When the Flower Blooms

One of the best things about the pinup community is that no matter how large it grows, it doesn’t lose that small quaintness of knowing all the household names. For as long as I can remember being on social media, I always saw endless pinups wearing NicCoco Creations at all of the major events and in their photoshoots. How did one small independent artist become a household name among the pinup elite? I’m not sure exactly when it happened but one faithful day, NicCoco Creations went from a brand that I admired from afar to a lovely new relationship with the creator Nicolle. For several months we discussed different ideas for a collaboration and it was a no brainer that the Viva Rockabilly Weekend was the perfect setting to showcase her creative talent.

For the moment I saw the Idda’s Tropical Storm, I knew I had to have it! Being a sucker for tropical flowers and real-look silk flowers, it was an ideal pairing. Since I didn’t have any outfits in that particular colour combination, Nicolle custom made my very own Idda in orange and green hues to coordinate with my vintage sarong dress. When she sent me photos of the piece in progress, we decided to add a little more orange to the cluster and it turned out so beautifully.

NicCoco NicCoco1 NicCoco2The next piece was a complete custom design that would take center stage with my key outfit for the car show. Nicolle suggested the rich red hibiscus flowers and I wanted to incorporate my love of starfish which pulled from the adorable sea life print in the playsuit. As the design was coming to life, we decide to add a few seashells which tied it all together marvelously. Needless to say, it was a HUGE hit with everyone as I received so many compliments that day. The icing on the cake was when I finally met Nicolle at the car show, she is just as lovely and wonderful in person. She is a TOTAL sweetheart!

NicCoco8 NicCoco7 NicCoco6For the last hair flower, I left all creative freedom to the artist and simply showed the outfit that it was to coordinate with. The dress is a vintage Alfred Shaheen Sarong, in a rich green with bold tropical flowers at the hem. Nicolle seriously hit it out of the park with her artistic flair on this one, it was love at first sight. Orchids are one of my favorite flowers and the vibrant green hues are just splendid. I have a feeling I will be wearing this one any chance I get this summer since it’s such a lovely tropical staple.

NicCoco5 NicCoco4 NicCoco3Not only does NicCoco Creations have incredible artistic talent, but they set a high standard for quality craftsmanship. Each piece is hand sewn onto durable hair comb, which stays securely in place unlike more commonly used alligator clips. For the first time I wasn’t constantly fussing with placement and slipping throughout the day. These babies stayed put! There is by all means a plethora of handmade hair flowers on the market these days but I can say from experience that very few are as wonderfully made as these and at such affordable prices. It’s no wonder she’s made herself a household name among the pinups that we all know and admire.

 

Viva 18 Recap ~ Part Two

With the Viva Rockabilly Weekend being only four days loaded with event from morning to night, there’s just not enough time to get everything in. If you’re like us, we have some absolute musts on our list and the rest we just go with the flow as there’s never a shortage of things to do. My husband always says Viva is not a vacation since its go, go, go…for the entire weekend.  That said, it’s SO much fun and I wouldn’t trade the whole experience for anything.

Saturday 

Everything ramps up for Saturday, as this is the all-day car show where more than 15,000 people attend. My morning started off with Madison Jane who created the most spectacular vintage hairstyle with inspiration from the classic Doris Mayday. Afterwards I met up with one of the gals from Classic Glamour Dolls for makeup; both ladies seriously glammed me up to the nines! Before heading out to the car show we ventured up to the Orleans Bowling Alley to meet with Dre, a photographer shooting for Tattoo Life Magazine. This is where I met the ever so lovely Stephanie Jay who was also a part of the feature. We shot indoors briefly then headed out to the courtyard to wrap up the impromptu photo session. I’m super excited to see how they turned out; the couple I saw from the back of her camera looked incredible.

2015-04-22 18.58.03_resized 2015-04-22 18.59.48_resized PinUpPersuasionFinally we were off to the car show! The weather was perfect this year… lots of sun, not too hot and a strong breeze to keep things comfortable. As soon as we arrived, we spotted Miss Victory Violet who was campaigning for the title of Miss Viva Las Vegas so I said a quick hello since she was a busy bee the whole weekend. Her hard work paid off as she was crowned the winner later that afternoon.

Viva18h Of course my next plan of action was to shop the vendors before all the great stuff was gone.  It was mind blowing how much the car show has grown over the past few years; there was a least double the amount of booths and classic cars from our first Viva in 2012! Once we got in a little shopping, we hit the vintage cars area for a few photos before heading in for a quick lunch and outfit change.  One thing I quickly had to get used to was having my photo taken by complete strangers whenever we stopped by one of the marvelous vintage cars.

