When I have decided to move to Australia for a year, I saw the opportunity to reconnect with the vintage and retro world. I have started to research who were the IT girls, what were the brands, the stores and when Dita would perform. Little did I know that I would find a perfect Pinup Abroad. Miss MonMon is a lovely lady from Perth. She has the style, the stamps on her passport and a passion for cultures.
Let’s take some travel in style lessons from Miss MonMon & let’s make a fundraiser for her well-deserved trip to Japan!
Tell us a bit more about yourself, where are you from? where do you live? what are your hobbies?
Hello! I am Miss MonMon and I am a pinup from Perth, Western Australia. Growing up I was a total Tom-Boy and loved climbing trees, swimming in lakes, building rafts and running around completely barefoot through the Australian bush. Despite this, I was a very academic child and was reading Shakespeare with ease by the third grade; I would read everything I could get my hands on and knew all the librarians by name. In high school, I continued my love of literature, learning about people, culture, history and doing anything creative or artsy.
Not much has changed since those days, I still love reading, learning and studying but I have really grown into myself when I discovered pinup, the vintage world and travel. In college, I got my undergrad in English Literature and Anthropology. I got a scholarship to do my Masters in Dublin, Ireland and have since received Diplomas from several institutions such as the Australian Institute of Professional Counselors and have studied at the University of Amsterdam. This year, I am completing another course at the University of Guelph in Ontario Canada. I have a huge passion for learning, people, culture and travel; by combining these loves I get to travel, meet new people, go to new places and keep learning. It’s a dream, thank goodness for all those scholarships!
When I’m not studying, I love sewing, dancing, modelling, cooking and spending time with my friends. I like to keep myself busy, life is too short to do all the things I want to do so I like to just keep on keeping on.
It is still the beginning of the year, what are the destinations on your 2018 bucket list?
Oh my goodness! So many places I want to go!
In January I went to the Maldives with my partner for 10 days of total relaxation and calm. We were both really stressed out by the end of the year and I could tell that we just had no energy left. We spent an amazing 10 days swimming with turtles, eating our body weight in delicious food, doing morning yoga, daily snorkelling and laying in hammocks under the stars. It was really romantic.
Although it’s not exactly an ‘exotic’ destination, I also went to Adelaide in February. As amazing as many places are in the world, I also like to try and see my own country. I had never been to Adelaide and had a great weekend there, I’m already making plans to go back.
As for the rest of the year, I will be going to Canada in June for a study course. I hope to spend some time after the course travelling through Canada and perhaps even the East coast of America.
I also plan to go to Korea or Taiwan with a close friend at the end of the year. We really want to go together and just have a girls holiday away and spend it exploring, looking around, eating good food and of course, shopping. I also want to go on a solo holiday perhaps to Indonesia but I’ll see if I have time.
Sometimes I jump on those travel deals you receive via email or in the mail because the prices are reduced heavily or there’s a great holiday package being offered. Sometimes a destination intrigues you and next thing you know, your bags are packed and you’re at the airport! So in saying this, who knows where else I will go this year.
You are a well-travelled lady indeed, what has been Miss Monmon most memorable trips so far?
It’s really difficult to choose just one memorable holiday; each trip has its own highlights for different reasons. I loved the Maldives because it was so relaxing and romantic, I loved Kuala Lumpur because my friend lives there and we can spend time together, I loved America because I got to spend time with my dad and DISNEYLAND, I loved Hong Kong because DISNEYLAND, and I loved travelling through Poland because I have family there.
Each place you visit stays with you for different reasons, it’s good to know that each time you go somewhere you leave a different person. In saying this, I cant just pick one trip!
If a fairy godmother would come to you one day and grant you the wish to have the trip of your dreams what would it look like?
Oh fairy godmother, take me to Japan, the land of the Rising Sun!
My dream trip would be several months in Japan travelling from the very top of the country, down through the heart and then into the smaller islands at the bottom. Being an anthropologist, I find places such as Japan so intriguing and fascinating. I don’t want to go to laugh at all the things they do differently to the Western world, oh no! I want to live in their moment and experience things that can only be done in Japan.
I want to see the snowy hills, the Sakura blossoms, go to the Fox village, the rabbit village, see all the seals, storks, monkeys, experience the subcultures in Harajuku, and visit the hedgehog cafes and owl cafes! I would love to see the shrines and tributes to triumph, disasters and tragedy. I would love to eat all the delicious food they have to offer and try so many new things. Of course, I would love to visit the Disney Parks but also the Studio Ghibli Museum and other theme parks.
On a personal note, I would love to go fabric shopping district and spend way too much time looking at everything. I would also love to go to rural towns and see life there. There is a town called Koriyama where there are just streams of goldfish swimming next to the roads. There are also places that allow you to dress in a traditional kimono and spend the day walking around, I think that would be incredible. Of course, I would also love to visit the Fushimi Inari Shine and see the orange shrine tunnels. Oh and the see the geisha and Maiko in Kyoto in Gion.
At the very end of my trip, I would like to do the Shikoku Pilgrimage and visit the 88 temples on the Island of Shikoku.
