I have had an insane couple of weeks!
Between shooting a BTS video for the latest Glory Days / Classics Museum ad, making bouquets for a friend’s wedding, shooting with some gorgeous ladies, a 5 day scout conference, a week at Beach Hop, Uni Presentations, and finally VVDO, I’m pretty exhausted!
But all of those things can wait to be covered because holy hell you guys, I won! I am Miss Pinup New Zealand for 2016!
I’m still in a state of shock, I think, and there are so many things buzzing around in my head right now!
The whole competition was fun, and scary, and stressful in the best kind of way, and I had an absolute blast! I really enjoyed getting to know all of the other contestants, and we definitely had just as much fun off stage as we did in front of the curtain – if not more – so my first massive thank you goes to them! <3 <3 <3
But without further ado, here are the outfits!
Daywear was our first section, and I really wanted to come in with something attention grabbing!
As I’m sure you’re all aware, I have been drooling over these dresses from Chotronette for aaaaaages now, and I really wanted to make one of my own!
I did need to keep it daywear appropriate though, so I decided to make it as a skirt, and go for a dressed down look – with a cream linen shirt (from Farmers) and wooden or brown leather accessories!
My gloves and cane for this section were from Retro Addiction (Go and check them out, they have such great stuff and are so so lovely!) my bangles were borrowed from my friend Natasha, and my hat was borrowed from another friend, Rose!
I made the skirt, necklace and sunglasses, and the bag is a favourite from my ridiculous collection of vintage bags!
Shoes were from Hannahs, and belt was from Kmart!
I had made a bodice to attach to the skirt later on (so it can be a pretty dress!) but oh my god you guys, Dariel Dearlove had the most beautiful black velvet top for her eveningwear, which would look spectacular with the flower skirt, so I’m going to get her to make one for me, probably in a dusky pink or cream to go with it instead!
I don’t have a lot of talents that can be crammed into a two-minute time slot, so I decided to sing!
This was utterly terrifying, because even though I used to sing all the time (for money even!) I hadn’t performed publicly since I left Dunedin…and that was 6 years ago!
Plus I’d also never played the ukulele in front of people. Ever.
Photo by Keith Maynard of Shifting Light Photography
I wanted to do something that was cute, and quirky, and represented me well, so when I stumbled across ‘Ukulele Girl’ by Coconut Radio, I knew I needed to sing that! I made a few changes to the structure so that it suited my voice better, and fit the time limit, but I’m still just so stoked that I found something that felt like a ‘me’ sort of song, you know?!
I had won the competition that Honey L’Amour was running, to have an outfit custom made for the competition, so I basically sent her my measurements and said ‘Please make me something colourful as fuck, I want to look like a tropical sunset’, and holy hell did she deliver! I honestly cannot put into words how much I love this outfit!
Photo by Norrie Montgomery for Very Vintage Day Out
I needed to keep my accessories pretty neutral for this section, as between my dress and my hair it was already getting super colourful, but I definitely wanted to keep everything really tropical!
I borrowed some thick bamboo bangles a vintage carved tiki necklace from my friend Natasha, and bought a pair of bamboo hoops from Rita Sue Clothing. I had been waiting for an excuse to buy those earrings for ages, so I’m pretty sure I subconsciously based the rest of my accessories around them!
My hair flower and shoe clips were made by my gorgeous friend Alicia from Pop that Cassette / Rita Sue Clothing, and the shoes are Pinup Couture carved tiki mules, with a clear plastic upper so they’d match everything!
I also had my Ukulele painted while I was at Beach Hop! Levi did an amazing job in a crazy short timeframe, and I’m so so pleased with it!
I forgot to ask someone to video it, but thankfully my resourceful BFF Renee was onto it, and recorded this on her cellphone! <3
The whole competition was such an incredible experience, but my favourite part was looking out at the audience when I got up to sing, and seeing my husband in the front row, looking the most excited I have ever seen him. I nearly cried, he looked so proud of me! He’s always so so supportive, but this was just something else entirely, and it really made my heart swell!
You guys, I’ll level with you – I had initially intended on making a new swimsuit for the competition, but every time I drew something it just ended up looking like my absolute favourite City Chic bikini, and why mess with a good thing, right?
This was the outfit I had planned and sorted first. It was the section I was the most concerned about (as a plus sized girl competing against a bunch of beautiful women, the idea of stumbling about on stage in my togs was a touch stressful!) so I decided to tackle it first, and make sure I had something that I could feel absolutely fierce in!
I was looking for coverup ideas when I found this photo of GabiFresh in a spectacular sheer polka dot skirt over her bikini, and I decided that sheer was the way to go!
Unfortunately, I can’t do full length skirts, so I took a little inspiration from Carmen Miranda and made a mid length tulle skirt with miles of gathered ruffles and colourful lace, with a big ol’ leg split.
I also made the world’s most ridiculous fruit cocktail headpiece on a bright orange turban, and a giant beaded necklace and earring set with vintage fruit beads and a great big purple hibiscus flower made of polymer clay, to match the flowers on my bikini! I also made some orange flowers (again, to match the bikini) to stick on the sides of my sunglasses, which were also completely covered in teal rhinestones.
My shoes were an old pair of wedges from K-Mart, that I absolutely covered in rhinestones, and glued some massive orange and purple flowers onto the fronts, and my bangles were a combination of borrowed vintage and opshop finds, interspersed with some bamboo ones that I bought from my gorgeous friend Nat at Retro Resins.
