#05

Winter2015

INPerson

Miss Liz Chérie

Pure French Vintage

French vintage pin-up Miss Liz Chérie hails from Toulouse and currently has hopes to move over to the UK next summer, in time to attend some vintage festivals. We caught up with her to find out why the ‘50s are her favourite era and what the retrospective scene is like in France.

How did your vintage journey begin?

I discovered the ‘40s and ‘50s in image, through films. I’m a real ‘movie-lover’ and after following the careers of some ‘90s popular film directors like Lynch, Carpenter and the Cohen brothers… I began to discover the Golden Age films of Hollywood.

I can’t name the first ‘40s and ‘50s movie I saw, but it changed my life. Everything in this period suits me, perhaps because every single little thing is moved by aestheticism. There is a consistency between it all.

How did that lead to Pin-Up?

I was much too fascinated by the image of women of this period to be only a spectator! Film Noir is my favourite film genre – the woman are strong, mysterious, and oh so glamorous. When an actress appears on screen, I can’t keep my eyes off her.

Mix that with the fact that aestheticism and design are almost an obsession for me, it led me to completely change my way of life. Vintage is my way to express myself and build the world I want to live in. This is not only a way to dress, it covers all the points in my life; it is also an attitude.

How did you come up with your Pin-Up name?

My name is Elisa but everyone calls me Liz. I became “Miss Liz Chérie” as I wanted to have an artist’s name when I started modelling, which was six or seven years ago.

I choose Chérie, which means darling in French, to keep my French touch. I also dreamt of every gentleman calling me chérie but it hasn’t turned out the way I expected… everybody calls me Miss Liz ha ha ha ha!

I added Miss, to pay homage to Christian Dior, with his perfume Miss Dior Chérie. To me, he’s one of the most influential men in 50’s fashion; I have a lot of admiration for his work.

What is it about the ‘50s that really appeals to you?

To me the ‘50s represent joy, happiness and glamour. It represents me well as I am a positive, open minded, and kind person.

 
 

Of course, I know bad things happened then too, for instance segregation and the place of women in society was not so good either… but I made the choice to pick out only what I want in it. I do the same with our modern society too.  That’s my way to look for happiness.

What is it you enjoy the most about being a Pin-Up?

To be a pin-up is incredible, because it’s like being the best version of yourself that you can be.  It means you are more elegant, and sexy too, but never vulgar. Modelling allows me to do so many fabulous things! I enjoy being able to express my creativity, because I’m not only posing in front of the camera, I do the artistic direction for my shoots too. It’s also a chance to meet talented and interesting people!

But I must add that I’m very proud of something in particular, being the ambassador of a French vintage magazine, which is similar to yours in fact! It is called Pure Vintage Magazine!

What do you think about the rise in popularity of Pin-Up?

Since Mad Men and Dita Von Teese, pin-ups, glamour and fifties are everywhere. I think it’s a normal reaction against the point that our current society has arrived at. Women have to be so independent; men have to be more and more sensitive… people get confused. Our generation is looking for its right place.

We don’t want to go back to the life of our grandparents, but we don’t want to be equal for everything. No to the return of machismo! The liberation of women allows so many things! But girls often want to reclaim traditional notions of femininity and the same applies to men and masculinity too… Nothing makes me feel better than when a man has opened the door for me, takes his time with me, is kind and respectful.

 

INPerson

Are Retrospective lifestyles and Pin-Up popular in France?

Yes, they are!  In the ‘80s, a big rockabilly scene was created with the rockabilly revival. Bands like the Stray Cats helped it to become more popular, whilst still remaining underground.  I wasn’t there of course, but people tell me haha!

Since that time, some new and young faces have arrived, myself included. Having become more popular, it’s now a phenomenon and more about girls only interested by the look and nothing more. For me the vintage culture is awesome so I think they are really missing out on something big!

If you were putting together a mini vintage travel guide for your hometown Toulouse where would you suggest?

For sure I’d suggest vintage shopping in Groucho. I’m sure you’ll find something to your taste there!

Then, you could have a drink in a cool bar, The Dispensary. The food is really good and the people who go there are from the rock scene. Another bar I’d recommend is Le Petit London, nearly every week you have some rockabilly, or ‘60s mod DJ set.

To finish, Toulouse has a very nice festival every year in August, called American Day, with great bands like Lillie Moe, Marc and The Wild Ones.

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Where would you suggest as a good Retrospective city in France?

The most dynamic scene is in Paris for sure. Famous international musicians come every month to play in places like Le Balajo for example. You’ll find two tiki bars in Paris: the Dirty Dick and the Tiki Lounge. Another great place to have a delicious cocktail is the Lone Palm, which is decorated completely in a mid-century and Mad Men style! For shopping, shops like Mamie Blue, Mamzelle Swing or Falbalas are awesome!

 

Blaire Rowland is a media graduate who loves to write, particularly about vintage delights and burlesque. Why not catch up on her blog oldisnowvintage.com or on twitter at @oldisnow