It’s more than Lipstick, Power & Paint – An interview by Scenestar
Getting some tips from Queensland’s vintage style guru, Miss Chrissy.
Since starting up The Lindy Charm School 15 years ago, Headmistress Chrissy Keepence has helped many 000’s of students to discover their inner vintage style. In 2013, former model, television presenter and author, Tara Moss, was one of many who attended her numerous themed workshops as research for her book in which a whole chapter was dedicated to the Charm School and it’s messages.
Why is it important for young women to have a deeper understanding in the importance of etiquette, grooming and of their overall personal style?
This is such a huge question that would take more than a few lines to capture the answer but I’ll try… When girls are on the threshold of becoming women, it is important for them to feel confident in who they are and this is reflected in how they present themselves. I am passionate about helping these young ladies to navigate their way into womanhood by passing on to them many of the invaluable lessons our foremothers left us.
Today’s materialistic society encourages a sheep mentality and I believe all women should have the opportunity to be individual in their style choices. Fashion today is fickle and more often than not, unflattering for the many varied shapes and sizes we all have. Finding individual styles, holding themselves with confidence and poise is only going to benefit young women at the start of their journey in to their independent future.
Can you explain the ‘make do and mend’ mindset and why it’s important?
Originally our foremothers were very environmentally friendly but for different reasons than we might be today. Out of necessity, due to rations, lack of resource and materials, they had to make do and mend whereas today we need to be environmentally aware and borrowing from our past will help us save our future. As a vintage stylist, I encourage the ‘make do and mend motto’ for recycling, upcyling, repairing and reinventing your clothes, your wares and your life. And as a bonus, there are many useful cleaning techniques and personal hygiene care that have a low chemical load and are kinder to the environment.
At what age did you develop a passion for this vintage craft?
Growing up with a mother who always made everything by hand out of necessity help shaped my individuality with regards to fashion and style. We never bought things from shops, consequently my style became unique unto me. But around 20 years ago I started to become much more influenced by the fashions of the ’30s, ’40s and ’50s as it seemed to perfectly reflect my personality and my innate love for music, dance and the lifestyle of a bygone era. My father’s love of rock & roll music became the soundtrack to my life and upon the meeting of my soul mate, now husband, who also shares this passion, my life course with regards to my personal style was set. I finally felt in my right skin as it were.
What kinds of workshops, events and programs does ‘the Lindy Charm School’ offer?
Offering a whole array of services from our ever popular Vintage Styling Workshops, Masterclasses and Pop-Up Styling Parlors to Bespoke Themed Parties or Hosting an Afternoon Tea with A Sip of Manners, these are but a few of the essential services that we can offer. You can be sure that the Mistresses Of Style from the Lindy Charm School will add that final touch of amazing to your event. Have a Bo Beep at all we do on the website.
What can students expect to learn and gain at the Lindy Charm School?
Fancy a little old-school glamour? Let the Lindy Charm School For Girls Show you how to achieve these looks yourself. In these workshops we will show you how to achieve that primped, preened and ready for a Mr Cecil B DeMille Close-up in no time! If you have ever dreamed of having that classic, vintage look but never knew how? Do you long for a bit of 1940s glamour, ’50s cheesecake or retro style? Miss Chrissy and her team can help you. In our introductory workshop it is all hands on and in three hours we go through vintage hairstyling, makeup from the ’20s to the 6’0s and the importance of undergarments, how to hold yourself with poise, carry yourself with the correct posture and all with a healthy dose of charm.
How does the Lindy School uniquely differ to other deportment schools?
The Lindy Charm School serves to awaken and empower women, to bring out their inner beauty and encourages them to express it fully. We believe that every girl deserves to look and feel glamorous, regardless of age, shape or dress size. It is not all about lipstick, powder and paint, that’s just the envelope in which our invitation is delivered, beauty is within us but these workshops offer some women a way to find it that is fun and interesting, and by gathering together with like-minded women who are all there for the same reason and have an interest in the glamorous styles of the past. There are no age or beauty barriers. It’s the special moments of bonding and growth and realisations that blossom throughout the process that indeed capture the true spirit of what we do. Although we specialise in education in period or Vintage Styling with regards to hair and makeup styles of the 1930s to the 1960s, the importance of undergarments, posture, deportment, manners, etc. are timeless in their delivery and message.