For the first ever Ladies Dress & Dish femme I have the great pleasure of introducing Black Swan Persona.
She's a stunning and charming model based in Dublin who is the face of Perk Up Vintage and she's also been published in magazines such as Pin Up Perfection, Bella Morte and British Vogue.
We've worked with alot of the same people, so I'd already been admiring her portfolio for a long time before we ever met in the flesh. When we were finally introduced we were working together at the Dr. Sketchy's session for Culture Night 2011.
She is just as gorgeous in the flesh as she is in her photos and to top it off she's a delight to talk to.
Firstly could you tell us a little about yourself?
I’m a model and writer and have been known as ‘Black Swan Persona’ since my teens. The name came about partially because of my background in ballet and Goth, among other things. I do all kinds of shoots, from vintage, alt, fantasy, cosplay, goth, and high fashion, but my favourite genre has to be 1950s pin-up! Behind the glam, I’m a total geek when it comes to books, music, and movies!
How would you describe your style and what do you typically wear on a normal day?
My style is definitely eclectic, and I could never commit to just one kind of look! On any given day, you could meet me dressed like Imelda May, Dita Von Teese, or Lisbeth Salander. Rockabilly, Vintage, and Goth are definitely three of my favourites. Of course, on chilled-out days I keep it simple in skinny jeans & a tattoo-print T.
If you could have anyone’s wardrobe and its content in the world, who would it be?
It has to be Dita Von Teese. She has everything from stunning vintage gowns, sumptuous underwear, elaborate burlesque costumes, latex, and a shoe collection to die for.
What to you makes vintage so desirable?
Vintage is timeless. It can never become passé. Vintage clothing exudes elegance, class, and pure femininity.
What is your favourite I can’t believe it’s not vintage piece in your possession?
My collection of porcelain hands and Venetian masks.
What has been your best bargain buy – when/where/how much – Dish girl! Dish!
I was in Penney’s one day & happened upon a gorgeous faux fur stole. It’s a lovely crème colour & goes with so many dresses. And it only set me back 2 euro!
Do you ever feel you were born in the wrong era?
In many ways, yes. Sometimes I feel I should have born during the Fin de Siècle. The clothing, architecture, interior design, visual art, and literature of the Victorian age were decadently beautiful. However, it wasn’t the best time to be a woman! I think I belong in the 1940s and 50s. Aside from the clothing & decor, I like the fact that good old-fashioned manners and chivalry still existed to a degree!
How did you first become interested in vintage clothing and the good old days?
I grew up admiring icons like Elizabeth Taylor, Marilyn Monroe, and Bettie Page and have always been drawn to the style of 1940s and 50s, but I began dressing in vintage clothing myself almost by accident. In my late teens, I became increasingly frustrated with high street fashion. The dresses seemed to be designed to fit the skinny, androgynous body type, and were completely unsuitable for my curvy figure, with a smaller waist and larger bust. The designs seemed really dull and uninteresting. I found myself in the Retro boutique in George’s Street Arcade, and I tried on a dress from Bettie Page Clothing. It suited my shape perfectly. I found that I just fit with the clothing, makeup, and hairstyles of the 50s. Now I have black hair with Bettie Bangs, and usually wear red lipstick with cat liner. I’m hooked!
What would your ideal night entail? Romantic fine dining, followed by live music, dancing, and cocktails.
Who would you invite to your fantasy tea party (real, historical or fictional)?
Lestat de Lioncourt, Kate Bush, Edgar Allan Poe, Winona Ryder, Bill Hicks, Marilyn Monroe, Oscar Wilde, Grace O’Malley, The Phantom of the Opera, and two dear friends of mine who have passed; Piotr Harmsden & Tank Puss.
If you had one piece of advice to pass on, what would it be? Never follow the crowd, adopt other people’s attitudes, or pretend you like something you don’t. It’s better to be true to yourself and risk not being part of a clique than to go and change just to be accepted by people who don’t appreciate the real you.
Do you have a favourite quote?
‘Unable are the loved to die, for love is immortality’
Before we finish, tell us something random about yourself...
I’ll give you several things! I have written three novels, am a natural blonde, have a Masters degree, and would really love to own a French bulldog, or a miniature pig!