With her pinup girl glamour and gorgeous personality, Miss Victory Violet has fast become one of our favourite Aucklanders.
Between running her social media accounts (she’s got more than 120,000 Insta followers alone), looking after her blog and working at salon Killer Hair in Eden Terrace, Miss Victory Violet, or Ella Jane Webster, is one busy lady!
And yes, she’s incredibly nice as well….as we found out when she did our hair (on more than one occasion) #fans.
In 2014, the 26-year-old won Miss Pin Up NZ and then Miss Viva Las Vegas the following year. The tables will turn this weekend at the Very Vintage Day Out, where this time she’ll be the judge.
We recently chatted to Miss Victory Violet about her love of vintage style, her day-to-day life, where she gets her inspo from and her advice for looking and feeling great—no matter what your style.
When did you first become interested in all things vintage?
I started dressing daily in the pin-up style about five or six years ago but I think my love for it was always there beneath the surface—I just didn’t know it! I bought my first vintage dress from Vixen on K Road when I was 16 and I would always gravitate towards full skirt styles and one of the first makeup styles I tried was cat-eye liquid liner.
How did that interest grow and what does it mean for you on a day-to-day basis?
It grew from an interest into a full-blown obsession. I started to get more into the hair and makeup and started to build my collection of pin-up style clothing from mainly online shopping.
Tell us—how long does it take to get ready in the morning?!
I allow about 60 minutes for full hair and makeup. I can do it faster but I tend to get distracted with Facebook! I really enjoy the process and I like to do it calmly and without rushing so I don’t mind how long it takes.
If we were to spy on you in the weekend (in a totally non-creepy way), would we ever see you in a pair of trackies?
No! I don’t own trackies. The closest I would have is flannel PJ pants or workout leggings. If I’m having a relaxed day at home, more often than not you’d find me in one of my frilly ’50s nighties or my leopard-print robe. If all I’m doing for the day is a quick trip to the supermarket, then I’ll put on one of my basic comfortable swing dresses and ballet flats.
Tell us about the Auckland vintage community.
It’s a wonderful little community that just keeps growing and growing! I’ve made so many friends through the community and I’m lucky that I get to spend time with a lot of them when they visit me at the salon.
What is the most common question people ask when they first meet you?
It’s either something along the lines of “Are you going to a party? Are you in a play? Where are you going?” I think they are usually pretty disappointed when I say I’m just going to work! The other question I get a lot is about how long it takes me to do my hair or get ready in the morning.
You have a massive following on social media. How does this feel?
It can be a little overwhelming—especially when sometimes people might forget that there is, indeed, a real person behind it all.
What are the three most important things in your life?
My family and friends, my creativity and new experiences such as travelling the world.
What would people be surprised to learn about you?
Up until I was 16, I was dead-set in my career goal of being a marine biologist. Then I realised that I actually wasn’t all that great in Biology. I spent a few years (and a semester doing a BA at Auckland Uni) wondering what I was going to do until I found hairdressing.
You were Miss Pin Up NZ in 2014 and Miss Viva Las Vegas the following year—what has the impact been on your life?
Entering and winning those competitions gave me that little boost of confidence and proved to myself that I COULD do it. A few years ago my confidence was nowhere near what it is now and I couldn’t have imagined entering these competitions. They’ve also given me new opportunities and I’ve made some great friends!
What kind of preparation goes into events such as these?
Attending any vintage event usually means the ladies will be planning their outfit for weeks—or even months—in advance. For Viva Las Vegas over in Las Vegas—which we are attending for the third time in just a few weeks—I need to plan and prepare outfits for three days, which is always tricky with limited luggage space!
Where do you find your inspiration from?
I find my inspiration from a mix of both true vintage looks and photographs and from fellow modern pin-up girls on social media platforms such as Instagram. It’s always so fun seeing how others style the same skirt you’ve got or work an item in a different way.
What are your top three places to shop for vintage clothes?
And for shoes?
And where to you go for homewares?
Second hand shops/vintage shops
This year you’re going to be on the other side as a judge! What would you say to people who are thinking about entering but feel too shy/scared/not good enough?
I would tell them that I totally understand their fear and nervousness—it’s natural! But I would tell them also that the experience is so much fun, so don’t over think things. If you want to enter but have those concerns, try to focus on just having fun, expressing your personality and staying true to who you are.
What are your top five tips for entrants?
- Think outside the box. There are set themes and requirements but try to push that so you bring something new that we haven’t seen before.
- Practice your walk and posing…even better, film it! I filmed myself practicing so I could review it and see how I was looking. It was a great way to make changes and progress.
- Gather up as many supporters as you can. Hearing them cheer for you every time you grace the stage will give you an extra confidence boost.
- Find a balance between trying new things and staying true to your personal style. It might not be the right time to wear a completely different style or colour that perhaps you don’t feel 100 per cent good in. Wear things that make you feel wonderful and nothing less.
- Smile and have fun! There’s nothing better than seeing someone enjoying themselves!
Vintage or not, what is your best piece of advice for women when it comes to looking and feeling their best?
Love yourself. Love what you put on in the morning because it’s what YOU want to wear and not what you SHOULD wear. Wear makeup if you want to, or don’t. Do your hair if you want to, or don’t. Love yourself and do what makes you happy. I know it’s easier said than done, but sometimes it’s just about making small choices that lead to a greater feeling of contentment.
Looking for more great things to do this month? Here are 21 Things To Do In Auckland This Month
Image credit: Elizabeth J Photography