Madams Pinups

I came across Madams Pinups last week at the North Wales burlesque festival.

Selling clothing, homeware and accessories, what makes this brand special is that all this gorgeous pin up and burlesque art is painted and then hand printed by artist Melanie Adams.

And if Tempest Storm isn’t your cup of tea, Melanie also offers watercolour portrait commissions for performers, pinups or anyone needing more glamour in their life. They can be used for personal or promotional use, costing between £120 – £155 which come with a free personalised robe, so you can literally walk around with your own face on it.

Although the art is great, it’s what Melanie does with it that really caught my eye. This showgirl tie would be a cracking Valentine’s gift! And at just £8 you can afford to buy one for every ex boyfriend and the boy you used to stalk.

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And don’t even get me started on these Bottom of my Heart cufflinks, £10:

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If you just want to treat yourself the clothes are just lovely, although photos don’t do them justice because assistant Norma needs to eat some cake. I’m still kicking myself for not buying a kimono (only £20!), and also had my eye on a pencil skirt.

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And if you know a man who’ll be lonely this Valentine’s, Dita will gladly give him a hand… putting a TV dinner in the microwave.

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If you’re after a card for your pinup queen, here’s the official 2016 Valentine’s design. I would even buy it for myself to put it in a frame.

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And here’s something that gives new meaning to adult colouring. For 50p you can download and print an un-watermarked A3 copy of her artwork, and although I usually think colouring books for grown-ups are silly this is a really nice idea.

Not quite brave enough to try burlesque? Steal another’s identity! Burlesque costumes are so creative and glamorous, I’d have a lot of fun designing my own without even learning to sew.

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Note: copyright belongs to Melanie Adams so don’t rob the design and pass it off as your own or she’ll stab you with a stiletto.

Frustrated by too many nights standing beside the Missus whilst she touted her wares and being forced to watch lovely ladies dance in crystals and feathers (yeah right!) the Prof decided he wanted in on the act. Unable to paint and unwilling to dance the dance of an ecdysiast, he went back to his roots as a chemist and decided to develop a line of cosmetics for the Madams Pinups brand.

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A plan began to brew for products that were just a little bit different and that would compliment the products we already had. After a few weeks of being treated like a very pouty guinea pig, Madam approved some luscious lip balms and we were ready to roll. The infamous jelly soaps soon followed in various incarnations and Professor Pinups was garnering his very own following.

Ah, the jelly soaps available as boobs or brains, that lifelong question. The bath crystals poured from science beakers test tubes that change colour when coming in contact with water are also pretty snazzy and a great gift for a nerd/young human.

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I really love how this couple harnesses their talents to the best of their ability and comes together to create one special brand. I’ve just learned they’ll be at tomorrow’s Alternative & Burlesque Fair in Manchester. See you both there!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Prints by Niki Pilkington

 

Niki Pilkington is a Welsh illustrator based in New York with a lively and incredibly detailed style. Although her work is focused mainly on fashion and the people who wear it – her client list includes TOPSHOP, Ted Baker, Sir Paul McCartney & MTV – what appeals to me is her love of incorporating Welsh phrases, idioms and quotes into her pieces.

Despite now living a world away from Penllyn, she continues to use a language so few of us speak so you feel like a smug ninja just for understanding. She has such pride in her heritage, and I respect her use of status as an internationally renowned artist to educate the world about our little country (YES, FOR THE LAST TIME IT’S A REAL COUNTRY) and the language – yep, it has an actual living language that people speak!

Her social media pages are littered with why-the-hell-not doodles and it’s evident she draws for the love of it. Her art is spontaneous and playful, reflected in the unpredictable and isolated use of striking neon colours in the context of her pencil drawings.

She herself appears in many of the portraits, whilst many original pieces are 3D. Her work is unpretentious and reminds of what being young is all about: fun.

The print below was my first. I’d been helping a family friend choose one for her daughter’s birthday and loved this one so much, it re-appeared a few months later as my graduation gift:

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My absolute favorite is the rainbow birds above (‘birds of a feather flock together’). Here are a few others I own:
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These are the ones I received for Christmas…

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…and this is the latest I have my eye on:

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And just for fun, here’s one that cheered me up on a miserable Welsh morning:

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If you’re based in Wales, you can find Niki’s work at stockists including Lotti & Wren in Caernarfon (cont) and Mooch Etc, Carmarthen. It’s such a treat browsing at Galeri, Betws-Y-Coed and always finding new collections because she draws so darn much. The internet just doesn’t do them justice.

If you can’t get to a shop or gallery visit www.nikipilkington.com for the snazziest site you’ve ever seen and a huge selection of work.

 

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Illustrations by Hazel Bee

When we’re bored in town without fail we’ll wander into Utility and chuckle at these cards by www.hazelbee.co.uk. I’ve seen the same ones countless times but they’re still boss. If Hazel created a comic I would read it.

This is my go-to design for basically anyone that needs a card whether they’ve died or given birth (Hazel, please replace ‘hangover’ with ‘popped out another didn’t I.’)

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Each card is 100% recycled, fair trade and printed with vegetable oil in case you get hungry. Here are a few more of my faves:

And I don’t usually buy into Valentine’s commercialism (that much) but WHERE ARE MY RALPH & ALAN PILLOW CASES GOD BOYFRIEND YOU’RE SO NEGLECTFUL.

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If that’s not your cup of vodka, here are some more sensual designs:

For the full range of items including temporary tattoos HAHAHA DAD THIS IS THE 21ST CENTURY NOBODY CARES ABOUT FOREHEAD TATTOOS ANYMORE visit /www.hazelbee.co.uk.