New at Rita Sue HQ

What's New for Rita Sue? Posted on 11 Sep 16:28 , 0 comments

Goodness me, What a year it's been so far for Rita Sue Clothing!

We've moved online after the closure of our shop in Auckland City Central, and our Pop Up at Cockspur's Vintage (check out our Facebook & Instragram)! But never fear - you will still see Rita Sue Clothing at all of the best Vintage and Rock N Roll events in town; The Very Vintage Day Out, and the Whangamata Beach Hop being top of the list of course!

We have a huge range of delicious Vintage inspired goodies on our web store already. But our full catalogue is soon to be online. So you'll be able to purchase everything we have available right from the comfort of your chair, bed, where ever you are! And to make things even easier, we have also measured each item individually so that you can order with confidence! Just note down your own measurements, and check them against our size charts. Voilà!


Meanwhile, we are still searching for the perfect little spot for our new shop. Let us know if you have a great idea for a location here in NZ! We're always on the lookout for a little adventure!

Christmas Extravagance featuring Miss Charlotte Cake & The Pretty Dress Company Posted on 15 Nov 13:11 , 0 comments

Our new favourite dresses have arrived at Rita Sue.. and they're a little bit special!

Miss Charlotte Cake, Baker & Blogger, wearing the Fatale Embroidered Tulle Prom Dress (left) and the Fatale Embroidered Southern Belle Pencil Dress (right) by The Pretty Dress!

Introducing the Fatale Embroidered Tulle Prom Swing Dress, an absolute stunner of a frock! The fresh new blooms at the Parnell Rose Gardens made for the perfect setting for this show-stopping dress.

Beautiful in black, with layers of tulle overlay, the swing dress is just fabulous for dancing and twirling in. The off-the-shoulder bodice has a subtle cross over at the front, with beautiful red rose embroidery sweeping down one side... Ooh, la, la!

The Fatale Embroidered Tulle Prom Dress, perfectly paired with a TaylorMade Petticoat!

Also new in at Rita Sue from the Pretty Dress, is the Fatale Southern Belle Pencil Dress. Nipping in at all the right places, the pencil dress delivers elegance and a little bit of sass! The delicious floral golden embroidery shines beautifully in the light, contrasting beautifully with the black.

Beautifully designed and made in the UK, the Fatale Dress ticks all the right boxes for style and class. The stunning embroidered detailing is the icing on the cake! Pop in and see these gorgeous designs in person - Find your perfect fit today.

New in for Spring/Summer! Sar-Cie, Judy Dee and Mavis & Bob Posted on 26 Oct 21:32 , 0 comments

Beautiful bright new prints have hit the racks at Rita Sue Clothing! We have a gorgeous new range of dresses and skirts made locally by Sar-Cie, Judy Dee and Mavis & Bob!


Beautifully designed and finished, Sar-Cie delivers prints with a POW!!! Locally made in Hamilton New Zealand, Sar-Cie's Summer designs are beautifully constructed, and certainly a conversation starter!

Yarr!! Our beautiful model Pinup Briar wearing the
Pirate Print Swing Dress made in NZ by Sar-Cie

Something a little bit different for Christmas this year! Pinup Briar rocking the Skeleton Christmas Lights Printed Skirt by Sar-Cie.

Miss Lola Fondãnt wearing the Angel of Death Printed Dress by Sar-Cie.

Curvy Couture by Judy Dee

We also have new skirts in store from Judy Dee, another talented lady from Glamilton, New Zealand! Judy Dee specializes in flattering clothing for the fuller figure, creating  beautiful vintage reproduction garments with attention to detail!

 The graceful Lady Victoria looking classy in the Pencil Skirt in Black Flocked Floral Print by Judy Dee!

Anchors away! Pinup Briar wears Anchor Print Skirt by Judy Dee, paired with a navy TaylorMade Petticoat & Banned Cardigan.

Lady Victoria, striking a deadly pose in the Pencil Skirt in Brown Leopard Print with high waist, and gorgeous kick-pleat detailing by Judy Dee.

Mavis & Bob

Last but not least, we have pretty polka dot prints by Mavis & Bob, in warm orange, sea blue, and sunshine yellow. Unbelievably comfortable, with shirred elastic at the back these new frocks are fashionable and floaty - just the thing to flaunt on a hot sunny day!

