Model Dahlia Derriere was one of the “James Girls” featured here in July, whom I found to be particularly charming and gracious. So charming, I asked her if she’d be interested in giving me an interview for a solo feature, so readers could find out a little more about her, and here it is.
Even though she considers herself just a regular girl who likes to model on occasion, Dahlia is currently one of the premiere pinup models on the East Coast. She’s graced the pages of such popular magazines as Retro Lovely, Tease and Cake, and has an soon-upcoming feature in the debut issue of Tinsel. Her images have also adorned posters, calendars, and billboards in and around her region and she often poses for area artists. “It is such a delight to see different interpretations of yourself put to paper,” she says.
Also a lady with a good head on her shoulders, Dahlia has some words of wisdom for young ladies interested in going into modeling, whether it be professionally or just as a sideline. The above, unedited, photo is courtesy of Dahlia, herself, proving to those who haven’t had the pleasure of meeting her, that her beauty is no studio creation.
CHRIS CHARLES: I first saw you in a Mike James photo and, as you know, I featured you and a few other James Girls here, where you very graciously shared your comments.
DAHLIA DERRIERE: (Laughs) Yes, my Mike James photos are quite popular. A lot of people have come to know me through his work. Thank you so much for asking for a second interview! It is an honor.
CHRIS: My pleasure. Besides, Mike, who have been some of your favorite photographers to work with?
DAHLIA: In my years of modeling, I have worked with many talented photographers. However, the photographers I feel that I really clicked with on one level or another are Vlad Voloshin, Celeste Giuliano, Stacey Barich of Atomic Cheesecake Studios, and Viva Van Story.
CHRIS: I won’t ask for any names, unless you’d like to give them, but are there any photographers whom you’d never work with again?
DAHLIA: Out of all the photographers I have worked with, I have never had a real problem or concern with any of them. However, my luck is not coincidental. When a new photographer contacts me about shooting, I do my own version of a background check by contacting previous models, makeup artists, etc. In addition, I ask them if it is okay for me to bring a chaperone to our shoot. If they are hesitant about this request, I will refuse to work with them. Ladies and gentlemen who are considering going into modeling, be very careful and make sure you know whom you are dealing with first. There are a lot of users and abusers out there.
CHRIS: Good advice for young ladies wanting to get into modeling. So, I’m assuming Dahlia Derriere is your stage name so do you mind if I ask how you came up with it?
DAHLIA: Yes, Dahlia Derriere is my stage name and yes, it is fine to ask me how I came up with it, many people do. You see, I am a huge fan of Dita Von Teese. As a result, I wanted my stage name to start with a “D.” Besides my love of Dita, I also have a strange fascination with the Black Dahlia and her untimely death. With these tidbits, my “first name” was born. Now for my “last name;” anybody who knows me in real life knows that I have a large, ummm ….derriere. Since I adore the use of alliteration, Dahlia Derriere stuck.
CHRIS: Much of your modeling is retro so I assume your closet must be full of fashions from the past. Do you have a favorite style from a certain era?
DAHLIA: While my closet has some retro and vintage clothes, it also has contains modern styles as well. I am not a vintage purist. Also, I do not like to keep dresses and such around too long. After I have worn something a certain amount of times, it will find itself on eBay unless I absolutely adore it. As far as my favorite era goes, that would be a hard one. I really love the glamour and freedom of the roaring 20s but I also love the modest yet well-tailored clothes of the Victorian era.
CHRIS: Where do you find most or your retro outfits?
DAHLIA: I find my retro clothes on the many vintage reproduction sites and I find my vintage at local vintage shops or thrift stores.
CHRIS: Do you enjoy music from that era, as well?
DAHLIA: Yes, I prefer older music. Today’s music seems so over-produced and talentless. I miss the days when people actually knew how to play instruments and knew how to sing rather than relying on a computer.
CHRIS: You mentioned you’re going to be featured in the premiere issue of Tinsel magazine. Can you give some details on that?
DAHLIA: A few months back, the creators of Tinsel magazine were kind enough to contact me about submitting some of my work to their new publication. According to them, they were long time fans of my work, which is always wonderful to hear. Upon submitting some images, they informed me that they would love to have the photos in their premiere issue. Needless to say, I was thrilled. I greatly look forward to seeing myself in their magazine. For those wondering what Tinsel is all about, here is the description from their Facebook page: “Our mission is to recognize those who appreciate, collect, and embody the old Hollywood spirit. Tinsel Magazine’s goal is to generate untold stories and behind the scenes look at Hollywood’s days of yore. We are a community that educates, collaborates, and honors the past and the present of old Hollywood throughout the 1920s through the 1960s.”
