“Dianne Brill is a fashion designer who makes nobodies feel like somebodies with the big hellos she gives to everybody.” Andy Warhol.
QUEEN OF THE NIGHT
“Dianne Brill is a fashion designer who makes nobodies feel like somebodies with the big hellos she gives to everybody.” Andy Warhol.
Robert Geller never ceases to amaze us here at Ponyboy. His casual, yet avant-garde collections are never boring and he is always a step ahead of the rest.
Back in the late 80s, I moved from Austin, Texas to the Big Apple and was infatuated with all things relating to Andy Warhol and his fabulous factory.
For our latest men’s Spring editorial, we really didn’t want just another pretty boy, as our style inspiration for this spread was based on Tim Polecat, the iconic frontman for 80’s neo-rockabilly UK band The Polecats. So, model Lyle Lodwick was the perfect fit for this shoot. We’ve long been fans of Lyle with his characteristic quirky good looks, reminiscent of a young Johnny Lydon or Duckie from Pretty in Pink. Lyle’s modeling career has been quite extraordinary with campaigns for designers including Marc Jacobs, Costume National, Balenciaga, Sisley, Barney’s and Uniqlo. He has also been featured in numerous high-end editorials for various international fashion magazines. Lyle has his own unique personal style and is also a very talented musician, as a member of the New York band Shining Mirrors.
Fashion editor/stylist Xina Giatas mixed colorful vintage pieces along with key items from some spring menswear collections, including Duckie Brown, Antonio Azzuolo and Maison Kitsuné. Our beauty editor James Vincent gave Lyle a hint of a colorful 80s new wave eye using Ardency Inn cosmetics. Hairstylist Matthew Tuozzoli had his work cut out for him. Lyle showed up with chin length hair, so getting that perfect pompadour was a bit of a challenge! But we were thrilled with the results. Read our interview with Lyle below. Photography Alexander Thompson.
PONYBOY: Lyle, please tell our readers about your background. Where were you raised?
LYLE LODWICK: I grew up in Baltimore County in Lutherville, Maryland, the same place as John Waters and Divine. My high school was across the street from Divine’s grave, so we used to smoke pot and pay our respects at her grave. I started playing music at around age fourteen and have been in about ten bands since. Baltimore county was full of bands, so I often found myself putting shows together, booking the bands and venue, as well as doing the lights, sound, and promotion. I knew then that I wanted that to be my life’s work. And since then I’ve found many other things I enjoy doing, but playing music and entertaining always takes the cake.
PONYBOY: What was family life like for you?
LYLE LODWICK: The first music I ever heard came blaring out of my father’s 1960’s Wurlitzer jukebox. He’s been buying and selling records since he was in his early twenties. So, needless to say, music has been a huge part of my upbringing. My grandfather owned some record stores, and it was in one of these shops that my mother and father met. And my brother and sister had a huge effect on me musically, as you tend to get hand me downs being the youngest one, anything from tapes and cd’s to mp3. I basically had what they had.
PONYBOY: What brought you to New York City?
LYLE LODWICK: I came to New York to work as my brother’s assistant when he ran Vimeo. I had always loved New York City and definitely knew that if I wanted to do something on a global scale, this was the place to be, especially in 2008, as things were booming in New York musically and creatively. This city was the pearl in the oyster that is the World.
PONYBOY: And how did you get into modeling?
LYLE LODWICK: One of my first tasks when I moved to New York was to film backstage at the tents at Bryant Park during Fashion Week. Everyone was like, “you should model.” And so I did. My friend Christian Strobel introduced me to Barbara Pfister, who became my mother agent. Barbara booked me to shoot with photographer Ryan McGinley. Shortly after that, I was in the Sigur Ros music video for Gobbledigook, and then went to Europe, where my modeling career really took off.
PONYBOY: You’ve been photographed for so many high-end magazine editorials and campaigns, by great photographers. What was that like for you?
