Tuesday, July 23, 2013

DIY Deco 2013 - Winter Deco in Napier

Once again it was time to pack up all our furs and hats (well, no furs for Mr Shoestring but a lot of hats) and take ourselves off to Napier for the DIY Deco winter weekend.  This time we were taking the Figaro (who seems to have acquired the name of Figgy since we can’t come up with anything more exciting), so we had to be a bit careful with the packing, and more discerning as to which outfits “made the cut”.  No room for any spares this year.  In fact Figgy’s boot is so diminutive that we couldn’t fit much more than a hanky in there, so the back seat was stacked to the roof with all our finery.  We shared the driving and found that wherever we stopped people would strike up conversations about Figgy and want to know all about her.  I remarked to Mr Shoestring that we wouldn’t be able to commit any major crimes such as bank robberies along the way because there would be a whole string of witnesses who could swear as to our exact whereabouts through the day.  Of course we had to investigate all the op shops in the towns we passed through, squeezing various parcels into the remaining nooks and crannies in the back of the car.  Mr Shoestring found a three piece suit so he was beaming from ear to ear, but I didn’t miss out altogether and got some “new” doilies for my latest crazy quilt plus several garments which should be able to be modified for art deco costumery. 

When we finally arrived there was only time for a quick cup of tea with The Duke and Duchess of Ringloes before it was time to give myself over to the tender ministrations of Rose and Claire from Decadia Vintage, who had set up a temporary beauty parlour above Decorum vintage shop, and gave me a hairdo and makeup to go with my costume for the opening soiree.  What a wonderful job they did, I was thrilled with the result and only wish I could have them tame my mane and beautify my visage on a daily basis.  It was very special. 

I would thoroughly recommend them to anybody wanting a vintage look for an occasion, they really make a girl feel special.  And as well as making a great job of the hair and makeup, they were full of useful information as to the whereabouts of likely charity shops and the treasures they had recently obtained. 

In the mornings we went for walks along the foreshore, where the sunrises were spectacular.  Even after a late night it made a beautiful start to the day.  If you cross the road and turn inland you can wend your way through the streets on the hillsides and discuss the merits of all the houses and gardens, and decide which you would make your very own if you were able. 

Though fewer people attend winter deco the costumes are very impressive.  We decided that the “hard core” fans who are willing to brave the cooler weather come along and that might be the reason why.  

I have to confess that I have never seen such a magnificent selection of furs, I was wildly jealous and came to the conclusion that my own poor selection needed to be increased.  Not least of all because various tails and other bits and pieces have been falling off with alarming frequency. 

On Sunday night there is always the “winding down” event but just as we were arriving the large light fittings began to sway in an alarming fashion.  This was as a result of the earthquake which had just hit the top of the South Island and of course caused a good deal of worry amongst the assembled guests.  Fortunately there was no serious damage and no loss of life but it was an anxious time, particularly for those who had loved ones in Wellington and were finding it difficult to contact them.  This final event takes place at The Hawke’s Bay Club which venerable institution is steeped in tradition.  It has so many of the original fixtures and fittings and an unshakeable air of permanence which make it a very popular venue. 

 Some of the hats and coats awaiting collection
 A handy repository for the payment of one's subscription
 The grand staircase - I omitted to take a picture of swaying light fittings

 Even the original china in the ladies' hand basins is special

This house is a museum full of exquisite art deco furniture and artifacts, it is like stepping back in time. 

On the way home we visited a very special treasure, more about that soon.