I hadn’t wanted to use my crutch on stage, if I could help it, as it’s not exactly on theme. I was lucky enough to source alternatives for my other outfits, but for this one I was a little stumped!
After a little thought, I decided to buy an orange waxed paper parasol and extend the handle (using the handle of an old one that I had in the garage!) so that it would be a functional height for me to walk with! I put some grip tape on the bottom, and it worked perfectly! Definitely not for every day use, but it was perfect with my outfit for the competition!
It even opens still, but I just straight up forgot to open in at any point during my allotted posing time on stage!
I also made the most amazing bag, but I accidentally left it backstage. Guess I’ve got a really nice beach bag now though, so all good!
Now, before I begin, let me just say that I love this dress so much. What I did not love, however, was the busted zip only moments before walking out onto the stage! (I also didn’t love their customer service when I tried to get a refund / store credit, but that’s a story for another day!)
Thankfully, we had a really level-headed team backstage, and I had a handful of safety pins and some beaded pearl appliques in my handbag (just coincidentally, for reasons unknown even to me) so we pinned my dress shut, and used toupee tape (which is the stickiest stuff known to man, by the way) to cover the pins with the appliques. Problem solved!
The dress was from Chi Chi London, and despite the zip situation it was perfect. As soon as I put it on, the day it arrived, I felt like a princess, so I decided I needed cinderella shoes to go with it. I found these clear plastic heels on Ebay, and stuck a few rhinestones and some of the aforementioned pearl beaded appliques on them, to tie them in with my dress and accessories!
During a visit to see La Vonne at Tock Tick, she brought out the most amazing slightly sheer, slightly sparkly embroidered cream gloves, which were a perfect match for my dress, and I found a vintage bridal hairpiece at an antique shop in Napier when I was there a couple of weeks ago, which just topped it all off!
My friend Renee bought me a rosey gold glomesh clutch, and I went simple on jewellery – I bought some gold / pearl / rhinestone earrings and bracelets from Collette, and wore a double strand of pearls. I never ever dress fancy enough to wear pearls, so I figured I should make the most of it while I was wearing a fancy outfit!
I also found the most amazing cane at an antique shop in Paeroa last week, and couldn’t possibly pass it up! It was made of glass, and filled with rainbow sprinkles! It was basically a big sceptre, and I am the queen of kitsch, so I had to buy it!
Photo by Emma Joyce for Glory Days Magazine
The Eveningwear section was the last outfit, and we had to all go and parade across the stage one last time, and wait nervously backstage for the announcement of the final four, who then had to go back onto the stage and answer a question!
Dariel was called first, followed by me, then Miss Opal, then Lady in Red.
We were asked how ‘Pinup’ has changed our lives and what our favourite thing about pinup is, and for me that was an easy one! My answer to both was the same – It’s the people! It’s not often that you can meet someone and immediately bypass the awkward getting-to-know you phase, but within our community you can do that because you already know you’ve got so much in common!
After some really good answers from the others, we all went backstage again to wait for the announcement, which was crazy nerve-wracking!
We all went out and lined up on stage as the prizes for Best Video (Dariel Dearlove), Miss Picture Perfect (Miss Lola Fondant), and Miss Publicity (Miss Lola Turquoise) were handed out, and then came the scary bit!
The final four were called forward, and after a big pause, Lady in Red was announced as the Runner Up – ‘Miss Vintage Vixen’.
This was when I suddenly realised that I hadn’t eaten a single thing all day, except for the Up’n’Go I started drinking before remembering that dairy is bad if you’re singing.
I genuinely thought the whole thing was over, because my brain had melted, so I was honestly very very suprised when my name was called as the winner of Miss Pinup New Zealand for 2016.
…I am actually so stoked that Norrie managed to capture the exact moment I realised they were calling my name, because I have virtually no memory of it. I honestly thought I was playing it cool and looking gracious, but apparently I am neither of those things!
After I finally managed to walk forward and get my crown and sash from Bettie Rage, I had to get loads of photos taken. Honestly, I tried to smile like a respectable lady, rather than grinning like an idiot, but that didn’t happen and I am totally ok with the fact that I couldn’t wipe the idiot grin off my face! It’s been two days and I am still grinning. Haha.
We had a stack of group shots taken, and then I got whisked away to go and take photos with a guy from the Herald, so those will be around somewhere soon, I’m sure!
After that it was just a sea of congratulations and hugs, and then home to have Burger Fuel in bed!
Photo by Norrie Montgomery for Very Vintage Day Out
The whole day was amazing, and I will be posting more photos soon, particularly of the photo safari, but first I need to unpack my suitcase of outfits and do the dishes that I’ve been neglecting!
Massive thanks to everyone involved in the organising of the competition, especially Talia and Evelyn, as well as the judges – Phoenix Renata, Norrie Montgomery, and Miss Victory Violet – for giving me the opportunity to represent our community for the coming year!
I am so excited to have a play with all the new toys in my goodie bag too, so a massive thank you to all the sponsors of the competition – Sable Fine Hair, Adore Pinup Magazine, FashioNZ, Phoenix Cosmetics, Elizabeth J Photography and Hotel De Brett! So many exciting things in there, and I’m really looking forward to getting glammed up, having some photos taken, and having a night out in town sometime very soon!