VIVA! Part One

Hi dolls! I apologize for the lack of posting recently, but my health has been at the forefront or things and I am now slated to have another shoulder surgery this Friday – this time on the opposite shoulder. I have a torn labrum and a fracture of the humeral head (the part of your upper arm bone that goes into your shoulder). So, I am going in for my sixth time getting cut open. Hence the radio silence! But I wanted to make a few posts whilst I still had both my arms and hands available to do so 😉

Although it has been several months, I have quite a stockpile of great photos and videos from Viva that I am sure no one will mind seeing or re-visiting if you had the wonderful opportunity to attend. This was the last Viva held on Easter weekend – hereafter, Viva will be held near Easter weekend, but not directly during it. I am sure that means numbers of those attending will skyrocket!

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One of my first stops was the Charles Phoenix show. Ever since I randomly decided to attend his show last year, I loved it and had to go back. It’s always pretty packed in the showroom because many others think so too! He was his usual zany self, in his crazy wardrobe, with his awesome shots.

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Check out a little video I took below of his show:

Next up was the Burlesque Showcase, one of my favorites to attend at Viva.

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First was Audrey Deluxe, the organizer of all of the burlesque events at Viva. She always has such cute routines!

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Tara MiSioux was next up, and she is one of my favorites. She always has classy, vintage-styled routines set to jazz-y music.

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Kitten & Lou were next, and they had such a cute and kitschy routine!

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One of my absolute favorites, Roxi D’Lite, was up next. She has such amazing dancing and acrobatic skills, and she is gorgeous!

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The fabulous Ms. Perle Noire followed Roxi. She is known for her energy and spunk and did not disappoint in that!

One of the last acts was one that I had anticipated the most, as I am an avid follower of Lou Lou D’Vil on Instagram and Facebook and I think she is super talented (not to mention beyond beautiful!). She is from Finland and her acts are always fierce and on point!

Warning: NSFW Content (pastie falls off)

“But what did you wear?!” You ask? Well…

  
During the day I wore an amazingly detailed vintage Mexican-style dress from the 1950s, complete with beautiful embroidery and gorgeous lace inlays. Very light and flowy! At night I wore the Tatyana Gold Digger dress, one of my favourite “night out” dresses for sure. Just look at it – it screams “vintage glam”!
Stay tuned for the next Viva post, along with my excursion to California for some Old Hollywood quality time!

Viva Las Vegas 17: Part Two

And so we start on part two! Let’s get right down to business, shall we?

Saturday was the car show. It is THE day of all of Viva. The men and women don their best day garb, their best hairdos, and their best poses (as well as parasols!) for the day of vendors, cars, and shows.

After my friend Nicole left back to California, I made my way to the car show. I followed the flock to just outside the Orleans Arena. As soon as I walked in, the fun began!

The vendors were all over as soon as you walked in. There was Pin Up Girl Clothing, Steady, Bomber Betty, Miss L Fire, Secrets in Lace, and various independent sellers. I walked around for at least an hour before I managed to see everything. I wanted to buy it all! But I made my go around again for actual purchases and I nabbed this beautiful purse:

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I scooped up these gorgeous NOS bakelite earrings – 3 for $50!

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I picked up some Viva playing cards (I had to!), and a tube of the amazing Bomber Betty lip gloss that Cherry Dollface came out with. And guess who I got to meet?!

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She is SO sweet and you can just feel that she is a beautiful person on the inside as well as outside. I was by myself, but her rad husband Trevor took the picture for me. I said, “He’s your photographer too! He’s your everything, huh?” She giggled and gushed, “He IS my everything!” Isn’t that so sweet?! After meeting her and chatting with her for a solid 5 minutes, I have even more respect and admiration for her than I had prior!

After meeting Cherry, I made my way over to the bleachers to wait for Imelda May to come on. Just before her, the pinup contest was held on the side stage. It was so cute! All of the ladies were great.

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After that, it was Imelda May time! I managed to nab a few clips of her performance which I posted below:

She was amazing! She is one of the few who sounds exactly the same live as she does on her albums. Perfection!

Oh, and did I mention the marriage proposal in the middle of the show?