LYLE LODWICK: It was crazy. Much of that success can be attributed to Allister Mackie, from publications Another Man and Dazed & Confused. He’s an international menswear stylist who has more influence on the good side of contemporary fashion than almost anyone else. He put me forward, opening Lanvin, John Varvatos, Marc By Marc Jacobs, as well as magazine editorials for Dazed & Confused, Another Man, and many more.
PONYBOY: What are your thoughts on the world of male modeling? Have you had positive experiences overall?
LYLE LODWICK: I wouldn’t recommend it to anyone. For all the good, there is a world of pain. It’s a sort of “banana on a fishing line” type of experience where you get fame instead of money and high taxes instead of a lasting position in culture. That said, I had an incredible time and met many people who I still consider great friends today. (It was nice to know how many people were pooping while looking at my face in one of millions of Urban Outfitter catalogues!)
PONYBOY: You’re also a musician in a band called Shining Mirrors. Tell us about this project.
LYLE LODWICK: Yes! I play Bass in Shining Mirrors! It’s a rock ‘n’ roll band. It’s three of us, so decisions are easy to make democratically. We take our time, so things turn out right. On April 21st we self-released four new songs on our Soundcloud. (https://soundcloud.com/shiningmirrors …shiningmirrors.tv)
PONYBOY: Has music always been your passion?
LYLE LODWICK: Yes, music has always been my passion. And I can only measure it as increasing over the years, from collecting my own vinyl, taking up guitar and starting my first band. The first time I was able to separate all of the individual instruments playing in a song was incredible, as well as listening to a song over and over again, and listening to each part individually. I thoroughly enjoy throwing concerts, which gives people a place to come together, by expressing themselves musically or in dance.
PONYBOY: Who are your musical influences?
LYLE LODWICK: My influences are pretty diverse. I share a birthday with David Bowie and Elvis Presley, so those two were there from the start of my life, with an emphasis on Elvis in my early years, and Bowie later on. The Beatles, The Slickee Boys, Steely Dan, The Talking Heads, The Velvet Underground, Radiohead, Aloha, Cake, Donny Hathaway, The Spinto Band, LCD Soundsystem, Frank Zappa. et all.
PONYBOY: What’s in store for you in the future? Do you still plan to model or are you anticipating that music will be your main focus?
LYLE LODWICK: Music will always be my main focus. Modeling is about making money, not being a style icon or influencing others. If there’s money on the table, I guess I’ll be modeling! I’m moving to LA in fifty days, and am so ready for a change of pace after eight years in New York. I’m not sure Los Angeles is the answer, most likely I’ll have more questions.
Tim Polecat Worman is the red haired vocalist for the legendary neo-rockabilly band The Polecats. The Polecats were formed in the UK in the late seventies and still perform around the world. Successful chart songs include “Make a Circuit With Me” and “John, I’m Only Dancing.” We were very excited that this talented musician agreed to a photo session and interview for Ponyboy, as we have been big fans for years. Tim also allowed us access to images from his own personal collection of photographs from over the years. Read our interview with this extraordinary musical icon. Portraits by ALEXANDER THOMPSON. Additional photos courtesy of Tim Polecat.
PONYBOY: Tim, please tell us about your childhood and teen years in the UK.
TIM POLECAT: I was born in 1963 and grew up in suburban North London. I guess I am a product of that era of U.K. pop culture. I remember the 1966 World Cup final, as well as the Moon landing. I grew up obsessed by American comic books, British sci-fi TV and most of all rock ‘n’ roll music. And to be honest, nothing much has changed.
PONYBOY: How did The Polecats come about?