Spring/Summer collection from Mavis & Bob, see in store for more!

Pop into Rita Sue Clothing, or check out one of these pretties for yourself instantly at our webstore!

Friends of Rita Sue: Introducing Rose Jackson from Glory Days Posted on 26 Aug 23:13 , 0 comments

Introducing: Rose Jackson

Rose is the owner of Decadia Vintage and the Creative Director at “Glory Days”, New Zealand’s very own Vintage lifestyle magazine. She has recently broadened the scope of her role by focusing more on promotion and organisation of events as well. Rose has a special connection to Rita Sue as she worked in the shop with Rachel for a period of time. Some of you remember Rose doing Hair and Make up for customers on a Friday afternoon at Rita Sue and others will remember her wonderful Hairstyling lessons at the shop on a Sunday. She has always been a great support person and advisor for Rita Sue so we were eager to ask her to share a few insights into the Vintage scene here in New Zealand.

What do you love about the Vintage scene here in New Zealand?

That there is a group of people in our small corner of the world who don't want to paint their walls cafe au lait, play rugby and watch The Kardashians. And that it's female led!
How did you first get involved in Vintage?

I think it's always been in me - I was the 10 year old who's favourite band was the Beach Boys (and I'm not talking about the shameful Kokomo years), I come from a long line of crafty women who instilled an appreciation of handmade clothing in me, I can't pass up a bargain and I love treasure hunting which vintage shopping provides in spades.

During high school my friends and I started going to church op shops and school fairs to pick up old slips and 70s polyester shirts (forgive us, it was the grunge era). We also loved shopping for free furniture and homewares from the inorganic collections on the side of the road (RIP). I miss the inorganics.

You have a sophisticated and immaculate sense of style. Where does your inspiration come from?

Aww thanks Cathy, that's very kind of you. I think my inspiration first and foremost comes from not following fashion! Vintage clothing is a visual way of expressing independence. Fashion is a mean monster that wants to save money for itself and make you wear something that doesn't suit you. I feel it's really important not to let fashion dictate the rules about what to wear, particularly as it doesn't care about individual shapes, sizes or figures. Because I had a sewing background, I was always interested in garment cut and fit and fabric. Most modern clothing does all of these things really really badly. You just have to look at modern sizing to know something ain't right with things these days.

Don't get me wrong. It wasn't all vintage all of the time! I had some terrible fashion phases such as the baggy tee-shirt and Origin jeans ensembles of the 1990s and a regrettable period of purchasing fast fashion in the UK during the 2000s but I was always collecting vintage at the same time and I (hope!) I've learned from my mistakes. Swing dancing was a big turning point and where everything clicked together. Dancing + great old music + beautiful vintage to float around in on the dancefloor. Perfection!

What is your favourite Vintage era and why?

I couldn't possibly choose a favourite era, I love each one for different reasons... the Victorian era for all the fuss, the 1910s for the eveningwear silhouette, the 1920s for opera coats and Vionnet's bias cut, the 1930s for amazing sleeves and sublime elegance, the 1940s for tilt hats and sensible yet deeply sexy suits with nipped in waists, the 1950s for cotton floral dresses, the 1960s for the vast change in fashion from the beginning to the end of the decade, 1970s for Vivienne Westwood and the 1980s for its brash optimism and my old dancing costumes.

What piece of advice would you give to young aspiring writers?

Keep a diary but keep it hidden, read as much as you can and don't spend $1000 on doing a writing course.

If you could meet a celebrity from your favourite era, who would it be and what would you ask them?

I have a morbid fear of meeting celebrities so I would probably run away and hide. But I would defintiely love to go back to the early 1900s and look through Marchesa Luisa Casati's wardrobe while she was out walking her panthers in Venice naked but for a fur coat.

Who (family/friends) have been the strongest influence on your life growing up?

I have five best friends that have been in my life since we were 10. We got up to all sorts of mischief together when we were young and have supported each other through some difficult times as we got older and had less time for mischief. I got to develop different parts of my personality with each one of them, which I'm hugely grateful for. Thanks girls!

You have a few different roles with Glory Days. Can you give us a little more insight?

I currently wonder if there is a role I haven't performed for the magazine! Owning an independent business and having a tiny team without any financial backing meant we all had to muck in and do everything ourselves... from styling glamorous fashion shoots in historic houses to working 14 hour days packing in venues with wet hay bales as props.

