Tag Archives: swing dancing

Un Séjour à Brisbane

Circumstance sent me to Brisbane a little while ago, and whilst illness is no happy reason to be travelling interstate (hi Grandma!), this jaunt to Queensland did happen to coincide with my girl crush Em’s 30th birthday soirée. So Saturday night found me in a whirlwind of well-dressed vintage ladies and generally dapper party guests, alternately swing dancing and fangirling.

Some photos from the evening:

Avec Em, the birthday girl.


The petticoat-ed vintage ladies running amok.


Em et moi avec one of the lovely ladies of Instagram looking all 60s mod and great: Sarah, aka @missmatchbox.


And here I am with Jason, in all my amateur lindy-hopping glory. Some quality twirling.

Twirly vintage love, until next time.

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Outfit Post: October 10

I must confess my failure to you. I took a pledge to buy nothing new this October, but today I absent-mindedly violated this promise. I’m so bitter at myself circa midday today, when I wandered into Dangerfield with the best of intentions… I emerged with this [very useful!] blue cropped cardigan and an [also very useful] black belt, essentially buying half my outfit for the day. It wasn’t for two blissfully ignorant hours that I realised my mistake. It seems consumerism has permeated my consciousness so deeply that I forgot my pledge against it and had this violent outburst of shopping. On the down side, I failed at Nothing New October. On the bright side, I have a fabulous cardigan and made it ten days consuming only vintage and used goods – that’s mildly impressive. I’ll continue for a week into November as penance.

I had swing dancing after class today, so I donned a petticoat as per tradition. I also donned some rather unusual victory roll-style curls. I’ve been experimenting with my hair a little, and created this style on a whim. I’m a fan – it looks lovely with my hair back in a ponytail. Having my hair back in a ponytail is, incidentally, quite significant; it hasn’t been this long for over three years. I ordered a snood off etsy to celebrate which I daresay I’ll be wearing very soon on this blog. Buckle in for long-haired Michelle.





Dress: Laura Ashley
Cardigan: Princess Highway
Necklace: vintage 50s costume jewellery, from Camden Passage markets in London
Pantyhose: Sportsgirl
Shoes: Bloch
Glasses: from a store in Guernsey, UK

I’ll be back on the blog soon with reports from Old Hat, the Sydney vintage social some friends and I organised for this Thursday (please attend!), plus some pictures from the Love Vintage fair and Black Cherry this weekend. It’s a wonderful week for vintage events in Sydney.

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Mystery Bus

I bought tickets to the Sydney Fringe Festival “Mystery Bus” event a few weeks ago, and have been anticipating it quite fiercely. Despite it being frequently in my thoughts and discussed at length with my fellow attendees, I had little to no idea about the destination and programme of the event until the bus picked us up last night outside the Enmore Theatre. The sole information we had was that it would be somehow 50s swing dancing-themed, so naturally the crowd waiting in line was well-dressed.

Instead of displaying a route number, the bus spelled out “LOL” on its front, so the frivolity began as we were transported by a vehicle decked out in plastic flowers and question marks hanging from strings. The bus took us to a warehouse in  Marrackville, however it quickly became clear as we ascended the stairs that this was not in fact a warehouse, but rather quite a splendid bar called “The Camelot Lounge” casually placed in the big, anonymous industrial wasteland there. It was a very beautiful, fitting location for a 50s night, with old lino chairs littering the room and such. I was particularly impressed by the commitment to a camel motif, as it took the form of chairs, statues, pictures, hanging figures from the roof…

A rockabilly band played, and I wish I remembered their name for they were quite fabulous. Expert swing dancers took to the dance floor and made my six weeks of classes feel terribly inadequate. Seriously, I just want to fast-forward to when I can swing competently and at ease. Nevertheless, we made some attempts, and I’m not sure we were entirely unsuccessful. Dancing to rockabilly music makes me wonder how I could ever try dancing to anything else.

I should also mention the burlesque act, which featured two ladies, one dressed as a banana.

I regrettably didn’t take any outfit shots, but I wore something quite similar to this post, but instead with a fabulous petticoat-esque skirt. I’m certain it’ll surface on Ravishing Retro another day, so you’ll be able to appreciate its beauty in the near future. I think you should check out Jesse’s dress in this photograph, though, as she’s wearing a stunning dress from Bettie Page Clothing.


Top: Valley Girl
Skirt: Review

Here are some more photos from the night:

 

The Fringe Festival is providing excellent, titillating fun. Mystery bus tours are all sold out by now, but perhaps next year?

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Swing Dancing, Frivolity!

I look forward to Mondays quite fiercely these days, for Mondays are the days I dance around in an old church hall, twirling and holding hands with men. Swing dancing is delightful! I’ve only been to three classes, but already I feel a considerable sense of accomplishment, and can quite competently dance the Charleston to Elvis music alone in my bedroom (I’d ideally be at a 1950s prom with a powder blue-suited partner, but I suppose we make do and mend). My joy in this new pursuit is amplified by the pleasure of having so many of my friends decide that they too would like to learn the Lindy Hop. Consequently, there is a veritable posse for the swing dancing classes, and a post-swing gelato run. Marvellous!

I save some of my more swishy skirts for Mondays, and this week was no exception. Here’s what I wore to swing dancing this week, as well as a peek at my well-dressed friends.

This photo makes me look like Thumbelina, but I promise I’m not really that tiny. I blame the high angle photography!

Swishing skirts with my dear swing dancing companion Jesse, who was sporting a rather fetching 1940s ensemble.

Jesse and Tim: the power couple! What a well-dressed pair!

What I wore:
Dress – vintage 1950s, bought in Camden Passage, London
Cardigan – Alannah Hill (old season)
Belt – second-hand, bought in Portland, Oregon
Petticoat – vintage 1950s, from Coco Repose in Surry Hills, Sydney
Hair Flower – Sportsgirl
Tan Fishnet Stockings – Accessorize
Shoes – “Office”, bought in Cambridge, UK

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