TIM POLECAT: I got an electric guitar for my 12th birthday. A few days later a kid from my boy scout troop knocked on my door and asked if he could have a go on it. This was, of course, Boz Boorer. We exchanged all our guitar playing knowledge and he soon also acquired an electric guitar. Boz and I jammed with various local musicians until we ran into Phil Bloomberg, who I knew from primary school. Phil was just switching from cello to bass guitar, and we soon recruited him. Chris Hawkes, another primary school friend of mine, was just learning drums. So, we learned a bunch of rockabilly and punk rock covers, and pretty soon had some of our own songs, which were mostly written by Phil and Boz. At first our band was called The Cult Heroes (which was supposed to be ironic), but this became problematic when we tried to get gigs in rock ‘n’ roll clubs, who presumed that we would not fit in. Chris had recently found a bunch of stickers with a picture of a stretched out cat and the word ‘Polecat” on them. So, we decided that this sounded a lot more in keeping with the direction of the band, and we started using it and very soon we were playing the U.K. teddy boy circuit. After a lot of saving up, Boz got a Gretsch guitar and Phil switched to a double bass, which was inspired by American acts like Ray Campi. I moved from guitar to lead vocals. And that was the basic prototype and we just took it from there. The Polecats have remained basically unchanged since the addition of John Buck around 1983. We have a few squad players, but the team is still the same.
PONYBOY: What was the rockabilly scene like back then in the U.K.?
TIM POLECAT: The rockabilly scene in the U.K. grew out of the teddy boy scene. I think it was a lot of younger Ted’s searching for a new identity of their own, separate from the Ted movement, which was at this point getting a little stale and was very narrow-minded. Newly discovered raw sounding fifties music was being discovered and I think it was only natural that it would develop it’s own visual style. In hindsight though, it was very expensive to dress like a Ted and to do it properly without being a “Plastic” and very hard for the younger audience, many of who were still in school. The “Rockabilly Rebel” look was a very DIY thing and was within the reach of a creative jumble sale and charity shop patron. A short time later the rockabilly scene got more elaborate, fashion wise, with reproduction versions of the more flamboyant fifties attire popping up on King’s Road and in Kensington Market. Also, shops like Flip were buying real vintage items from the USA by the masses and shipping them over. The music on the scene was always based around the rediscovery of forgotten gems, and later on bands that reinvented the raw sound of those fifties records.
PONYBOY: Did the Polecats have a bigger following back then in the rockabilly scene or more so in the punk/new wave scene?
TIM POLECAT: The Polecats started playing exclusively in the teddy boy/rockabilly scene in Europe. It wasn’t until we saw bands such as Levi and the Rockats, Whirlwind and American acts like Robert Gordon (playing in mainstream venues) that we thought it would even be possible to play outside our own scene, let alone play on the same bill as a punk or new wave band . It was only when we started playing in colleges and mixed venues that we started to pick up a more diverse audience. We toured with Rockpile, which put us in front of their mainstream audience and got us out into previously unexplored territories like Scotland and Wales. As soon as we had a record deal we were playing in Scandanavia and Europe, where the market for rockabilly was opening up. In Finland in the eighties, The Polecats, Stray Cats and Crazy Cavan all had records in the mainstream charts at the same time.
PONYBOY: How did that incredible style evolve for the band? Was there a lot of thought put into the look?
TIM POLECAT: We did put a lot of thought both into our style and our sound, but it was something that developed organically and wasn’t an overnight thing. I have to admit that after seeing Levi and the Rockats, we made a conscious decision to up our game visually. We also had a bit of a rethink in the performance department after seeing The Cramps for the first time. We would borrow and adapt from a wide range of influences, both visually and musically. Of course, it was much harder to do in those days because we did not have the access to information that is taken for granted these days and also did not have unlimited funds to bring our ideas into reality.
PONYBOY: The band eventually broke up in the mid-eighties and you ended up in Los Angeles. What was that like for you as an artist and on a personal level?
TIM POLECAT: Actually, The Polecats had only really become nonoperational between 1984 and 1988. We have been playing constantly since then, despite my move to the USA. Our fan demographic became increasingly international, so meeting up on foreign soil from different base camps works very well. I have always been interested in Americana and it made sense to move to Hollywood when the opportunity arose. My day job was in the film industry and there was a lot of work in the late eighties for a British production designer. I have worked on hundreds of projects in the visual medium, but mostly work as a producer these days.
