CALL OF THE WILD
Ponyboy goes crazy for redheads! We were thrilled to photograph West Coast beauty Lola Devlin for our “Ponyboy Loves” section. Lola is not only a 1950s styled siren, she is also a very talented lingerie designer. We always catch Lola in the most amazing vintage get-ups, as well as some of her own creative over-the-top designs. Photography Alexander Thompson. http://loladevlin.com/
PONYBOY: Tell our readers about your upbringing. Where were you raised?
LOLA DEVLIN: California woman, born and raised. I grew up in Los Angeles, then Lake Tahoe and I have been happily living in San Francisco for the past ten years.
PONYBOY: How did you get into designing clothing?
LOLA DEVLIN: My grandmother first taught me how to sew when I was six and I have been making what I want to wear ever since. After a few attempts at different career options, I quickly realized that what I can do best for the world is make clothing. For my company, I am both the designer and the seamstress, which is a blessing and a curse, as I spend most of my time chained to the sewing machine. However, I wouldn’t have it any other way. To me, it is an amazing process to make something for someone that they will wear in their everyday life, for a special occasion, up on stage or just romping around the house. Nothing makes me more excited than to see a client or a friend wear a garment I’ve made for them. It’s always icing on the cake when they feel as good as they look. It’s almost hard to describe why I do what I do, but the thrill of someone loving what they are wearing, if I’ve made it for them, is something nobody can ever take away from me.
PONYBOY: Tell us about your Lola Devlin designs. Is it exclusively lingerie?
LOLA DEVLIN: A little bit yes, a little bit no. Lingerie is the heart and soul of my company. It’s what I can design solely for, what I want to make and sell, and frankly, makes me giggle the most to create. I will occasionally do a custom clothing piece for a client and have done things like create a line of perfect pencil skirts for select stores, and so on. Lingerie will forever be my favorite type of garment to design and sew. Nothing quite compares to the attitude that comes with creating and wearing lingerie, and most certainly the attitude that comes with a good piece of house attire.
PONYBOY: Where do you get inspiration for the pieces you design?
LOLA DEVLIN: I am lost in my own cheeky world, I’m afraid. I am constantly looking for and pulling inspiration from many different places, mostly from the past when lingerie and house attire were celebrated the most. It’s not only a lost art, but also a lost lifestyle that I am hoping to bring back in a small way, one woman at a time. The books I read are old pulp fiction, most of them saucy. I am always on the hunt for old photography from way back when, of people in their normal clothes, erotica, smut and all the wonderful occasions in between. Most of my inspiration I find comes in the form of the attitudes and personalities of people I meet, or if there is an occasion in particular the ideas just dream up themselves. I have found that I can’t decide what to design until I see the fabric in front of me. It is usually then the fabric gives me the idea for what it wants to be and I just have to chop it out with my trusty pair of scissors.
PONYBOY: So, primarily the 1950s aesthetic is your thing, design-wise?
LOLA DEVLIN: The 1950s aesthetic is my favorite for several reasons, although overall I sway between the mid-’40s to mid-’60s. I fell in love with the glamour of that time a long time ago; women’s figures were celebrated the most in fashion and fashion was both simple and extravagant. But mostly, I appreciate the effort that women had during that time period.
PONYBOY: You’re also personally very into 1950s culture. When did you start getting into that?
LOLA DEVLIN: I have always said I was born in the wrong time period, but really only if we are musically or aesthetically speaking. I have loved the music, the dancing, the clothing, the look and design of that era for my entire life. I have a preference for clothing cut from that era or designed similarly as that fits my figure best. I have a preference for the music of that era because it makes me wiggle around the most. I love films from that era for their simplicity and everything from architecture, automobiles, and everything in between – and for my design mind, it all makes sense to me. The first color lipstick I ever bought was red because that is the only color I believed women should ever wear. Still to this day I don’t know why I thought that when I was a kid, but I still believe it now.
PONYBOY: Who would you say are your favorite clothing designers from the past to the present?
LOLA DEVLIN: My favorite clothing designers are actually a mix of clothing and costume designers: Madeline Vionnet, Adrian, Edith Head, Gussie Gross, Ceil Chapman, and Schiaparelli. And may I just add that I absolutely hate Chanel – not my kind of woman.
PONYBOY: As far as music is concerned, what music is on your turntable?
LOLA DEVLIN: Nothing but the good stuff! If it makes me wiggle, then I dig it. My favorite genres of music are early R&B, blues, rockabilly, rock & roll, but I also fancy some soul, some jazz, some western and always exotica.
PONYBOY: Of the modern-day bands out there, who are your particular favorites?
LOLA DEVLIN: There are some incredible musicians out there who I am lucky enough to call good friends, and I will travel the world to see them play. In no particular order or type: Nikki Hill, Furious, Eddie Clendening, Bebo, Bloodshot Bill, Josh Sorheim, The Shadowmen, Dollar Bill, JD McPherson, The Rattle Rockin’ Boys, The Caezers, Kitty Daisy & Lewis, The Bellfuries and The Reckless Ones.
PONYBOY: We see that you are buying up all the vinyl that you can get your hands on these days. Are you an aspiring DJ, as well?
LOLA DEVLIN: I never planned on it actually. I have always bought vinyl for friends who are DJs and record collectors if I ever came across a song I knew they were after. Or, if it was something that I personally love to dance to, it was my selfish way of sneaking in songs I wanted to wiggle around to at shows. I swore that I would never let myself start collecting until a few weeks ago I came across a record that I could not live without and have been crying mercy ever since. I want to play the songs I love to wiggle around to and suppose the only way for you all to hear them is if I DJ them somewhere. Watch out! I might be out on the loose soon enough, clawing my way right out of the jungle!