20th Century, What I wear

Art Deco wardrobe planning

This year, for the first time ever, I’m going to Napier’s Art Deco Weekend.  I’ve tried to go in the past, but things have come up.

But this year, unless something happens in the next 5 days, it’s actually happening!  Three days of 30s clothes and dancing!

Being crazy and ambitious I’m planning a specific wardrobe.  It’s based around the idea of what a well-off girl from Hawaii would have taken for a trip to Napier to visit family in early 1933*.

So all my clothes will be from the very end of the 1920s and the early 30s.

I’m going with a red, white & blue theme, to organise my design and keep my accessories down.  I’ve got a pinterest board with inspiration.

But don’t think it will be all patriotic and nautical red, white & blue!  Here is my fabric pile:

My wardrobe for the weekend

I’m hoping to make two evening dresses, one out of white  lace with black lace that looks like this:

Dress, Callot Soeurs, late 1920s, The Goldstein Museum of Art

With this:

White lace

And one of blue lace in a cut very similar to my wedding dress:

Robins egg blue cotton lace

And a pair of beach pyjamas in a fabulous Art-Deco patterned fabric and a mallard-blue silk:

Art deco fabric and mallard silk

And a little chiffon day dress in the sweetest ever floral silk:

Silk chiffon. I love this fabric so much

And craziest of all a merino wool swimsuit in red:

Red & white striped under-fabric & red merino wool

And I’m taking a linen reproduction 1930s skirt, and my Frumpy Dress, and my Summer-Berries shorts (I’ll switch the buttons to plain blue for this event) and a 1940s Aloha shirt and a couple of 1930s reproduction blouses for dance workshops.

My 1940s Aloha shirt

And, ummm…., you will have noticed that I only have 5 days.  So we’ll see how much I get done.  I’m dreaming ridiculously big ;-).  Some of these things are actually already started.  I just haven’t blogged about them.

* And yes, there were regular trips between NZ and Hawaii in the early 1930s – I’ve done my research!


  1. That black and white dress is beautiful. I am sure yours will be too.

  2. You’re so lucky! Those fabrics are a dream. I’m particularly looking forward to the beach pajamas.

  3. Lynne says

    I love this idea! You are going to be your own drama production.

  4. Wow, that event looks HUGE!! How much fun! I can’t wait for photos, make sure to take a bunch!

  5. Elise says

    What a smart packer! All the colors coordinate so beautifully, that they seem to make a kind of story. Makes choosing accessories easier, since everything will go with everything else. Have fun!

  6. HOORAY! You will have SUCH a grand time — I can’t wait for you to experience it. Daniil and I seriously felt like we were in the 1930s. It was so much fun. A true highlight of my time in NZ.

  7. How cool! I’m so excited for you/super jealous! And when you come back, you’ll have all your pretty new clothes that you’ll still be able to wear. 🙂

    And wow that pinterest board is intensive! Love it.

  8. Stella says

    That is a LOT of work to do in 5 days! I tend to find ’20s clothes relatively quick to sew, but still…

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