Rock and roll music, if you like it and you feel it, you can’t help but move to it. That’s what happens to me, I can’t help it.
Rock and roll music, if you like it and you feel it, you can’t help but move to it. That’s what happens to me, I can’t help it.
And what costume shall the poor girl wear
To all tomorrow’s parties
A hand-me-down dress from who knows where
Allie Concannon is one of those tall, svelte New York City downtown girls that you see strolling down the street, very nonchalantly, perhaps somewhat unaware of her beauty.
17 year old fashion model Briggs Rudder, from the Wilhelmina agency New York, stars in our latest 1950s vintage inspired womenswear editorial, “Girl’s School”. Photographer Alexander Thompson. Stylist/fashion editor Xina Giatas. Hair Ahbi Nishman using Schwarzkopf Osis Elastic Hair Spray & Schwarzkopf Osis Grip Volume Mousse. Makeup Rosemarie Bernardo. Thank you to Rear Window Vintage. Photographed in New York City. https://www.instagram.com/briggsrudder/ https://www.instagram.com/rearwindowvintage/
Amanda Lepore. You know, the model. Performance artist. Celebutante. Ex-club kid. David LaChapelle muse. Entertainer. Blonde Bombshell. Glamourpuss. And now author! Miss Lepore’s book, Doll Parts, will be released on April 18th, 2017, co-written by Thomas Flanner, published by Regan Arts. Read our exclusive interview below! Photography Alexander Thompson http://www.reganarts.com/books/2016/doll-parts/ https://www.instagram.com/amandalepore/?hl=en
PONYBOY: Amanda! Congratulations on your book. We are ecstatic for you! We had a sneak peak – it’s beautifully done! Please tell our readers how your book came about?
AMANDA LEPORE: Well, a ghostwriter approached me, someone who had seen me around in the clubs for years, and just had a passion for me, and we just did it. But it was also kind of hard, because I live in the moment you know, not in the past, especially the super early years. So it was hard to write, and well, I’m not a writer, so it was really good to have someone help me, even though I do have a really good memory with everything. I think it came out great!
PONYBOY: Do you have a promotional tour planned to accompany the release of this book?
AMANDA LEPORE: Yes, we’re having an initial book signing at Bookmarc here in New York, you know, the Marc Jacobs owned bookstore in the West Village. And then there will be a big after-party at the Boom Boom Room on top of the Standard Hotel. I’m sure that there will be a lot of appearances and book signings to follow, but no dates have been set as of yet. Stay tuned!
PONYBOY: Going back a bit, you moved to New York City in the late 80s. And I met you most likely at Michael Alig’s DISCO 2000 party, or some other debaucherous downtown nightclub, but got to know you more when we worked together at the legendary Patricia Field on East 8th Street in the Village. You were working at the cosmetics counter doing make-up while I was the womenswear buyer. I have so many fond memories! Tell us about those early days working at Pat’s.
AMANDA LEPORE: That was a lot of fun! I really never had a regular job. I had been a housewife first, then started out by working in downtown nightclubs when I first moved to New York City. Then all that scandal happened with Michael Alig, Limelight, Peter Gatien, and all the drugs, etc. I lost work from all that. I tried to work as a waitress, because I had heard you could make a good amount of money waiting tables. But I wasn’t good at it – you know, my nails were too long! So I applied for the makeup job at Pat Fields. I was good at doing makeup, and I had done a few jobs for makeup artists. It worked out really good. I ended up working there full-time, and it was kind of like a nightclub. It was really colorful, with that leopard print carpet and those Martine paintings everywhere. And everyone was dressed up and had such strong looks. They would encourage that and they didn’t want any basic, normal people working there. So, of course, I fit right in! And Pat Field was so ahead of the trends with fashion, especially nightclub looks. I was just really comfortable working there. It was fun for me, and I could do makeovers, eyebrow shaping, and false eyelash application. And I would always spend my entire week’s paycheck there. They sold all those really fabulous hip clothes at Pat’s, you know, those neon furs and super high heels. And it was really like a family, just working with friends. We would all get dressed up and go out afterwards to some super fab party. I also loved working by the front window, where the makeup counter was. I would get so many dates with cute boys coming off the street and asking me out!
PONYBOY: Ha! Yes! So many great times. We grew up in that store. Tell our readers about your old club days, when you first started going out. You’ve been in the New York City downtown nightlife scene now for well over 30 years. What was it like back then, as opposed to what you see now when you go out?
AMANDA LEPORE: Well for me, it’s a lot more fun now. I became famous and occupied, meaning that there are always people at the clubs who want to meet me and get their picture taken with me. So, I always have things to do; whereas in the old days, I would have to just kind of circulate. I was pretty shy back then and Michael Alig would aways yell, “Circulate!”. Actually the first nightclub job I had was for Suzanne Bartsch, and they wouldn’t tell me what to do, and I didn’t know what to do. So, I would just walk around in circles constantly. So I probably looked pretty stupid – ha! ha! – air-headed, but you know it worked for me because I was blonde. Then Michael Alig actually gave me a job as a go-go dancer in a cage, which was really good because I didn’t end up having to talk to people. I could just be visual, and that I really enjoyed. Then I started hosting parties more so, that kind of thing.
I don’t see a really big difference in going out now, and going out then. The club kids are exactly the same, pretty much. There’s still the main kids who do amazing things/looks, the group that everyone looks up to. And then there’s still a crop of new young kids that move into town, you know, that don’t fit in anywhere else. I get floored by the community whenever I travel to different cities and countries, by new club kids. You find club kids everywhere! Because I work with those kids, I can’t really tell what difference there is, quite honestly. But one difference that does pop into my head actually is that underage kids used to get into clubs more easily back then. There was a guy recently who came up to me and said, “Do you remember all the good times we had back then in the clubs? You took my virginity from me.” And I asked him how old he was, and he said 21. And I asked him how old he was back then, and he said 15. I was like, Jesus Christ! So it was a lot of underage people. I was kinda stupid to it at the time. And they would never say how old they were. If someone just knew everything, and acted a certain way, and looked a certain way, you just wouldn’t know their age.
