Category Archives: Vintage Events

Vaprikki-Vintage, Finland

Last weekend I went to Finland, of all places: an unexpected first travel destination. I was in Finland to visit Riikka of Harlean’s Heyday, who I met/fell in mutual vintage feminist love with when I was in London last November. Riikka took me along to the Fintage Vaprikki-Vintage weekend, and showed me a most peculiar side of Finland. For all the sightseeing I did, I’m convinced everyone in Finland has red finger-waved hair and a wardrobe of 1930s evening frocks.

It’s a wonderful thing when two instagram accounts converge; a constant photo stream was happening, @-tags going wild. It’s also a wonderful thing when two blogs converge. Riikka has already written about the weekend here, and now I must show our pictures to the world.

We met in Helsinki on Friday, immediately scouted a perfect pair of 1940s platform heels, and went along our merry way in winter wonderland ridiculousness.

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There were burlesque plans for the evening, obviously. Much preening ensued.

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So then frocked up in a DIY sequinned capelet, I enjoyed incomprehensible Finnish burlesque with Riikka for hours. Actually I think the incomprehensible Finnish monologues made it all twice as good.

This was all in a Tiki Bar (obviously), so in between performances we sipped mai tais and worried about cultural appropriation (resources on tiki culture and cultural appropriation, anyone?). We also staged elaborate photoshoots, because our fashions must always be immortalised.

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Then, the simply DECADENT Vaprikki-Vintage weekend in Tampere. En route:

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Oh, there was everything. It was a dream vintage fair, with lots of everything at RIDICULOUS prices, and lots of pretty vintage people walking around in every era. MANY VINTAGE SIGHS.

It was so peculiar to see so many 30s and 40s ensembles in the crowd, more than I’ve ever seen before. Sydney’s vintage scene is very 50s-centric, so it’s so fascinating to me that Finland gravitates towards earlier decades. The hairstyles in particular were such a treat. So exquisite, ugh! I’m used to victory rolls, not finger waves. Look, Riikka and Jirina are such visions:

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More Jirina, because don’t we all want more Jirina.

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Look, I’m mixing with 1930s girls! And everyone is wearing velvet, so I’m definitely feeling overwhelmed. This was only my second outfit change for the day, too.

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I bought the most amazing 1950s party frock, you’re all going to die. LOOOK!

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It was only 50 euro. Actually. God, if frocks like this retailed for 50 euro in Australia, I don’t even know how we’d cope. It all got a bit hazy after the first frock, but I think I brought home three or four new treasures, mostly from Jirina’s collection, because we totally share a waist size. There were also girdles involved. More on this later.

I met so many fabulous people. Check out this gentleman in a  vintage safari outfit. SERIOUSLY. Let’s just appreciate him for a moment.

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There was burlesque, and then we went home, via winter wonderland Finland. Exhibit A:

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We celebrated the Saturday night of Vaprikki-Vintage by drinking rosé out of cans in retro underthings (apparently they do that in Finland: drink rosé out of cans). This is where the girdles became important.

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And there was evening, and there was morning – the second day. Neverending vintage paradise.

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There was shopping, and there was a Charleston class, and then a Finnish gentleman took me for a swing about the dance floor (how I’ve longed to lindy hop). No adjectives left because everything was just ugh.

I left Finland, and so it is that I find myself back in Lyon, France – which isn’t too bad, either. But I’m overcome with insane urges to spend all my weekends in the Nordic countries, because it seems to me that everyone there has red finger-waved hair and wears velvet, and that’s sort of my fantasy world.

So, good times in Finland, you could say. I’ll be back soon. In the meantime, I’ll try and console myself with France.

A bientôt!

Michelle

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Fifties Fair 2012 (again)

The Fifties Fair is now nothing but a distant swishy skirted memory, but photos are still cropping up, and the world must see them. Here are two snaps from Like Johnny and June:


Rose Seidler House, and me peeking out of it.


Madness! Jesse, Renata, Regan, Laurel, moi, Elisse, Elisse’s sister, and Emma.

You’ll find more of my drivelling about the fair here.

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Fifties Fair 2012

I think the Fifties Fair sent me into vintage hibernation for awhile. The day is so intensely aesthetically pleasing, it always seems to take some time to recover. I think this is why I didn’t end up making it to the Sydney Love Vintage fair on the weekend – a girl can only take so many novelty print swing frocks (“blasphemy”, I hear you all cry).

There were some fabulous photos taken on the day, but being a terribly lax blogger, I’m not responsible for any of these. So rather than post photos of the fair myself, I’ll just direct you to some picture-laden posts put up by some others in the blogosphere. Although if they’ll allow me the photo thievery, I’ll show you some of the ladies I met in my travels.

I had the pleasure of meeting Trish of Quiet Vintage Sewing at the fair, whose blog I’ve quietly stalked for awhile now. Her posts on the fair are here and here. You can spot my wildly-dressed friend Laurel in the second post too – she’ll be the one who looks exactly like me.

I also met the lovely Bex, who writes Subversive Lesbian Anarchic Femme (yay for vintage/queer politics crossovers). You can read her post on the fair here, featuring some excellent swing dancing action shots. As a side note, I’m also looking forward to witnessing more of Bex’s ensembles at Sydney Femme Guild events, which she organises – oh, the frocked up femmes.

