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Augusta’s Monroe embraces vintage look

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The glitz and glamour of the fashions from the 1940s and 1950s captivated a young Audrey Monroe.

Turner Classic Movies provided her a steady diet of inspiration as a child as she watched the actresses from that golden era. The styles of women such as Marilyn Monroe, Rita Hayworth, Betty Grable and Rosemary Clooney molded Monroe’s current look.

“I loved Rosemary Clooney’s ‘White Christmas’ hairstyle. I asked my mom if she would do my hair like that when I was 11. I wanted to look like her,” said Monroe, who is a vintage model and licensed esthetician in Columbia County. 

While she’s always loved the fashions of that time period, Monroe didn’t go back to school at 11 looking like Rosemary Clooney. However, she did give a nod to something vintage in most of her wardrobe as a teen and young adult.

“I‘ve worn a piece of vintage glam my whole life –  a polka-dotted blouse or red lipstick,” she said.

But it wasn’t until a few years ago that she realized she wanted to embrace her own style even if it was from another era. One person who empowered her in that decision was model and actress Dita Von Teese.

“I met her in April 2018,” she said. “I read her book, ‘Your Beauty Mark.’”

One quote from Von Teese that stuck with Monroe. 

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“’You can be the ripest, juiciest peach in the world, and there’s still going to be somebody who hates peaches,’” said Monroe, quoting Von Teese. “The last half of 2018, I decided to wear the style that makes me smile. Life’s too short. Be different. Stay in your own lane.”

To achieve her look, Monroe found an ally in Caren “Ooollee” Bricker, who owns Vintage Ooollee on Broad Street.

“Ooollee Bricker has poured so much into me,” she said. “She’s educated me. About 85 percent of my wardrobe is from her.”

Since embracing her style, Monroe has gained more than 22,500 followers on Instagram. Not only does she post photos of her in glamorous dresses and daywear, but she also posts videos on how to recreate makeup and hairstyles from that era. 

Monroe has modeled clothes and gained contracts from other companies specializing in reproduction vintage pieces.

She’s modeled pieces for Secrets In Lace, a vintage lingerie manufacturer. Some of the photographs for the company’s website were taken at Augusta’s Marion Hatcher Center. 

Monroe said the right foundation items including corsets and bullet bras are important when wearing vintage pieces. 

“Those clothes were made to go with them,” she said. “A lot of clothes have darting that subtly enhances the bust.”

When those clothes are worn with the right foundation garments, the enhancement is magnified.

She’s also modeled clothing from companies such as The Pretty Dress, Atomic Jane Clothing, Collectif and Belle Epoque. 

Monroe likes to give a nod to Augusta when she does her photo shoots and posts on Instagram by letting her location be known. Many photos are shot in downtown Augusta.

Monroe also likes to help others find their inner glam. As an esthetician, Monroe often helps people get ready for special events or photo shoots. 

One of the most popular sessions she offers clients is the vintage glamour makeover, which includes vintage hair, skin care prep and what she calls the “Old Hollywood” makeup look.

Since her look is different, Monroe gets feedback from others. For the most part, it’s positive, but when it’s not, she reminds herself that not everyone likes peaches.

To find Monroe on social media, look for Miss Audrey Monroe. She uses that username across the board at sites such as Facebook, Instagram, YouTube and TikTok. Her website is www.missaudreymonroe.com.

Charmain Z. Brackett is the Features Editor for The Augusta Press. Reach her at [email protected]

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