I think also with the internet now, people just don’t go out to meet people, you know to have sex or to date. That’s all done online. I guess that’s a big difference. You don’t see people going out to get laid as much anymore really. They’re just going out to have a good time. Otherwise, the people in my scene, it’s the same thing. And I’m more occupied now, and it’s just more fun for me. Ever since David LaChapelle, and even a bit before that, I became famous and people wanted to meet me. I don’t really have to circulate. I used to have to act like I was busy back then. I mean I met some really great people, and had a fantastic time and all. It’s just much easier now. People come to me now. It sounds crazy, but I just always remember that thing, “Circulate! Circulate!” coming out of Michael’s mouth. Ha!Ha!
PONYBOY: We saw party pics of you in different downtown magazines back in the early 90s. However, your career really escalated when you met the legendary celebrity photographer David LaChapelle and you became his model/muse. Tell us about this meeting and your relationship with him.
AMANDA LEPORE: I met David at Bowery Bar. People told me that he wanted to meet me, but he was afraid that I would be bitchy. Ha! But everyone said, oh no, she’s really sweet. So then when he met me he was kind of forward, because before we knew each other, he used to always draw these girls when he was like 15 or 16 years old. Women who looked like me. There’s one of his drawings in my book, and they look exactly like me. They would have the cheekbones and the boobs, and you know, everything. He was just obsessed with drawing these women, and I looked just like them. And then we just became friends.
The first weekend that he had me work for him, we did that famous Visionaire ‘sniffing the diamonds’ image. I had real diamonds going up my nose! And I remember that they took a break for lunch or something, and told me to stay in the same pose, don’t move, it’s perfect. And they came back an hour later, and I had stayed like that. They were amazed. Another time we did a big plastic surgery magazine shoot for Surface or Flaunt, I think? And we had a black and white model, and were switching heads, and had a boy in a room filled with boobs. I think I remember he had 4 or 6 sets of boobs on, something crazy like that. And there was the famous picture of me crying with a baby, and pregnant in a nursery. So we were doing all these things together. And David would would have 4 or 5 ideas written out kinda, like how he would want everything to exactly look like. The makeup, the hair, the looks, the sets. And everything was huge, just over-the-top. We shot a lot at that old studio that he had, I think it was on East 13th Street in the East Village. And then all the pictures became super successful, and all the people just loved it. It became a thing where he would use me for everything. At one point I remember he didn’t want to use any other models, just me. But there was one advertiser that didn’t want to use me. And he said okay, then I want a model with black hair, and no boobs and no lips. I want a pie hole. It was really funny!
He was so dramatic about it, you know! It was so funny. Ha! Ha! We just became friends and we would hangout. And he loved me naked. And he would always encourage me to take off my dress, and hide it, or leave it in a cabinet. That became our thing kinda. We went all over the place naked!
PONYBOY: There was also that incident at the Azzedine Alaia exhibition that really helped to put you on the map, where you showed up nude and upstaged Naomi Campbell, which reportedly pissed her off. Ha! Is this true?
AMANDA LEPORE: That was kind of the turning point, I think, when the art world and the fashion world liked me a lot. I mean, it was a really risky thing to do, you know, show up completely naked to such a high end art/fashion event. Because it could have backfired on me and everyone could of hated me – just gone really wrong! But it actually turned into a good thing. I was alone, when we first got there, because Naomi Campbell was there and David kind of left me alone and I was forced to talk to all these fancy editors and people. The photographers were going crazy, flashes going off constantly! And people talking to me. I think I told Azzedine that I didn’t own an Alaia dress that celebrated the female body. Ha! But it came out to all be a good thing. The next day it was all over the media and newspapers, being naked and all this stuff. It kind of shifted to where people were doing articles all over the world about me, and the art world and fashion world liked me.
As far as Naomi is concerned, well, at first I was with them, and then she said, “Oh my God! You’re naked.” I guess she didn’t realize it right away; and then she got freaked out and David left with her somewhere to another part of the party. Then I didn’t see them the rest of the night. And I was stuck with those fancy people all alone. Fortunately, I came out of there with good stuff. Ha! You know, meeting Azzedine Alaia. I’ve always loved his clothing and Thierry Mugler, as well. I just really love tight clothes. You know, anything that’s hourglass shape and tight.
PONYBOY: You’re flown all over the world to attend high end events and parties. Do you have a booking agent?
AMANDA LEPORE: Well, since I did music with Cazwell, I have an agent. I did book my own things in the past, even before David, I would get booked for things. I think every once in a while, they would just call me. It’s definitely much better to have an agent though. One time I got booked in Switzerland for a party, and they had me staying in this house with a shower in the living room! All these dj’s, etc, and all this stuff, and I was like, I’m not going to take a shower in here! And they ended up getting me a hotel room somewhere, but you can really be at people’s mercy, in a strange foreign country.
PONYBOY: Your look has really evolved over the years, more so into a super glamorous, 1950s Hollywood movie star, bringing to mind Marilyn Monroe and Jayne Mansfield. Would you say this style is an obsession of yours?
AMANDA LEPORE: Yes. I was always obsessed with that 50s look and style. Marilyn and Jane. Hollywood blonds. When I was a dominatrix, I would dress with blond hair and do that look all the time. It got more intense over the years, when I did that song, and when I was going out naked all the time. One time when I was away working, I got a club into trouble from me being naked. Around that time I saw Dita Von Teese, and the agent that I had at that time was like, you can’t always be naked! So then I saw Dita, and she had the patent shoes and was pretty much naked, but like a little bit was covered. So I said, I’m gonna try that. And started making my own costumes and things, outfits that I could strip out of, with the zippers that come off. I think I was one of the first to do Swarovski crystals back then. I did that in the 90s, the purses, the shoes and jewelry. I thought it was really different, doing that kind of showgirl thing in the clubs. I put crystals on all my dresses, the gloves, stockings…just everything. The stuff I strip out of. I would work a lot with the jewelry designer Robert Sorrell. His jewelry was one of the first things that I spent money on, after I started making a lot of money. I was always fascinated with the Thierry Mugler jewelry, and I knew that Robert Sorrell made it. It was just fabulous! I was making good money; and I would buy just trays and trays of his jewelry and make my costumes to match his jewelry, those stones that he would use. I just loved it!
