth if what we shoot.

I love music, and the songs I listen to can shift my perspective about life’s choices as well. A friend of ours recently referred to listening to Country music as if someone is emotionally dry humping him. I have to agree that it can evoke emotions, as meant to in this tradition of storytelling so close to my heart. Big Band Swing era music tells some pretty risque stories. For the life of me, lover of Country, Big Band, and Southern Rock music, and yet local Rockabilly bands grind on my nerves! Or are they Psychobilly? Sorry guys, I tried listening to one band scheduled to play Mass while processing three photo shoots’ material, and I thought I was going to crawl outta my skin. I cannot stand it to even listen and hear any message. Early Rock-n-Roll ruckus? Noise, irritating noise. I am entirely nervous about having to be around this music twelve hours at Midnight Mass. They ought to have booked Lost Dog Found, in my opinion, but what do I know? I prefer Country and Big Band, Country in particular. Right now, Sam Hunt who may be noted as Southern Rock in the tradition of Colt Ford’s recent fleet, has me squirming in my chair in a different way. Southern Rock in a way that…listen to that sexiness on Spotify and you may get what I’m talking about. I don’t care what the feminists say, chauvinism can be hot. I mean, have you heard Chase Rice‘s “Ready Set Roll”? Raw male honesty best heard off the radio, “Get your little fine ass on the step. Shimmy up inside.” Men I adore in my family would lovingly say similar. I endearingly receive these words and understand the heart behind them. I get it, and goofy as it sounds in those words I hear a message of genuine fondness. Tone or delivery trumps actual words, right? Psychologize or condemn me, but this is one of many oddities driving my life.

I’ve heard tell that a woman reaches her sexual peak at the age of thirty. I must be feeling the climb, because most of those songs on Sam Hunt’s top five should not be that sexy, but I experience them that way and suddenly hear a man’s singing voice on the air waves differently. Never ever moved me before, and I dated a musician. He told me he’d never sing a song for me since his voice was for God, and it didn’t phase me because the fact he had musical talent had nothing to do with my affection for him, to me it was just something he did and whatever don’t bother me talking about it. I’d rather sit with your soul and listen to you talk out your thoughts than take your God song. Keep what is yours, I will not ask for it. Anyway, have other women experienced such a shift at this age? Curious to hear about it, do tell.
Speakeasy Photos
MUA: Alyssa Plough
Hair: Self
Dig my authentic 1940s vintage heels? Racks Boutique in Midtown, baby!

Bullet Dress Floral


Miss Midnight Mass 2014 has my head immersed in the dichotomy of good girl vs. bad girl and what sets each apart. I definitely find a real difference in posing and attitude in facial expression far more convincing than outfit. However, there’s no denying what an outfit can do for a gal. They say a person forms their opinion of you within the first ninety seconds of meeting. I had thought to wear one outfit during the day and change into another for evening. Shane thinks I should ditch the car show element and show up in the late afternoon, fresh for the pageant. I am determined to make the whole day. When I meet this crowd, I need to be full blown in my look all day. That’s twelve or thirteen hours! So I’ve been wondering with thoughts such as, can you make a circle skirt look bad girl? Do I need to rip a slit up between these color blocks to pull it off? Pants look “bad girl” but car shows tend to be populated by men, who in my experience prefer a lady in a dress. My closet newly evaluated, I am certainly a circle skirt fan with zero wiggle dresses and only two sarong style, which Shane has informed me is fun island-beach, not bad girl. I definitely have a dichotomy of good vs. bad girl within. Managing that is a dance. I am still learning how to dance with myself within that dichotomy. Preparing for this pageant is masaging out true colors. I wonder the inward battle the other nineteen experience as they approach a similar challenge to own one or the other, good or bad. I’m certainly a mix, preferring to lend heavier to the good.

Feminine, comfortable, what more can a gal ask for in a dress? I simply love Bernie Dexter, but these are sample dresses that I believe did not make it to production. I’m sure you can find similar on her site should you take an interest. I dig the vintage hat and gloves paired with the dress in the first image. Mid-century sophistication is so attractive. Accessorize, ladies! The first photo I got the hat at an Antique Fair in Folsom and gloves on OLL, the shoes authentic vintage as well from Racks Boutique in Midtown Sac, 1940s to be exact. The sandals in these pictures I found at Burlington CoatFacorty.

Speakeasy Photos
MUA: Alyssa Plough
Hair: Self

Bullet Dress Red


I finally have a dress made to wear with my bullet bra! Well, I actually have two dresses now of the same design but different fabric, both by Bernie Dexter. Most of my dress wardrobe is by Bernie Dexter. I very much enjoy her designs, but more importantly the fit. Which is why I am developing this theory to shop by designer or seamstress who has similar body type as yours to achieve the best understanding of fit, same reasons I love Cassandra Cadillac so much. She gets my body, and it shows in her work. I was a bit disappointed that the skirt on this dress is A-line and not a circle, which would be prettier for dancing. That being said, these are lovely and most comfortable for daily wear to feel feminine and at ease! I received many compliments when I wore it downtown for fireworks on the Fourth of July.

Speakeasy Photos
MUA: Alyssa Plough
Hair: Self
I am on Instagram now as well! Still trying to figure it out…