Say hi to Kalamity Kat, our Pinup of the Month for August! Kat is part of South Wales's thriving Pinup and Burlesque Communities and loves cosplay.
How did you choose your Pinup name?
My pin up name was chosen by my mother! After my first burlesque performance with the local burlesque troupe Cardiff Cabaret Club, my mother, aunty, husband and I were discussing what I could do as a soloist. Me and my mother are both big fans of the film Calamity Jane, so when she said Kalamity Kat it just sounded right! My parents often called me a calamity growing up, as I am incredibly clumsy, and I often drop things so naming my Pin up persona Kalamity just fit me perfectly.
Why do you love Pin up?
I love how Pinup makes us stand out. I think every pin up woman I know has their own pin up style, but we are all easily recognised as pin ups. I love how people from outside of the pin up world like to stop and comment how lovely it looks, especially when there's a group of us together. I have met some amazing women through Pinup, some of whom are now my closest friends. It's such a loving, diverse, positive community, full of women building each other up!
Would you like to share your favourite beauty tip?
Practice! Practice! Practice! I often find it useful to watch several different tutorials for a style, and practice doing it, until you find the best techniques to suit your face and hair. I know it can be frustrating when you try a do for the first time, but sometimes it is just a case of adapting what you've learnt to suit your hair length and type.
What's your favourite aspect of the Pinup and Rockabilly subculture?
I love that Rockabilly and pinup encompass so many areas of my life. It's not just how I dress and style myself, it includes the music I listen to, some films I watch, and how I have decorated our home. One thing I would love to own (and more so my husband) is a vintage car, but that's not to be at the moment. My favourite aspect of the subculture has been the people, I've met such a diverse, fun, different group of people from around the globe through rockabilly festivals, gigs and car shows . It's great now days to be able to stay in touch with people online.
When did you know Pinup was the right thing for you?
I never had a light bulb 'this is for me' moment with Pinup, I just sort of grew into it. In my teens I idolised Dita Von Teese, and her glamorous style. I remember when I was 18 someone comparing me to her and I was thrilled! Then my mother and aunties were going to a local Elvis festival annually, it was my mothers break from parenting and she told me I couldn't go as I wasn't an Elvis fan. So I went out the next day and bought an Elvis CD, and have been going to various Elvis nights and festivals around the country since, and met my husband at a festival. Through my love for Elvis my vintage style developed to where I am now.
What advice would you give to new Pinups?
Don't always take what you see online as true. When I'm flicking through Instagram I often feel like I'm not 'Pinup' enough compared to other women. In my day job it's not practical for me to dress Pinup, the most I do for work is mascara and eyebrows. It wasn't until a friend said to me ' I wish I could dress Pinup all the time like you,' that I realised we are all guilty of only posting our best bits online, and that's probably the same for all the women I admire online.
What living person, other than family members, do you most admire?
Ooooh! This on is such a hard one. The Pinup world is full of some pretty amazing and inspirational women. After much thought I've narrowed it down to two.
Firstly, it has to be the queen of burlesque, Dita Von Teese. I have admired her for a very long time, she is such a confident, glamorous woman, who doesn't admire her? I was lucky enough to meet her in Viva Las Vegas last year. I ugly cried with happiness and she was so lovely to me!
My second choice is Cherry Dollface. Her tutorials have helped me so much when it comes to hair and make up. My husband jokes he hears her voice so much he feels like she lives with us! She has done so much for my confidence over the years, and she is such a lovely woman. I really love that she does so much to build up female empowerment and supports women from all walks of life to be confident!
Favourite business shout out
I have to say Collectif is on of my favourite clothing companies. I bought my first dress there 16 years ago, it was a pink tartan punky dress. I feel like my style has grown with the company. Their clothes are always so stylish, and I love a trip to their stores in London.
For lingerie I have to go to What Katie Did, I especially love their coloured seamed stockings. I like to match my seams with my outfits, and I think they have an incredible range of colours!
For accessories I love personalised jewellery from Bete Noire, they do such imaginative designs. My absolute favourite for hair accessories is The Secret Garden. Marla from there is an amazing talent, you can send her a photo of an outfit, and she will make you something unique to match, so you never have to worry about having the same as someone else, or not having the accessories to match!
1. Photographer - Holly Matthews, MUAH Cherry Dollface
2 & 3. Photographer - Martin Ennis
4. Photographer - Kitty Radford
5. Photographer - Bright Rabbit Photography