Once a year there is a roaring trade in gloves, hats and stoles as scores of deco devotees stockpile their outfits in preparation for the annual Tremains Art Deco Weekend - four days devoted to the 1920s and 30s. Even though I am a seasoned Decoite now, I still remember my first time and will attempt to guide you through the biggest hurdle of the weekend –what to pack to look your best!
Bear in mind that in order to survive four-days of vintage immersion and wall to wall events, you will need to bring along at least three complete outfits including shoes and accessories. However, I recommend pulling together five separate ensembles if you can – three for daytime and two for evening. And if you like to cut a rug, you will need at least two outfits which are comfortable and easy to dance in.
Napier is traditionally scorching at this time of year – so leave the fur for the evening and aim for cotton or silk. Wide brimmed hats are totally-era appropriate and I recommend packing lightweight summer outfits. This is where eras don’t matter so much and a cute pair of shorts paired with a cotton vintage style shirt should easily suffice. Don't forget the parasol or the sunscreen!
Don't have any authentic vintage from the period?
Real vintage is great but what can you do if you don’t have it? Don’t worry – the 1930s style is easy to replicate. Try to get your hands on a long bias cut slinky dress or slip and voila your evening outfit is sorted. Or find a cute pussy bow blouse and team it with some wide legged pants – very French Riviera a la 1932.
The key is in the accessories. Make sure you have ample gloves, bangles, long bead necklaces and Mary Jane or T-bar shoes –these can be secured very cheaply at your local op shop. Google 1920s or 1930s women and try to recreate their looks.
Words For The Wise:
Avoid the modern take on 'flapper'. Real flappers did not have skirts THAT short, and feather boas were only worn by showgirls or streetwalkers. If you want to do flapper authentically, opt for a dropped waist dress that comes to your knees (the 1980s did these well), throw on a long beaded necklace and you're good to go.
When it comes to hair and makeup, the best thing to consult is YouTube on how to achieve Marcel or finger-waves, and learn how to fake ‘bob’ your hair. It is the best way to finish an outfit. Alternatively book in with the Glory Days girls at the Pamper Parlour if you need that professional touch. As a rule of thumb, when it comes to makeup, dark red lipstick and minimal eye makeup is the key, alternated with dark smoky eyes for nighttime.
Remember - there is no embarrassment in taking lots of suitcases to Deco, just don’t break a nail lugging them around!