We nearly didn't go, as other things threatened to turn our plans upside down, but in the end I headed up the country on my own. I love travelling on my own, especially by train as I don't need to think about driving and instead I can just knit, knit, knit!
I wasn't worried as once I got there I knew I would know some people. Ah! And that would be the girls I know from Hemsby - the boogie woogie cheer gang of Sailor Cherry, Goldy Loxx, and Sarah Dunn.
I dug an old, busted up dress from my "inspiration wardrobe", mended the holes, added some darts and took it out for a knees up. All fancy dresses deserve one more night out don't you think? I felt like Cinderella's fairy godmother in it - but in a good way
Me and Heyday! were up for two awards - TWO!! I was so pleased that our followers liked Heyday enough to get us into the finals - that was the first honour. I know it only takes a minute to vote, but when you realise that all those people took that moment and that they cared enough to do so, that's pretty neat. The event itself is really a great function, and, as well as an awards night, also a good chance to mingle and meet fellow vintage-arters from all over the country. And the outfits! Well, there are all sorts! I wish I got more photos but I'm sure there will be more coming onto the Gallery shortly
I met the lovely Miss Geeta von Tease. I sort of pounced at her when I saw she was in a lovely dressing gown! And why not, since most vintage dressing gowns have more glamour than modern cocktail frocks? And besides it goes with her Burlesque image to be so attired. We matched so a photo was required
Miss Bexi Owen opened the preceeding with a song and a surprise little fringed number (originally hidden under a full 50s skirt). You can see it's movement - such fun to wear!
The evening was presented by the wonderful Lola Lamour and she entertained us with songs in between presentations. She is a joy to watch. I spoke to her partner once and he said that she always practices with all the actions as well, and you can see that. She is never lost for words, or a fancy move, wiggle or kick to emphasis a point. I missed the high kick dammit!
At the beginning we had a special category to judge - the Best Performer finalists.
They were all very good but the Putting on the Blitz boys stole the show with their cheeky humour. (loved the little cat joke and gutted I can't remember it properly now). I thought Miss Cherry Bomb sounded so smooth - like chocolate, and Lianna Haynes had the most fabulous Jessica Rabbit outfit!
Lola got the pin up contestants, who were all yelping it up in the seats next to me (it had nothing to do with me I swear), to come up during a sing-a-long and do the actions Doo-Wop girl style. Without hesitation they were up there: Miss Lillian Love, Coco Lopes and Sailor Cherry. Goldy Loxx joined in too (she wouldn't have been able to stay in her seat!)
The first category I was in was the best Online shop - Fashion and accessories. My competitors were Campbell-crafts Vintage and Alexandra Vintage. Both have beautiful websites, so I really didn't feel bad when Alexandra took home the prize. She is really neat to meet in person and she agreed to this silly pic
And then we had to do a happy one so we could all tell it was a joke.
I was a bit stunned when I won the best Repro brand, but delighted too of course. I think it is natural to not EXPECT to win, since you just don't know what the judges will see in you and in others . My fellow competitors in this section were Miss Katie Cupcake and Maison De Cantern - respectively doing jewellery and hats - so it is a wee bit hard to actually compare the businesses. Both of them do lovely work so please do check them out.
Miss Katie Cupcake took home the Best regional shop and she was neat to meet in person also (even if she is Australian ( I HAVE to, or I'll loose my Kiwi Card). Miss Kiki Deville revealed she is also Australian and she took home the Best Musical performer award. A few more of us from down under and we would have had a Australasian domination! A goal for a future year perhaps?
The evening was a resounding success and I would say that even if I hadn't taken home an award. It was great to see so many people who are working and earning a living (even if it isn't much) from the industry and I was thrilled to notice the support people were giving each other. Sadly I heard there were some bitter comments, I gather made by disgruntled persons. I hope that was short lived, because at the end of the day, ANY competiton is just a snapshot - just how things turned out at the time and is no judgement on how long or hard you work, or if your business is profitable, or if you are living your dream, or how much love you give your customers. It has more to do with social media how bored and therefore available your social contacts were, how much time the judges had, if they liked just one thing a little more or a little less, if they had a good day or if it was a terrible day with no chocolate in the house. I hope those entrepreneurs realise just how adventurous and awesome they are that they are even in a position to enter a vintage competition, because really, that is cool.
I hope to see more of you there next year. Lets continue to make this an annual get-together for networking and for encouraging the industry to aim for excellence.