The Girls Next Door

The Lakewood Calendar Girls bring back the glamour of yesteryear

There was a time when it was perfectly respectable for a grown man to have a poster of a beautiful woman on his wall. It could be said that women like Rita Hayworth and Betty Grable even helped win World War II--not by taking up arms and fighting but by posing alluringly on barrack walls and giving young men the strength to go on. Sophisticated and sexy, pinups were everyone's fantasy--a mix of sensuality and mystery that appealed to men and women alike.

Unfortunately, this isn't the case anymore, with the modern pinup relegated to the walls and computer desktops of immature middle-schoolers and frat boys. It's not a surprise, really. Plastic Pamela Anderson soaping herself on top of a pickup just isn't classy enough to qualify as art, and most people just can't respect a woman whose night-vision sexual exploits are only a click and a download away.

Luckily for us there are still those keeping the original pinup aesthetic alive, including East Dallas' very own Lakewood Calendar Girls, who unveil their 2006 calendar this Saturday at the Lakewood Theater. Founded by Lakewood native Julie Buckner, the group dons vintage fashions for pictures and events around the area, celebrating both their own beauty and that of the neighborhood they call home.

"I was born and raised here in Lakewood and adore the residents, the mom and pop businesses, the Lakewood Theater and, most of all, the 'small town amidst a big city' feel," Buckner says. "I wanted to expose to more people the era and the city I love so much. What better way than via a pinup calendar?"

After hatching the idea about a year ago, Buckner recruited her fellow Calendar Girls, an all-volunteer group of local actresses and models with that classic pinup look (the majority sport long hair, womanly curves and the kind of red lips bright enough to attract hummingbirds). Local photographer Chad Windham also volunteered his time, as did Lakewood's Rocket Science Salon, where the stylists have a knack for conjuring hairstyles of the past.

The calendar was shot in familiar locales all over Lakewood and East Dallas, including the Lakewood Country Club and White Rock Lake's Bath House Cultural Center, as well as less obvious places like Buckner's own home and Lakewood Italian restaurant Angelo's. In fact it seems that Lakewood and East Dallas are as integral to the calendar's images as the girls themselves, something Buckner says was entirely intentional.

The Lakewood Calendar Girls 2006 Calendar goes on sale during a gala event worthy of these budding local starlets, with vintage cars, red carpet arrivals and a runway show featuring fashions by LCG stylist/designer Lindsey Weatherread and vintage clothing store Ahab Bowen. Hosted by WFAA-Channel 8 film critic Gary Cogill, the event also features catering from Angelo's, as well as music from those cantankerous sons of the EDT (East Dallas, Texas), the Boys Named Sue.

The launch party will also include live and silent auctions benefiting the local charity DOT (The Disciples of Trinity), an organization dedicated to helping the terminally ill, which goes to show that the Lakewood Calendar Girls have some pretty big hearts to go with those luscious locks.

 
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