How has your focus for the Magazine changed over time?

We started Glory Days with the magazine as the focal point. Over time and with the advice of our publisher and business mentor, the focus has shifted significantly to reflect the community in which we operate. People, especially vintage people, love experiences and having excuses to dress up and hang out with like-minded souls, so we have concentrated on developing good relationships with venues, councils and institutions around the country that support and share our vision so we can give the people what they want.

Of all of the projects you have completed what do you see as your greatest success?

Probably the overarching project of owning an independent company that has published a print magazine for three years – it's a miracle especially considering the print industry is in a tailspin. I'm also really proud of the opportunities that Glory Days has provided so many people in the vintage community. Glory Days works really hard to offer a platform for models, designers, stylists, writers and photographers, which has in some cases been a springboard into mainstream media for our friends so I'm really proud of that.

What are the three most important things in your life right now?

Trying to think of the best way to preserve and celebrate heritage architecture and design and instill the importance of these irreplaceable cultural treasures into the minds of people who think it's ok to demolish them. I'm still mourning the loss of the wonderful deco courtyard style flats near Countdown in Mt Eden that were knocked down for a carpark. True story.

Connecting and strengthening communities through the events work that I do.
Getting some balance and trying to slow down a bit after setting up companies, working multiple jobs and tallying up stupid amounts of hours doing both over the past seven years.

What are your goals moving forward?

To keep moving forward by working with talented people on exciting projects. And get a rescue greyhound!

Glory Days Magazine:
Decadia Vintage:

Friends of Rita Sue: Featuring Heather Taylor (Taylormade Petticoats) Posted on 28 Jul 21:22 , 0 comments

Introducing: Heather Taylor (TaylorMade Petticoats)

When we first went into business and started working at Rita Sue, one of the goals we wanted to achieve was to find more suppliers from within New Zealand. I came across the lovely Heather Taylor, and her newly started business Taylormade petticoats, when we were trying to source locally made garments. Working from her home in Warkworth, Heather was supplying beautiful custom-made underskirts for her friends that did Rock & Roll dancing and had just set up her Facebook page. We have been so lucky, as Heather has also become a great friend and supporter. We think her petticoats are far superior quality to many of the imported petticoats available, and now only stock Taylormade petticoats at Rita Sue. We believe that it is important to support small NZ suppliers.

How long have you been sewing Heather? 

About 48 years…. (Gees that  makes me sound ancient!!!!) 

How did you start making petticoats?

My kids were involved in Rock and Roll Dancing and as I made all their costumes it was a natural progression to do the petticoats also.

What makes TaylorMade Petticoats different to other brands than can be bought?  

My point of difference to the overseas petticoats is that I can make custom, to your size and height. My petticoats are all hand-made right from the cutting of each one through to the making and packaging.  I believe this makes each one special as opposed to production line manufacture.

How much fabric is used in a medium size double layered petticoat?

For a double layered petticoat I allow between 9 and 10 metres depending on the size I’m making.

What were the most interesting custom orders you have been asked to do?

I have recently been asked to make multi-coloured layers, which has proved most interesting and the results are scrummy… Also, I have an order for a bridal petticoat so that will be a very special order.

Where do you hope to take the business in the future?

I have recently resigned my full time Consulting position and have moved to a new district. With this move, I am hoping to expand TaylorMade. I am hoping to tap back into the Rock and Roll Scene which has taken a bit of a back seat since my kids grew and I got involved more with the Pin Up scene. I also am involved in one off Interior Furnishing Consultancy from measure to install.

Who (friends/family) have been the strongest influence in your life?

My Grandmother lived next door to me when I was growing up and encouraged me in all aspects of childhood learning. My husband has encouraged me to have a ‘can do’ attitude and has helped me see my dreams into reality.

Living on a farm is a busy life, how do you find time for making petticoats?

Although I was living on the farm, I actually worked off farm full time as an interior furnishing consultant. This along with helping out on the farm at odd times meant I had to be organised to work on my TaylorMade projects. Max (my husband) has shared the stress by becoming my major ‘cutter’ of petticoats.

Who/What inspired your love of sewing?