PONYBOY: Are there any designers that you wear?
AMANDA LEPORE: Sometimes. But I’m just much more into just doing my own thing. If someone makes something in my own style, then yes, I’ll do it. Like when I do shoots. For example, I just did the Dolce & Gabbana book thing. And when I got there, they just had a bra and nothing else that I liked, so I just covered myself and did it. I do a lot of things more naked. Ha! But once in a while, yes, I’ll wear a designer gown or dress for the red carpet.
PONYBOY: And your Christian Louboutin shoe obsession, just how many pairs do you own? Have you met him?
AMANDA LEPORE: Well, I used to buy stripper shoes, you know the classic high stilettos. And they were really uncomfortable to wear! They were made of leather tops and soles, but the way they were made was just so uncomfortable. If I walked around too much, my toes would just bend. I was practically crippled! I didn’t wear those platform stripper shoes, you know the super high ones that are everywhere. I wore the stilettos that were flat in the front – the five inch heel, pointy toe, very feminine. They had more of that 1950s aesthetic.
So when I tried on my first pair of Christian Louboutins, I just fell in love and became obsessed with them. He had that “look” that I just love in a heel. He made this shoe that was almost like a really nice stripper shoe, the Pigalle pump, but so much more comfortable. They were like sneakers to me, and I was wearing them all the time. I got invited to the sample sale, and really got into them. And then they came out with the Swarovski one. I just couldn’t stop buying them and became a Louboutin freak! Yes, I do own a lot pairs. And they’re all so beautiful! I got into all the different styles. And I just can’t stop going to those sample sales all the time. I did meet Louboutin once, years ago, and he gave me a pair of boots, and gave me all these things. And he let me buy whatever I wanted for a $100 which was just so generous. I’m very thankful. I came home with boxes and boxes of Louboutins. And, of course, I always wore them when I modeled in the Heatherette shows as well.
PONYBOY: What’s an average day in the life of Amanda Lepore? How do you dress during the day? Do you go out every night?
AMANDA LEPORE: I don’t go out every night, but I do go out a good deal for work. On my days off, I do errands, and do yoga, that kinda stuff. Sometimes I make outfits for 10 hours, you know, during the day. I do that a lot. If I’m caught up with all my errands and stuff, I’ll go to the gym. I’m also very into skincare as well, so a lot of the time I just do the skincare, and put my hair up, a quick messy up-do. I always wear red lipstick and dark sunglasses, and always wear low-cut tops and tight fitting clothes. Sometimes I walk around with roller-sets, with a ‘kerchief on if I have to go out that evening. Old school glamour! Ha!
PONYBOY: Do a lot of people recognize you on the streets of Manhattan?
AMANDA LEPORE: Yes, they do, unfortunately. I mean I wish that they didn’t, me running around like that. But then I’ll see pictures online, and I’m like, oh okay, I look good. Ha! I mean I feel much more comfortable when I’m all made up, especially if someone is taking a picture of me. If I have ballerina flats on, and someone wants to take a photo of me, I’ll just get on my tippy toes, so that it looks like I’m wearing high heels. I just won’t stop.
PONYBOY: You mentioned at our shoot that you’re on the dating app Tinder. Amanda Lepore is on Tinder? Is that correct?
AMANDA LEPORE: Yes, it is. I got to the point where I was just working at all these gay clubs. I would have a lot of gorgeous boyfriends. They would be go-go dancers, bartenders or models, you know, those types. And those happen to be the worst guys to go out with! I mean they’re beautiful and everything, but it’s not really what I like. Then I went on Tinder, and I had the nerdiest boyfriend with glasses who worked an office job, you know, that type of guy. But I’ve actually had several boyfriends off of Tinder. I’ve also met guys running errands, say at the dry cleaners, that sort of thing. And on Tinder, I have to prove that it’s me, and not a fake profile. I’ll have to take a picture of myself, with their name on it and send it to them, so they know it’s me. But it really works well for me.
PONYBOY: You’re at the forefront of the transgender movement, perhaps somewhat unknowingly. You boldly helped pave the way for other superstar trans girls, including Laverne Cox, Candis Cayne and Jaime Clayton, who have entered mainstream Hollywood and media. What are your thoughts on this? Have you ever considered acting?
AMANDA LEPORE: I think it’s great that there are so many. Before it used to be, say, one every ten years? It wasn’t a big deal, and now there are so many at once. I also think it’s not just transgender. I think it’s everything, being a role model, to kids. It’s great that it’s in mainstream Hollywood. It’s very important that the parents accept young people as they are. Let them dress as a little girl when they’re young and not go through all that mix-up, and get that out of the way and it not be such a big deal. It’s kind of like a last prejudice sort of thing, you know? It’s great. I myself didn’t want to fit in and a lot of transexuals just do want to fit in, because people can be so mean. So they just want to be normal, and left alone, fit in and go to the supermarket without nasty comments. But I liked looking like Marilyn Monroe, or Jessica Rabbit or something. So it was like a more out there kind of thing for me personally, which caused a lot of attention, which is what I wanted.
But yes, I would love to do some acting. I love all that kind of stuff. I kind of just do things that are asked of me. If something comes along, and I’m approached, then, yes, I’d love to do that.
PONYBOY: Back to the book, can you give our readers an insight into what’s inside of the book?
AMANDA LEPORE: It’s about my childhood, and moving to New York, as well as the club scene. It’s about being young, transgender, my sex change and plastic surgery and going through all of that kind of stuff. It goes into when I met David LaChapelle and did all that, and then it stops at 2000, when I started doing music, traveling and doing shows.
