Stolen from Miss Mollie Tov’s Facebook page
BS: how did you get into both burlesque, but mainly the vintage pinup world?
MMT: It all came from going to a burlesque show at Altitude Nightclub & Bar where I was working at the time. I came along and my friend Nicole introduced me to Miss Tittle Tattle because she knew I’ve always had an interest in vintage and burlesque sort of things, As Quite often it was my go to costume, the Moulin Rouge sort of corsets, and fishnets, and things like that.
BS: They go hand in hand, really, don’t they?
MMT: Yeah, So was introduced to her on a show night, and from there I started classes, and really started discovering what I love and that I can actually do it in New Zealand. I didn’t realize that I could prior. She opened a whole new world to me which set me off on the vintage scene, and got me more into wearing it every day, and incorporating it into my life.
Photographer: Shifting Light Photography
BS: With the vintage scene, are you self taught with the way that you style yourself?
MMT: I’m self taught in the fact that a lot of my techniques I have gotten from spending hours on YouTube watching tutorials, and practicing, and things like that, a lot of Cherry Dollface Video’s as well as being given a lot of tips and tricks from those who are in the community as well.
BS: What satisfies you the most about being A) a vintage pin-up in New Zealand, and B)– I know that within the Burlesque community, that you do a little bit of MC’ing. What do you find the most satisfying about both and how would you– we’ll just go with what satisfies you the most.
MMT: What satisfies me the most? Loaded question……In regards to pin-up, it’s who I am. It makes me feel good, strong and sexy, I do wear vintage underwear on a daily basis, so I’m quite often in longline bras and girdles and stockings. Stockings are the sexiest feeling in the world. They’re my go-to for a pick-me-up with red lippy & stuff. It’s about who I am and inspiring people. I enjoy helping those who are looking to get into it and things like that.
BS: And I also note that you’ve been featured in New Zealand’s only pin-up magazine, Glory Day’s magazine well, what I think of as a pin-up magazine. I guess in reality it’s not, but it’s to do with the vintage community and its glory days. How did you get involved with? (In that particular article, we’re going back to when they did the hairstyles).
MMT: Yeah I’m in glory days (air fist pump), so Miss Tittle Tattle needed a model and she asked if I was free to be able to do it. At the same time, it also helped me learn another new look that I hadn’t gotten around to learning particularly because I didn’t feel as though it would suit me with a poodle updo. But this time she did it and I fell in love with it, I still can’t quite master it on myself though.So she asked me if I wanted to model for her and I was quite happy to do that. There’s something nice about having your hair done and feeling pretty.
Photographer: Elizabeth J Photography
BS: Absolutely. And also you were a contestant on The Very Vintage Day at Miss Pinup New Zealand last year– this year–
MMT: This year.
BS: –sorry, I stand corrected. This year.
MMT; Yes. Yes, I was.
BS: What made you apply and how did you find the process
MMT: Okay. What made me apply? I made promises to people that because I didn’t do it the year prior when Bettie Rage won it, I had gone up to see what it was like to get the info. But I made a few promises to key people in my life, good friends and Mentors that I would enter this year. So I did. The process was tough for me in the respect that what I wanted to do and what I did were two very different ideas, and that was due to personal circumstances and finances. So you’ve got to work within a budget, obviously, and what I wanted was way beyond that. But I may look at doing it again and doing it with those particular ideas. I haven’t really decided, but it is an opportunity.
BS: But you did so well. For somebody like me to even enter, it’s out there, and I’m sure that you probably also had some episodes where you’re thinking, “What am I doing?”
MMT: Yeah. right up to the day before the show or the Thursday before the show, I should say, anything that went wrong could go wrong.So in the show, I was in the majority of my backup outfits, so it wasn’t entirely what I wanted at all, and I went into it going, “It’s all gone to shit. That’s cool. You know what? Fuck it. I’m going to have a really good day. I’m going to enjoy myself. I know that because I’m not happy with what I’ve got, I know that I won’t be coming out with the title,” and I was okay with it. I accepted that, and so I just had a lot of fun with it and enjoyed it because why get upset and get so bent out of shape when everything’s just gone to shit.
BS: Yeah. It looked to be really good fun and–
MMT: Yeah, so much fun.
BS: the alliances and the friendships that you were made from that would be–
MMT: Yeah.. It was really good. I was quite stoked to be able to share the stage with a really good friend of mine, Miss Kitty Kat. It was a real, real good chance to catch up with her and to meet another really, really lovely lady who I’ve been wanting to meet and being really good friends with on Facebook.
MMT: No, you were a godsend though for letting me stay , I do love you for that. Miss Pixie Dust. We appear much kindred souls and it was really good to actually be able to finally meet her in person. Not that you would have known it was our first time meeting. It was just because we hit it right off but it was really good to catch up with her as well because she’s based down in Wellington so I don’t see her that often.
BS: where do you see the future of the New Zealand vintage scene heading?
MMT: It’s getting bigger. It’s getting a lot more recognition overseas. It can only go onwards and upwards from here. It is becoming slightly more mainstream now, I mean you’re always going to have these different looks and people who don’t agree with you and things like that, but the beauty of that is the scene is generally all encompassing and encouraging and really good. It can only get bigger and better, especially with quite a few of our Pinup’s moving overseas and showing the world what us Kiwi girls can do.
BS: Yeah. Absolutely. Miss Victory Violet, Soda Fontaine. So getting back to burlesque with the shows that you’ve been involved in. What was the most positive thing that you have gained from those shows?
