Glamping It @ Woodford… No Power No Shower!

If you haven’t heard of Woodford then here is what you’ve been missing…

The festival is a place you can escape from ‘reality’ and immerse yourself in cultures from near and far. It is a place where artists inspire, community spirit engulfs and life memories are made. We hope you will join us.

When I was asked by the amazingly talented Melissa Western to be involved at this years festival by way of providing Two Vintage Styling Workshops and a One hour long “Live Vintage Art Salon Parade through the decades” in the Main Tent (The Parlour) at the festival this year, I was a little overwhelmed at the possibilities… After saying YES immediately, My mind was instantly flooded with the following questions to myself:

1.  What do I wear; appropriate to represent LCS, to be comfortable in 44 degree heat and of course the inevitable rain and mud that Woodford is famous for…
2.  How do I maintain a perfectly coiffured Vintage Look for 2 days while camping with No power and No shower;
3.  How to I tailor a Styling Workshop to suit festival goers who would have been there for 4 or 5 days camping by the time I got there that were (I thought) predominately nature lovin, tree huggin hippies (I’ll get back to how wrong I was about that pre-conceived judgement later!)
4.  What models can I ask along with me, what outfits would suit the Salon Parade, be easy to wear and fit the models I don’t have… All from my own wardrobe!! I could not get over the paradoxical situation I found myself in…  

None of the above mattered because I was SO excited about the possibilities of showcasing LCS to such an audience and so so chuffed  to be asked by Melissa, who, incidentally has an amazing 50’s inspired Radio/comedy show called Barbara And Barry , to be involved.

The next day I was blessed with a yes from 4 models:-
Sharon – My Sister In Law (Gotta Love Family)
Miss Atty from Pin Up Skool Magazine (First Hand Up!)
Miss Sarah (A Gorgeous LCS Debutante who happened to live locally)
Miss Tanya – One of our Amazing Swing On In Dancers who happens to also be a performer there too!  

Here was our line up mention in the program: 

Hours later I have sizes, and outfits sorted!  Check and Check!  I was still two months out and never knowing what I feel like wearing on any given day I left my wardrobe to later and moved on to scripting the parade and tailoring the workshop and trying to source accomodation that allowed me to have a hot shower, a mirror and some power close by so I could easily weave some Vintage Magic each morning… mmm STRIKE 1!  No accomodation left in the whole district. Plan B.. Take up the offer of Artist Camping Grounds! Challenge, find a tent, and tent stuff required to put such a thing up and learn how to put said tent up! Check!  (I have husband! – NB: One should never assume he knows how to put a modern fandangle tent up) 

On approach to the festival gate a sense of overwhelming calm veilled us and all of a sudden the tensions  from the lead up, the organisation and the usual dramas of life juts melted away, we were at the gate to Woodford being greeted by the friendliest of staff… You know when things just flow?  Well that was our experience, everything just flowed, everyone was amazing, it was easy.  It was HUGE but it was SO well planned out, so organised and so efficient..  We are talking about a 44degree heat on this day so you have to imagine that and marvel at the calmness of everyone.  They say you can measure a persons true temperament by watching them untangle Christmas Lights, well the same can be said about how to handle that heat in those remote conditions on that scale of event!  We were very impressed to say the least.

We are directed to “Swamp Gully” where we were camping (The name worried me slightly) to find our name up in lights!  Well not really, but it was strung up in front of our spot so we found it easily.  Small, snug & neighborly close spring to mind but we just needed a place to play out hat so to speak (or hang my clothes more like it).  mmm..  So, Miss Sharon and I were tasked with finishing off the tent erection (The instructions were from our brother whom we borrowed it from said:  so easy it just pops itself up??) so Ray felt OK about leaving such a simple task to us girls while he relocated the car 1 klm away and returned.  Oh… so hot and not sure where the extra pieces went,  I just hung my daily outfits up on the outside wherever they were not touching the ground and we  suspended the task for now.  Job good enough?  Well so we thought.  here are some pics to help you visualise…  Needless to say we suffered slightly for it at 2am the next morning when we returned after setting off to check out our venues for the next day, to eat, to drink and to fall in love with all of the amazement of woodford that night…Oh and yes there was a major storm, a deluge and a dash back to the tent to salvage clothes!  Thankfully as the tent collapsed it fell on and protected my clothes from he rain so although our tent was flat my outfit for the next days work was dry!

