Retro beauties embrace vintage glamour

Post-war femmes fatales Bettie Page and Veronica Lake would not have looked out of place among this bevy of retro beauties.

All suicide curls, bright red lips and feminine style, these luscious ladies spent Saturday learning the art of vintage glamour from some of Wollongong's own pin-up goddesses.

The workshop kicked off the launch of Retro Culture Wollongong - a new events and promotions agency designed to raise the profile of retro businesses and events in the region.

The day also featured a retro fashion parade, rock n' roll dancing and best dressed awards.

The business is the brainchild of Beth McCarthy, who lives and breathes all things vintage.

A lack of retro entertainment in the Illawarra, particularly for younger people, spurred Ms McCarthy to raise the profile of the vintage subculture in her own backyard.

She is keen to see themed parties, vintage markets, cabaret shows, burlesque performances and hair and make-up workshops on the horizon. Ms McCarthy's retro passion stretches from the 1920s era when The Charleston was all the rage, to the late 1960s when go-go dancing ruled the day.

Each day she spends an hour creating her screen idol look, dressing mostly in the rockabilly and pin-up styles of the glamorous 40s and 50s.

"You sit up straighter, you smile more, you're more inclined to make eye contact with people," she said.

"For me, it's really helped with my confidence," she said.

"I used to be quite a shy person before, but I'm not shy at all now, I just channel my inner pin-up girl."

Confidence oozed from the room on Saturday where 16 beauties were taken on a journey back in time by pin-up hair and make-up guru Peta Ferrandino of Dolls & Dames.

With the swish of a liquid eyeliner and the twist of comb, Ms Ferrandino had her students in awe as they replicated the style of old Hollywood.

Visit Retro Culture Wollongong on Facebook or email retroculturewollongong@gmail. com for more information.

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