When I was eight years old my grandmother gave me an 1879 Wertheim hand crank sewing machine. This baby is still in my possession and holds a very special place in my workroom.  I taught myself how to make it go, thread and wind the shuttles, and progressed from making dolls clothes to making all my own clothes as a young teenager.

What are your interests outside of the Rock and Roll Dancing Scene?

All types of sewing!!! I enjoy reading and I also have eight grandchildren, so I have plenty to occupy any spare time I may have!

What are the three most important things in your life right now?

My health, my husband, and my happiness as we move forward into another era of life – leaving the farm and moving to a new district.

What are your goals moving forward?

My work goals are to grow TaylorMade Petticoats alongside my interior furnishing consultancy (also under TaylorMade).  My life goals are to have some recreational time with Max now that he isn’t working 24/7!

The Rita Sue Team: Featuring Miss Charlotte Cake Posted on 20 Jul 21:15 , 0 comments

Introducing: Miss Charlotte Cake

The sassy Miss Charlotte Cake was one of our very first models when we started at Rita Sue. Working alongside the lovely Soda Fontaine during many sessions, the pair quickly became known as “The Twin-Ups”. Charlotte was Runner-up in Miss Pin-up NZ (2015). She also participated in the NZ version of TV show “Come Dine With Me”, winning her section, and since then has become a strong individual in the foodie scene, with her own Pin-up baker Blog -! Instagram: @misscharlottecake

Miss Charlotte Cake on the Season Premier of NZ's 'Come Dine With Me'

We asked Charlotte to share some of her thoughts and experiences about being a modern pinup girl in Auckland.

What does being a pin-up mean to you?

I actually don’t think about what ‘being a pinup girl’ means, it’s not something that usually crosses my mind… I guess it’s having an interest in a past era, and enjoying the style of fashion, hair, makeup, material possessions of a certain previous decade without having to live in the past. To take all the good things (like the above), and recreate them in a modern way in this day and age.

How did you first enter the pin-up scene?

I went to the very first Very Vintage Day Out, and have been to every VVDO event since. I guess that was what thrust me into the thick of the community where I made new friends who liked similar things as me and it just grew from there.
Who are the international and local pin-up models who inspired you and how?
To be perfectly honest, I don’t really look to any local or international pinup models in particular. Personally, I prefer to feel inspired by watching old vintage films (for the hair, makeup, costumes). Of course there’s Dita von Teese and Katy Perry, two of my favourite people in the Universe for obvious reasons. I guess some people draw inspiration from scrolling through Instagram; I do the same to an extent but feel way more inspired after watching something like ‘Creature from the Black Lagoon’ for than famous white swimsuit, or ‘Rear Window’ for Grace Kelly’s polished, two piece olive suit.
What piece of advice would you give to young aspiring pin-up models?
I would say: Put yourself out there as much as possible, make opportunities for yourself, don’t be afraid to ask if you want something, take risks and do things that scare you and just work really hard for something that you’re passionate about. Nothing worthwhile comes easily.

How do you think other people see you? And how would you describe yourself?

I would describe myself as a quietly confident, quirky, weirdo who loves to op-shop, bake treats, hoard red lipstick and watch horror movies.
How I think others perceive me? Probably as ‘the chick who loves cake’ – but trust me, they’ve only scratched the service if that’s all they know about me! :)

If you could meet an idol, (currently alive or not) who would it be and what would you ask them?

I would love to meet Amy Schumer – have you seen her Youtube channel? Basically she’s a badass, loud, unapologetic, sassy comedian who completely takes the piss of everything in her videos (but still makes strong, valid points without giving a f**k). She uses her unique comedic skills to bring up issues women deal with on a daily basis, as well as the sexualisation of woman. If you haven’t seen her stuff, I would highly recommend you get watching!
Who (family/friends) have been the strongest influence on your life growing up?
I grew up in a house full of women, and (biggest cliché ever)… my strongest influence was my mum. She did EVERYTHING to make sure my sisters and I had everything we needed. She was basically two parents combined into one and I’ll forever want to be the strong, incredibly brave woman that she is.
You work in the travel industry- Can you describe for us what you do?
I’m an Office Manager for an online travel bookings company. We specialise in international cruise ship bookings, car rentals and motorhome bookings. A typical day for me involves running two offices with approximately 130 staff, checking emails, organising events, running errands, social media marketing, and helping out all over the office wherever it’s needed. I get to work with lots of different departments, and no day is the same. I love it, the company culture is incredible!
Who/what inspired your love of cooking/baking?
My mum! She’s a superwoman I tell you…
I learnt very quickly where food comes from - how to grow it, how to prepare it and how to cook it. Because my mum is a nurse, she would have tons of night shifts which meant I used to help out and cook dinner for my sisters when she wasn’t home. The first meal I ever learnt how to cook was spaghetti bolognase.

