It’s that time of year again: Napier’s annual Art Deco Weekend was last weekend, and I went, and I had lots of fun and took 642 photos and edited them down to 469 keepers and then edited those down to 26 I want to show you today, and a few more I’ll show you for specific costume posts.
It was interesting to go back to Art Deco Weekend a second time: to review my first impressions, and get another look. It was even more interesting to go back and read my write-up of last year’s weekend, and my impression of the event.
I can’t say my overall view has changed much, but this year was inevitably a bit different. I described it to Rachel (my weekend partner) as both better and worse than last year – as a returnee, I didn’t get lost walking around, knew where to park and where the good restaurants were, and when all the events were. But this year also had less highlights: the op-shopping wasn’t as good, I missed the gorilla hunt, and in a funny way I can’t explain the whole thing just seemed flatter.
Still, it was good fun.
First there was the packing and deciding what to wear:
We drove up on Thursday, spent the night at a B&B, and then Friday was op-shopping and checking into the backpackers hotel where all the swing dancers would be staying.
With the important business sorted, we had time for Rach to get a ’30s do for the weekend, while I read a vintage magazine and silently thanked my hair for its built-in marcel waves.
Then it was dinner, and dancing for everyone else and bed for me, because I’m a delicate little flower and need coddling.
The benefit of early bed and coddling is that then I could get up early, before everyone else, and enjoy the deserted beach and the fresh morning air. I may be an extrovert in most ways, but my favourite part of Art Deco Weekend is still the mornings, when I can have the city all to myself!
There is something about the calm of the sea, the deserted venues, the packed-away displays, and the quiet, that speaks much more about what Napier went through than all the fuss and festivities.
As the day heated up and other people ventured out, I headed back to the Criterion Hotel, to find a hair and makeup session in full swing:
A morning dance class in the dining room:
And nothing for me to do because I was already fully dressed and coifed, and had some unfortunate injuries that meant I couldn’t dance all weekend:
What’s a Dreamstress to do when she finds herself at a loss? Why, offer to take in someone’s shirt for them!
With mending done, and a cup of tea had, we headed out for one last op-shop, and a few photos in the park:
Then it was time for an outfit change, both to cope with all the things I needed an excuse to wear, and with the heat, and back out for more photos:
Since it was hot, we had photos in the fountain. Thank goodness Napier has so many of those!
There may have been a bit of splashing:
Then dinner, and time to change into evening wear, and have Berocca cocktails to keep us going (a Berocca cocktail is half a Berocca (that’s a fizzing multivitamin) in water in a martini glass – really living on the edge here)
Evenings there are bands playing on the street, and dancing around them:
There is a lovely balcony at the front of the Criterion, so we could sit on it and watch the action on the street:
Or be part of the action on the street:
Or go down to the Soundshell on the waterfront and watch the main bands there:
Or, in my case, go to bed early so that I could wake up fairly early and figure out how to cram 13 pairs of shoes and 9 outfits and all my Art Deco purchases into a suitcase for the return trip. And then have ice cream for breakfast (OK, I didn’t, but everyone else did):
More energetic youngsters participated in a derby:
I got to meet other NZ participants in the HSF, which was quite exciting:
All day on Sunday there were arial acrobatics in vintage planes over the city:
They were one of the most popular things with the crowd, and I can see why: you could watch them from anywhere, and they are free, and exciting.
We watched them over the sea as we walked back along the waterfront to the carpark to re-pack the car and head away.
Goodbye Napier! See you again next year (maybe):