A “Canadian” Weekend with Miss Victory Violet

When Miss Victory Violet first announced her Canadian Workshops tour, I was beyond excited and knew there was no way I was going to miss out on this once in a lifetime opportunity. Ella and I have known each other since 2011 when she first got into the vintage lifestyle and it is simply incredible to see how far she has come…now a household name and inspiration in our community. The Canadian Miss VV Tour included workshops in three major cities; Montreal, Port Dover, and Edmonton. With Port Dover only a car drive away, I signed up for the Beginner’s/Intermediate Hair and Makeup Workshop being held at the spectacular Clonmel Castle hosted by Suzie’s Bombshell Boutique.

The Port Dover stop on Miss VV’s tour was pretty special since the organizers put together a whole weekend event which included the workshops, wonderful accommodations at the Clonmel Castle, High Tea, and Vintage Spring Fling Party. Originally I was only planning to attend the Sunday workshop and high tea but when Ella asked me to be her hair model for the workshop on Saturday, I thought why not enjoy all the festivities and book my stay at the Clonmel. Seriously, I am so thrilled that I did as the weekend was truly spectacular from start to finish.

Upon arriving early Saturday morning, I was greeted so warmly by the owner of the Clonmel Castle Lynnee. The Clonmel Castle is so unbelievably beautiful, words cannot adequately describe all the intricate details and history in this unique bed and breakfast. Each guest room is named after its colour theme. I quickly got settled into my room known as “Black & White” since Ella had to set my hair for the first workshop that was about to start at 12pm. This gave us a wonderful opportunity to chat and catch up before the attendees began to arrive.  During this time, I spotted this gal wearing the most divine Vintage Lilli Ann princess coat down the hallway. Not a short time later, she walked into the workshop and I didn’t shy away at gushing over her coat and fabulous green jumpsuit from Emmy Designs.

The Miss VV classroom was all setup for the Beginner’s Set and Brushout Workshop. Attendees were be spoiled with the most incredible goodies bags that I have ever seen (more details on what was inside coming up in a bit). Unlike most Vintage Hair styling classes, Ella keeps her workshops small limiting them to 10 attendees for an intimate and a very hands on experience with the instructor. The ladies started to arrive, some traveling all the way from Michigan, Toronto and surrounding area. Seeing the excitement and radiating smiles was pretty incredible. You could just feel the positive energy from the room. Ella welcomed everyone and the class was well underway.

By the end, we all knew who was staying at the Clonmel or close by and convinced an extra few ladies to attend the Vintage Spring Fling that evening. A few more guests arrived in the afternoon at the Clonmel, including the lovely Jackie that I had met at another local vintage event a couple years ago along with her friend Julia. With a few hours left before we had to get ready for the evening festivities, Lynnee treated us to an immaculate spread for High Tea. Everything not only looked amazing, it was all absolutely delicious. My first High Tea experience is going to be tough to beat.

Once we were all pleasantly stuffed, everyone went up to their rooms to get all dolled up for the evening festivities. The soiree was held at Double Olive, with the Vintage Spring Fling taking place on the upper lounge level. As we arrived, the Hellbent Rockers were playing and getting people up on the dance floor. I was pleasantly surprised to see the room was packed with guests of all ages, it truly reminded me of being at Viva but in my own community! We grabbed our cocktails (or in my case a soda) and headed over to join crowd. Remember the Lilli Ann gal, that was the lovely Dana who I ended up chatting with all evening long. She is the epitome of vintage fashionista’s, wearing the iconic Betty Draper floral dress that is so utterly breathtaking. Ella, Jackie, Julia and tons of guests were up on the dance floor, even I went up for once song with Dean…the gentleman who makes every lady look graceful on the dance floor even with two left feet like me. The night went by quickly and everyone had such a wonderful time.

The following morning, the guests staying at the Clonmel gathered in the sitting room for coffee before being treated to a lovely breakfast in the dining area. I said goodbye to Jackie and Julia as they were heading home for the weekend and went to prepare for the afternoon workshop. Dana and I had traded places, today she was the model and I was an attendee at the Beginner’s/Intermediate Hair and Makeup Workshop. We saw a few familiar faces, some ladies came to both workshops to make the most of this opportunity with Miss Victory Violet. Of course everyone was thrilled over the goody bags filled with an exclusive Miss VV Shazaam purple Hair Flower and Splendette bangle, Dirty Works Nude eyeshadow palette, and full size Kenra products ( 2 hairsprays, thermal setting spray, dry volume & pomade).

