Tag Archives: sydney fringe festival

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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Filed under Vintage Events

Five Eliza, Sydney Fringe Festival

“Five Eliza” is the pop up bar in Sydney for the next fortnight as part of the Sydney Fringe Festival, and it’s so sultry with its 1920s speakeasy aesthetic that I almost wish it were illegal for authenticity. Last night I sauntered into Five Eliza with some friends and was fiercely pleased by it all. It’s in Newtown, in an old ballroom belonging to Newtown School of the Arts. If you turn down the laneway beside Zanzibar, you’ll find it up a dirty little staircase illuminated by a red lamp (Roooxanne).

Enter the room, and if you can see clearly in the dim lighting, you’ll discover a room kitted out in extravagant armchairs, antique side tables and seductive lamps. The bar in the corner is staffed by volunteers, and the cocktails are divine. My favourite was “Salvatore’s Secret”, which was orange marmalade flavoured and served with two pieces of buttered toast. Other highlights were the “Pro-inhibition Juice” and kitsch bottles of Pipsqueak cider. ’twas all rather cheap as well, with cocktails only $10-15, the most expensive involving Absinthe (one such beverage was called “The Pantie Dropper”).

All the while, we were serenaded by the delightful Lily Dior, who was beautifully dressed and performed a repertoire of very mood-appropriate jazz songs. A table of particularly keen visitors to Five Eliza began to salsa dance and lindy hop rather extravagantly, to the amusement of the room. I have an inkling that they might have been into the Absinthe punch.

If you have an evening spare, eschew any other venue in favour of Five Eliza. You ought to experience it before Sydney Fringe Festival ends on October 2.

Dress – Basque, Myer (circa 2009)
Cardigan – Alannah Hill, current season
Belt – Alannah Hill, current season
Stockings – “Leg Avenue”
Shoes – “Office”, purchase in Cambridge, UK
Necklace – vintage 50s costume jewellery, purchased in Camden Passage, UK

And here are some photos from inside Five Eliza, converted into sepia because fake old-fashioned photographs are better than no old-fashioned photographs.

In addition to this, I have some photos from the morning. I suppose my point in posting these is to show off my new fringe technique (my victory rolls weren’t flawless, but seriously friends, check out that perfectly coiffed fringe), and my stockings. The stockings came into my life on Monday in a pre-swing dancing shopping expedition. Deceptively, the stockings are in fact fishnets, making them a comfortable version of seam stockings for the warmer seasons. They’re made by Leg Avenue, and though I bought them at Retrospec’d in Newtown, I daresay you could order online somewhere. I heartily recommend them!

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Filed under Eat/Drink, Outfit Posts