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It was beyond sweet 🙂

And the cars! Oh my 😀

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After Imelda May, I went back to the hotel for a quick relax and chat with the hubby, and then I went on my merry way back to the hotel to see the Jive Aces! They are an amazing British jive/swing band infused with just the right amount of rock n’ roll. If you haven’t checked them out yet, what are you waiting for?!

Here is a montage of their performance:

After the show, I just had to nab myself a Jive Aces shirt (but you knew that already, huh? 😉 )

My Sunday Viva outfit was this lovely little frock I recently nabbed on eBay:

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Sunday is always the wind down for Viva, so I relaxed in my hotel room until about 4:30 when I left to see the last Charles Phoenix slideshow 😦 But he was just as amazing as ever! It was Easter, so he got us doughnuts!

Here is Charles with his Test Kitchen rat meatloaf:

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Imaging eating that?! LOL.

After his awesome slideshow, I grabbed a bite to eat and went to wait in line for burlesque bingo. I went back in 2012 and loved it – I had to at least make one trip back!

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I walked in and found a seat in the front row to the left side of the stage. And who did I see I sat next to? The one and only Raquel Reed!

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She was so sweet. She is also from NY/NJ so we bonded over that and talked about how we were away from our men and they didn’t like it 😛 She is an awesome gal whom I hope to see perform soon around this neck of the woods!

Burlesque Bingo was put on and hosted by the awesome Audrey DeLuxe.

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The first performer was the amazing Bettina May!

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There were so many other great performers like Ms. Redd, Cleo Viper, Tara Misoux, Frankie Sin, and more!

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That last one is of Tom Ingram doing a split to make good on a bet he made with Audrey DeLuxe. He did a great job! It was hilarious.

Here’s a montage:

After that I went to the vendor room again one last time, when they have massive sales to unload stock so they won’t have to cart it home. I bought one last thing: a pack of Rockin’ Rollers!

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I can’t wait to try them! I will give it a go and report back on how it went 🙂

The next day (morning), I woke up at 3:30 AM and made my way back home. Eight hours and a layover later, I was back in NY Town.

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It was over 😦 But I had an amazing time. And I can’t wait for next year!

Viva Las Vegas 17: Part One

Hello everyone!

I had the great pleasure of going to Viva Las Vegas 17 this year, and it was a blast! I was by myself most of the time, except for Friday night into Saturday I got to spend with my bestie and maid of honour Nicole 🙂

I arrived on Thursday afternoon, checked in to my hotel, and immediately got to work. I zipped from the Gold Coast over to the Orleans via shuttle bus. The excitement was building with each second I spent on that bus, and when it pulled in front of the Orleans, I walked in and immediately took in that uniquely sweet smell that only Viva seems to provide.

Let the fun begin!

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It was great to see everyone there, decked out in their rockabilly and vintage best! I felt so exhilarated being back, it was surreal.

I checked out the vendors, who were out in full force with their amazing wares! I managed to nab a Steady pencil skirt in a gorgeous soft pale yellow that has legs, eyes, and all sorts of silly random prints on it. I also nabbed my usual VLV shirt, as well as the VLV grocery bag. After making the rounds with the vendors, I somehow managed to stay up until 11 PM (2 AM Eastern!) to see the amazing Kim Lenz. I am glad I told myself “NO!” and forced myself to rally against what my own body was telling me, because she was fab!

The next day, Friday, I got up “early” to make sure I could nab some tickets for Nicole and me for the burlesque showcase. Yes, I am a girl, and I love burlesque. It is so much fun and there are so many women from different walks of life that are all there to celebrate their bodies and just have an awesome time. Who wouldn’t love that?! I managed to nab great seats on the left side of the stage four rows back. I couldn’t wait!

Next was a meet up I had with some girls from a Facebook group of plus sized ladies so that we can sell our clothing and it is catered to our sizing. We met in one of the girl’s hotel rooms at the Orleans, and I started to lay out the approximately 12 items I brought. I labelled them, talked with some fellow members, and shopped a bit. But only 35 minutes later, we were kicked out by Orleans security. It was a whole debacle and shocked the hell out of all of us. We left there upset and concerned. It was all very unfortunate 😦

After that, I tried to find something else to fill my time until my friend Nicole arrived. It was 3:35 PM. The Charles Phoenix slideshow had started 5 minutes ago! I ran over to the showroom and was able to nab a seat. I had never seen him before, but he came as highly recommended by a fellow rockabilly friend in NYC, Lucirene. And guess what? He was hysterical, interesting, and entertaining 🙂

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I just knew I had to make Sunday’s slideshow too!

