Roberta Dolinska is the epitome of beautiful pin-up style. Not only is Roberta amazing at styling her 1930′s-1950′s wardrobe, she’s also the drummer of the band Badlanders (so cool!). We are in love with Roberta’s style and timeless beauty and think she’s an inspiration to girls and women everywhere!
OHEMV: It’s so cool you’re a drummer! When did you start and who are your biggest music inspirations?
Roberta: Firstly I signed up for bass lessons but that never happened so I started with guitar and then ended up with drums. I was about 14. I was attending my guitar lessons and during one someone was playing drums next door so loud that I couldn´t hear myself. I stopped and went to have a look. The guy smashing the whole kit asked me if I wanted to try it as well, I said sure. Since that day I have had drumsticks in my pocket. It is a very powerful instrument. I like all kinds of music, I love the musical diversity so I listen to things from 1920´s up till now and because I am a drummer in 2 bands in London (Badlanders and The Advanced Plastic Group), I watch the current scene a lot. You know everything depends on my mood, but I strongly started to percieve music when I was 13. I became obsessed with New York City´s punk scene and then with some english bands like The Clash and The Smiths. Patti Smith is one of my biggest idols. Regarding to my drumming influence, I like female drummers a lot, as there are not many of them. I would say Meg White of The White Stripes has a great impact on my playing, as she keeps it so simple and it sounds smashing. I really like Stella Mozgawa of Warpaint, Sarah Jones of Bat for Lashes, Anna Prior of Metronomy or Leah Shaphiro of Black Rebel Motorcycle Club.
OHEMV: What is your favorite thing about wearing vintage?
Roberta: If you know how to wear it, then it looks timeless and unique and there is no one else that has the same thing (or it never hapenned to me before). I like when I see someone wearing something which is timeless and iconic. Those are the clothes you will never find in high-street shops. I never think about my clothes that they are vintage, I call them ´pretty dresses´. Because they are very pretty dresses.
OHEMV: Where is your favorite place to shop?
Roberta: My favourite shoppings spots are located on legendary Haight-Ashbury in San Francisco, CA. I always buy the best stuff there. I visited LA for the first time this summer and I found very nice dresses as well. Although I am mainly located in London after years of collecting I have to say that USA always has better vintage to offer. All the best pieces I ever collected are bought in USA, or shipped from USA. In London I have worked for leading british vintage retailer Beyond Retro, so I have collected great stuff from there as well. Brighton is very good for vintage shopping as well.
OHEMV: Why did you initially start buying vintage clothing?
Roberta: It is very simple. I have an eye for pretty dresses and I can´t afford to buy designer stuff, not talking about haute couture, but I would like to one day. So I am wearing clothes dated from 1930´s-1950´s. But to be honest with you right now I am thinking about getting more custom dresses back home in Slovakia, as it is way more cheaper than in London. But I am a passionate collector and have nice collection which will be always growing. I spend a lot of time doing research. I bought my first real vintage 1950´s dress 4-5 years ago in San Francisco. It was this lace 1950´s baby blue summer dress (I got the color inspiration from June Carter, who loved baby blue). I still have the dress.
OHEMV: Who is your biggest fashion inspiration?
Roberta: There are so many, I am inspired by strong women from the past and present, ultimate red lip-stick wearers. I admire Dita Von Teese, Ulyana Sergeenko, Chantal Thomass, Isabella Blow (unfortunately passed couple of years ago) and Vivienne Westwood. From the classic Hollywood icons I am totally crazy about Lauren Bacall, Barbara Stanwyck, Veronika Lake or Rita Hayworth. I love fashion. I never judge people what they are wearing, but I always say that it can show your personality as well and the things you like. I like the feeling of power, so I do like extravagance and strong looks. It is a weapon.
OHEMV: What are some of your winter essentials?
Roberta: I wear a lot of velvet dresses during winter. Love french berrets and turbans. I have this ´spy look´ which I got inspired by Humphrey Bogart, you know wearing a trenchcoat and carrying my little brown suitcase everywhere. When I am not ´spying´, I have few fifties swing coats, I love my black one the most. I pair it with long leather opera gloves (in general I like to pair almost everything with those black long leather opera gloves).
OHEMV: What’s something you’d never leave home without?
Roberta: It depends where I am going, so if I am going to school or work I can´t leave home without my suitcase. But in general I would never leave the house without my significant red lipstick. And of course, stockings, unless it is too hot for hosiery. When I was in California this past summer I wore no hosiery at all, until we went out during the night. I need to have on the garter belt and stockings. But as I live in London, weather is different here and very suitable for stockings. Even if it is hidden and no one knows about it it gives me the personal confidence and feeling of a real woman. It is my little secret.
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All photos courtesy of Roberta Dolinska (click on photo to see photographer).