PONYBOY: Tell us about the band 13 Cats and how that formed. It’s an incredible ensemble of musicians.
TIM POLECAT: 13 Cats started after a successful double bill tour of Japan with The Polecats and The Rockats. Smutty Smith and I both lived in Hollywood and wanted to keep the party going. He had just reconnected with Slim Jim and I had been in touch with Danny Harvey ever since the late seventies. We got together for a jam session and it developed from there. At first we just intended to do covers with 13 Cats, but very quickly we had an entire set of original songs. The vibe of 13 Cats was a darker, black leather rock ‘n’ roll, which was in contrast to the sugary sweet swing movement that was going on around that time. We crossed over into the surf/garage scene and even had a track on a Dionysus compilation. We played shows with The 126.96.36.199’s, Guitar Wolf, The Bomboras and Hasil Atkins. The band only lasted a few years, but we did one LP that I am very proud of and we still perform together on very special occasions.
PONYBOY: What bands are you playing in now?
TIM POLECAT: Right now I am playing live with the regular Polecats and my own Tim Polecat Trio, which has rotating members, depending on availability and location. I also play with Slim Jim in his trio. Recently I have done a few shows fronting Polecats tribute bands, which although sounds like a strange concept, works really well. In more recent years I have been concentrating on playing lead guitar (with a thumb pick), while singing at the same time. This is possibly to prepare for the day when I can’t drop kick and stage dive anymore!
PONYBOY: You left Los Angeles recently, after so many years, and moved to Palm Springs. What brought that about?
TIM POLECAT: In this day and age, being an artist and musician has two big requirements–the internet and an airport! Palm Springs has both of those facilities and is very mid-century modern looking, which I am totally into. I’m setting up a small recording studio and an art facility here.
PONYBOY: Lastly, you’ve probably been asked this a million times before, but please tell our readers what musicians have really inspired you in the past, and what newer bands you enjoy now.
TIM POLECAT: The bands and musicians that most inspired me were essentially fifties rockabilly, seventies glam and seventies punk. Also, add to that the teddy boy bands of the mid- seventies. The early influences of The Polecats came a lot from our original drummer Chris Hawkes, who had two older brothers that would buy rockabilly records frequently. In the mid- seventies during school lunch times (which would often extend into afternoon truancy), we would sit around Chris’s house and listen to all the rediscovered gems that were surfacing during this time. It seemed like every week a major record company would delve into their archives and release a compilation of killer tracks. MCA, Capitol, Mercury, RCA, MGM, Imperial and Chess all had their own “rockabilly” LPs. The Polecats also added to our musical repertoire by frequenting clubs such as The Royalty, and memorizing our favorite tracks. We would sometimes even sneak in a cassette recorder to tape the songs we wanted to play. I think our musical influences as a band are quite self-evident from the cover versions we pick. However, some are hidden quite deep. For example, a lot of the songs that I wrote with Phil are inspired by northern soul and 1977 punk. Unless I pointed out the specifics, no one would know. I am very bad at keeping up with current trends, but I have to say that Furious and The Ceazers seem to be the stand out newer bands to me from the rocking scene. As for mainstream music, nothing has really caught my attention for decades, apart from Die Antwoord, who have an audio visual style that is impossible to ignore.
Vintage Vandal is also known as Jasmin Rodriguez. We first met this East Coast bred beauty some years back, and have seen her develop into a marvelous young lady. Ponyboy was thrilled to photograph Jasmin for our feature at her mid-century home in Las Vegas, a perfect setting for our shoot. We finally had the chance to catch up with this girl-on-the-go and chat about her background and her new life on the West Coast. Jasmin, who rose to recognition on the internet with her incredible vintage style blog Vintage Vandalizm, is conquering her goals and breaking new territory. Photography Alexander Thompson. Additional photos courtesy of Vintage Vandalizm.
PONYBOY: You’re from New York City originally. Please tell our readers about your upbringing.
