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Amy Heidemann's signature retro look lends Karmin a unique style.

Karmin’s Amy Heidemann: A 1950s Retro Look for the 21st Century Pop Singer

Acoustic pop star Amy Heidemann, half of the duo known as Karmin has a decidedly un-21st Century look about her. Sporting a retro ‘40s look, with a killer (or should I say, suicide) hair roll, Amy has a Bettie Page-inspired pinup girl thing going, totally at odds with the viral video successes of Karmin. But it works. Perfectly.

For those unfamiliar with Bettie Page (below, right), she was the quintessential pinup poster girl of the 1950s. She was called “Queen of the Pinups.” And Amy has perfected the look, updating it with more drama for our times.

Her signature makeup style: crimson lipstick, gigantic eyelashes and red rouge on her cheeks lend Karmin’s female half a Betty Boop air as well—naughty, but eternally sweet. Amy’s wardrobe could have originated in her grandmother’s closet: bright colors, cinched waist and high-heeled pumps. But Grandma’s skirts were never quite that short, nor probably quite that bright. They give the suggestion of retro, without seeming old fashioned.                                                 

Amy’s most prominent vintage accessory is her hair, more specifically, her “suicide hair roll.” It’s a slightly exaggerated take on her Bettie Page look, twisting her bangs into a bit of an old fashioned French Twist (or Chignon, as they were called back then). YouTube videos and numerous web pages have been devoted to showing others how to imitate the hair roll and do their own tribute to Amy’s tribute to Bettie.

But of course none of the look would work without her considerable vocal talent to go along with it. The pop star, along with her fiance Nick Noonan have wowed the Interwebs as Karmin with their gone-viral YouTube releases. Winning an American Music Award (AMA) for New Media last month, Karmin, now signed with Sony, will release its first album this February.

So with Amy’s cool vintage ’50s look and a hot new single, much more is undoubtedly around the corner for this fresh Boston-based pop duo.

About Barbara Barnett

A Jewish mother and (young 🙃) grandmother, Barbara Barnett is an author and professional Hazzan (Cantor). A member of the Conservative Movement's Cantors Assembly and the Jewish Renewal movement's clergy association OHALAH, the clergy association of the Jewish Renewal movement. In her other life, she is a critically acclaimed fantasy/science fiction author as well as the author of a non-fiction exploration of the TV series House, M.D. and contributor to the book Spiritual Pregnancy. She Publisher/Executive Editor of Blogcritics, (

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