Charlotte's delicious baking!

You have been involved in many events. What has been your most rewarding experience to date?

I’m tossing up the Streetfood Collective event or the Tea Tasting event. I was proud of both of them, purely because I loved creating something that brought people together to have a good time.

What are your interests outside of the pinup scene?

Discovering new places to eat, spending time with my loved ones, reading recipe books, sewing, pottering around my house getting small jobs done (it’s a satisfaction thing), writing, cooking and baking, petting my cat or chickens, exercising (I’ve just signed up for my first pole class)!

Charlotte, with her partner Carl at the Now And Then Fashion Show at St. Kevin's Arcade

What are the three most important things in your life right now?

My health, my family and my mind.
What are your goals moving forward?
I have millions of goals… goals are SO important! I guess to sum them all up it would be to continue living a healthy, happy life and to keep doing things that make me feel good. 

Check out Miss Charlotte Cake's blog at!

The Rita Sue Team: Featuring Miss Pin-up NZ 2016, Fran Henricksen Posted on 12 Jul 13:10 , 0 comments

Introducing: Miss Pin-up NZ 2016, Fran Henricksen (aka Fran Robertson - Decorator of People and Things)

Miss Pin-up NZ 2016, Fran, is one of the most hard-working women I have met. She is originally from Dunedin, and now lives in Auckland, but she spends much of her time commuting around the country working the Pamper Parlour doing Hair and Make-up at a variety of events. Recently, she has set up a new company “The Beauty School Dropouts” with Monique Mclennan, and we look forward to new projects with them both in the future. She is also an inspiring photographer and can sing like a star. We were overjoyed that Fran was the winner of Miss Pin-up NZ this year! Her colourful and quirky sense of fun, and flair in the creation of her outfits brilliantly showcased her creative design skills, and she has talent to boot. Fran is an inspiration to many in the Pin-up scene and you can read more about her on her own blog, and check out her Instagram @frantasy_island

Measurements: 58” – 38” – 60”
Eye colour : Green or Brown - depends on my hair colour at the time!
Favourite Lip Colour : Deep Reds – MAC ‘Diva’, Jeffree Star ‘Unicorn Blood’, and L.A.Girl ‘Secret’ are my top three right now!

What does being a pin-up mean to you?

I think the term ‘Pin-Up’ has changed a lot recently, in a colloquial sense, but it’s never really been a term that resonated with me! I dress in the clothes that I love, in styles that suit me, but I’ve never considered myself to be a ‘pin-up’, per say - it’s only been in the last year that I’ve begun to feel comfortable using the term to describe myself!
With that in mind though, our community is what keeps me hanging around – I would never let the way I dress dictate my social group, but there are so many amazing like-minded creatives within the pin-up community that I love having the opportunity to interact with, and I know that I wouldn’t necessarily have met them if it weren’t for our shared interest in pin-up and vintage.

Fran doing hair & makeup for the Glory Days team at The Very Vintage Day Out!

How did you first enter the pin-up scene?

I’ve been a collector of mid-century homewares and furniture since I first moved out of home - and I began collecting vintage and vintage-inspired clothing long before that – but it wasn’t until 2015 that I started actually meeting other people from within the NZ pin-up scene! Claire from Glory Days invited me to come and work at the Pamper Parlour for VVDO, and that was a huge eye opener for me – I’d never seen so many people who loved fashion in the same way that I did, and it was amazing! After that I knew I’d found my people, and I haven’t looked back!

Fran & Rose Jackson at the Glory Days Stall!

Who are the international and local pin-up models who inspired you and how?

My inspirations in the wider pin-up world are always the people doing really cool stuff, and turning their passions into their jobs without compromising on their personalities - Cherry Dollface, Xanthia Pink, and Rockabilly Ruby, for example, who are all really talented boss-ladies, and are absolutely kicking ass.
Closer to home, my pinup girl-gang are always inspiring me to try new things, and encouraging me in everything that I do. I’m lucky to have such a fabulous and supportive group of friends that back me all the way!