Yeah, I may have been daydreaming about this dream trip for a very long time. I’ve actually been saving up for Japan since I was 12. I know one day I’ll be able to book my trip and it’ll be absolutely amazing. I just know it.
Let’s talk about style now! Here at Pinup Abroad, we love to exchange tips and tricks on how to be a perfect vintage wanderer. How would you describe your style while travelling?
Whilst travelling I try to keep my style simple and versatile. I try to pack colours and articles of clothing that can be mixed and matched together so I can get as many outfits out of fewer clothing pieces. I also like to keep it realistic. If its absolutely freezing, I will be under a coat and may not be able to show off my cute outfit underneath but that’s ok, you need to make sure you look after yourself so you don’t catch a cold on your trip.
What are your favourite items to bring along in your suitcase?
One of my favourite items to bring are my head burritos. My amazing friend Ruby Slippers makes and sells Head Burrito’s in her Etsy store and it has never been easier to style up an amazing outfit. A head burrito is basically a large piece of fabric that you can tie or wrap around your hair. You can leave it in a bow, or a fun bun or tuck the sides in; it’s a really easy way to look glamorous whilst travelling. Don’t have time to curl your hair? Burrito it! Feel like your outfit is boring? Head Burrito, please! Haven’t found somewhere to buy shampoo? Where is my head burrito?
If I’m travelling somewhere cooler, I’ll always pack lots of cardigans. My friends call me the cardigan queen but they can easily be put away, put on and carried around. They can be worn tucked in, under your coat, over your outfit and they always look cute! You can pick them up from lots of places and even find brands that make them all fancy and glamorous with sparkles or cute buttons.
Talking about brands, which ones do you find the most travel-friendly?
I tend to gravitate towards brands such as Pinup Girl Clothing, Collectif and Vivien of Holloway as they have thicker fabrics as they don’t seem to wrinkle as much. Of course, some things will always wrinkle so I suggest buying a mini handheld steamer and bring that with you. You can also try hanging your clothes near the shower and hoping the steam will remove some of the wrinkles. Soft cotton is a great fabric to look out for when travelling as they are easy to wash and wear.
As much as it hurts to say, I tend to avoid brands such as Trashy Diva as they just wrinkle so easily!
We have seen you’re outfit is always on point while on the road but how do you manage to do your hair and makeup when you can’t carry all your beauty items?
I try to keep my makeup collection whilst travelling really simple. I don’t even bother bringing foundation! I like to try and get small pallets for eyeshadows as they take up little space; for example, in Inglot, you can get a pallet with two shades so I go for a cream shade and then the 3-in-1 brown colour pot so I can choose which tone I need for my eyes or eyebrows.
As for hair, I don’t bother with using heat to set my hair, I just wash it, put in some mousse (you can get travel sized cans) and then using foam rollers. Once you know your hair you know the minimum amount of rollers you need so you can keep your packing light.
When it comes to beauty products, I find travel a great time to work through all my samples. I get sent heaps of skincare samples and they are great if you go travelling as they are tiny and you can get rid of them along the way. I do have holy grail products I need which I will always bring with me.
Moving on packing tips! How do you manage to bring a capsule wardrobe? What are your best packing tips?
I sometimes use a vacuum storage bag if I know I will be doing shoots along my travels. These bags use a vacuum to compress your clothing and make them as compact as possible.
Whilst choosing which items to bring, I like to lay out my options to see if I can mix and match. Can a top be worn with two skirts and capri pants? Can this dress be turned into a skirt? Does this cardigan go with these 4 outfits? Always check the weather of where you are going. If its warm, stick to dresses that are light. If it’s cold, prioritize keeping your chest and back warm. Whilst packing things into my suitcase, I find rolling the items takes up less room and makes great cushioning for anything delicate.
It’s important to be realistic whilst travelling: don’t pack a new outfit for each day, having the perfect outfit is not the most important part of your trip, remember you might get things dirty so bring a ziplock bag of laundry powder just in case, don’t bring your best clothing or jewelry and keep accessories to a minimum. Be realistic with shoes, yes your heels are cute but how many times will you actually wear them? Once or twice is not enough.
Last but not least, give us a quick tour of what’s hot to do for a Pin Up gal Perth, Australia.
Here in Perth, we have an awesome group of open-minded pinup girls. There is always something to do or an event to go to. It may be a coffee catch up, a movie night, dancing at the Mustang Bar, a high tea or a vintage market. The Perth pinups are often attending weekend events such as vintage car shows, markets, fairs and all sorts of things so being involved and social is really easy. Most events are spread out over different times and days of the week so it’s easy to work around a schedule. As well as all these events, Perth has some amazing vintage and pinup shopping to do! Stores such as CherryLane or Miss Betty Clothing always stock the newest items from big pinup brands. Vintage stores are all over places such as Fremantle and Guildford so you can really make a day of browsing, café hopping and enjoying the amazing Perth sunshine.
We also have some great pinup pageants throughout the year and its so much fun to enter or just go and watch. The range of talents we have here is amazing!