August 27, 2011

Spotlight Series: Miss Missy Photography

This week we’re shining the spotlight on Miss Missy - a gorgeous and gifted pin-up, vintage glamour and fashion photographer who knows how to truly bring out your inner beauty in every girl. From lighting to styling to provocative positioning, Miss Missy can channel the inner bombshell and transform ordinary to extraordinary.  Her work has graced the covers of numerous magazines and she has photographed some of the most beautiful pin-up models of today.  We’re excited to talk with her and showcase some of her gorgeous images. 

Enjoy this video of Miss Missy's amazing work:

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RGG: Hi Missy! Thank you for visiting with us today. I am truly a big fan of your work. How long have you been a photographer and where did you get your start?
Missy: Professionally, only a little over 3 years, but I was playing with the idea for quite some time. I guess I just didn’t  realize you could make a living off something you found exciting and fun. I’m totally in love with what I do. I guess I got my start when MySpace came out. I would look at all these pin-up girls and think to myself, "I want awesome photos like they have!" So I got myself a second hand digital camera and would doll myself up and put it on a timer. My friends loved my photos and I loved how awesome I was making myself look (hehehe)! I was super excited when my friends would ask me to make them over and take their photos. It can be a very vulnerable experience, but I seem to make everyone feel at ease. I think getting photos taken can be really great for your self esteem!
RGG: What is your inspiration and what draws you to 50s pinup and vintage glamour? Do you have a favorite/s vintage movie star?
Missy: I've been in love with 50's glamour since I was a little girl looking at my mothers old photos. At the time I didn't really know who any famous pin-ups were and my mom was the most beautiful woman I had ever seen! I would always ask her questions about her clothing and hair. My mom wasn't always very happy, but when she talked about being young she was. Also growing up in the 80's when all those amazing movies about the 1950's came out made me more curious about this time period. I was totally in love with the movie Dirty Dancing, tried to do the dances, learned the lyrics to these old songs and even got myself a pair of Keds.  

As far as vintage movie stars go, I probably have to say Lucille Ball and Marilyn Monroe are my favorites. Then when I discovered No Doubt and Gwen Stefani rocking all these old hair dos - I HAD to learn them - and I've been hooked ever since.

RGG: You’ve worked with some incredible models, but what about the average girl who wants to be a starlet for a day? How do bring out the bombshell in them and create such amazing pieces?
Missy: Hanging around the internet for so long you become "fans" of some of these models, so I had and still have a model wish list, I think it's super important to work with models, they can teach you so much just by watching them pose and you can take that and show it to your every day girl. So many "average" women have the model in them, I think it's all about making them feel beautiful before you put the camera on them. I do 90% of the hair and makeup for my photo shoots, during this time I get to know the girl so when we do start shooting she is way more at ease with me than she was when she walked in the door. As of right now, I do not have a time limit on my photo shoots because it just takes some people longer to warm up than others. If you rush people in and out I don't think you can get good photos. I see so many women getting pin-up photos taken and you can see in their face they weren't comfortable, but all the props tend to distract you from that.   

RGG: Do you have any tips/advice for newbies who want to be a pin-up model or regular gals who want glamour photos?
Missy: Don't try to get everything for free; you get what you pay for. Study images that inspire you, pose and practice facial expressions in the mirror. I can pose your body, but not your face. I can tell you where to look, but you should know what faces look good and don't. If you have one facial expression that works stay with it. I can work around it.

YouTube some old Bettie Page footage, she was the QUEEN! She wasn't scared of her face or her body and when you are able to let go, that's when the magic happens! :)
For the girls who want a new "pin-up name" stay away from things that are kind of silly. I much rather hear a somewhat normal name than something ridiculous. I think what you name yourself can have a HUGE impact on people. 

RGG: Tell us how to schedule a photoshoot with you. 
Missy: If you'd like to book a photo shoot with me just please email me at I live in Los Angeles.

RGG: And now for a little bit of fun... If you were stranded on a desert island, what’s the one thing you couldn’t live without?
Missy: My little girl...and my camera! :)

RGG: Chocolate or vanilla? 
Missy: Chocolate! :)

Thank you so much for joining us today! For more information and to book your session, visit Miss Missy Photography!

Miss Missy on Facebook
Follow Missy on Twitter

August 23, 2011

And the Winner is...

And the winner of the Stila give-away is.... 

Bunny Moreno aka Pinup Mama!! 

Congratulations!! Thank you to everyone who entered and especially Stila for this awesome prize!  XOXO, RGG ♥

Bunny, drop us a line to send us your info on where to mail the delicious goodies!
Retro Girl

August 17, 2011

STILA Cosmetics Give-Away!

Stila Cosmetics

There are two little words that instantly bring a smile to my face... Two little words that can turn a mediocre day into a glamorous event... Two wonderful words that can light up the night, transform a mood and turn Plain Jane into Bombshell Betty.  What are these magical words?


