It’s time to wrap up my Viva Las Vegas 20 experience and I’m thrilled to recap all the fun I had at my very first VLV!
The last I left you I was just about to head on down to the car show and meet and greet some Viva goers and boy, was it fun! Naturally my ladies and I (in our matching pink outfits) gravitated towards a perfect ’59 pink caddy owned by lovely Lorraine and John *insert drool here! It must have wound up looking intentional because before we knew it, we were a photo opportunity for lots of people passing by. It was a great way to meet and interact with lots of different individuals which is something the journo in me really enjoys! It really was incredible to see how far and wide people had come from to be a part of VLV!
Photo by Abe Lojero
Special mention must be made to my amazing Aussie support crew: Katrina, Kirsty, Diamond, Dan and my David who all got in on motivating the masses and encouraging people to vote for their favourite pinup! I couldn’t have done this without you guys. Kirsty: I didn’t know about your spruiking skills but girl, you owned it!
The morning just flew by and before I knew it, it was time to head on back to the room and get changed into my gorgeous contest dress. Katrina headed back with me to ensure everything went to plan and no stressful moments occurred! I popped on my beautiful Cappella Jane Glamour gown all my gorgeous burly girls back home had made for me while getting ready just so I could feel the support of them all there with me!
Dressed and ready, we headed back down to the car show to check in with all the other finalists and prepare to head up for our shiny moment on stage. Speaking of shiny, Rockwell had arrived in what can only be described as a diamond of a dress. This woman would sparkle even in a potato sack but damn, she looked stunning. Rockwell briefed us for what was to come, gave us our order of appearance and provided us with our question.
My question was why I had entered the contest again for a third time and I knew exactly what I wanted to say and was just hoping it would come out similar to what I was thinking in my head. I found out after the contest that my friends could see me going over it by the side of the stage which they thought was cute and I thought was embarrassing! But I wanted to ensure I used my moment and said what was important to me! I felt incredibly nervous (which is odd as getting up on stage certainly isn’t new to me). The lovely Lily asked me whether I still got the butterflies and the answer is most definitely yes!
It was finally contest time as I watched Rockwell head on up to the stage to introduce the judges before welcoming me up as the first finalist. I was nervous about my sneaky dress reveal and hoped it would go to plan and judging from reactions of people in the crowd it shocked and delighted as I’d hoped it would!
Coppelia Jane did such a marvellous job on my transitional gown and my request to have a dress that changed in both silhouette and colour! I figured if I only had a few seconds on stage, I wanted to do something unique and really me and I was so pleased with it coming to fruition after a lot of planning and creating care of Coppelia!
Photos by Tim Hunter.
Next up was the question answering to which I responded:
“Pinup allows me to transform so much like the dress you’ve seen me wearing today, pinup helps me go from subtle and soft to sexy and strong! So standing here today and re-entering Viva is not only a huge personal achievement for me, but it also helps me to show women all around the world that this need not be just a dream, it can be a reality for them as well.”
Photos by Tim Hunter
Thankfully no word vomit came out and I was able to say what I was hoping to which was important to me.
I then had the pleasure of watching all the other ladies appear on stage and answer their own questions and I found myself thinking how glad I was I wasn’t a judge! How do you decide from such a bunch of beautiful women who all have so much to offer?!
For this reason, I was incredibly honoured to be awarded best wardrobe! What a huge compliment to my designer Coppelia for bringing my vision to life!
The lovely Lily White was awarded Best Hair, Heloise Bow Flapper with Best Makeup and then our leading ladies: 2nd Runner Up to the Dutch Pinup, 1st Runner up to Dariel Dearlove and Miss Viva Las Vegas 20 Miss Monique Sweet!
Photo by Tim Hunter
At this point I already felt so sad it was all over despite the feeling of excitement. How had it all come and gone so quickly?! Both the Contest and almost Viva too! I think the only thing I’d want to change would be getting to spend more time in person with my fellow finalists. The experience came and went so quickly and despite conversing with all these wonderful women for months in the lead up, I didn’t get enough face time with them! This is something I really want to do my part to change within my own local group! So often we only ever see each other at events when there is so much else going on and not much opportunity to actually catch up or get to know one another better on a deeper level.
Thank you to all the amazing people in my life who really got behind me in my Viva Las Vegas dream. There were so many people who bought a shirt, shared my posts, gave me gifts, wished me well and were in general just so supportive of me and it is because of you all, that this became a reality. Thank you all so much.
Special mention is also required for the diamond dame, the one and only Rockwell who makes this experience possible. You are queen!
Photo by Abe Lojero
As for Viva as a whole, all I can say is WOW! Attending an event of this scale just reiterates how important pinup and rockabilly culture has become for me over the years and it really feels quite special to be a part of something this big and this awesome. I can’t wait to attend again already!
One component I particularly loved, was being able to wear and showcase some of my vintage gems that with all work and no play, don’t get the out of closet time they deserve!
As I mentioned earlier in the blog, I’d prepared an outfit spreadsheet so I could pack wisely and not run the risk of leaving that perfect matching accessory at home! It also took the thought and stress out of it at the event when every moment is precious! I am an avid planner so this is just how I like to roll.
Viva, it’s been an absolute blast! I hope this blog acts as a useful resource for any other ladies considering entering the contest or maybe even considering getting involved with pinup in any capacity. I still remember buying my first repro style dress and now pinup has brought so much positivity into my life and helped me grow into the woman I am today. The growth just keeps on coming too and this is sometjing I want other women to have the pleasure of experiencing for themselves. If this little Aussie lady can do it, anyone can!
*Check out all the outfits I sported at Viva below, including the cute bathing suit I wore in the swimsuit contest held the one and only pool party.
Day 1 – Day wear
Vintage Dress- an eBay score!
Day 1 – Evening wear.
Tiki time! Dress by Red Ruby Vintage.
Day 2 – Day wear.
Vintage Dress from Vintage Hippy.
Day 2 – Day wear 2!
Vintage Dress borrowed from my beautiful friend the Sapphire Siren!
Day 2 – Meet and Greet Evening wear from Butchwax Vintage.
Day 3 – Car Show Lucy’s Ladies Matchy Matchy!
Shirts designed by David Gatt.
The Lucy skirt designed and produced by Diamond Dubbellyou.
Day 3 – Contest Outfit.
Transitional dress by Coppelia Jane.
Day 3 – Evening wear
Prom pretty dress from Etsy.
Day 4 – Pool Party wearing the Pretty Dress Company
Day 4 – Swimsuit Contest
Catalina Swimsuit and matching swim dress from Ooh La La.