Friday, May 1, 2015

Lenora Claire!

Our Pink Collar Gal of May is the ravishing redhead, Miss Lenora Claire. I've been a fan of Lenora's for quite some time and I can attest, she truly lives the Pink Collar Life. I recently had the pleasure of running into Lenora at Fred 62's diner in Los Feliz, and she is always just as sweet as she is beautiful, and we're happy to call her our month-of-May gal!

Lenora seems to love all the same things we do! She has an obsession with Jayne Mansfield, and has her pink apartment painted the same exact color of Jayne's actual Pink Palace. She also loves a trip to our other favorite pink palace, The Madonna Inn, staying in the pinkest, most glittering and gaudy rooms available! Not only does she love and appreciate old Hollywood and it's history, but she is a passionate animal lover just like us. Oh - and not to mention she also has the same birthday as Marilyn Monroe! We will be attending Lenora's Birthday Bash at the end of the month, so stay tuned for more Lenora and PCL <3

Miss Claire has created a name for herself and a career in Hollywood pop culture as a night life personality, host, art curator, journalist and Pin up model. She is quite the Bombshell with beauty and brains (and not to mention a wicked sense of humor!)

xx Ashlyn

Q: You've been described as the real life Jessica Rabbit. When did you become a redhead and what was the inspiration behind your glamorous trademark image?

A: I think the LA Weekly was the first to describe me as the real life Jessica Rabbit. They've also called me PT Barnum with boobs. I should send them a nice muffin basket or something. I started going red around the age of 16. As a very little girl I really responded to Jessica Rabbit's sultry cartoonish sexuality and it no doubt made a major impact. By the time I hit my teens I loved Kate from the B52's campy cuteness, Poison Ivy from the Cramps rock and roll red swagger, Grace Jones in Vamp, and of course Julie Brown's quirky comedy. Red just made so much sense to me.

Q: Based in LA, and knowing it's rich history, what are some of your favorite spots/tours and what makes them special? We're sure you have many unbelievable Hollywood stories..

A: I'm one of those weirdos that actually grew up here so I have SO many. My father was a doctor to many celebrities so my crazy Hollywood stories go back as far as I can remember. My absolute favorite tour is my friend Scott Michaels Dearly Departed tour. You get picked up in a coroner van from his mini museum which has wonderful things like Jayne Mansfield's luggage and he takes you to places like Ed Wood's former office over the Vista, the Black Dahlia dump site, George Michael bathrooms, and where Bela Lugosi lived. It's a wonderful 3 hour "tragical history tour". I'm a huge fan of the Max Factor makeup museum, Bob Baker Marionettes, The Dresden, Jenette Bras "where the alphabet begins with D", and making visits to Russ Meyer's house in the Hollywood Hills. Also, I love the Velveteria, the black velvet art museum.

Q: We know that Bettie Page is a glamour icon of yours. Who are some other icons that inspire you and why?

A: When Bettie passed, I was asked to curate a tribute show in her honor that featured the work of my good friend pin up art legend Olivia (who has also painted me I have my painting in my apartment) Bunny Yeager, and so many fabulous artists. It was such an honor. I am pretty Jayne Mansfield obsessed. She was such perfection. I love all of Russ Meyers supervixens. Rita Hayworth was such a stunner. I have the same birthday as Marilyn Monroe and of course love her as well as Mamie Van Doren who I've had the pleasure of becoming friendly with. I think Liz Renay was pretty fabulous and honestly Divine. How can you not include Divine and her extreme beauty in that list. Amanda Lepore is fabulous, Jessica Rabbit, Ralph Baskshi's animated lovelies, and the redheads in the Tex Avery cartoons. 

Q: You're also a huge fan of Jayne Mansfield. Can you tell us how that started and about your "piece" of the pink palace?

