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Viva Las Vegas - not long now!

Posted: 2017-04-07 22:02:09

I'm literally counting down the days to Viva Las Vegas! I'm super-excited and really rather nervous! My day job has been so hectic I've not even started packing yet!

I've been saving up for Viva for years but never quite seem to get the money together.  This year I'm going to turn 40 and it's the 20th Annversary Viva so I was determined to go to this one, and I'm so glad I booked it!

I'm really excited about the whole experience - meeting loads of like minded people, great music, dancing, an incredible car show, vintage shopping, tiki bars, pool parties, burlesque...its going to be epic!  I can't wait to see all the gorgeous vehicles on show and everyone looking fabulous, and hear all the bands and dance the night away! And I can't wait to see Dita and Immodesty Blaize and all the fabulous burlesque performances.

I'm also really excited and really nervous about the Pinup Contest.  I still can't quite believe I'm a finalist, and it's my first Viva so I don't know what to expect!

I don't enter many pageants - I'm naturally pretty shy and to be honest, the thought of being on stage terrifies me! I wasn't going to enter, but a friend who knew I was going to Viva talked me into it.  She said 'what have you got to lose' and I realised she was right and decided to go for it!  I often miss out on stuff because i fear failure and I'm scared of making a fool of myself! But I'm coming to realise that I need to challenge those fears and follow my dreams!

I quickly pulled together a bio and images and filled out the entry form.  I wasn't expecting to get anywhere, but I figured it was worth a go! Once my entry was accepted I got added to the contestants forum and got chatting to the other lovely ladies who enered.  It was great to talk to other ladies from so many different backgrounds, who share similar interests and dreams. I love that everyone is so lovely and caring and supportive of each other. I like to think I've made some real friends on that forum and I'm really looking forward to meeting everyone for real at Viva!  I figured if I didn't get through, it was worth entering just to meet these ladies and the lovely Rockwell who has held our hands all the way and has been an absolute star!

I remember being convinced I wouldn't get through, and on the night when the judges choices and contestant's choice were to be announced I went dancing to calm my nerves (dancing never fails to make me feel good!).  I got home late and there were still no results, but I saw my photo/bio had been removed from the webite and I thought I was out, I wasn't surprised, but I still felt kind of sad about it.  I tried to stay up to see who got through, but must have drifted off to sleep.  I woke up to the best surprise ever! There was a message on my Facebook from the lovely Lily White telling me we both made it! I was shaking as I switched to my emails to find one from Rockwell announcing the first 6 finalists - I had to read it 4 or 5 times before I believed it! I was going to be a finalist in the Miss Viva Las Vegas Pinup Contest alongside the lovely Lily White, Radmila Rocky Zombie, Lucy Luxe, Daria Tarasova and contestant's choice Boson Bombshell!  I cried.  Then I bounced about with excitement like a complete fool!  I feel really honoured to be joining these amazing women in the finals.

It was now down to the public vote to determine the 6 lovely ladies who would join us in the finals.  I cast my vote and encouraged the other ladies. I wanted to help them along, but in the end I decided it was fairest if I stayed neutral rather than sharing anyone's vote links because I couldn't share them all! The girls all worked so hard campaigning for votes - I felt a little guilty at how relieved I was that I didn't have to do it!

On 1 February the 6 with the most votes were announced and I couldn't have wished for better company in the finals.  Miss Monique Sweet, Heloise Bow Flapper, The Dutch Pinup, Dariel Dearlove, Lady Lipstick and Ginger Heartbreaker completed our group.

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Since then we've been getting to know each other online, and I can't wait to meet all these lovely ladies.  I'd have trouble picking a winner from this group of sweethearts and whoever wins I'll be cheering them on!  I feel proud to be taking to the stage with such wonderful women.

When the final 6 were announced it suddenly felt real! And I needed to find a prom dress for the stage! I searched and searched but couldn't find anything that fit! Finally I found a 1950's ball gown that might do - I took a gamble on it! In the meantime, I decided to try and make myself a dress, but I started too late! I found some beautiful fabric and made a pattern but I ran out of time.  I've been working really long hours in my day job, and with photoshoots on the side and mum's care I soon realised that I wasn't going to make it in time.  All my hopes were now pinned on the back up dress...it wasn't the style I'd hoped to wear, but when it arrived it looked beautiful, it fit perfectly and I love the colour.  I'm slightly dissapointed I didn't manage to make something in time, but I'll be happy to wear my back up dress.

I can't believe I've been given this amazing opportunity! I'm so grateful to be there I feel like I need to give it my best shot.  It would be amazing to win! A dream come true...but I'll still be happy just to make it to the finals and have have the experience!