 OK, so what did I wear: 

Day One:  Original 1950’s All Cotton Yellow and White Checked Sun dress – Best investment to soak up the sweat, not clingy, cool, breezy, eye catching and refreshing..  Teamed with (of course) red flats for comfort, red petticoat (which was removed later on) White flowers in a simple easy headband of rolls and a page boy set with an essential fashionable umbrella and sun hat for back up.  Rain and Rays covered. The attention this outfit gathered at Woodford was incredible and we all agreed it was a combination of hair/makeup/outfit as one or the other just would have blended into the eclectic crowd but all together it stood out surprisingly.  At one point I was standing waiting for Ray to turn up and people started gathering around me thinking I was about to do something!!  Hilarious.

Day Two:  – No Power No Shower (Or so we thought an only found out AFTER that there were adequate facilities for artists you just needed to know where to find them) – I pin-curled my hair at 2am in a leaky tent so as I had something to work with in the AM.  I used our bottled water to wash my feet, hands and teeth and used makeup wipes to clean my face.  My Mum always said if you clean you feet face and hands in the least you will feel refreshed enough to face another day without a shower.  As the tent was leaky and wonky and no air flower we virtually slept under the stars and were entertained every hour almost by revellers walking home.. At one point, I think around 3.30am, I saw a completely naked man shuffle on by.  Oh the delights of Woodford.  6am The alarm went off.  I had 4 models to make over by 9am!  Bathroom quick-stop and a Betty Grable Hair Do by Feel and Makeup by Small Mirror, throw on a 1940’s ankle length house coat and some deodorant and fragrance and we are off to face the day!

 I quickly learned the following things at my time at Woodford:

1.  Woodford is for EVERYONE and the diversity of people and talent there was amazing..  Anything went,  and you cannot have any pre-conceived ideas if what sort of folk attend this festival, it takes all kinds to make the magic…

2.  The power of volunteers and a cohesive organising committee to enable such a mammoth festival to run better than any festival I have been to (large or small)  There are some that could learn from this organisation.

3.  You can still look glamorous in the most absurd conditions, it just takes thought, perseverance and a willingness not to succumb to thongs, happy pants, a singlet and a messy pony tail with no makeup which could be easy to do in that weather.

4.  The Lindy Charm School for Girls Principles apply to every-one no matter what the circumstance or setting;

5.  Vintage Styling, the history, the glamour, the clothing and the whole aesthetic is still admired, adored, eye-catching, interesting, entertaining and welcomed by most in any setting, festival or event.

6.  You cannot stereotype and you cannot pick, choose or guess who might be the ones to gravitate to The Lindy Charm School for Girls … and… AMEN to that!

7.  I need and value the people in my life that just pick up and help the LCS to be all it can be, Amongst many, I have to mention my Husband Ray who just enables me…..

 OK, so to wrap it up, here are my essential tips for Glamping at a Place like Woodford:

My 2 day Kit contained:

The LCS Essential Travel Kit which has everything I need in it (To set pin curls at 2am)
My Essential Everyday Makeup Kit (Yep, everything I sell on line and not much more)
Facewipes & Moisturiser
Toothpaste, Brush, Dental Floss
Large Bottle of Water
Face Washer/Towelette
2 Outfits, 1 set of accessories and suitable simple undergarments
A bag full of essential medications eg: antihistamines, panadol, etc
That’s it…

Some extra shots to capture but a minute of the event:

(Taken from their website here:)The Woodford Folk Festival, an event of international standing, is held annually over six days and six nights from Dec 27th through to January 1st. More than 2000 performers and 438 events are programmed featuring local, national and international guests.This year will be the 28th Woodford Folk Festival and the 20th held at Woodfordia. 

The festival programme features concerts, dances, street theatre, writers’ panels, film festival, comedy sessions, acoustic jams, social dialogue and debate, folk medicine, an entire children’s festival, an environmental programme featuring talks, debates and films, art and craft workshops, circus performances and workshops, late night cabarets, parades and special events including a spectacular fire event.

Within the festival village you can find 36 performance venues, of which 18 are all weather. The festival streets are lined with restaurants, cafes, stalls, bars, street theatre and parades. Tree-filled campgrounds, butterfly walks, ponds and wildlife complete the picturesque site.

I certainly hope to be back there in 2014….

Til then,

Kisses from the Mistress xx

 xx Chrissy 

Thou Shalt  Endeavour To  Always Wear Red Lipstick

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Welcome to The Lindy Charm School where we offer a wide range of styling, costuming, workshopping and corporate services. Headed by the ever-vivacious Mistress Chrissy, The Lindy Charm School is a multi-disciplinary creative events and vintage styling business driven by a rich affinity with a time before now.

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