TRACI LORDS X PIN UP GIRL CLOTHING #COUTUREFOREVERYBODY
Words by Daina Renton
Féroce Magazine is proud to be speaking with Traci Lords - one of the most badass icons the 21st century was graced with - and man is she up to alot. If you don’t already know her as John Waters’ muse then you’ll know her for her modelling, music anthems, or more recently as Jane McKinney in Swedish Dicks.
Traci Lords has performed playful roles from Nadine Story in Not of This Earth, to the concerned and ultimately devastated mother Phyllis in Féroce’s favourite, Excision, showing a true talent in adopting different roles. Each appearance becomes stronger and more dominating. In her discography, there is no better mention than the track “Stupidville” which not only graphically and in the most necessary way highlights the epidemic of rape in Steubenville Ohio, but our attitudes towards it across the world. And of course, let’s not forget the hit “Last Drag”.
One can’t help but notice the low key activism behind what she does. She has fought for a lot and is most recently speaking up for body confidence itself. And the best part is, it’s with a whole collection you can wear. Féroce spoke with Traci to get an exclusive insight into her work with Pin Up Girl Clothing, and more. Finally, #CoutureForEveryBody is here. And we’re shook.
How did you come to collaborate with Laura Byrnes?
I first met Laura in the Spring of 2016. I'd been a customer of Pinup Girl Clothing for many years, but I'd only shopped online. I was headed to Texas to make a personal appearance and I needed a few pieces. I stopped by the boutique and did a little shopping. The shop girls were delightful. I had no clue that they knew who I was. Treasures in hand, I went to check out but they wouldn't take my credit card. They just smiled and explained that my items were a gift...compliments of PUG CEO Laura Byrnes. I was very surprised!
Grateful and intrigued, I wanted to know more about this Laura Byrnes and I wanted to thank her personally. So I did what any modern day woman would... I stalked her social media and found some pretty funny posts about me being in the boutique! I invited her to lunch and we talked fashion, film and all things John Waters. One margarita and a shrimp salad later we were plotting world domination. We've been creating pieces for about a year now. My collection can be found at Traci Lords Couture For Every Body on the PUG site and at the Burbank, CA., store.
Awesome. We know you’ve modelled for the likes of Thierry Mugler and more, but just how familiar are you with fashion design? Have you always been knowledgeable about design or is this a completely new venture for you?
I've always been intrigued by fashion. My curiosity comes from my love of people. Clothing can reveal so many personal details about a person. From a stained shirt to a ball gown worn at 8am. Fashion tells stories...and my mind wanders…delights in the mystery of it all. From the simple questions like: Why that dress? Who is she? What did he spill? What is that? As an actor/professional people watcher, I find it delicious.
I think it was the catwalks of the 90's that really opened my eyes to fashion. Those catwalks terrified me, and I dared myself down them! I walked the runway for Thierry Mugler in the early 90's. I remember it like yesterday....I had arrived in Paris, hours late, and went straight from the airport to the show. I remember being rushed through makeup, in a chair next to the stunning Cindy Crawford. The "it" girls were all there - Naomi, Claudia, Linda - but it was the clothes that made me tremble. They were like nothing I'd ever seen before...let alone worn! It was the first time I ever dressed in latex rubber. It destroyed the last bit of country girl that was left in me. It was a bad girl’s wet dream. And I was its slave. #dedicatedrubberist
What sort of research did you do for your collection, did you seek inspiration in weird places or do your creations come right from the heart?
The first pieces Laura and I collaborated on were a nod and wink to the fifties, John Waters, Wanda Woodward, my screen persona...things like: red lips, pout, and my catch phrase: "Beat It Creep". We worked with an incredible artist, Lady Weird, and created a Wanda inspired animated face for my " Beat It Creep" tee.
Then we created the "Juvenile Delinquent” print. It's a really fun print that has a little animated Wanda head, a shoe, pouty lips, a switchblade and a fifties car on it. I absolutely love this print! It's available now on dresses and the capris are my favorites! My capris also come in solids! We have black, hot pink and a gorgeous hibiscus print. They are my summer go to along with the matching crop top!
This Fall, my inspiration is directly linked to my boss lady character, Jane McKinney, in the new PopTV series Swedish Dicks. I sourced fashion books from the 40's, and created straight skirts and power pieces. Laura's "Morgana jacket" is the star of this fashion show! I'm so excited that it will be released in dark purple, and red.
What has been the most challenging aspect of your collaboration so far and why?
The greatest challenge of this collaboration has been supply and demand. It can be difficult to predict which pieces are going to be popular. I feel terrible when I run out of sizes. I want my clothes to make people happy and we try really hard to do that.
Pinup as a fashion genre is completely timeless. We know that you’re not a follower of trends, so we’re going to ask where you do get your fashion influences from?
My fashion influences are Thierry Mugler, Helmut Lang, Alexander McQueen, John Waters’ costume designer Van Smith, and of course Laura Byrnes.
You have had so many looks over the years, do you think your current style and your clothing reflects who Traci Lords really is?
Yes, it really does.
Fuck yeah, that’s what we like to hear. You’re one of the most prolific fashion icons of the retro/hillbilly fashion movement, how does that make you feel?
It amazes me! I had no idea what a tremendous influence Wanda would have. I love that girls and woman both relate to her strength, and her fearless spirit.
You can only wear one item of your collection for the rest of your life, which item do you pick and why?
If I could only wear one item, from my collection, forever ...it would be the Traci Wiggle dress in black. It's timeless and you can't help but feel magical in it.
You’re sick to death of the size 0 rhetoric and PUG is a stylish rebellion against the fashion zeitgeist. With this in mind, can you tell us 3 things that you would want to change about the fashion industry?
One size does not fit all. Celebrate beauty in all shapes, sizes and ages! And please use models in all shapes sizes and ages!
What has been the most rewarding part of working with PUG?
The most rewarding thing about collaborating with PUG has been working with Laura and her incredible team. I've gotten a crash course in the process of pattern making - and it's inspired me to sew again! Thanks Shaerie!
When can we expect to see next at Pin Up Girl Clothing?
This Fall, you'll see power pieces, suits, a great pair of trousers, vibrant colors like deep blue and the reddest red. And a red carpet/ show stopping gown.
Some readers may not think they can ‘pull off’ the Traci Lords pinup look. What piece of advice would you want to give these people to follow in your fashion footsteps?
My advice to all you beauties out there is to just do you. Be kind to yourselves. Find a style you feel great in! And own it. Pencil skirt? Full skirt? Capris? Try them all! Then make sure to investigate foundation garments! They are genius! Finally, the sexiest thing on a woman is confidence! Make sure you're dripping in it!