MMT: I gained my life back. I gained my confidence that I lost after having a baby. I had my daughter at 21. I lost all my friends because I could not go out and party anymore. I had responsibilities, and they couldn’t understand that. So yeah, it brought back my confidence I’d lost, and having your body changed and things like that as you do through pregnancy, But yeah I gained me back. I found out who I was, and I’m loving it. And it’s just going from strength to strength in the things that I do. Even though you may not always see me on stage, I’m usually in behind giving people a hand with things.
BS: Like makeup?
Photographer: Shifting Light Photography
MMT: Makeup, hair, MCing, setting up, encouraging, critiquing. You know a bit of everything .
BS: Yeah, and that’s really important to people who need the encouragement, obviously, and the critiquing because I know that you would give a positive critique rather than a negative one.
MMT: Constructive criticism–
BS: That’s the word I was looking for
MMT: –does go a long way. I expect it when people will look at my work and tell me, but it is about the delivery. You can’t just go, “Oh, that’s shit,” and it’s definitely all about the way you deliver things. For me, I’m more likely to go, “I like it but this is how I would do it. Maybe have a think about that.” Just cause gaining someone else’s perspective is quite interesting and always quite helpful on when you’re creating new acts & things like that .
BS: Now on the subject of creating, you’ve now created a brand new Facebook page called Mollie Tov Creations.
MMT: Mollie Tov Creations, yes.
BS: What made you decide to take that on?
MMT: I’ve always made my own hair pieces and stuff because I can never find what I want. For me, I want to grow this into a business where it will be fully sustainable and it can pay for my life and do the things that I want to do. It comes from having a lot of the products that I’m making only available overseas. And with the exchange rates and things the way they are, sometimes that is quite untenable for us New Zealand girls. I’ve got big dreams of other things I want to incorporate into it, but it lets my creative side out. I love making people happy, and part of this is people are buying things they love to wear and they really like. And they’re going to feel amazing wearing it. And things like that. So, yeah. That’s what started it.It’s also allowed me to get back to my creative side, as well as being able to do it at home, and I don’t have to sacrifice family time or events, This is something I can do for me to make other people feel good which is a passion of mine.
BS: Good. And your daughter, your lovely little daughter.
MMT: Our little girl.
BS: Is she following in her mommy’s footsteps with her creative side?
MMT: For me, she’s got no choice but to in the terms of she gets given blank paper, and creative tools like paint, or and crayons, or pencils, and I get her to draw what she wants. She’ll sit down and she’ll spend hours drawing, or writing stories, or doing things like that. She also gets great pleasure in getting up, and getting dressed, and trying to match what Mommy’s wearing or–
BS: Makes her feel good?
MMT: feel pretty. She’s a very strong-willed, creative little soul, and it’ll be interesting to see what she brings to this world.
BS: It would be very satisfying to see your passion come through in your daughter I would imagine.
MMT: It’s an unbelievably, just indescribable, amazing feeling. I can’t put it into words.(Proud mother moment. Proud mother moment. Proud mother moment) I love it. I love it – like I’ve got little videos of her being a sassy little pin up walking around and MOTAT and things like that. She loves when I can do her hair and things like that. She enjoys it. – Makes her feel special.
BS: So do you have any idols, either in the pin-up world or in the burlesque world, that maybe have influenced your styles whether it be people who are living today or from the past?
MMT: There’s a few. I’ve got my mentor, Miss Tittle Tattle or Lady Kitty Hawk, depending on what genre she’s working under. She’s styled me a lot and taught me a lot in terms burlesque and the classic movement within that, and she’s brought out my passion for things, for old-school stage Hollywood starlets like Marilyn Monroe and mind blank. But yeah, Marilyn Monroe would be my big one from the past, but just the general beauties from the 1950s, ’40s and things like that. Those Hollywood sirens with their beautiful hair, and wonderful clothes and–
BS: Such a classic.
MMT: That classic look, yeah. I’ve got big influences within the terms of Sugar Spanx and the Rock and Roll Circus and her take on the neo side of stuff. I’m learning quite a lot through that which I’m hoping to incorporate into new stuff when I get the chance to nut out what I’m doing.Within the pinup world, of course, you’ve got people like Miss Victory Violet, who has been amazing in the fact that Kiwi girls can do it. She shows me there is room to move, to be the best that you can, and she’s an absolutely gorgeous sweetheart to talk to and ask advice from. Overseas, I really love the likes of Cherry Dollface, I love following her. I could go through whole lists of who I follow and things like that, but that’s just … like my social media feeds are full of both local and international pinup and burlesque stars and things like that. I get quite a lot of intake of creativity through my newsfeeds, which inspires me.
BS: Awesome. Now this is the last question And it’s probably the trickiest bit because it’s the one that’s kind of just thrown in there. If you were able to pick a star up in the sky, and you could wish for anything on that star – knowing that it would come true – what would it be?
MMT: That is a hard one. I think, for me, the one thing I would love to see is my daughter to grow up in a much more positive world than we currently live in. I don’t know how to word this. I find we live in quite a negative media driven world.And for me, a big part of my life and what I’m doing with it now including with the pin-up burlesque and Mollie Tov Creations is being the change that I want to see to bring that positive and that all-encompassing love to grow these amazing people who could change the world. You never know who will do that, but I would love to see a much more positive, outspoken environment that we live in. Because there are so many topics close to my heart at the moment that get swept under the rug, which I don’t feel should be, That are important to talk about
BS: You know how I said that was the last question? I lied…What’s your favorite color?
MMT: My favorite color’s blue. I’m a blue girl. Many shades of warm blue
Photographer: Serendipity Photography