JASMIN: Yes, I was born and raised a New Yorker, although I now reside in Las Vegas. Growing up in New York was very interesting. My dad was a street racer from Brooklyn and my mom was a break-dancer from Queens. If you ask me, I was exposed to the best of both worlds. Both Brooklyn and Queens had such an impact on me as a kid. The older I get, the more I yearn for what it all used to be. For example, I miss seeing Brooklyn streets with Puerto Rican flags hanging off of Fire Escapes and kids playing in the water of open fire hydrants. I long for different salsa songs playing as you passed brownstone buildings and smelled the delicious aroma of Puerto Rican food. I very much miss the diversity of Queens, the different cultures I got to witness walking down Steinway Street, the view of the City skyline from my bedroom window, and passing the Five Pointz factory adorned with graffiti every time I took the 7 train. Though New York is a tough city to grow up in, I wouldn’t change a thing. The good, the bad, and the ugly amongst everything else I mentioned has had a huge influence on who I am today.
PONYBOY: At what point did you start getting into vintage fashion?
JASMIN: I started getting into vintage fashion when I was about fourteen years old. I didn’t have a job, but I loved fashion. So, any time I would get money from my mother, I’d stretch my dollar by going to thrift stores. I wasn’t concerned about being the “cool” kid in school with the latest fashion crazes. I wanted to do my own thing. I naturally gravitated towards clothing from the 1950’s and 80’s. And I still have many of those pieces today. It didn’t occur to me until years later that I had an impressive collection of vintage pieces by major designers. I never looked at labels. I looked at style, creativity, and potential. The 50’s, 60’s, and 80’s clothes always suited my taste and figure very well, so it was all I bought and still buy today. I even have stuff from the 20’s and 40’s.
PONYBOY: Your vintage looks seem to change on a daily basis. Sometimes you are dressed 40’s, and sometimes you might be dressed with an 80’s vibe. Is this correct?
JASMIN: Yes, I don’t like to limit myself. My style depends on my mood or inspiration for that day. Fashion is more fun when you aren’t limited to trends or eras! I like to mix it all up and have fun with it.
PONYBOY: You’ve become well know because of your Vintage Vandalizm blog. How did that all come about?
JASMIN: It all came about because I love writing. My first blogs were on AOL, Xanga, and Blogspot, before I got serious with Word Press. My first blogs were about romance, kind of like “Sex and the City” except that I was terrible at writing about that stuff! Then I got more into fashion, especially when I started thrifting. I wanted to show people that you didn’t have to spend a lot of money to look fashionable, and that inspired me to start blogging about style on a budget. I had no idea it would become as big as it did.
PONYBOY: After living in New York for your entire lifetime, you picked up and moved to Las Vegas. Tell us about that experience.
JASMIN: Yes, I had to do it to prove to myself that I could. They say if you can survive in New York, you can survive anywhere. And they were not lying. Sometimes we, as New Yorkers, believe that it is the be-all and end-all; and although it is a great city, it is definitely not. There are still so many opportunities awaiting us all in so many other places. I didn’t realize that until I moved here. I still have the same opportunities, if not more. It has been such a smooth transition and I can’t believe how happy I am to be here. I have my best friend, Santiago, and my wonderful Vegas friends to thank for that. I love my job as a buyer for Pinup Girl Clothing because the people I work with are incredible. I do have things I still need to adjust to, such as missing my family and friends, but luckily I have been able to travel back home to New York four times this year. I’m also still adapting to the different cultures here, but I am learning so much and my experiences, thus far, have been amazing.
PONYBOY: You have a very close relationship with your mother, who we have had the pleasure of meeting before. From our observation, you seem almost like sisters.
JASMIN: We are very close and I have a sister that I am very close to as well. I don’t know what I would do without both of them. My mother is a warrior. I have never met someone who works harder than her to put food on the table and smiles on everyone’s faces. The woman carries the weight of the world on her shoulders with such grace, never asking for help. I’m not sure who I would be today without her guidance and encouragement. As for my sister, though she is younger than me, she is so ahead of her time. I could talk to her about anything and she responds to me with compassion and understanding. Compassion is so important. I am glad my mother passed that on to us.