PONYBOY: We think your second book should be a book on Amanda Lepore BEAUTY! Any thoughts on a next book?
AMANDA LEPORE: I guess from 2000 to now. Ha!
PONYBOY: Our last question to you is, what do you, Amanda Lepore, want to be remembered for?
AMANDA LEPORE: Ummm…what do I want to be remembered for? Glamour I guess! Yeah, glamour.
PONYBOY: Well, that’s a given, of course! Amanda, thank you so much for taking the time out of your busy schedule for our Ponyboy shoot and interview! We love you!
AMANDA LEPORE: Of course, Maria. Thank you so much. I love you! And I love Ponyboy.
In 1982, photographer and fashion model Lucille Khornak published her first book, Fashion: 2001. Published by Viking Press, this extraordinary, oversized book (which we luckily stumbled upon in a used bookstore) gave viewers an inside into the minds of couturiers from around the world. Forecasting what people would be wearing in the future, the book showcased a garment created by each designer that presented his or her vision for 2001. Ms.Khornak took these creations and photographed them on models in exotic and futuristic locations. Almost 35 years later, we are enthralled by the predictions, hit or miss, and the fantastic imagery that Khornak presented us with . All photographs & fashion illustrations from Fashion: 2001 by Lucille Khornak. Viking Press. 1982. http://www.lucillekhornak.com
PONYBOY: Lucille, we just love your book, Fashion: 2001. But first, please tell us your background. Where were you born and raised?
LUCILLE KHORNAK: I was born and raised in a small town outside of Buffalo, New York. As a child I always knew that I wanted to be a model/actress. It was something that I felt I had to go for.
PONYBOY: How did the idea for the book come along? Was it because you were a New York based high-fashion model working in the fashion world?
LUCILLE KHORNAK: Actually, I was modeling and had just starting taking photographs of model friends, as well as shooting ads for large companies in the advertising world. A friend of mine said to me, “Why don’t you do a book?” I said, “What would I do a book on? The only thing I really know is fashion and photography.” The next time I saw that same friend, they asked if I had come up with an idea for a book. I said, “No, not yet.” I then started to seriously think about an idea for a book. After about a month of thinking, the idea for having the top fashion designers come up with a garment of their view of what fashion would be like in the future, came into my head. How about, what it would be like in the year 2001! That was the start of the idea. Could I actually make this happen, was another thought.
PONYBOY: There really is an incredible ensemble of people included in your book, from very established high-end designers to the younger “next wave”, who oddly enough became major players in the fashion world. Was it hard getting people to take part in the project? Did you know many of these designers personally?
LUCILLE KHORNAK: No, I did not know these designers personally. At first it was hard getting some of the designers on board. However, once I had a few, then the others were much easier to get. I had a great secretary who followed up with them. When they said to call on a particular day, she called until we got the appointment and the interview. The garment came later, as they had to think about the future and what they wanted to represent them. Many created something special for the book. I also wanted to include new designers, as they usually have forward thinking and can be much more experimental.
PONYBOY: You state in the book that you originally had anticipated that your project would take six to eight months to shoot, but in the end it became a four year process. How many designer’s were featured in the book?
LUCILLE KHORNAK: There are 102 designers. I actually thought about my locations and did a lot of research to make them look futuristic at the time. One shoot in particular I photographed in Las Vegas, in a fantasy suite. I also used the desert while out west. Then I spent a month in Paris working, interviewing and photographing many of the French designers. I then went on to Milan. On another trip, I took a a couple of garments to Venezuela and did a few of the shoots there. It really became a labor of love. Then came the editing process. I spent many nights until 4 am with a creative friend who was helping me to edit the photographs. There were so many good ones and choosing the final ones to use in the book was challenging.
PONYBOY: Which of the designs would say were your favorite to photograph?
LUCILLE KHORNAK: There were many favorites. However, I did love the concept from Jean Paul Gautier, who used a mannequin and said that we would be spraying our clothing on our body. Then there were Ungaro and Courreges. What happened around shooting the garments was very interesting. So many locations, so each was so different. I was thrilled to photograph in the original room of Chanel, where everything is kept in tact as it was before she died. Courreges, who was always a fashion forward designer, had an exciting showroom. I remember that he had a piece of artwork made with all white gloves. I took his portrait in front of that artwork. Many of his garments already had a futuristic look to them.
It was also great to have designers like Karl Lagerfeld, Zandra Rhodes and Issey Miyake at my home, getting to know them and doing their portraits in New York City. It really was a very exciting project. It also took a lot of energy to make this happen and to be so dedicated to the idea and concept.
PONYBOY: And which would you say were the most difficult garments to photograph and why?
LUCILLE KHORNAK: One was the day I had the model and the garment, and it was raining in Paris. I didn’t know what to do. I was so frustrated because of the weather. I had no choice but to photograph the garment that day. Waiting for the rain to subside, I finally photographed this garment with a very grey background along the banks of the Seine. The colors on the garment were so bright, colorful and strong that interestingly enough, the photograph turned out great. When I did my TV circuit it was one of the photographs that was most used. I would remember how everyone would react to it and yet, it was my most challenging situation. It even had roller skates!
PONYBOY: The book was published in 1982. However, if it took four years to photograph, you must have originally reached out to the designer’s around the mid-70s. Is this correct?
LUCILLE KHORNAK: No, I started late 1978 and really got into it at the beginning of 1979.
PONYBOY: How did the concept for each shoot come about? Was it a well thought out process?
LUCILLE KHORNAK: Yes, definitely it was all really thought out. I tried to find backgrounds or spaces that worked with some of the garments, as well as spaces that had a futuristic feeling to them. Back in those days we did not have digital, so what you captured on film is what you got. We did not retouch at that time, so all of those photographs are originals unretouched. Today there are so many places and areas that look and feel much more futuristic. I often say, “Wow! That would have been a great background then.”
PONYBOY: Did all of the designer’s also provide the sketches that we see in the book?