My friend Nicole made it around 6 PM, so we hung out in the hotel room while we got ready. Even just hanging out getting ready is fun with Nicole 🙂

We made it to the burlesque showcase at 9 PM. There was a wide array of amazing acts like Roxi D’Lite, Angie Pontani, Cleo Viper, and who I was most excited about: Dirty Martini. I couldn’t wait!

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Roxi D’Lite was one of the first, and possibly one of the best performers of the night. Her racy S&M performance was certainly a stand out!

Gal Friday and Peekaboo Pointe had such a cute “fight” routine!

Angie Pontani had a very elegant, very beautiful ballet routine. It was rather ethereal!

Cleo Viper had a truly vamp routine, it was badass. And my goodness is she stunning!

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And last but not least: the amazing and incomparable Dirty Martini!

All the ladies came out for one last bow, to a round of deafening applause. It was a great way to put the top on the Friday that was at Viva Las Vegas 17!

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And no, we didn’t finish the night there: we had some drinks, gambled a little, watched some fabulous jive/stroll/swing dancing, and made fun of things such as this:

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I’ll leave you to analyze this for today 😉

Viva Las Vegas 17: Part Two coming tomorrow!

Viva Las Vegas 17: Pre-Game Tips & Tricks

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As some of you may know via my Facebook page, I will be making the pilgrimage to Viva Las Vegas Rockabilly Weekend for the first time since 2012. I am beyond excited, and I will get to spend some good QT with my main gal and maid of honour Nicole! I am sure I will have a much better time having her with me and we can totally enjoy ourselves 🙂

Seeing as Viva is only a little over a month away (!), I wanted to give everyone a good pre-game list to refer to regardless of whether it is your first time or you are a seasoned VLV vet.

Let’s get started!

1. Don’t Overpack
I know this seems like a pretty basic tenet, but any gal who has been to Viva previously knows this is impossible. You need a day dress for each day, an evening dress for each nightly event, accessories for each outfit, shoes, undergarments, and more. One can simply not afford to look less than fab! But this also means you’re risking having a veritable army of suitcases to lug with you. This may not be so bad if you are driving for a couple of hours, but for someone like yours truly who is flying from NYC to Las Vegas, it’s a logistical nightmare. Luckily, the military taught this girl how to pack and be efficient with space. I know how to roll clothing to make the most use if my space and to not get many wrinkles. It may be painful to have to leave those vintage 1940s wedges that match perfectly with your vintage New Look wrap dress for a pair that is more comfortable and can go with two or three dresses (albeit not perfectly), but you will be glad you did. Which leads me to…

2. Be prepared to leave some suitcase wiggle room

The main lesson I learned at Viva my first go? You’ll be shopping. If you’re not shopping, you’re not living the full Viva experience! And seeing as such, you’re going to be bringing those goodies home, n’est-ce pas? You’ll be needing room for those, darlings! I have heard numerous occurrences of girls having to go and buy another suitcase just to get their spoils home. And you know what another suitcase usually means – checked bag fees! Why deal with that crap? Even better, have a flattened/expandable bag tucked inside your main one for such an issue. Then take it as a carry on. Voilà – problem solved!

3. Heels may look nice…but OW!

Some of you may know I have chronic pain in my left foot from nerve damage in a condition called RSD (Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy). Because of this, I rarely wear heels. My husband couldn’t care less (he’s about an inch shorter than me), but sometimes a woman just wants to feel sexy and gorgeous in her heels! Well, Viva may not be that place. You will be doing a LOT of walking (and dancing!). If you slap those 4″ on at 8 AM for a day lasting until 3 AM, you won’t make it that far without being in horrendous pain. Nearly everything at Viva requires walking or movement of some sort. You don’t want to spoil your awesome trip because of some stupid foot pain and only remember the grief those blisters gave you, right? Go with those flats or a sturdy pair of wedges and rock what the man above gave you, girl!

