Friday, September 30, 2011

Fashion In Film Friday - The Notorious Bettie Page

You can't stake claim to having knowledge of all things vintage without knowing who Bettie Page was.  Page, born in Nashville in 1923, became infamous in the 50's for her scandalous fetish modeling photos that catapulted her into pin-up queen status. She was even one of the first Playboy playmates to grace the centerfold spot of Hugh Hefner's now popular mag.  Her career was short lived as she retired in 1959 turning to her spirituality and even working with evangelist Billy Graham.  
In 2005, a movie was released titled, 'The Notorious Bettie Page' which was in part biographical, starring Gretchen Mol as the vintage pop culture icon.  The film starts at the early beginnings of Page's life when she was a young woman chronicling her life that begin with sexual abuse in her childhood, a failed wartime marriage and a gang rape in her early 20's.  It also gives the intricate details into how she became an unconventional model at a time when it was beyond taboo.  Bettie's signature black hair styled with the full bangs became her trademark and a much sought after hairstyle that is even being seen in current day trends with stars such as Katy Perry, Petra Nemcova & Beyonce, opting for the retro do.
Bettie Page was the ultimate style icon who made pointy bras the 'in thing' as well as pointy toed stilettos.  She taught women to embrace their sense of sexuality with a no holds barred approach to wearing corsets and thigh high hose.  There was definitely no shame in her game and she made no excuses for herself.  The woman reeked 'confidence' in spite of her troubled past.  
Bettie Page fashion is alive and well amongst the rockabilly community and die hard fans & Las Vegas which hosts the annual rockabilly event 'Viva Las Vegas' is even home to the Bettie Page Store that carries nothing but vintage inspired designs made famous by the legend.  You can even purchase online at
In 2003, the elderly pin up maven made an appearance at Playboy's 50th Anniversary party as seen here along with the late Anna Nicole Smith & Pam Anderson.  In 2008 at the age of 85, Bettie Page passed away due to complications from pneumonia preceded by a heart attack that had left her in a coma.
In 1998, she agreed to an interview with Playboy Magazine and was quoted as saying in reference to her early career... "I never thought it was shameful.  I felt normal.  It's just that it was much better than pounding a typewriter eight hours a day, which gets monotonous."
                                        "A humble headstone"



Unknown said...

Favorite post so far. I have an affinity for Bettie.

What I enjoy about your blog is the very journalistic way you approach it. I read a ton of vintage blogs, but I have to admit that I admire yours the most! The writing is great and you make vintage relate to the modern day. As soon as it hits my inbox I'm reading away.
Keeping on rocking it lady!

Unknown said...

Thank you much, I appreciate your feedback. I'm hoping my subscribers enjoy reading the blog just as much as I enjoy writing it!!

Anonymous said...

Oiga, si hace un copia y pega de una traducción, al menos arregle la sintaxis, que no se entiende un carajo.
Saludos madame.