CHRIS: I’ll definitely look forward to seeing that when it comes out. So, I know you don’t do nudes and are clear about that. Despite that, do you still get constant offers for nude photo shoots?
DAHLIA: Most of the photographers that I work with do not do full-on nude so that really isn’t an issue. However, I did lose a chance to be on the cover of a magazine because I wouldn’t do implied or partially nude. Sometimes I regret that decision since I have never been on a cover. However, in the long run, I will be glad that I stuck to my guns.
CHRIS: Have you ever had any mishaps or unexpected occurrences on a photo shoot?
DAHLIA: I haven’t had any major mishaps or unexpected occurrences on a photo shoot. However, I did pop a pasty while I was being an art model for Dr. Sketchy’s Baltimore. That was just a tad bit embarrassing! (laughs)
CHRIS: I’ve read where you said you take barre class and yoga to stay in shape?
DAHLIA: Yes, I am not a huge fan of going to the gym. I prefer to take physical activity classes that do not mentally feel like I am working out. While I do take barre and yoga, dancing is probably my favorite way to stay in shape. I have been dancing since I was three. They saying laughing is the best medicine, I disagree. Dancing is the best medicine for me.
CHRIS: You also do a lot of art modeling?
DAHLIA: Yes, I love to pose for artists. It is such a delight to see different interpretations of yourself put to paper. My next modeling session will be on November 1st at the Mutter Museum. Dr. Sketchy’s Philly will be hosting the event. Once I get more details, I will post them on my Facebook modeling page.
CHRIS: I understand you’re a big Edgar Allan Poe fan?
DAHLIA: Edgar Allan Poe is my favorite author. I have been reading his works since I was fairly young. My favorite short story of his is “The Oval Portrait,” which is about a young artist and his muse. Having an attraction to creative individuals, I can relate to the heroine in the story.
Chris: Do you have any plans to branch out to acting or any other avenues of show biz?
Dahlia: Some people have suggested that I go into acting, however, I have no intention to do so. Modeling is time-consuming and competitive enough.
CHRIS: Do you have any hobbies or interests that most people don’t know about?
DAHLIA: I used to be a belly dancer. Believe it or not, I can dance with a sword balanced on my head. People who know me in real life are always astonished to see it. Not because it is such a remarkable talent but because they know what a klutz I can be. For some reason, dancing turns me into a vision of grace and for that, I am thankful.
CHRIS: Well I again thank you very much for taking the time to do this, Dahlia. In closing, any shout-outs to anyone?
DAHLIA: I would like to thank all of my supporters, whether they be friends, family, or photographers. You are the ones that keep my love of modeling going and for that I am forever grateful. Words cannot express what your kind words mean to me. Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!
CHRIS: Oh, just one last question: Fredrick’s of Hollywood or Victoria’s Secret? DAHLIA: Neither. I prefer Dottie’s Delights, which is an independent small business located here in the United States. When I can, I prefer to support these types of stores rather than large corporations that have plants outside of the United States. Buy “Made in the USA.”
Gracing a billboard on Cameron Street in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania for Old
Sled Works. If this billboard is gone now, I’m sure it’s not forgotten.
From a shoot for Lanark Records, a old school-style record label based in Lancaster,
Pennsylvanian. Photo by Hot Rod Portraits. Wardrobe by Hinesite Vintage.
Looking catty in a shot from a two-page spread the ran in Retro Lovely
Magazine No.10. Photo by Viva Van Story Photography.
Dahlia gracing the poster for last April’s “Unbeweaveable” art even hosted
by Dr. Sketchy’s Phillialdelphia. Poster Design by Falco Media Services.
Originally from the San Francisco Bay Area, Chris flirted with the music business there and in Nashville before joining the U.S. Army and serving in South Korea. He remained in Asia for several years afterwards, teaching English and covering the regional entertainment scenes. Currently in a mindset between Seoul and San Francisco, besides Idol Features, you can also catch his writings in the print edition of the quarterly magazine, Effective.
Artist and photographer Mike James’ camera has been capturing out-of-this-world sexy models over 20 years. Often in costumes he creates himself, the ladies’ poses and themes range from the outrageous to the fairly mundane.
Actress Tina Krause was featured in my second installment on the models of prominent pinup photographer Mike James. She first shot with Mike in 1997 and has done shoots with him almost every year since.