Monday 17 March 2014

Me and Jenn and Emma and Tamsin went to Napier for Art Deco weekend. It's a whole weekend of events and activities, but mostly we just wore our costumes and sort of flopped about looking pretty.

Three girls, in art deco costume and pearls, smiling.

Me, smiling, wearing very round, art deco looking spectacles.

A girl with a blonde, art deco bob and pearls, smiling. Another girl with pink hair and a smile.

Two girls smile and look into a cellphone.

We had a picnic by the soundshell for the opening celebrations. The Royal Navy played a novelty drum song. Do you think - during those long days at sea, they say to each other, "let's play drums for eight hours guys." They marched about, and stepped in line, and threw drumsticks to one another. It really was fantastic.

Four airplanes criss cross in a blue sky.

There were warplanes from the First World War. They pretend-strafed a frigate in the harbour. "It's very boys-own!" said the MC.

An old man looks up.

The trumpets played a sad song for all the fallen in all the wars. They asked for silence to lower the flag to half mast, and someone shouted out, "Stop the war!" I said, they had a point. Jenn said, which war?

The people watching was great. 

A woman wears a blue feather boa. Her son wears a stripped blazer, a straw boater, and a petulant look.

The whole town had dressed up. Even people working in shops were wearing half-hearted headbands and beads. 

An older woman wearing a cloche hat and a feather boa carries ice creams.

The anachronisms made it even better.

An art deco couple sends a text on an iPhone.

I said, "Do you think in a few decades, we'll be dressing up like the 2010s and celebrating in Christchurch?"

An older woman wears a mint green dress and matching hat.

When the sun went down, the soundshell lit up.

A band plays in the Napier Soundshell. It's lit up like a rainbow.

The crowd moved from the lawn to the front of the soundshell and started dancing. Everyone smiled and talked to one another. It was as though that kind of authentic human connection is only allowable in costume. Maybe mufti is too representative of our essential selves to be vulnerable in it. Maybe it's the opposite and wearing street clothes as a shell stops us from connecting. Either way: it seems it's only in costume we can dance.

There were events all weekend, but we didn't do too many. The opening ceremony at the soundshell, that was the first evening we arrived. 

Jenn and I did an art deco walking tour, which was a little naff, but great fun. 

Tamsin entered the costume competition.

It's a red dress with a fan pattern on the fabric - a beautiful handmade art deco costume.

And won best in her class, reproductions. She made her dress! 

We went to all the shops. Jenn bought a parasol. 

Jenn has an art deco dress, lots of pearls, a smile and a parasol.
I bought a ukulele bass, but that has nothing to do with Art Deco Weekend. I also made us go to Opossum World, which has nothing to do with anything.

Jenn and I went to a progressive dinner - entrees in one place, mains in the next, dessert in the last place.
Me in a black flapper's costume, with fringing and a headband. I have fishnets and carry a fur.

We saved our fanciest dresses for it. 

Four girls in art deco flapper costumes pose in front of a vintage car.

Jenn made her dress. Emma borrowed Tamsin's, who refused to take off her prize winning outfit. I wore a halloween costume, but my fur was real. It was too hot to wear it - 32 degrees.

Two women in art deco flapper costume pose in front of a vintage car. One has a cigarette holder.

Everyone had amazing costumes.

Cute kid wearing a beaded flapper headband with feather.
Even the kids.

There was a trolley derby race.
Girl driving a red trolley car.

More for the adults than the kids. 

Man in collared shirt driving a blue trolley car.

The last day, we wandered through the Gatsby Picnic. People had been setting up since 6 in the morning.

Vintage car sits on a beach.

There wasn't a patch of shade anywhere, except under the gazebos - and we didn't have a gazebo.
 Woman in a cloche hat and crocheted shawl carries an enormous cake.

But it was wonderful to see the effort everyone put into everything.

Just before we left town, we met a lady handing out puppy hugs. She was trying to sell the puppies, of course, but we got cuddles for free.
A little girl in a yellow dress hugs an adorable puppy.

The puppies were white, fluffy and very soft.

The puppies had large, soft ears.


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