A: I really identify with Jayne for many reasons. She was such a genius in her ability to work media and take control of her own image in an age where many still let the studios control them. She would have really thrived in today's TMZification of the culture. Obviously Jayne was just absolutely stunning and I appreciate everything about her aesthetic and desire to go big. I think the thing that makes Jayne so special to me is that while I have an IQ of 168 (yes, really) people seem way more interested in the fact I'm a natural 36GG. Jayne was also exceptionally gifted in both ways and made no apologies in using both to her advantage. She's just an inspiration on so many levels. Oh yes, as for my piece of the pink palace. When it was originally knocked down I want to say around '98 or so I went and got a piece of the rubble which I had color matched at Home Depot and painted every apartment I have ever lived in since. I recently went looking for that original piece of glorious pink cement and couldn't find it but my friend Scott Michaels from Dearly Departed was so kind and sent me one of the pink pieces he collected from the site. It's like my magic talisman.

Q: As an art curator, you've created many shows. Tell us about 'Bettie Page: Art Bound' and how that came together.

A: In 2007 I curated a show which got me serious national attention where I was on everything from TMZ, NPR, NBC News, you name it that featured erotic depictions of the Golden Girls so I had made a bit of a name for myself in LA as a curator. I had become good friends with the queen of pinup painters Olivia who is honestly the most amazing woman I have ever met. I got to work with her and CMG the company that runs Bettie Page's estate to put on a spectacular show worthy of her legacy. I did the show at the World of Wonder Gallery and it was such a beautiful spectacle. If you see the Bettie Page documentary it opens with my show and you see me running around with Dita, Julie Newmar, Elvira, Mamie Van Doren and all the other legends who attended. I will always be very proud of that show.
Video seen here-

Lenora with Mamie Van Doren

Q: You've had the honor of being painted by the one and only Olivia. Take us through the process of your posing for Olivia and the experience.

A: It's a funny story. After doing my Golden Girls show I had gotten so much press and was approached my Canal Plus who are like HBO about appearing on a major series about LA so they came to film my huge birthday party at the legendary houdini mansion (video seen here) and I invited her even though I didn't really know her and she actually came!!! We became friends and she painted me which was such a dream come true. She and her husband Joel are so wonderful. Joel shoots the models and puts the books together and runs all the business matters and Olivia paints which to me just says so much about their special relationship and marriage. May we all find a partner like that.

Lenora and Olivia de Berardinis

Lenora by Olivia

Q: You too, have a mini pink palace of your own. Tell us about your pink boudoir and what inspired your decor. 

A: I have an ex boyfriend who calls my taste "gotherace" as in goth meets Liberace. As I mentioned the pink on my walls is Jayne's exact pink and my furniture is all black glossy baroque and mostly vintage. It's just a hybrid of all the things I love. Another friend once called my apartment a dollhouse brothel. That works too!

Q:You have worked on so many amazing projects, but what has been your favorite in your career and why? 

A: Well, my Golden Girls show really launched my career so it's very special to me but my web series I'm working on now is pretty incredible as is the documentary I'm directing. I'm not sure if you know this but I have also been a reality TV casting producer for many years so I am involved in so many shows many people love. That is also very special to be a part of. 

Q: You've met some pretty amazing cult icons. Tell us a few of your favorites!

A: Somehow I've managed to become actual friends with Elvira and Paul/Pee Wee Herman always remembers me by name so that's pretty incredible. I've met John Waters maybe 15 or so times now. We aren't BFF's yet...but hopefully some day. I have interviewed everyone from Julie Newmar, Lynda Carter, to Bob Mackie and they were all so wonderful.

Q: Tell us about your upcoming projects and what's coming up in the life of Lenora?

Oh boy! My web series Leg Closers is based off a book I wrote about all the ridiculous things men do that well...make you never want to sleep with them. I have collected so many hilarious stories and it's so funny to tell these tales complete with reenactments. I have some meetings with major outlets coming up so hopefully I can do them full time. I am also directing a documentary on the history of the fart joke. I like taking a serious look at ridiculous subjects and fart jokes to me are the great equalizer. Regardless of age, sex, gender, religion, or status everyone finds them funny. I just interviewed Bobcat Goldthwait about Le Petomane the legendary fartist from the Moulin Rouge so the film is off to a great start.

To know more about Lenora, please visit:

And be sure to follow her!

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