PONYBOY: Do you miss living on the East Coast?
JASMIN: Yes, of course! Do I miss the high rents and crappy jobs? N0! But I do miss summer nights in Brooklyn, the winter snow in Central Park, the gorgeous shops in Soho, cutting edge art galleries in Chelsea, and those delicious Crepes at the Creperie in the Lower East Side. I also miss the culture, not just Puerto Rican culture, but New York culture, because that is something very much within itself. Sometimes I think New Yorkers are a different breed of people, however, not in an elitist way. More so, we are just cut from a different cloth than the rest.
PONYBOY: You work full-time for Pinup Girl Clothing as their womenswear buyer, which sounds like an incredible opportunity. Do you still have the time to contribute to your blog on a regular basis?
JASMIN: The great thing about Pinup Girl Clothing is that they allow their talented staff the freedom to work on their own projects. I definitely have more time to contribute to my blog, but since most of the work I do involves being on the computer, I sometimes need a break from staring at my laptop screen. I try to do at least a post or two every week, but I spend more of my free time living life than working on my blog! When I lived in New York, I never had time to really live my life. I was always working two or three jobs to stay afloat, and using my days off to dedicate to my website. I very much needed a break, so I’ve taken it easy on myself this year. I basically blog when I can.
PONYBOY: What opportunities has living in Las Vegas brought you, besides your job with Pinup Girl?
JASMIN: Well, I now live in a stunning 1960’s home built by Palmer & Krisel, which was something I could only dream of when I lived in New York. It will soon be published in two Las Vegas magazines. I recently taught a retro style class at a great shop called Amberjoy’s Vintage Closet, and will soon be teaching another at the Stitch Factory. I’ve also been extremely fortunate to work with many incredibly talented West Coast photographers whose work I have admired for years. I have only been here for about ten months now, but I’m incredibly excited to see what else Las Vegas has in store for me!
PONBOY: Are there any projects that you have coming up in the near future?
JASMIN: I’m currently working on a huge project, but I have to keep it top secret until it is 100% confirmed. So stay tuned!
PONBOY: One last question, are you dating any gentleman at the moment?
JASMIN: No, I am not dating anyone at the moment. I ‘m trying to focus less on romance and more on my goals, so I stay out of trouble. However, I am always open to the idea of being swept off my feet by a handsome gentleman who will embrace who I am. Love is a beautiful thing, and I could never say no to that, no matter how busy I am with work!
Ponyboy Magazine was excited to photograph New York City downtown girl/model Stella Rose Saint Clair. Stella has the most amazing nightclub looks so she was the perfect model for our Blitz Kid/New Romantic editorial. We didn’t even need a stylist or makeup artist! Such a creative talent with her own amazing outfits and make-up, our beautiful model donned different designers for our camera including Diane Von Furstenberg, Moschino, Yves Saint Laurent and Bob Mackie.
We loved shooting vintage inspired 1970’s-80’s one piece swimsuits on Asian beauty Meng Meng from the Fusion Modeling Agency in New York City. The multi-colored swimwear pieces popped on her svelte angular frame, with extreme cuts, patterns and prints. Top British stylist Jules Wood threw in some very oversized and dramatic 80’s jewelry from Laruicci, Circa Sixty Three and Anndra Neen to clash with the vivid swimwear. Ponyboy enjoyed showcasing some of the latest 2014 swimsuit collections from designers Red Carter, Missguided and Rue 107. Whoever said a one piece wasn’t sexy was definitely wrong!
Ponyboy photographed male model Clancy Sigalet with the Soul Artist Agency in New York City. Clancy took on the role of rude boy Paul Simonon from UK band The Clash, wearing tough custom made leather pieces mixed with distressed punk tees from edgy New York City designer Christian Benner. Our hairstylist Tanya Pacht also packed on the Murray’s pomade for a greasy 50’s pompadour which was Simonon’s trademark coif in the latter years of The Clash.