Monday, August 8, 2016


Who are you?
Sue Cadzow - 50s Vintage Dame

I’m a graphic designer and illustrator who particularly loves working in vintage style.
My illustrations have been featured on Atomic Swag tee shirts (Aloha, Ranch Party and Square Dancers and the little girls’ tee shirt) and I have created designs for many people in the vintage and retro world both in Australia and overseas.
For instance, I did the artwork for the Vintage Fashion Guild logo, Doughbox Diner in Sydney, Doll Deluxe clothing, and CD covers and posters for various rockabilly bands.
I love vintage design and I get really excited overtime someone comes to me with a new project!
People often come to me and they only have a vague notion in their head of what they want, or they may have seen an old advertisement that has inspired the seed of an idea.
My job is to visualise what is in their head and make it into artwork.
Its actually really satisfying when people say “This looks even better than I had imagined!”

Describe your fashion style
I have never really thought about it, but I guess I would simply say “1950s”.
I grew up in the country and used to watch 1950s movie on TV (Dial M for Murder was on high rotation on the country TV channels) and I raided my mum’s sewing patterns (she had been a teenager in the 1950s) and started sewing my own vintage outfits.
I also loved listening to her original record of “Rock Around the Clock”, so the love of the music started at the same time. I thought I was the only one who liked that stuff though, so I was extremely please when I moved to the city and found a whole bunch of other people loved the same things!
Whether the look be casual-look high-waisted side-zip jeans and a tee shirt and penny loafers, or full-on glamour with gold lamé and leopard print nearly everything in my wardrobe is either vintage, 1950s repro or items that I have sewn myself from vintage patterns.
I guess my dream is to emulate the style of Auntie Mame and dress totally for my own pleasure!

Who is your favourite style icon & why?

Marilyn Monroe has always been my favourite.

As a young girl growing up i the country watching her movies on TV, she seemed the epitome of style and Hollywood glamour to me. I used to sit and watch her movies with a sketch pad on my knees and quickly draw ideas for outfits to sew based on what she was wearing.
I used to whip up a new outfit every time I went out! When I was younger I used to have platinum blonde hair and my nickname was “Marilyn”. My hair has changed but I still love her outfits!

Name your 5 essential fashion pieces

Side-zip jeans (I hate things that don’t come up to my waist)
Capri pants (For when I want to look a bit dressy but still comfortable these cover all occasions!)
My vintage spectacles (mainly because I am blind as a bat and cannot see a thing without them!)
Flat shoes (After years of wearing ill-fitting vintage shoes my feet are a complete mess and I need to wear orthotic inserts)
Pencil skirt (Goes with everything and can equally look dressy or casual)

Do you have a special prized fashion piece in your wardrobe?
My dress and matching bolero in the photo below.
The dress was purchased on my first ever trip to Viva las Vegas and the bolero was purchased separately 3 years later on a subsequent trip to the Rockabilly Rave at Las Vegas! When I saw the bolero hanging on the rack I actually swore out loud because it was the same fabric as my dress.
It was like time had stood still ad I was in slow motion running towards the bolero and willing everyone else to leave it alone and not pick it up before I reached it.
As I triumphantly grabbed it off the rack (possibly shoving other people aside who were reaching for it at the same time) I could not believe my eyes that it was a perfect match!
I probably would have paid a million dollars there and then to have that piece and complete the set!!!

What is something surprising about you?
I love Agatha Christie books and TV shows (actually that’s probably not all that surprising to my family!!) and I collect vintage paperbacks of her books.

Do you have a favourite sewing pattern? What is it?
This pattern has been loved to death! I bought it from an op-shop in the mid-1980s and have made it as a top, a dress, and it was the first pattern I ever sewed that had no markings and odd-shaped pieces that I just had to work out how they joined together! shows my graphic design work is where you can purchase and download my vintage-style clipart

1 comment:

  1. I've known Sue a long time and I really really enjoyed reading this. Always things you don't know about someone, I was always envious of that gorgeous set that Sue bought at Viva and to find the matching bolero.... well that was meant to be.
    I always look forward to seeing Sue and Mark at the Fifites Fair in Sydney, they are among my favourites and I always look forward to seeing what they wear X Joy