Now its only a few days before I fly out and it still seems so far away but really soon at the same time!  I've been so busy at work I've not even started packing! Tomorrow I shall be raiding my wardrobe - trying things on and hoping they still fit! Mending anything that needs a bit of TLC, matching up accessories and trying to cram it all in to a suitcase with a 23kg weight limit and a carry on rucksack! I have a feeling Sunday will be spent weighing and removing items to get the weight down...Wish me luck!

I fly out from London Heathrow on Tuesday and I hav a feeling I'll be going crazy with excitement and nerves between now and then!  

I really hope my anxiety doesn't get the better of me! I get really anxious in social situations, probably because I was bullied so badly as a kid.  I worry too much about what people think and I get scared people won't like me and will exclude me.  I'm going to Viva on my own, and though I'm meeting up with people I know there, and a friend is joining me for the first few days I'm already worrying that I'll be alone in a crowd! I guess it is in at the deep end - maybe it will help cure my social anxiety! I'm hoping that with so much to do and so many people there I'll be enjoying myself too much to worry and will just be swept along with it all...from what I hear the weekender is a really friendly one and will be jam-packed with all the things I love so I'm determined to relax and enjoy it and make lots of new friends.

I'm trying not to get too worried about it - I'll be myself and enjoy the ride. 

If you see me there, please pop over and say hello. x

 


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A bit more about me and my Pinup Journey so far...

Posted: 2017-04-07 20:23:20

I'm Miss Lillian Love and I like to think I'm a pinup with a big heart. I come from a long line of 'Loves' and my Grandma was such a stylish lady it felt right to borrow her maiden name for my pinup work. I’ve always admired her and I think she would have liked it!   

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I’ve been a vintage enthusiast for well over a decade and my favourite styles come from the 1930's, 40's and 50's.  I grew up watching classic Hollywood movies and listening to my mum's Jazz collection and Dad's Rock'n'Roll records.  I've been collecting vintage for years, and I love dancing and going to events. As my love of vintage and swing dancing grew, so did my admiration for Pinup and I found it creeping into my everyday style.

I guess I started modelling a lot later than most pinups - I’m my mid-30’s.  My self esteem has always been pretty low and I’ve suffered from social anxiety most of my life.  I am improving though - I would never have had the confidence to pose for the camera in my 20’s! Pinup, and the wonderful people I’ve met have definitely helped me through some tough times.   

My first shoot was a fun one with Jez Brown Photography.  I never thought of myself as a Pinup and but a friend recommended it as a confidence booster after a bad breakup!  I had so much fun playing dress up for the camera though, and I ended up planning more and more shoots with Jez. I finally got up the courage to start my Pinup modelling page in February 2013.   

I’m really excited to be a finalist in the upcoming Miss Viva Las Vegas Pinup Contest at Viva Las Vegas in April 2017 (you’ll find more about this in my blog).  My pinup journey over the past few years has been incredible! I've enjoyed every moment and I have been lucky enough to work with some amazingly talented photographers, models, designers, makeup artists and hairstylists, and model for some great clothing companies.  

I’m an internationally published pinup model with publications including Delicious Dolls Magazine, Tease and Cake, Femme Rebelle,  Kultur Magazine, Vintage Life, In Retrospect, Riot Vixen and Custom Car Magazine.  And I’ve been lucky enough to model for The House of Foxy, Pretty Retro, The Seamstress of Bloomsbury, Lindy Bop, Wyte Phantom Corsets, Yummy Gummy Latex, Fetasia Latex and Prior Attire. 

I have a degree in fashion, but ended up working in the construction industry so pinup modelling is a great creative outlet for me! It makes me feel elegant and feminine and sexy – I love playing the femme fatale! 

I'm generally a happy person and I believe everyone should be treated with respect so I avoid getting involved in any bitchiness. Life is too short to waste it being mean!  Though I'm still quite shy, modelling has improved my confidence a great deal.  I've never been a conventional beauty and I love that Pin-Up embraces women of all shapes and sizes and encourages us to find and celebrate our best features. If any ladies out there are thinking of giving it a go, I'd say go for it!  There are some very talented photography teams out there that will make you look and feel incredible.  

I'm lucky enough to be represented by The Pinup Academy – its lovely being part of such an amazingly fun and supportive pinup family  - they really helped give me the confidence to do more with my modelling.  I strongly believe in supporting and encouraging other Pinups, there’s plenty of room for all of us and by helping each other we also grow an amazing community.

I had to take time out from modelling for a while after my mum got diagnosed with Alzheimers as family always comes first, but now I have help with her care I'm trying to make a bit of a come-back!  I’m prioritising commercial work for designers and collaborations with quality photographers for publication.  I’m reliable, hardworking and I always put in 100%.

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