First up was learning how to create classic pinup makeup look. I finally learned the secret to achieve soft eyeshadow blending along with simple contouring and highlighting. Ella is a wonderful teacher, she provides you with simple everyday techniques and doesn’t over complicate them using some fancy method. These are the same methods she uses everyday…who knew it could be so easy! Once our faces were all made up, we moved onto learning a basic brush out and creating the signature vintage front swoop. Seeing as everyone has very different types of hair, Ella helped each one of us with tricks on how to best work with what we have. By the end of the class, we all looked quite glamorous and learnt how to achieve this look on our own. Before everyone said their goodbyes, we took some group photos and some with Miss Victory Violet. A bunch of the ladies stayed for High Tea but it was sadly time for me to head home after the most incredible weekend.

 

It is difficult to put in words what this unbelievable weekend really meant to me emotionally. Little did I know there was such an incredible group of ladies with like interests in my community. Dana nailed it when she said “I found my people”, that truly expresses the feeling that I felt over the past two days. These women come from all different walks of life; nurses, publishers, emergency dispatcher, mothers, etc. but are united with by their mutual interests in vintage and pinup. I cannot thank Ella enough for not only coming to Canada but to include me in her workshops and be a part of such a memorable experience.

A special thank you to Suzie’s Bombshell Boutique, Southside Vixens, and the Clonmel Castle for organizing such a fantastic weekend for all of us.

 

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Tiptoe Through The Tulips With Me

Although I rarely purchase Vintage Reproduction as of late, I still very much love to support independent designers that create fabulous handmade to order designs. For ages I swooned over the gorgeous dresses by She’s Dynamite, a one lady business based out of the UK. Every time she released a new design, I found myself day dreaming of wearing each one as they are all simply magnificent. When Miss Victory Violet debuted the Tulip Dress in red velvet by She’s Dynamite at Viva, I was in love! But I quickly started to wonder how often would I wear such a fancy occasion dress, so again the voice of reason said it was not very practical. Well it must of been fate because several months later, She’s Dynamite released the Tulip Dress in a darling eyelet cotton in an array of beautiful summery and staple colours…yellow, pink, blue, white, black and PURPLE!!!

Available in Customs sizes ~ MSRP £225.00

Since every design is made to order by She’s Dynamite, you must ensure to provide accurate measurements for a proper fit. If you are unsure how to properly measure yourself, I recommend contacting Stephanie (the gal behind She’s Dynamite) for assistance. She also states on her website the current production time for placing an order, currently it is approximately 6 weeks. If you need it for a specific occasion, ensure to order well in advance also factoring in shipping time from the UK. Before I knew it, my breathtaking Tulip Dress arrived and it was love at first sight. Now here’s the thing when I ordered my dress…silly me, I went with my usual measurements (bust 36″, waist 27″) but in reality I’ve gained a bit of weight so I “should” have really said a 28″ waist. In the mean time, I was bound and determined to fit into my dream dress…thanks to my trusted Rago waist cincher and patient hubby, it zipped up! It was everything I could have imagined and SO MUCH MORE! The Tulip Dress features a breathtaking strapless 3D tulip petal bust, a lined and boned bodice with internal ‘waist stay’ belt to stop the dress from slipping down, a full voluminous skirt with pockets and back zipper closure. The purple eyelet fabric is simply exquisite and a lovely thick cotton. I opted to go with the standard skirt length of 27″ but it can easily be customized to suit your height.

After daydreaming of owning a She’s Dynamite design for ages, the Tulip Dress far exceeded my expectations. The quality and craftsmanship is absolutely flawless. Now for those of you wondering, yes the Tulip Dress by She’s Dynamite is SO worth the price! If you can imagine, the tulip bodice is intricately constructed and molds to the body perfectly. Just think, you are buying a custom fitted design that has so many elements to create a one of kind masterpiece. Normally I find myself fussing with petal style bodices but the tulip petal bodice stays perfectly in place right off the hanger and can be worn folded down or left up for two unique looks. I was really surprised by the thickness of the cotton eyelet fabric; it holds its shape and drapes so wonderfully. There is so much time and attention to detail placed in every element of the design. I have only ever seen internal ‘waist stay’ belts used (which are used to stop the dress from slipping down) in vintage dresses and Haute Couture designs. The Tulip Dress can seamlessly transition from daytime to evening, perfect for almost every occasion.

When I first saw Miss Victory Violet style the Tulip Dress in purple with gorgeous emerald green accents, I immediately thought it was match made in heaven. I fully intend to wear mine with green as well but I opted to showcase a more Cinderella glamorous styling. I paired the Tulip Dress with vintage rhinestone jewelry and lucite heels. You can definitely add a petticoat for added volume in the skirt but I personally love the natural drape of the eyelet cotton fabric.

For those of you who are just discovering She’s Dynamite for the first time, I can only rave about their Tulip Dress and say that you will not be disappointed. Not only is Stephanie incredibly talented, she is an absolute sweetheart. I have to admit, I am constantly stalking her new designs and quickly discovered we both share an obsession with the colour yellow. Hopefully that will be my next purchase from She’s Dynamite, so stay tuned…