My favorite cosmetics line, STILA, is giving away a bundle of goodies to one lucky RGG reader! A random drawing will be held on Monday, August 22nd and I’ll announce the winners here on RGG! Entering is easy (no purchase necessary). Here are the rules:

There are over 15 incredible products in this give-away including: All Over Shimmer Powder in Kitten,  Long Wear Lip Colors in Fiery and Caprice and Stila’s Stay All Day Liquid Eye Liner for the purrrrfect cat-eye.  Thank you, Stila!!  GOOD LUCK GLAMOUR GIRLS!

August 13, 2011

Fabulous Fun!

RGG Directory
We have been busy over here working on getting RGG in shape for all of the fun things coming our way just around the corner. The newest addition is the Retro Girl’s Guide Directory which is an ongoing list of the best of modern retro - from designers to online boutiques to models and photographers and much, much more. The Directory is in its infancy stage and will grow regularly. If you have any suggestions or would like to be considered to be added, please drop us a note.

Next up... Do you see the shop to the left that says “Retro Girl Recommends”? We have hand selected some of our favorite dresses, outfits and accessories from to showcase here. It was so much fun picking each item - almost as fun as shopping itself! We hope you enjoy the selections!

And last but most certainly not least... Can you say CONTESTS? Make sure you follow RGG on both Facebook and Twitter for information on some exciting give-aways and opportunties! Next week we’re having our first contest for an amazing (and I mean AMAZING) make-up give-away. It’s by an incredible brand that every retro glamour girl will LOVE. You won’t want to miss it! Retro Girl's Guide will be featured on Vintage Life Radio on Wednesday, August 17th and we'll be talking about the upcoming contests and fun things planned for RGG.

And also coming soon you’ll have a chance to channel your inner pin-up and enter to become one of Mrs. Bella’s Dolls famous cigarette girls! To learn more and start preparing for this incredible job opportunity, read up on Bella here and visit  More exciting, retro goodness coming soon!

Retro Girl

August 8, 2011

The Pretty Peasant

Pattern on Etsy
There is something so charming about a peasant blouse. Showing off a bit of shoulder with an innocent puff of ruffle is a winning combination for sweet-meets-sultry. The peasant blouse has been a fashion statement for centuries, but the 1950s took it to new heights by pairing this princess-y top with wiggly pencil skirts or full circle dresses. 

I was thrilled to discover Mode Merr’s online boutique and their lovely assortment of peasant tops, matching skirts and vamp dresses. Their figure-flattering ensembles accentuate the waistline and celebrate the feminine form - with  sizes ranging from XXS to XXXL. Most pieces seem to mix and match creating a wide variety of different looks. I love their off-the-shoulder leopard with slimming black bodice, or their adorable red-gingham blouse that’s perfect for an afternoon picnic. However this lacy, green “fancy vamp” peasant dress (pictured here) has my name all over it! So whether you wish to channel your inner gypsy or pretend you're a modern princess, Mode Merr makes the prettiest peasants!
Mode Merr's Lace Fancy Vamp Dress

August 5, 2011

Spotlight Series: Mrs. Bella's Dolls

I’m excited to present the first interview in the RGG Spotlight Series - the beautiful Bella Vlasis, creator and owner of Mrs. Bella’s Dolls and her world famous cigarette girls and also owner of celebrity impersonator talent agency, Tribute Productions.

(Do you have what it takes to be the next Mrs. Bella’s Doll? Retro Girl’s Guide and MBD will be teaming up soon for a contest to find the next Mrs. Bella’s Doll! Be sure to follow us both on Facebook for exciting updates!) 

♥ ♥ 

RGG: Hi Bella! Thank you for taking the time to chat with us today about your gorgeous Mrs. Bella’s Dolls (MBD).  Tell us, what is a Doll and what inspired you to create your very pin-up infused company?
MBD: Hello Retro Girls, thank you so much for having me here. I am honored to share with your readers about Mrs. Bella’s Dolls Classic Cigarette Girls. I have always been inspired by the 1930s & 1940s and these eras seem to follow me throughout my life. I was very influenced by my parents, I loved looking and admiring their photos as a young girl. Mom also introduced me to Betty Boop, Marilyn Monroe, and other beautiful actors so I have always felt a strong connection to this time in history. My Grandfather would always tell me I looked like “Lana Turner” or “Betty Grable” and its not until now that I “get” what he was seeing.

About ten years ago I had a casting agent cast me as a cigarette girl in a film and I immediately fell in love with the part (I had always wanted to be an adorable cigarette girl!). It was at that time I realized I wanted to blossom my love for vintage cigarette girls into its own professional company. There was no one else at that time doing anything like it and I wanted to be the first and create it with absolute love and integrity. I was fortunate enough to work hundreds of jobs myself, and eventually began auditioning other beautiful performers to work along side of me to learn the ropes of becoming a Mrs. Bella’s Doll.