I was officially introduced to Bec of Black Swan’s Pond at the fair, who I actually had a run-in with at swing dancing classes a month or two ago. Apart from just generally looking picturesque, Bec also played swing dancing partner matchmaker, and made sure I managed to lindy hop at the fair after all. She put up an exhaustive three posts on the fair on her blog: here, here and here. You can spot me in the second and third posts, plus Johnny and June are in there somewhere too. Here she is dancing with Amanda, also from my swing class:

The Old Hat posse was out in full force: the glam Renata from Hepcat Vintage wrote a post here, Johnny and June were their usual adorable selves, Sarah of Chronicles of an Eccentric came in a pretty red frock, and put up three posts on the day (here, here and here), Emma of Emma Aime made an appearance with her husband Simon, and oh, just so very many people.

In a final act of photo thievery, here’s a photo of Bec’s that I love (“is that really what my hair looks like from the back?”):

And now for the official outfit shot, taken as all good outfit shots are, by my mother:


1950s frock Grandma Takes a Trip | Capelet Gumboots | Ribbon belt Lincraft | 1950s cane bag somewhere in the Newtown vintage wonderland | 1950s hat Alexandria Antiques Centre | 1950s necklace Grandma Takes a Trip | 1950s gloves Glebe

It’ll probably take me a year to prepare for next year. Thank god it’s only an annual affair – I couldn’t take any more than that.

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Old Hat Movie Afternoon: “The Big Sleep”

In the tradition of Old Hat retro fun, the lovely Emma hosted a film noir movie afternoon, featuring “The Big Sleep” (1946). ’tis a curious film, no doubt. Despite the complex plot that required Wikipedian assistance to follow, it was all rather captivating and sexy. Over a spread of scones and champagne, we ogled Humphrey Bogart and tried not to weep over the aesthetic perfection of it all. Oh, the fashions. Let’s not even talk about the fashions.


The film noir shrine.

I will, however, show you the Old Hat fashions. You could say we were a tad overdressed for a casual two o’clock in the afternoon movie viewing, but overdressed shmoverdressed, I say.


Our host Emma, looking all mysterious under a fabulous hat (and omg, tiki bar).


Jesse and Tim, looking très adorable.


Et moi.

Frock Bettie Page | Capelet Gumboots | Shoes Wittner | Gloves remnants of a 90s tap dance costume

More Old Hat frivolity is in the works as always. You can check us out on Facebook for les details.

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Fifties Fair Magic

All the Sydney vintage aficionados I know have been all aflutter this week preparing for the HHT Fifties Fair. It’s Kind Of A Big Deal, and it’s totally tomorrow. It’s like the prom of the Sydney vintage world. My hair is pin curled, my outfit is assembled, and I’m mentally prepped for some hardcore swing dancing.

Of course photos will make it onto the blog after tomorrow, but here’s a flashback to last year’s fair:

Now, to await the magic.

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Old Hat’s Extravagant Soirée

I had the pleasure of hosting an Old Hat soirée this month. Old Hat soirées are always a glamorous affair, so it was splendid fun to usher a series of impeccably-dressed guests into my abode for G&Ts and the like. Cheese and crackers have never been eaten so elegantly. Here are some of the guests:

We had the very ravishing Renata of Hepcat Vintage swanning about:

Sarah of Chronicles of an Eccentric came in her usual attire, resplendent as always:

Laurel, who you may remember from this post, wore the most magnificent coat and shimmery wiggle dress – sigh:

And voilà, Renata and I with Jesse in her Wheels & Dollbaby Dita Cardigan – sigh sigh:

Alas, you can’t see too well in the photo, but I’m wearing a wonderfully swishy taffeta 50s frock (an Etsy purchase), all petticoat-ed up and with a hat to match.

1950s frock Etsy | 1950s hat Melbourne | Shoes Wittner

There are more Old Hat events in the works, as always – you can follow the Facebook page for details.

A bientôt !

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Old Hat: High Tea

It’s been a little while now since Old Hat‘s December rendezvous to the Sydney Antique Centre (which, by the way, is ah-mazing). After all this time and now countless more Old Hat events, I think it’s time photos made it onto the blog. If my memory serves me well, it was quite a glorious afternoon (being around vintage always makes everyone a little giddy) – we came, we saw, we ate petit fours, we lusted after hats. So much happiness.

The Old Hat crowd

It was lovely to have some vintage bloggers at Old Hat – it’s not often you get to casually drop references to Vixen Vintage‘s latest post into conversation and actually have people understand. If you’re a vintage-loving blogger in Sydney, we want you!

The blogging contingent: Jesse from Like Johnny and June, Me, Molly of Molly Made, and Sarah of Chronicles of an Eccentric

And here’s what I wore. You can see in the photos my petticoat is peeking out a little, and it just reminded me that at the Love Vintage fair, we were told that in the fifties this used to be referred to as “snowing” – how quaint!

1950s frock Grandma Takes a Trip, Surry Hills | 1950s headpiece Mint Condition, Rozelle | 1950s costume jewellery Camden Passage Markets, London | Shoes Bloch

Thank you to Delphina for all the lovely photos! If you want to read more about the rendezvous, you can read more about it on Sarah’s blog. You can also lurk the Old Hat Facebook page to check out the details of our next gathering.

Bonne journée !

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