LUCILLE KHORNAK: Yes, all of the designers provided the sketches, which really added another point of interest to the book. It is also fun to see how each designer did their sketches and their interpretation of future fashion. I remember one designer said we would be pulling our clothing off of a roll and dispose of it afterwards.
PONYBOY: When the book was published in 1982, what kind of reception did it receive? Did it make a big splash in the fashion world? And was it hard getting Viking Press to commit to publishing the book initially?
LUCILLE KHORNAK: Actually Viking Press was very excited about it since they felt it would sell because I would have some top name designers. I couldn’t believe I got the contract. I had a great editor who still happens to be my friend today.
The first week the book came out, Bob Guccione saw it and immediately wanted to run a 15 page spread in his magazine called Omni. His magazine was about the future. He thought I was a genius!
That was such nice, positive feedback to hear. I was so excited. Well, he ran the 15 page spread and gave me the cover of Omni. I went on to do over 80 radio and TV talk shows around the country, including Oprah, Good Morning America, the Today show and many others. It was written up all over the world and could be found in book store windows throughout the world. A friend of mine was in Germany and took a photograph of the book in the window, which was on display there.
PONYBOY: Looking back now at the designers’ fashion forecasts of what people would be wearing in 2001, what are your thoughts? Do you feel it was fashion forward and progressive, or just outrageous?
LUCILLE KHORNAK: Both. Today fabric has changed and has become more breathable. Designers predicted that the fabrics would change, that people would be more in tune with their bodies, and that exercise would be extremely important. So, I see that as having materialized. Classic designers such as Oscar de la Renta believed that classic fashion would remain. That is true as there is still classic, elegant fashion.
The outrageous part was spraying latex on our bodies. That has not happened as of yet, or pulling our disposable clothing off a roll. Another said we would have thermostats on the garments to control our temperature.
PONYBOY: Scouring the internet, we see that Vice magazine, as well as a few blogs, have reposted images from the book. Was this done with your permission? And if so, how do you feel about people taking your photos and reposting them without your knowledge?
LUCILLE KHORNAK: No, they did not have permission. Obviously, it is not nice when people feel they can just take and use your material without asking. However, the internet has fast forwarded life and the world is becoming one and changing so quickly. People just feel they can take and use what they like.
PONYBOY: Did publishing the book bring photography opportunities to you at the time with magazines and advertising?
LUCILLE KHORNAK: Yes, it really increased my visibility in the world of fashion and beauty. The exposure I had was tremendous. Articles were run in many various types of magazines. It seemed to continue on for a couple of years.
PONYBOY: Are you still shooting now? And if so, what kind of photography are you involved with now?
LUCILLE KHORNAK: I have switched to children and families. I really love working with children, as they are so pure and real. I take my experience from modeling and fashion and beauty and use it in how I capture and photograph families. I have a great eye for detail and color, and it translates into my work. I currently have two galleries in the famous “Hamptons”, where I also do a lot of photographing on the beach and at clients’ homes. I also do destination travel and shoot families in many parts of the world. I have a staff of 10 people and we produce hard covered, coffee table books for our clients, as well as custom designed holiday cards. I design client walls with my photographs of their families from their session. I believe life is about documenting our journey and that is what we leave behind. Families should look at their photographs as art and display it accordingly.
I will continue to photograph as I love photography and art. There is so much to do and document that I wish I had more time to do it all! I recently went on a trip to Vietnam, Cambodia and India. That was some trip. My photographs are awesome and I would love to put them in a book.
PONYBOY: What are your thoughts on fashion now? Do you follow what designers are doing by looking at magazines and going on the internet? Fashion has changed so much since the book was published almost 35 years ago.
LUCILLE KHORNAK: Yes, fashion is very different today. At that time, when a certain skirt length was in fashion, that is what you wore. All of that has changed and anything goes. Street fashion is interesting to me, to see how young people pull themselves together. Yes, I still love fashion and I love working with great fashion models and great clothing.
PONYBOY: What about your personal style? Are there any designers that you favor and wear now?
LUCILLE KHORNAK: Now, I am very comfortable with myself and wear what I feel at the moment. I buy what I like. I will always love beautiful clothing and quality clothing. What is not to love?
PONYBOY: Going back to the book, we see that copies of Fashion: 2001 can be purchased on Amazon.com. Are these still from the original batch of printing in 1982?
LUCILLE KHORNAK: Yes, they are still from the original printing. I also have many original signed copies which I sell.
PONYBOY: Have the photos from the publication ever been exhibited in any shows?
LUCILLE KHORNAK: Yes, I have had many, many exhibitions. Actually, I was just thinking about exhibiting some of the prints at one of my galleries this summer. We are in the process of redoing our website (www.lucillekhornak.com) and our gallery website (www.lucillekhornakgallery.com) and we will be selling my prints online.
I will always be doing something new and exciting around photography and art. They are my passion.
PONYBOY: Finally, we must ask about the late great Andy Warhol being featured in one of the the fashion photographs in your book. Tell us how that came about? Did you know Andy? What was it like working with him?
LUCILLE KHORNAK: I knew Andy briefly, from seeing him at parties and at Studio 54. He was a very quiet person, yet he carried an inner confidence.
A friend of mine, Kathy Hilton, arranged the photo session with him. He was very excited to be part of the book. I was excited and I feel so lucky to have worked with him. I now have some great portraits of Andy that are for sale.
Emily Elica Low is a petite, young actress from Hollywood with big dreamy eyes and a glowing smile. Her inner beauty is just as radiant as her outer beauty. We just love her for that!
Emily has recently completed filming the “Frank & Ava” biopic, the tumultuous love story between movie stars Frank Sinatra and Ava Gardner. She was an easy fit to star as Ava, with her allure and keen sense of old-school Hollywood glamour. Emily began her career with burlesque and pin-up modeling, and is now a full fledged theatrical actress. We expect the biggest and brightest things for this talented rising star, and eagerly anticipate the release of this film. All the way to the top Emily!
