Glam Rock: Viva Las Vegas 17 Wrap-up
Words and images by Louise Wellington of Lulu Belle Vintage.
Eye candy causing cavities. Sore dancing feet. Excess baggage. Yep, its another year I have endured the symptoms of Viva Las Vegas.
Arguably the world’s biggest Rockabilly festival and gathering of aficionados of 1950’s culture, the glam Viva Las Vegas 17 festival did not disappoint this vintage culture lover. And whether you are there for the shopping, the jiving, or the people watching, there is no way you can’t have fun – it’s Vegas after all!
The festival always kicks off with weekend pass holders gaining access to the vendor rooms on Thursday night. Being a mid-century fashion collector, this really is my favourite part of the festival. Although, its not for the weak at heart – my partner coins it “Thunderdome” for good reason. As soon as those vendor rooms are unlocked, the rooms are flooded with hoards of shoppers looking for something special. Whether it be a 50’s fringe dress, Bakelite bangles, deadstock glasses, or Lucite shoes – the best of the best mid century fashion shopping is to be had on the Thursday night vendor opening. My pick for best vendor prize was the Top Stitch Vintage collaboration with Chic-a- BOOM Vintage who had an amazing selection of vintage shoes, lurex dresses and Hawaiian wrap dresses.
Friday morning saw Miss Chrissy show off her skills with a skunk brush and red lippy as she hit the stage as part of the Mitzy&Co workshop series. These pinup hair and makeup courses are becoming more and more popular each year at Viva and they sure are lucky to have Miss Chrissy cross the pond to share her years of knowledge and skills with budding pinup beauties.
You can’t walk away from a rockabilly festival without talking about the music. The Jive Aces and their yellow suits and troupe of Hawaiian back-up singers could not leave the dancefloor unfilled. Of course our very own Pat Capocci and Scotty Baker tore it up, but it had the be Imelda May at Saturday nights car show that stole the show for me. Channelling the voice and soulfulness of Etta James, and the on-stage spunk of Gwen Stefani, Imelda May’s performance had the whole audience captivated. It even included an intermission with an on-stage marriage proposal to Australia’s very own pin up personality Ruby Rabbit who had just walked off the stage from the Miss Viva Las Vegas Pin Up competition! The comp also saw Melbourne’s Miss Lily White taking out the second runner up gong.
The wrap up to the weekend always finishes by a hangover hair-of-the-dog by the pool at the VLV Pool Party. This year we heard the killer Hot Rod Trio (how can you not love the smoking hot blonde on the double bass?!), Hawaiian dance performances (complete with crowd participation by yours truely, and Miss Chrissy) and of course the vintage swimsuit competition.
I could not finish this article without indulging a little more in the outfits displayed over the weekend. I mean, this has to be some of the most amazing collection of vintage clothing and style in concentrated in one place. If only I could work with the airlines to miraculously lose some of the luggage headed to VLV each year… Anyways enough scheming, here are some of my picks for the best vintage outfits of the festival.
VLV is not a weekend. Its an adventure. A tiring, rockin, wide eyed, adventure. Did I mention the Burlesque show included a man with a chicken?
Couldn’t get to Vegas this year? Lulu Belle Vintage keeps your home and your closets stocked in quality vintage and retro. Visit facebook.com/LuluBelleVintage for items for sale, smooth design and fashion ideas, and all things mid-century. Etsy store being launched soon!