Another year, another fabulous step back in time to the jazz age, as the Glory Days team raced around Tremains Art Deco Weekend 2015, getting up at dawn and going to bed well after dusk, to get up to all sorts of fun and frolics with some of the 40,000 other attendees in sunny Napier.
This is my forth time attending Deco, and it still gives me a thrill to drive down Tennyson St on the first day, cruising past people who are getting into the spirit by donning their deco finery and admiring that fabulous architecture that was bestowed on the city following such a disasterous natural event.
This year we hosted a range of activities throughout the weekend. First up the Glory Days Pamper Parlour joined forces with Jones Hair Boutique on Thursday and Friday to offer ladies deco style makeovers to match their elegant ensembles.
On Saturday afternoon we excitedly prepared our photographic equipment, bundled up our prizes and headed towards the gorgeous Sound Shell for the Glory Days Costume and Coiffure Competition which we were very proud to sponsor. This is one of the most hotly contested events of the weekend and the huge crowd gathered to view beautiful deco era outfits were not disappointed.
We caught up with Bertie, compere extraordinaire and iconic Napier public figure, before the show and managed to snap a quick selfie before staking our place to play paparazzi at the side of the stage.
The competiton consists of sections including Mens and Womens Original outfits, Reproduction outfits, Childrens and Bathing Belles. I particularly love to see the originals every year, it is hugely inspirational for a vintage fashion fanatic to see 80 to 100 year old garments brought out of their tissue and padding to be worn again. Deco era clothing in particular looks fabulous on a body, as it is normally heavily beaded dresses or gossamer thin bias cut silk georgette styles which look magical with a breeze catching it or sunlight glinting off the sparkles while they get paraded in front of the crowds.
A sweet little sailor girl won the children's section and the teen competition was scooped by a young lady in a lovely 20s style drop waist dress. The reproduction class was divided into ladies and gentlemen, the lady's was won by Judy in a pale blue ensemble with matching accessories and second prize went to the designer at Tam Sin who spent three weeks attaching beaded fringe to her self-made dress! Nick was resplendent in an "apricot" (read pink) suit with matching boater and took the mens section.
Next was the originals section and there was a fabulous range of outfits on display from both ladies and gents. One of the things I really love about the Costume and Coiffure Competition is that all people - young, old, curvy, thin, tall and small - give it a go. The winner was Sara Klotz de Aguilar, a pianist and singer based in California who was wearing a dress from the Chicago World Fair which was held in 1933! She was also awarded best in show which was no surprise given the time and distance that both herself and her dress had travelled.
The group section was really fun to watch, and the winners were decked out in their finest undergarments with coordinating hats, that were supplied by one of their mothers who has a serious vintage clothing collection. Last but not least, the Bathing Belles took to the stage and had a great time hamming it up for the crowds who chose the winner by a clap-o-meter vote.
Despite the heat and wind, we had a fantastic time at the competition and loved the chance to get involved with one of our favourite events on the weekends calendar. You can find lots more pictures on our facebook page.
On Sunday we hosted the Glory Days Cucumber Cinema Gazebo at the Gatsby picnic, presented for our guests amusement and pleasure by Hendricks Gin. "Cucumber Cinema?" I hear you say.... look out for our post later this week to find out exactly what was involved!
Image courtesy of Mandi Lynn Photography
On the eve of the 27th Tremains Art Deco Weekend, Glory Days' commercial editor Claire Gormly shares her tried and true tips to help art deco weekend novices prepare sartorially for the upcoming festivities.
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!
Last week we promised that we would explain the process behind our gorgeous new cover look and here it is...
When we created Glory Days we wanted to seek out and celebrate the extraordinary. We chose to theme each issue and decided that in order for readers to be fully immersed in the experience, we would try to present the information as it would have been presented in the time it was being presented. While not being our first themed issue, the Hollywood one is perhaps the one most comprehensively devoted to the topic, a taste of things to come.
This issue, therefore, has a refreshed look that is in-keeping with the Hollywood theme and is the beginning of an exciting journey into the visual vocabulary of many exciting design trends that Glory Days is going to be delving into over the coming years, as we reference original source material from the eras and topics we all love from the past.
For the latest cover, we took our main inspiration from images of original 40s and 50s film star magazines. To achieve the hyper-coloured rosy hued look, we edited the original Miss T Pinups image of the lovely Miss Victory Violet, in a similar way to how it would have been done back then.
The most notable change we made was the colour overlay on her dress, which would originally have been done with photographic tints. If you look closely at the actual cover you will see that the pink overlay is imperfect around the edge of the dress. While to our modern eyes, used to photo-shopped perfection, this may seem wrong, the effect was an intentional move on our part to imbue the illusion of the print techniques that were used back in the 1940s. This colour also makes her rosy cheeks and lips sing in the same way that the lips of the ladies on the covers of the magazines above do.
