Sartorial secrets: Madam Rou

Behind the scenes at Miss Pinup NZ 2015Madam Rou 

Madam Rou Daywear front
All images taken by Craigen Durrant and edited by Madam Rou

(If this is the first post you’ve read in Sartorial Secrets, click here to find out the background behind the series.)

Next in the Miss Pinup NZ Sartorial Secrets series is the stunning and very, very clever, Madam Rou!   Read on to find out her sartorial secrets …

Where did you source your items (including shoes, handbags, accessories etc?)
The outfits for my day wear, talent and swim wear sections, and most of my accessories, were by the fabulous Cherry Bomb … aka me!  I made each and every piece (except for the heels, apron, pearls, diamonds and hair scarf).  

I asked a friend (Lady De Vil) if she wanted to craft my evening gown by using an old design I’ve had in my head since I was younger, but with such little time left at the end it unfortunately was not able to be finished but still completely wearable!  I also created my accessories, which was so much fun to do.  The day wear bracelet, earrings and hair pieces I decided to make as if I had been in a garden, so I guess you could say my theme there was The Secret Garden.

Madam Rou Accessories

The “Talent” dress fitted my “House Wife Secrets” look rather well for being an old-school Pinup DIY mum (earrings also made), and by golly I felt like one!

The swim wear needed to have more of my personality in it with a dash of sass … animal print it was!  Yes, of course I made the bone clips too, earrings, shoe clip-ons and headband (unseen in my photos due to my daughter now taking ownership of them!) and tail!

Madam Rou Swimwear

My evening accessories were misplaced before the show, but originally I had a crown diamond clip that my Nan got me for my 21st and an old cut glass necklace I found in my mother’s jewels – naturally they were found the day after … there’s always going to be something missing!

What inspired your choices – was it your pinup name/character, your personal interests/something you’d seen worn by someone you admire/old movies etc?
Personality seemed to win overall and thinking along the lines of what would I wear if we jumped back in time.  The colour of my day wear was a combination of my daughter’s favourite colours and mine – purple/green.

My talent 100% to match my pinup entry video and my swim wear is hard to miss if you knew my daughter who spends 80% of her time being a cat!

What accessories did you wear and how/why did you choose them?
The purple/white floral pieces represent the time I spent as a child in gardens in my “safe place” – it’s hard to explain but when there’s a garden to explore, the rest of the world disappears.

Madam Rou Daywear skirt
Another part of my childhood was speedway with my father – I wasn’t too sure how to incorporate it and it wasn’t till after I had made my bone clips and was saying “I’m bad to the bone!” – it seemed to fit in well enough!  For me I didn’t need anything else as I’m quite used to being a tad basic with one fancy piece!

How did the process work for you – did you find the dress, and then accessorise it, or did you find an accessory you love and build it from there …
Go with the flow!  The first month I spent sorting through my already planned tester collections for my Cherry Bomb line that I’ve been prepping to relaunch.

A lot of mind drawing and late nights on my sewing machines with changing designs constantly till I decided to stop thinking about it and just do it and see what I ended up with … i.e. go with what my hands led me to making.

Accessories were quite last-minute … maybe if I had have just put down a couple of cupcakes I’d have gotten that done a lot sooner!

Did your outfits require shape wear?
Not at all!  Although part of the reason for the velvet shorts was to push my butt in a bit, with having a thick stretchy cotton layer on the inner side.

Madam Rou Daywear Shorts

Who made your custom outfits?
Oh I am blushing now!  I felt so greedy making all four myself – the evening dress was pieced together by Clara Pullar from one of my old designs.

Madam Rou evening

What was already in your wardrobe and what items did you buy expressly for Miss Pinup NZ?
All talent items were already lying around thankfully!  Being the crafty seamstress lady I am, it was all done within a squishy tight budget.

Is there anything you’d change about your outfits?  Did you have any wardrobe malfunctions?
If I could do it all again I would make it heavily dramatic, now that I know what it could have looked like on stage.

Clothing-wise no malfunctions … PHEW! But I did misplace the evening wear accessories the day before … whoops!

Can you tell me about your hair and makeup? (Ed note: Miss Pinup contestants must do their own hair and makeup)
Makeup-wise I kept to my normal style that I’ve had for the past ten years. Over time it’s gotten a bit bolder of course, but the same cat eyes and the same red lippy!

Not too shabby for a ten-minute hairstyle; pulling the curls out, brush, quick hefty spray and rushing to walk out onstage – I do love those heart bouncing moments!

How did you pick your talent? How much research went into it? Did you make your own props?
Choosing my talent was such a hard thing to do for me with the years going by, so I went on to do another showcase just like my video entry!  Will be doing more in the future!

Madam Rou Talent

Would you do it all again?
110%!  Maybe with a more physical talent though!

What was your favourite part about the competition?
Making new friends!!!!!! No doubt about that!

What did you learn from participating in Miss Pinup NZ 2015?
You can never be too prepared!  The week leading up to show day, do almost nothing but eat sleep and rest where possible!


Madam Rou Swimwear front

Thank you Madam Rou – I think the amount of  love, time and effort you put into creating your various outfits is amazing. What a talent.  For those of you who might be interested in purchasing your own special design from Madam Rou, head over to her Facebook page Cherry Bomb, and check out what this incredible lady has to offer.  Don’t forget almost everything you see in these photos was made by her, so you’re going to get something “wow” if you buy a Cherry Bomb design, that’s for sure!

(To read other contestant’s Sartorial Secrets, click here.)

Animal print, tails and secret gardens …



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