Viva18k Viva18iAfter lunch, I bumped into the fabulous Jennifer (A Vintage Vanity), Jael and Colleen once again so we seized the opportunity to finally snap a photo together. They are some of the sweetest gals and I was so excited to run into them many times over the course of the weekend. We headed back out to the car show with Mae and Shawn in the afternoon for a little more shopping and to see the rest of the vintage cars.

Viva18l Viva18mSaturday evening is when everyone goes all out, wearing their MOST glamourous attire. It’s like a scene out of an old Hollywood film; it’s a true vintage lover’s dream.  The night began with one of our beloved events, the Burlesque Competition…where we ran into the darling Eleanor Paige and Dottie Minx. The winner Tosca Tosca seriously brought it home with her spectacular performance.

20150404_195001 20150404_194036Later, we met up with Amber, Lucas and Julie for a quiet dinner at the Prime Rib Loft. Before we turned in for the night, we made sure to go to the Viva photobooth as we missed out on this in previous years. Thankfully I got at least one photo with my darling Ashleeta that weekend.  20150404_234619 FCB44GC2ND-LSunday

As the final day of the Weekender, Sunday is the infamous Pool Party…where attendees take the opportunity to unwind and spend the day poolside. Before making our way there, we headed upstairs to the vendors one last time to snag some last minute bargains. I made out like a bandit and was very pleased with all my loot from the week.

20150405_091758_resized_1 IMG_20150405_173935Now this is where I turned into a ball of nerves… not only was I getting ready for a day by the pool but I was a participant in the Women’s Vintage Swimsuit Competition!  Seriously…reality was setting in very quickly. Luckily I was able to reutilize my fabulous hair and makeup from the day before, two less things to worry about. I got on my 1950’s Catalina Cocktail Swimsuit, loaded up on SPH100 sunscreen…it was time to rock and roll! We arrived early enough to get lounge chairs and enjoy the sunshine when it finally came out. The extremely high winds most of the weekend were absolutely insane.

20150405_125627 20150405_125631I bumped into one of my blog readers Stephanie while waiting in line at the concession, it’s too bad I didn’t have my phone at the time to snap a photo. She was an absolutely sweetheart and fellow Canadian. The whole afternoon was so wonderful. I met the lovely ladies Cha Cha and Val from Dirty Mistress Events who were sitting behind us and also made sure to get a photo with the adorable Acid Doll as we hadn’t done so every time we saw each other. She and her husband are so incredibly kind; I took the opportunity to practice my French when we chatted. Mae came to join us shortly before the competition; luckily I would have her at my side for support as we were both selected.

20150405_130815 Viva18n Viva18oIt was time…the contestants had to meet up at the Lucy B tent at 3:15pm to check in and get our numbers. The judges couldn’t have selected a more incredible group of ladies; everyone was so sweet and just there to have a good time. Before the contest began, we had our photos taken as a group and chatted about each other’s magnificent vintage swimsuits. Honestly, I wasn’t all that nervous and simply relishing in the moment to be a part of this landmark event. Each contestant would be asked a question while up on stage and to talk about their swimsuit with the judges. Maybe it was just ill luck but my question was about my favorite music of the era, something that I am not at all familiar with. I didn’t panic, I answered simply that I come to Viva for the fashion which led into being a blogger…and the rest is history. It was so amazing having my own personal cheering squad in the audience, Ashleeta, A Vintage Vanity, Jael, Colleen, my husband and all of the new people that I had recently met that day…I can’t thank you all enough! xoxo I didn’t place in the finals but honestly I didn’t care. Just being up there on stage was life changing, and I would do it again in a heartbeat.

Viva18p Viva18r DSC_5529-L DSC_5534-LSunday evening is usually very quiet around the Orleans, many attendees leave throughout the day or simply resting from partying hard all weekend. We met up with our friends for a delicious meal at the Canal Street Restaurant, this was by far my favorite and the most delicious meal of the weekend. Afterwards, we changed into some more comfortable attire and headed to the cinema to see Fast & The Furious 7 just the two of us. We must have been exhausted from the long day in the sun, both falling asleep partially through the movie.

20150405_205601_resized_1 20150405_205640_resized_1Viva 18 was by far the most incredible time we had in the three years we’ve attended! The whole weekend was very relaxed…seeing so many familiar faces…spending oodles of time with friends and making some new ones as well….who can ask for more? Although we won’t be attending next year’s festivities, we have plans to return for the 20th Anniversary!