Other effects included pushing up all the colours in the photograph to the point where the image has the same hyper-real, saturated colour effect as most of the early Technicolor movies had, thanks to the quality of the film on which those movies were shot. The result is a vivid and vibrant cover shot that almost floats off the page.
We're excited about experimenting with many other design techniques used yesterday, to bring our covers to life today.
Heather Holliday got her first break ten years ago at the Coney Island Sideshow, when, on her first day as an intern, the snake charmer quit and a girl was needed to assist on stage. The New York native was quick to step into the breach and her circus career took off. Dolores Daiquiri chats to her on the eve of visit to New Zealand as one of the stars of Limbo, a sexy circus cabaret at the Auckland Arts Festival.
You're an impressive fire eater and you were one of the world's youngest sword swallowers. Can you share your other circus skills?
I also do whip cracking, knife throwing and a little bit of tap. I can do any other sideshow acts required but fire is my favourite. I've been doing sword swallowing the longest and I'm best at it. I've been doing fire professionallly for six years. With sword swallowing– you learn through repetition. I've never hurt myself with a sword but I'm always very cautious. I'm usually more concerned with the show rather than than having an accident.
What is your favourite city to perform in and why?
I love New York as it's loud. Middle America is really really fun, I prefer Australia over Europe as the audiences are louder and more appreciative.
Do you have a backstage ritual?
Not really. I'm always running from show to show getting organised. I always have a messy table/desk as I'm busy all the time working.
Who are your idols or influences and why?
Miss Behave is one of my idols. In a sideshow female performers can be territorial, so not many woman do it.
Are any of your family members performers too?
No just me. My mom is an artist who makes all my costumes.
Where do you see yourself five years from now?
I don't have a five-year plan. I prefer a more spontaneous approach. I don't like to jinx things. I only ever set short term goals.
Any tips for anyone wanting to be a sideshow circus artist?
Safety is key. I make it look risky but I am very careful. Go slow, take your time, don’t perform something you are not comfortable with.
Describe what you do in two words.
Dangerous and feminine.
To book tickets for Limbo visit http://ticketmaster.co.nz/
We are very excited today to be launching our latest issue of Glory Days - The Hollywood Issue featuring the inimitable Miss Victory Violet as our cover star! Click here to buy your copy now,. And then come back next week to read a behind the scenes look at how we put the cover and new look magazine together.
Just as we promised, it's Friday again and here we are delivering our second installment of top picks for the 2015 Auckland Arts Festival. As we've said before we're very much liking the vintage flavour of many of the acts and we strongly recommend you have a look at the following.
Lake Street Dive (United States): March 12- 14
Lake Street Dive are an irreverent all-American line-up who belt out their own unique mash up of classic soul, jazz, and British invasion pop on trumpet, upright bass, electric guitar and drums. Their music draws from '30s jazz, '50s rockabilly and doo-wop, as well as '60s blues and soul. LSD lead vocalist, Rachael Price, has a sultry gospel tinged voice and the femme fatale looks to match (the two gents in the band are also very dapper), their ebullient live shows –a combination of nostalgic joy, gutsy humour and virtuosic instrumentals – are not to be missed.
Electric Swing Circus (Britain): March 20
Time to dust off your dancing shoes, don a dapper suit and swing back in time with live six-piece electro swing bank, The Electric Swing Circus! Think Vaudeville-meets-electronica! The quirky sextet present a daring fusion of saucy old-school sounds and stomping dance beats, and explode onto stage with dual-vocals, electric double-bass, vintage samples, gypsy-jazz guitar, keys, live drums and dirty synths. Electro swing is huge in the UK and with the huge resurgence of swing dancing and vintage we're experiencing locally, it's probably not long until it takes off here too.
And then for something completely different...
Billy Apple: The artist has to live like everybody else. March 14, Auckland Art Gallery
During the 1960s, artist Billy Apple was at the vanguard of the pop art explosion on both sides of the Atlantic. A pioneer not only in the pop art world, he also was one of the first to use neon in art before moving to a more conceptual and process –orientated practice in the 1970s. The Auckland Art Gallery is mounting a major retrospective exhibition of the work of Billy Apple, The artist has to live like everybody else featuring everything from early pop and conceptual works to his latest investigations into branding and biomedicine.. For more information visit: www.aaf.co.nz
You can also buy Issue 6 here and read our profile of Mr Apple before you see his show.
Book tickets at http://ticketmaster.co.nz/
Glory Days has a double pass to see Lake Side Dive to give away to a lucky blog reader. Simply comment on this post why you'd like to go and we will select a winner at random. Competition closes Friday 6th February at midday.