As I busily prepare myself for another Napier Art Deco Weekend, I thought I would share a round up of last years blogs that reviewed the goings on…
If there is one thing I like more than dressing up in vintage garb, dancing or people watching, it is doing all three things simultaneously.
I was lucky enough to experience the holy trinity for three whole days the other weekend at the celebration of all things Art Deco in Napier. For one weekend every year, this gorgeous New Zealand city, its inhabitants and mad vintage loving visitors, time travel back to 1931. This was the year that the earth quaked in the Hawkes Bay region, sadly taking the lives of many people, but happily meaning the city was rebuilt in the design style du jour.
The result was an architectural love letter to Art Deco and to this day most of the buildings still stand, exactly as they did over 80 years ago. With a backdrop only Robin Williams in the Birdcage could wildly dream of after a night on the absinthe, little old New Zealand has the pleasure of revelling in this disaster borne shrine to the golden age of aesthetics, and boy does everyone get right in to it.
As a clothing lover and self-confessed vintage obsessive, I thought I was over doing it with nine outfits (including a driving to and from Napier ensemble natch, but unfortunately not with the appropriately themed vintage car… this time!), but I think I have found my match in the thousands of other Deco pilgrims that floated around the city in their fringed finery.
I nervously pulled on my cloche hat when I first arrived, feeling anxious about whether I had overdone the whole weekend costume immersion experience thing, but I needn’t have worried. People who weren’t dressed like they had been blasted with a feather, stripes and/ or parasol gun were the ones that looked silly, and everyone else had a rip roaringly good time!
Incredible aircraft displays, costume competitions (outfit above managed to snag a Bathing Belles prize), sumptuous picnics, dancing in the streets, live jazz music, beautiful cars, perfect weather and a bunch of equally nutty friends to share it with.
One of my top three weekends ever (big call I know, but it really was that good and ticked all my favourite boxes!), and an experience that everyone should enjoy wholeheartedly, without fear of feeling like an overdressed deco-nerd, at least once in their lives.
And another post I did last year, regarding the fifty kilos of clothing and accessories I took down…
As per request, here are most of the nine outfits I wore to the Napier Art Deco weekend. Planning has started for next year already, trying to figure out how to stretch time so I can fit in 10.
Beaded flapper dress, sequined bolero, sequined belt fashioned into a headband and proper suede soled dancing shoes scored from SaveMart New Lynn that were sacrificed to the concrete gods.
Beautiful vintage kimono from Japan worn inside out as the lining is even more beautiful than the outside, romper suit, floral fabric lace up brogues, vintage cane bag and parasol brought for a quid from a London market.
Dress, a lucky find on the way down to Napier, beaded gloves, ribbon belt with Swarovski detail and the lovely Walter, a true gentleman, to my right.
Exquisite genuine 1930′s lace bell sleeved dress (which I got for a song, and didn’t really realise was that old until my knowledgable vintage loving friends pointed out the period details) and deco style necklace that I found, unbelievably, in a dairy in Taihape. My rule is always keep an eye out, even in the most unlikely places, for gems like this!
Silk and straw hat, fur stole, tiered Thoroughly Modern Milly dress, genuine snake skin handbag, shoes that were far too white for the outfit, cuffed gloves and a 100-year-old silk and embroidered metallic thread shawl that the nice ladies in the vintage clothing store said I shouldn’t even be wearing out in the sun for fear of it disintegrating into dust.
That’s me in the middle trying to exorcise my fear of clowns by dressing as one. You know why this doesn’t work – because when you’re dressed as one you can’t actually see one if you know what I mean.
So there’s the lineup for 2012. I wish I could dress up like a crazy historical character every day!