Retro Reads: Kittens and Kulture (Volume 1)

Retro Reads: Kittens and Kulture (Volume 1)

Love vintage aesthetics? You'll love this book.

Love vintage aesthetics? You’ll love Kittens and Kulture. (Cover models: Ashlyn Coco and Tara MiSioux.)

From La Vie Parisienne to Alberto Vargas to Irving and Paula Klaw, pictures of pretty ladies have always been in demand. One of today’s best-known photographers in pinup is Susana Andrea of Vestige Photography. Based in San Diego, Susana began taking pinup pictures when she was a high school photography student. Ten years later, Kittens and Kulture: The Pinup Photography of Susana Andreais her first book. (It seems there’s going to be a Volume 2.)

Photographer Susana Andrea

Photographer Susana Andrea

I can’t really call myself a modern pinup. I’m hopeless at styling my hair, I use exactly three makeup products (seriously, that’s NOT a joke), and I don’t like having my picture taken. But I adore this book.

The gorgeous models in Kittens and Kulture are all styled to perfection. Their hair is flawless, their makeup is impeccable. I’m green with envy over the clothes.

I can't pull off chiffon, but it looks divine on model Ashley Swift.

I can’t pull off chiffon, but it looks divine on model Ashley Swift.

The things I love most about this book, though, are the beautiful sets. While there are plenty of outdoor shots, the interiors have given me a serious case of retro house envy.

Doris Mayday, Mosh, and Mae La Roux in some very 1940s settings.

Doris Mayday, Mosh, and Mae La Roux in some very 1940s settings.

Vintage kitchen cuteness with Mosh on the left and Miss Miranda on the right. (The shared color scheme makes this look like a spread of one kitchen. It's really two pictures.)

Vintage kitchen cuteness with Mosh on the left and Miss Miranda on the right. (The shared color scheme makes this look like a spread of one kitchen at first glance. It’s really two pictures.) Who knew pistachio green and Mamie pink worked so well together?

Angelique Noire in a fun '60s setting. I wonder what song is playing on that stereo?

Angelique Noire in a fun ’60s setting. I wonder what song is playing on that stereo?

Doris Mayday in Spike Marble's home tiki bar.

Doris Mayday in what appears to be The Breezeway.

There are other settings – beach scenes (one featuring a beautiful Woody), gardens, pools, roadside shots with stunning vintage cars, unique hotels (I recognized both the Hotel del Coronado and the Shady Dell), and garages. All beautifully done and well worth seeing, but my heart belongs to those vintage interiors.

Fittingly, there are also short essays from models, owners of home tiki bars, and a hot rodder. Perhaps most interesting is Bernie Dexter’s – she began working with Susana when Susana was still in high school!

I’m looking forward to Volume 2. Susana’s passion for her work really shows in her finished photographs.

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