I’m thrilled to present another interview-blog. This week I am featuring a local pin-up star, and fellow redhead. When she is not posing for the camera and sharing her social media life with her fans (and plenty of them there are might I add!) she is honing her very talented skills at hairdressing, specialising in, you guessed it Vintage pin-up tresses.
May I introduce you to glamourpuss….
Amber Von Tassel!
To get the ball rolling I asked Amber what got her into pin-up and Vintage life.
“When I was really young – about 12-13, I remember seeing on TV, I think it might have been Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, and I remember thinking how beautiful women were in the 50’s.Then when I got a bit older I was obsessed with googling pinup Art, pinup images, and then I realised even later on when I was around 18 that I could actually turn this obsession into a career, by becoming a pin-up myself.”
AMBER’S EARLY PIN-UP PICTURE
“So I changed my own image. I started dressing in a pin-up style, and just started doing a bit of TF work (Time For Print work) as a model, slowly getting some experience. Then it opened up for me really. I loved it straight away. To the point where its my lifestyle now, its not a job, its just how I live my life.”
We then got to talking about musicals and our mutual love for old hollywood in general.
Amber brought up the original Annie film.
“Do you know the part where they go to the Movies? I remember seeing the sparkly showgirls singing and dancing from being very little and being completely entranced by them. I was so excited by this. We didn’t have any real reference like this in pop culture until maybe Geri in the Spice Girls when she began dressing a little bit pin-up, after they had become really big.”
Here’s that number…
Me: So tell me a little bit more about moving from pin-up dressing up to becoming a model then.
“Well first I started Burlesque. I got into that before I got into modelling believe it or not. I never thought I’d be a model. I never crossed my mind that it was something I could ever do. When I started doing burlesque, I started doing the promo shoots in my outfits, so I’d meet with photographers and they shoot my costumes.
When I got involved with the Headline Honeys, my workload shot up straight away.”
Me: Tell me about the posing then – did you find that you simply isolated a pose from your burlesque routine as poses, or did you find that you felt the whole thing came to you much more naturally?
“I did my homework. I did a lot of research, I looked to the stars like Dita, and I’m always looking for inspiration from all kinds of places. Like just last night I saw something on netflix where there was a nurse in a latex outfit sitting on a giant hypodermic needle. So now I have that image floating around in my head as inspiration, that I want to recreate.
I also think its really important to learn from past mistakes. So I will look over past shoots and cringe a little bit at some of my work. But then I think to myself that I now know that that angle is not so good for me, or this way is wrong.”
Me: This is a great thing to point out here! Everyone has certain angles, and certain colours and poses that aren’t right for them. I say this to all of my clients all the time. Its great to hear even you say this.
“Absolutely. I often go into a shoot with a certain idea for a pose, and then I look at it after and I have my face at a funny angle, but now I move around in each pose to get as much as I can from it before going to the next.”
Me: A Ha! That the sign of a true pro! A great pace of fluidity! That comes only with time.
A:”Well I was a beginner too, I’ll get one of my photo’s from my first pin-up session for this blog to show everyone. I had black hair and betty bangs.”
Me: OMG! yes we’d all love to see that.
A:”I was still so nervous then, and very VERY aware of my body. Like I didn’t own it. I had just started burlesque. And I still had that awkward teenager thing going on.”
Me: Wow that’s so brave!
A:”I decided I wanted to just push through it. It was completely for me the whole way. I wanted to get to the point where I felt comfortable as me, as a performer and as a model.”
Me: “Had you performed as a child at all? Where had this drive come from?”
A:”Yes – I had danced right through childhood, and then before I did hairdressing, I did performing arts at college. I had always been a performer, but I had never found my niche. At college I would cringe at musical theatre, I never wanted to be in the movies, I always loved drama, and dance. But it had always given me lots of confidence and its crazy to think how its come together for me.
I’m not the greatest dancer, but I love it, and I love being on the stage.
My unicorn burlesque show is completely off the cuff, I like to adapt it to how the audience is on the night, and change things for the stage shape. I love the lack of formality in it all.”
Me: “Do you think there is a certain pin-up state of mind?”
A: “Its a way of life.
Even if you can’t be bothered and you are feeling rubbish, you’ve gotta do your wings, put your lipstick on, fill your eyebrows in.
Like today. I’m having a can’t be bothered hair day. But I’ll still roll my fringe and put my headscarf on. Or, I’ll set my hair. If I can’t be bothered to do that then I’ll find something else to do.
I find today people don’t make an effort as such. You can make an effort to look effortless.
I never do it for anyone else. I really don’t give a stuff what anyone else thinks. Its always just for me. I’ve had to dash out for petrol before with my hair setting in pin curls before a show, and I’ve been asked if I was headed out for a fancy dress party! I always say to anyone aiming for a certain look, to watch tutorials online. Practice makes perfect. Don’t expect to get it right first time, it does take getting used to.”
Me: “What is your current biggest dream?”
A: “My biggest dream is to perform in Vegas. So far I have done a few places in Europe. I want to keep going with my pin-up work, and keep on building my fanbase. And getting my hair tutorials channel working better for me.”
Me: “What do you do on your toughest days?”
A: “full face or make up on/roll my hair/tightest wiggle skirt on/smile through it/post a selfie on Instagram/take control of my attitude.”
You can find out much more about the delightful Amber von Tassel by heading straight to her website:
This interview was conducted in a great vintage inspired cafe in the heart of Newcastle where we nattered over tea and cakes, then shot the pictures that have been featured within this blog. I’d like to thank the team at Patisserie Valerie for accommodating us.