RGG: You live out every little girl's dream of dressing up in gorgeous costumes (I don’t think we ever outgrow it!). Where do you find your beautiful ensembles?
MBD: Thank you so much! I LOVE the idea of helping all women discover and find their own “inner pin-up girl” each of us have this within us and I believe there is something liberating and empowering about it. My collection of costumes has taken years to create. I am on a forever hunt for the perfect pin-up look and I am constantly looking in thrift stores, Ebay or collaborating with seamstresses and sewers to bring a vision to life.

RGG: What do you think about this blooming trend of vintage inspired designs in clothing, accessories, decor, etc.? Do you have a favorite brand?
MBD: I love fashion and especially classic couture. I feel the creation of garments in the 40’s had a quality to them that today’s fashion some times lacks. But there are some amazing places to find retro inspired fashion and (PUG) is one of my current favorites.

One of the reasons I feel so many people are drawn to the 1940s is the fashion and elegance of style and how people loved to get dressed up (men and women). I feel it is a time in history where fashion was a statement about life. Women looked impeccable with their clothes, hats, shoes, hair and accessories so naturally the 40s are a time that fashion will always come back to. The 1950s brought in curves which I am a big fan of, as well as amazing color pallets and more form fitted styles.

I love when current fashion borrows from these classic years for inspiration, and love seeing new generations of people finding the love for these classic styles. I am a person who definitely wears a certain style no matter what is in “fashion.” Create your own rules and your own trends as long as it makes you feel alive!

RGG: What kinds of events can you find a Mrs. Bella’s Doll performing at? 
MBD: We have worked The Emmys, (getting ready to work them again Sept 2011), MTV Awards, The Golden Globes, The Young Hollywood Awards, Spirit Awards, Fashion Week (getting ready to work that again as well in Sept 2011), Mad Men Premier, Celebrity Private parties, Corporate Events, Film Festivals, Mitzvah’s, Movie Premiers, Hotel V.I.P Events are the majority of events you will see my Dolls.

RGG: You are based in Los Angeles, but do you have Dolls in other parts of the country?
MBD: Yes we are based here in LA but have beautiful Dolls in NYC, Florida, Georgia, DC, San Diego, Las Vegas and soon we will be on the look for Dolls in every State (stay tuned).

RGG: What does it take to be a Doll? Do you need special modeling, acting or dancing skills?
MBD: I like to hire all kinds of women (need to be at least 21 years since many job assignments require this) but all shapes of body type as long as you have nice legs, the Dolls that really understand “people skills” are my most requested girls. You have to understand how to conduct yourself in a professional manner as many events are celebrity parties so knowing how to always maintain a professional disposition while working is a must! I love a pretty girl with a great sense of humor as most of the job requires speaking to people; learning product information; being warm and friendly; knowing how to be “on” in a moments notice; how to handle stressful situations with grace; how to deal with a not so easy client or guest; and mostly how to be your own best, beautiful pin-up girl. Acting is a huge plus as well as dance.

RGG: Tell us a little about your other company, Tribute Productions. I also see that you have written several books on being a look-a-like. Where can we find them?
MBD: Tribute Productions is my Production Company where myself and husband produce talent, shows, and music for events, film, TV, print and live shows. I am a specialty casting person, in where I am able to connect the talent to a casting director or producers specific need (and many times “hard to find talent”). I worked as a professional double for Madonna for 25 years and that helped me learn the business and industry from the inside and allowed me to eventually become and work as a show producer myself. My husband takes care of the music, musicians and I do the dancers, models, actors, shows & acts. I have also written 2 industry books you can find on or from the publishers (you can see on our web site).

RGG: And now for silly fun.... If you could be one animal, what would it be?
MBD: Oh, hmmmm... as much as I adore cats, I think I would say bird so I could fly far above the world and take in all its beauty! :)

RGG: Give us one quote from a favorite movie or book:
MBD: “Remember honey, it’s alright to say YES on your wedding day!”  (from Gentlemen Prefer Blondes)

RGG: Chocolate or vanilla?
MBD: I like to mix em!! Mmmm a little French vanilla with some deep, dark delicious chocolate!!! Darn now I’m hungry!!

RGG: Thank you again for speaking with us today, Bella! You are incredible and so are your amazing businesses - truly inspirational!
MBD: Thank you so much for having me here on RGG - I am honored and flattered!

Be sure to follow us both on Facebook for exciting updates!

Fan Bella on Facebook through Tribute Productions

RGG on Facebook

August 1, 2011

A Touch of Kitsch

I'm always cruising around looking for nifty items to feature here on RGG and last night I happily stumbled upon this amazing shop called the Kitsch Bitsch on They have an incredible line of unique, cutesy retro items including shirts, mugs, stamps, shoes... in a variety of themes such as holidays, tiki and my favorite - their wedding line (shown here). I love their designs, style and wit - perfect for today's retro girl!