You are known for your awesome hair colours… how do you colour and style it?

Thanks! I have a background in Hairdressing, and I’ve been colouring my own hair for well over a decade, but there were definitely a few spectacular fails when I started out! With time and experience I’ve figured out what works for my hair and what doesn’t, so I’ve got a pretty good system now. I know how much my hair can take, and what products work best for me (for example, I use a number of different products to get the colours I like, but as a general rule Manic Panic do the best Blues and Reds, and La Riche Directions do the best Pinks and Yellows) and I take care not to over-bleach my hair, and not to wash it too often – this helps both with styling, and also with colour maintenance.
I look after my hair well – I don’t use heat styling, I use a treatment once a week, and I’m super careful when I brush out my backcombing - but at the end of the day, it’s just hair. It’ll grow back if anything terrible happens, so I’m pretty open to experimenting! 

What piece of advice would you give to young aspiring pin-up models?

Have fun putting your outfits together, and only wear things you love! There are no hard-and-fast rules about being a pin-up – If you want to wear Chuck Taylors’ with your swing skirts, do it; If you’re really into graphic tees, wear them; If you don’t like soft florals, don’t buy them! You can be interested in and inspired by ‘pin-up’ without having to live and breathe it, so take the bits that work for you, and don’t do it if you don’t enjoy it…because what would be the point?  

How do you think other people see you? And how would you describe yourself?

I’m a self-confessed weird kid, who has somehow grown into an even weirder adult, but I’d like to think that I portray a pretty honest version of myself – I try and be as authentically ‘me’ in public as I am at home with my family, so I hope that people see me that way! I’m friendly and approachable, and always happy to help people where I can, but I’m also pretty stubborn and I don’t take shit from anyone, nor do I let anyone mistreat the people I care about.

If you could meet an idol, (currently alive or not) who would it be and what would you ask them?

I’ve never really had idols, as I don’t believe in putting people on a pedestal – how can you relate to someone if you place a higher value on them than you do on yourself and the people you love? – but I’d definitely love to meet Betty Friedan, who wrote ‘The Feminine Mystique’ in 1963, and was credited with starting the second-wave feminism movement. It would be amazing to have the opportunity just to speak to someone so instrumental in the fight for equality and women’s rights.
Who (family/friends) have been the strongest influence on your life growing up?
My strongest influence is definitely my Mama. She’s the best kind of weird, an absolute delight to be around, and is the cutest most adorable little lady in the world, but she knows how to fight for what matters and she can always find a positive. If I grow up to be half the person she is, I’ll consider that a success.
She taught me some of the most important life lessons that I have ever received. My siblings and I were brought up to value ourselves and our ideas, taught that respect needs to be earned, and we were never expected to do things without an explanation. “Because I’m in charge” was never a reason to follow instructions - there was always a discussion about the pros and cons, and we were allowed to make our own decisions based on the information provided, which taught us to evaluate situations and think for ourselves. I imagine this probably annoyed a few teachers, considering I never really prioritised homework, or wearing uniform, or turning up to detentions, but it was a valuable lesson in cause and effect, and taking responsibility for my own actions!

You are so multi-talented, what made you choose to focus on Vintage Hair & Make up?

For the most part, I love the glamour that comes from vintage styling! I still do a lot of ‘normal’ hair and makeup, but glamorous up-dos and bridal looks encompass a huge amount of vintage styling anyway – french rolls, chignons, loose beehives, and braid crowns are all super popular looks for weddings and events right now, but they all have roots in vintage styling! And while there are certain elements to makeup that are seen more predominately in some eras rather than others, as a whole, a makeup look is always tailored to the face it’s going on. It’s just a coincidence that 20s, 50s and 60s makeup trends are not only my favourites, but are also the most universally flattering - which is why they are the basis for most modern looks too!

You have had some huge challenges to overcome with your injuries from your accident and yet you remain mainly positive. What advice would you give others struggling through adversity?