Audrey Kitching. Model. Artist. Designer. Crystal worker. Clairvoyant. Energy healer. Blogger. Internet darling. With her trademark pink hair, petite frame and gorgeous face, we were thrilled to both photograph and interview this sensation. Our team gave this stunning beauty an editorial “makeover,” referencing the late 1940s – 1950s couture glamour of Christian Dior’s New Look, which was characterized by a silhouette which included broad shoulders, narrow waist and full, long skirts. Fashion Editor Xina Giatas stated, “Audrey’s personal style is feminine and bohemian in spirit, so I loved the opportunity to mix it up with her through channelling the more structured and voluminous New Look by Dior.” And our Beauty Director James Vincent said, “To bring across something new and exciting with makeup, we tapped into Audrey’s classic beauty and her beautiful, brilliant energy. The makeup feels Fellini-esque with its deep black shades and bold, feline shapes, but we have given balance by pairing black liquid liner with unexpected bright parallel lines and pops of color on the lip and cheek that range from sheer to saturated. Audrey’s beauty and spirit have a natural excitement to them and we hoped to capture that and reflect it in the makeup.” Photography by Alexander Thompson. Thank you to Laura Rebel Angel and Severly Mame. http://www.crystalcactus.com
PONYBOY: Audrey, we read that you were born in New Jersey, but now reside in Philadelphia?
AUDREY KITCHING: Yes, kinda sorta! The town I was born in is about five minutes from the center of Philadelphia, so I grew up with one foot in the city and the other in the woods. The best part about Philadelphia is you’re about an hour from the ocean, mountains, woods, country, various cities…basically anything you want is within a very close reach. But, I work in New York City mainly. I am in and out of the city all throughout the week. For someone whose heart lays with nature, being able to commute in and out of the city is beyond a blessing.
PONYBOY: What was your childhood like?
AUDREY KITCHING: My childhood was equal parts magical and tragic. I grew up building vampire traps in the woods, doing strange nature spells, pressing flowers in old library books, planting gardens, painting, collecting bugs, meeting animals in the woods, and dyeing clothing. My childhood, in that sense, was out of a fairytale. I have always been very energetically sensitive, since I was very young. As a kid you only know what your surroundings teach you. I would see ghosts and demons all the time and no one would believe me. It was pretty horrifying to not understand what they were or how to explain to adults what was happening. I have this haunting memory of being maybe nine years old at my older brother’s wedding rehearsal. It took place in an incredibly old, well-known haunted hotel with a restaurant and lounge in the historic part of the city. I spent the entire night being freezing cold, sick and followed by a little girl. I kept telling everyone she wouldn’t leave me alone and was making me feel ill and scared. Long story short, the entire family was incredibly annoyed with me and put me in time out for the rest of the evening.
PONYBOY: You also lived in Los Angeles at some point. What was that experience like for you?
AUDREY KITCHING: Los Angeles can teach you a lot about yourself very quickly. My lesson was finding out this place was not for me at all in any way, shape or form. It’s this strange bubble, a completely distorted reality. The people who live there and revel in it have become so embracing of that delusion that they see nothing outside of it. The thought of the real word is a very scary thing to them. I do know there are a few exceptions to this, but I’m just being generally honest here. I’m in a strange paradox because I’m sort of the anti-industry, while still working within it. Everything Los Angeles stands for is against what I live. It’s a very toxic place that feeds on souls of the desperate. My advice to anyone who is an artist with integrity would be to accept the lesson and save your soul.
PONYBOY: How did you get into the world of modeling?
AUDREY KITCHING: I really just fell into it. I did a lot of artistic projects for friends when I was younger and when my online teenage rants grew in popularity, companies started to notice. They would book me because of my reach and what I stood for at that time. When I look back to the start of all this I had no idea how much influence and power I was beginning to harness back then. I was just a kid complaining about things I thought no one could relate to. It was kind of like my personal diary, but public. I’m not your normal model by any means. People meet me and the first thing they always say is along the lines of, “Wow! You’re so tiny. I never would have thought!”
PONYBOY: You’ve been photographed for many magazines. What’s been your favorite editorial to date?
AUDREY KITCHING: I did an editorial for ZINK and they flew out all the McQueen gowns straight from the runway in Paris a few days before. I am such a fan of that label, so for me that was a pretty memorable experience. They also made me look like the Queen of the Underworld, which is very McQueen in its own right.
PONYBOY: Would you say that modeling is ultimately your passion?
AUDREY KITCHING: Any kind of art is my passion, and right now modeling falls into that category. So, in a sense, yes. I just love to create, whether I’m the one in front of or behind the camera, painting, gluing things together, or mixing up oils. As long as I’m bringing something beautiful to life, my soul is satisfied.
PONYBOY: You’ve been described as a huge social media star. Did that originally come about from you being a blogger?
AUDREY KITCHING: It did, for sure, but it was never a goal or intention of mine. It was my outlet. I never fit in with other bloggers. I was never the girl doing the $100 Instagram posts about teeth whiting, face masks and diet teas. I was writing more about real life situations and wearing what I wanted, not what I was paid to dress up in. During the peak of the blogging days, this was a dangerous tactic. I isolated myself, but created my own path at the same time, ironically. Being authentic and going against the grain does eventually pay off, as long as you believe in what you’re doing.
PONYBOY: Are you still an editor for Buzznet?
AUDREY KITCHING: I’m actually not. I worked for Spin Media for almost ten years. I did a lot of their music and fashion columns online. I look back and it’s kinda wild to think about some of the situations it granted me. I was paid to just go on tour with my friends and take photos the first few years I worked there. It was completely out of control to be honest, chaos at the deepest level. Once I had enough of the music scene and touring, I switched over to the Style Editor role and focused more on celebrity interviews, red carpets and fashion week events. It seems like a whole other lifetime, looking back now.
PONYBOY: You’re also a designer. Tell us about the clothing projects that you’ve worked on in the past.
