Katy Perry's Retro Style

Retro Queen
How many of us could wear this and get away with it? 
Ever since luminous pop queen Katy Perry has been pumping out hits and strutting her considerable assets in public view, she has been a showcase for the kind of  showy, eye-popping modern-retro style that makes contemporary gear look drab by comparison.

Perry's vivid retro style has been integral to her image and phenomenal success and in turn, the singer has elevated vintage allure to new heights of creative wow.

True, Perry's particular brand of retro carries more than a hint of trashy sexiness and is a rarefied look that few of us could carry off with the same confident aplomb - it helps to be tall, well-built and strikingly attractive. Nevertheless, the great thing about vintage is that the wearer can out it together in their own unique way - whatever suits.

Katy Perry - 50s glamour in spades
Mid-Century Moods
Jane Russell - a vintage inspiration?
Perry's look is distinctly early 50s, borrowing from the heavy glamour style of a certain ilk of voluptuous pin-up fashion that was around at the time - think Jane Russell and Betty Page. It's the sort of delicious B-grade,  over-the-top, sexualised fashion that popped up on calendars and posters, as opposed to the more restrained Grace Kelly-like style of pearls, gloves and pink angora sweaters.

According to her biographers, Katy Perry was inspired to move into retro fashion-as-art by Dominque's Swain's film representation of Nabokov's  Lolita - the 50s nymphet who inadvertently leads a middle-aged man to his destruction.

Of course, whatever the inspiration, Perry has put her personal stamp of individuality on her clothes - describing her own fashion sense as a 'concoction' - which might encompass anything from watermelons to blue hair. When it comes to clothes, she says, "I have multi-personality disorder...in a good way of course."

50s pin-up gal, Betty Page

Jane Russell
Betty Draper
Sue Lyon: Lolita