It’s ok to have bad days. Fighting off bad days is what wears you down, and it’s really had to stay positive when you’re feeling shitty. Also, remember that while there will be people out there that have things worse, that doesn’t make what you’re going through any less significant. I try so hard to maintain a positive outlook, and accept the things I can’t change with grace and dignity, but I’m not afraid to just be angry sometimes, and work through things in a healthy way rather than holding onto them and letting them fester. Otherwise I’ll just become bitter, and I’m not willing to let that happen because bitter people are boring and I’m not ready to be boring yet!

What are the three most important things in your life right now?

1. My family, who are always the top of the list. Things have changed a lot in the 7 years since I moved, and I don’t get to see them as much as I’d like, but they’re always there when it matters and I love them more than anything in the world.

2. My husband Tony, who is selfless, and never wants credit for doing amazing things. Before we started dating I asked to bunk in with him on a camp, so he secretly went and bought a brand new tent so he wouldn’t have to turn me away, and didn’t say a word about it. I only found out when a friend accidentally mentioned it, 6 months into our relationship.

3. My career. I love what I do, and I’m going to keep doing it until I’m not physically able to anymore…and even then I know I’ll fight! I get so much joy from making people feel amazing, and it’ll be a cold day in hell before I let anything get in the way of that.

Fran looking cute with her husband Tony

What are your goals moving forward?

Once I finish my degree I’ll start making some goals!
Honestly though, I’m in a really good place. I have big plans for the future of my business, and also for The Beauty School Dropouts, and also I hope to start making my own cosmetics in the new year, but for now I’m really just focusing on getting my last semester out of the way so I can cross that off my list!
In the grand scheme of things, I just want to keep doing the things that I love, surrounding myself with new and interesting people every day, and trying to bring a little sunshine to some pretty bleak days.

Check out Fran Robertson's blog at!

The Rita Sue Team: Featuring Briar Engel Posted on 17 Jun 18:00 , 1 comment

Over the next few months we will be bringing you a series of blog posts to introduce the wonderful models at Rita Sue as well as some other people also dear to our hearts!

Our Beach Hop Birthday, and Adventures at Very Vintage Day Out 2016! Posted on 27 Apr 09:26 , 0 comments

We are still buzzing from the past few weeks! So many exciting events have happened this Summer, including the Petrolhead Vintage Market for The Beach Hop in Whangamata, and our favourite event of the year, the Very Vintage Day Out, held at Alexandra Park in Auckland!

Beach Hop Rocks! And we were lucky enough to be spending our first birthday weekend at the Beach Hop Market at Whangamata Memorial Hall. We had an awesome time checking out the amazing vintage cars on show, and met lots of new friends! It's been such a great first year at Rita Sue, and no celebration is complete without cake. Our very talented friend Fiona at Funky Cookies and Cakes whipped us up these delectable car cakes to share!

Image by Tony McKay Photography.

Thanks Petrolhead Magazine and Andi & Craig for their awesome market organisation, we'd love to be back next year! And a big thank you to Tony McKay for the awesome photographs! Fiona for our amazing birthday cakes by "Funky Cookies and Cakes." They were just as delicious as they looked!

Images by Tony McKay Photography.
A week after we had the pleasure of being a part of the Very Vintage Day Out in Auckland... bigger and better than ever! This event has grown so much over the past few years, with many more vendors, models, photographers, show participants, and fabulous entertainment. It was wonderful to see so many beautifully dressed, vintage enthusiasts under one roof!

We were very excited to sneak a peek at the Miss Pin Up NZ competition this year - all of the contestants did fabulously! There were outstanding performances, stunning outfits, and we were very proud of our Rita Sue gals Miss Lola Fondant, and Miss Opal for taking part in this years event!

In the end, we were super happy to see Fran Robertson took out the top spot as the new Miss Pin Up NZ! Fran lives the pin-up life with a creative and colourful flair that matches her bubbly personality. She will be an amazing ambassador for the scene this year... and in fact already is!


Elvis in the Gardens Posted on 22 Mar 21:14 , 0 comments

We had a brilliant day and made lots of new friends at Elvis in the Gardens, held at the beautiful Botanical gardens last weekend. All of the Elvis' were so professional and the costumes were amazing.
Thank you so much to Katrina and Kerryn Winn for inviting us, and for their great organisation of the event. We were so happy to sponsor the "best dressed" competition and enjoyed a great show while we worked our busy little stall.
Thank you also everyone who came and purchased something or just came for a look and chatted with us.... You all made our day even more enjoyable.