AUDREY KITCHING: I have done major clothing collaborations in the past. We had showrooms in Tokyo and were doing incredibly well in the market. But, I sort of saw how dirty that side of the industry was, and chose to step away from it all. I didn’t want my day to day life to be so consumed with trends and what was popular at that moment. It started to feel like a big game that I didn’t want any part of. Whenever you can make other people money and they know that, you must be incredibly careful with your talent and ideas before they are exploited. After choosing to step away from that side of design, is when I created Crystal Cactus. Now, we curate full moon ritual bath soaks and crystal healing jewelry.
PONYBOY: Explain to our readers the concept behind Crystal Cactus.
AUDREY KITCHING: Crystal Cactus is really a lifestyle brand to expand minds and bring in beautiful products that assist it. It was a way for me to show that knowledge and consciousness can be beautiful. They don’t have to be isolated concepts.
PONYBOY: You’ve been dubbed a style icon. Describe your personal style.
AUDREY KITCHING: My style is a mix. I love my lace and my latex. I always say it’s feminine, but not girly. I think there is a difference. I love muted colors, textures and layers. I grew up dyeing my own clothing from thrift stores and I’m still doing that today. I dye my clothing all the time. I might be addicted to it actually. I just like to take something ordinary and make it feel special, different, one of a kind.
PONYBOY: What designers do you favor?
AUDREY KITCHING: Galliano, McQueen, Prada, and Ashish.
PONYBOY: More than anything, you’re a successful business woman. What do you have on your horizon next?
AUDREY KITCHING: I have so many projects going on, but my main focus next is my top secret aura project. I cannot wait to bring that to life! It’s been in the works for a while, but it will be worth the wait. I promise.
Gia Genevieve is a recent New York City transplant who fled the sunny skies of Hollywood to take a walk on the wild side. Blonde, beautiful and very buxom, this classy young lady is making her mark in the world of fashion by recently signing with the highly reputable Wilhelmina Agency New York. Gia bears a haunting resemblance to the late Anna Nicole, and is always done in 1950’s Jayne Mansfield glamour when photographed about town. So we, of course, were extremely excited to book her for our latest women’s editorial.
Ponyboy stylist Xina Giatas put Miss Genevieve in beautiful vintage inspired foundations from labels Dottie’s Delights and Secrets In Lace, as well as vintage fur coats and the latest pencil skirts. Our concept was old school Hollywood glamour with an obvious nod to Miss Mansfield. We kept with Gia’s trademark 50’s makeup and we could think of no one better to accomplish this fete than the incredible makeup artist James Vincent, using Ardency Inn products. Art direction, as well as hairstyling, was lent by the genius of Walton Nunez.
We welcome this beauty to New York and see very big things for her in the very near future!
Alix Brown. New York City “Girl About Town.” Always photographed at the best downtown parties and events, you will find her djing, dancing and hanging out with a flock of young, prominent and successful beauties she calls her best friends. Dressed to the nines, her classic 1960’s looks are all the more intriguing. While her thick bangs pay homage to Marianne Faithful, her looks are an amazing hybrid of a young Catherine Denueve in The Young Girls of Rochefort and the illustrious sex-pot Brigitte Bardot. She mixes the new with an incredible and impressive designer vintage collection, creating a very unique and ultra fashionable look all her own.
PONYBOY: Alix, where were you raised?
ALIX BROWN: Atlanta, Georgia.
PONYBOY: What was it like growing up in the south?
ALIX BROWN: I couldn’t have asked for a better place to grow up. There is a plethora of amazing vintage and antiques for dirt cheap, and you even have a nice big house you can put it all in. That’s how my addiction started.
PONYBOY: What brought you to New York City?
ALIX BROWN: My dad was from Manhattan. He took me to visit when I was a teenager and I fell in love with it’s grime.
PONYBOY: I think when we first met you some years back you were go-go dancing at a Jonathan Toubin party?
ALIX BROWN: More than likely… I think you also took my photo for Paper Magazine for the nightlife section.
PONYBOY: Were you always into vintage clothing? What looks did you play around with as a teenager?
ALIX BROWN: Yes, I was always into vintage. But my style was constantly changing like crazy. I started off being grunge and listening to a lot of Nirvana when I was ten. And then somehow I turned goth/industrial when I was thirteen. Then at sixteen, I got really into punk and then in my later teens/early twenties, I got more into 60’s mod. I think I always had a 70’s glam Bowie twist throughout all my phases though!
PONYBOY: How would you describe your personal style/look now? It seems to be a bit Catherine Denueve/Brigitte Bardot/Marianne Faithful all rolled up into one.
ALIX BROWN: Brigitte Bowie.
PONYBOY: What designers do you favor? Do you primarily dress exclusively in vintage clothing?
ALIX BROWN: I like mixing vintage and new designers. I love Saint Laurent, Courreges, Ossie Clark, Miu Miu, Prada, Chanel and Reformation.
PONYBOY: You’re one of the stylish, beautiful female DJ’s that plays fashionable events, along with other lovelies like Leigh Lezark and Becca Diamond. What differentiates you from these ladies? What records do you enjoy spinning?
ALIX BROWN: I play mostly 60’s and 70’s rock’n’roll, soul, french, glam, and punk. I also like to play records sometimes too, whenever I get the chance.
PONYBOY: You’re also a musician. What instrument do you play? Are you in a band?
ALIX BROWN: I’ve been playing bass since I was 16. I’ve played in many bands and traveled extensively, but in the last year I’ve been focusing on mainly styling and DJing.
PONBOY: We see photos of you out with model Alexa Chung, musician Tennessee Jane Bunny Thomas, and other New York City “It Girls.” Do you go out every night? What clubs are your favorites?
ALIX BROWN: I try to be good, but now that it’s summer there’s just so much going on. It’s hard to say no to a fun night out on the town! I love going to the Soho Grand Hotel, Paul’s Baby Grand, Black Market, Cabin, and Baby’s All Right.
PONBOY: Will you stay put in New York City? What plans do you have for yourself in the future?
