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Hairspray and high heels: Retro fashion, cars and art on display at inaugural Retro Revelry in Post Falls

UPDATED: Sun., Sept. 2, 2018

Car collectors and pinup enthusiasts celebrated 1950s nostalgia with retro cars, fashion, art and rockabilly music at the inaugural Retro Revelry event Saturday in Post Falls.

Women dressed in iconic pinup attire, hairsprayed curls, lipstick and heels dominated the church-turned-arts venue, Jacklin Arts and Cultural Center.

Many participants belong to Retro Dolls, a group of spokesmodels for Retro Studio, the photography business of co-organizer Jenni Cook. Cook said the Retro Dolls appear at car shows, volunteer at events and pose for photography projects.

Cook, who organized the event along with Jacklin Arts and Cultural Center board member Laurel Smith, said Retro Revelry and the Retro Dolls celebrate pinup culture and nostalgia, as well as diverse body types.

“With pinup” – a series of midcentury fashion trends popularized by mass-produced pinup posters – “there is no shape, size criteria,” Cook said. “Everybody can be a pinup and any age can be a pinup. We want everybody to be able to embrace and enjoy that, the era of fun, classic pinup.”

Rob Webster, a vintage car enthusiast and Pins and Needles car club member, said Retro Revelry was mostly about the automobiles for him.

“They don’t make them like this anymore,” he said.

Webster’s car, a black and white 1960s Thunderbird he calls Thumper, has survived a lot, including a run-in with an elk. Before he found the car four and a half years ago, it had been stored in a horse barn and left in a field. The name Thumper, he said, came from the sound the car used to make when he tried to close the doors.

Webster, one of the founding members of the car club, said the club’s name comes from the nervous feeling that often comes when starting an old car, but is also a nod to pinup fashion. Many of the club’s cars, including Thumper, have appeared alongside the Retro Dolls in pinup photo shoots.

During the event, local businesses showcased their retro dresses and buttonups at the fashion show, and offered vintage inspired or local wares at booths around the event. Idaho-based band Molly Starlite & the Sputniks performed.

Songwriter and singer for the band Charity Luthy described the band’s vibe as “rockabilly Fleetwood Mac” and said the band is vintage-themed. Luthy participated in the fashion show and also dressed in pinup during her performance. She said one of their songs, “Big, Black Ford,” was inspired by her and her husband’s red, starlight-themed 1971 Ford LTD, which was parked at the show.

Luthy said she discovered pinup through interior decorating, first attempting to furnish her house in midcentury style, and then moving on to fashion and hairstyles.

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