ALIX BROWN: I can’t quite say what’s in store for me. I miss the south a lot, but I’ve also been flirting with the idea of living in Los Angeles. I also feel really drawn to Germany for some reason, maybe it’s my heritage. But, for now, there is no place I’d rather be than New York City!
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 were thrilled to photograph beautiful classic pin-up model Doris Mayday in sunny Las Vegas. Miss Mayday is a legendary presence in the pin-up/rockabilly world. Her new lean California figure looked spectacular in form-fitting dresses and capri pants. The stunning redhead had her signature glamorous 1950’s look, all from her own exquistite vintage collection including lurex pieces and outrageous over-the-top sunglasses. Our lovely model Doris was shot on location at the magnificent mid-century home of Yoceline “DJ Maybelline” Lizarraga.
PONYBOY: You hail from Las Vegas originally?
DORIS MAYDAY: I was born and raised in Las Vegas until I was 21. It may may seem odd that I left at the crucial ‘Vegas’ age. But when you grow up in that city, I had been 21 since I was 16 and was ready for a change.
PONYBOY: How did you get into pin-up modeling?
DORIS MAYDAY: I was heavily into the rockabilly scene and got asked one day as a favor to be in a calendar since they needed a blonde who already had that aesthetic. I had never thought about modeling before and didn’t think anything would really come from it. After it came out though, I started getting really great response from retro clothing companies and shoots kept coming up. I went along for the ride since I thought it would just be temporary and it would be nice to have some good photos of me to show my grand kids one day – that was almost 8 years ago!
PONYBOY: You really resembled Anna Nicole Smith when you were a blonde. Did other people see the resemblance?
DORIS MAYDAY: I never really saw the Anna resemblance. The first people to bring it to my attention were Micheline Pitt and Laura Byrnes from Pinup Girl Clothing. Micheline said that the resemblance was the reason why I was chosen to model for them in the first place. Hah! After she passed away I would hear it pretty regularly. But when you’re a blonde rockabilly girl, you get everything shouted at you. Marilyn! Anna!! Mansfield!!! Lucy!!!! Bettie Boop!!!!! (that one still baffles me).
PONYBOY: Your newer red hair is BEAUTIFUL. Do you plan on keeping it for awhile?
DORIS MAYDAY: I love having red hair! I keep bouncing in between shades of orange, copper and burgundy trying to find the one I love the most. But that’s the great thing with red hair, you can change the shades easily without destroying your hair – usually by just washing it. I don’t’ think I’ll be changing it anytime soon.
PONYBOY: Have you always been into 50’s glamour?
DORIS MAYDAY: I have been completely enthralled with 50’s glamour for as long as I can remember. From old movies, album covers, magazines, old family photos, nothing is more sexy and yet classic to me.
PONYBOY: You recently relocated to the west coast. Tell us how that’s been.
DORIS MAYDAY: I surprisingly am enjoying living in California. Growing up in Vegas, I would come out to LA every month to visit, model, shop and go to theme parks. I had a laundry list of reasons why I would never live here including the traffic, overpopulation, pollution and the expense. A terrific job would be the only reason I would make the big move. Then I got the offer to manage the Pinup Girl Boutique in Burbank. Since living here, you understand how to avoid or accept the faults of LA. You start finding all the charm it has to offer and the rich diverse culture. You can totally be okay with traffic after getting a Disneyland season pass.
PONYBOY: Any aspirations to be an actress? You certainly have the face for it.
DORIS MAYDAY: I have never had a desire to act before. I always believed that was a career and commitment you had to make for yourself when you are younger and that I just missed that boat. Since moving to LA and seeing how things really work though, apparently you don’t need to quote Shakespeare or have go to theatre camp since 5 years old. But it pops into my head from time to time. To be honest, I’m terrified of rejection. I cry easier than I care to admit. That industry is filled with 99 “No’s” before you here a “Yes”. I’m pretty sure I would need to get much thicker skin first before signing up for acting lessons.
PONYBOY: Who are your role models? Who inspires you?
DORIS MAYDAY: Walt Disney, Jim Henson, and my mother Cindy. It is impossible to not be inspired by the entrepreneurial spirit of Disney. I am also practically green with envy of creative people and Jim Henson made magic out of felt and ping pong balls for goodness sake! The older I get, the more my mother impresses me. My respect grows for her with every new chapter in my life. How did she do it? She married her high school sweetheart and is still happily married after 36 years, with three successful daughters, a college education and a great job. As an adult, going through my own struggles, I have realized the amount of work it all takes. She gave me such a happy supportive childhood that it all seemed so effortless. I love coming to her for advice. She really has the “mother’s touch” and I hope one day I can be the woman she is.
PONYBOY: Your favorite shoot so far? And worse?
DORI MAYDAY: I can’t pick just one! Shooting at Cicada Club for Pinup girl Clothing and Rick Baker’s studio this year is definitely up there, as well as getting to shoot with Shannon Brooke in Palm Springs. Years ago I shot with Formento + Formento in downtown Vegas and those images are still some of my favorites. Alexander Thompson shoots are obviously the best, too! Though the first shoot with Alexander could of easily been the worse shoot of my life, due to some personal issues that were happening. Instead he turned my drama and emotions I was going through into some truly beautiful and raw photos that I cherish. The worst shoot hands down was a catalog shoot for Bettie Page with a new photographer. He constantly was telling the other models to “Be like Doris! Why can’t you look like her? You’re doing it wrong!” He was making me coach them and using me as the example. It was incredibly aggressive and negative, not to mention awkward and made the other models cry. I grew up an ugly fat kid. I will NEVER be comfortable with someone telling me that I’m “perfect” or putting me on a pedestal. I’ve never wanted to leave a shoot so badly. God he was the worst! Needless to say we never hired him again.
PONYBOY: You’re still quite young. Any plans for taking over the world? Or will you be content to be married with kids in an apron…50’s style?
DORIS MAYDAY: I want both, dammit! I would love to make more of an impact on the world with whatever path I choose to take. But I know family life is an ultimate goal for me. I plan on doing business meetings while wearing my apron.