4. Looking to see some pastie-adorned ladies? Be prepared for lines

I remember my very first day at VLV 15 – my first 45 minutes at the Orleans was spent waiting in line…one that ran and wove nearly the whole length of the casino. Why? I had to see the burlesque showcase! But that line though 😦 I am a New Yorker, we notoriously despise lines. I grumped my way to the front and got my tickets, but I know it would have been a little easier to prepare for that line mentally prior to actually being in it. I never even tried to get tickets for the burlesque competition. It would have given me agita.

6. The “main” days of Viva are always Friday and Saturday

I always prefer to arrive on Thursday, rather than Wednesday sometime. If you look at the schedule here, you can see there aren’t really many big deal events going on Thursday or Sunday (well, I see Kim Lenz on Thursday night, sooo…there can be an exception or two 😉 ). So take the time to dance, meet up with friends you aren’t hanging with the whole time, or go see what the rest of Vegas has to offer (it’s amazing – trust me, I lived there for over two years!). Maximize your time to however you please!

7. Did you notice I left out 5?

Just seeing if y’all are paying attention 😛

8. Wear as much authentic vintage as possible if you want to look unique

I can’t stress this enough. My first go at Viva I brought a lot of Bettie Page dresses. And for each dress I saw at least three other girls nearby wearing the same one. That’s a shitty feeling, honestly. I now know much better than to do that again. And luckily my vintage dress collection has grown so much since then, so I have a lot of unique pieces I can wear when I go. As much as I absolutely love Pinup Girl Clothing and Bettie Page, I would never dream of bringing dresses or clothing there unless they were basics. There is just way too much of a chance of running in to other girls with the same exact outfit. Try and bring your most fabulous and most original pieces to Viva – it will be worth it! You’ll be the only fab girl wearing that one of a kind fab outfit 🙂

9. Be sure to have FUN!

A lot of women seem to think of Viva as some sort of huge competition with everyone else. I HATE that. I go to enjoy it, not to compare myself with everyone else. I am there to shop, enjoy my friends, listen to music, check out awesome cars, and just generally rock out and have a good time. Why stress yourself out trying to compete? You will only remember that and not the awesome show that Imelda May gave at the car show! And what kind of fun is that?

 

What tips and tricks do any of you all have out there for fellow Viva goers?

 

JD McPherson

I am so excited to be writing about the fact that I saw JD McPherson live, you have no idea! This is probably the thing I was looking forward to the most if you really prodded and asked me what I was most excited about going to Viva. I loved everything and had so much fun, so it would really be tough to choose anyway LOL.

I got out of the Burlesque Bingo a little after 8:30 or so, and that meant I already had to run upstairs to the ballroom to get my seats and everything already to see good ol’ JD. I did manage to get some seats, but they were grabbed in vain, as I was destined to stand the entire time. No matter, as I was only three people deep from JD himself, and the kind sir gave ever such an amazing performance that I almost forgot about the RSD pain in my foot for a minute!

When I got to the ballroom, there was a DJ there already, and a band starting to set up. I first saw on the initial schedule that JD was supposed to perform at 9 PM, so I thought it might have changed back from the 11 PM printed in the official program. But alas no, for it was the Sidewynders setting up to play. I figured alright, I’ll hang with their groove for a bit. So I did, and I don’t regret it. Not a bad sound, honestly. I actually looked for their music on iTunes, but did not find anything, sadly.

After their set was done, another DJ came on until 11 PM came upon us. Then, out of the shadows, came a jean jacket clad JD. And my, how different he looks in person compared to pictures I saw! Not too shabby looking of a dude, I’ll say. I think most of his sex appeal comes from his musical abilities!

Now, the rest of his group comes out and he offers us a hello via a wave. This was about 10 or 15 minutes before the show even started, and the group was already about 15 deep! I was lucky and went up earlier than that by about 10 or 15 minutes, and was lucky to be about 3 people deep, at the most. I got great angles for pictures and video, so let’s get on with what I know you all have been itching for!

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And my personal favourite of my pictures of JD’s show? This absolute gem-

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I just adore this picture so much – I think it just sums up the incredible fun and energy in such a perfect and pinpoint way 🙂

And now, a treat for all of you lovelies, what you all have been waiting for – VIDEOS!

How about that? What a great show! I just found out via his Facebook page that he will be at the Mercury Lounge this week, and you can get tickets for barely $20! I would go if I could, trust me 🙂 And if you haven’t “liked” him on Facebook yet – what are you waiting for? Go do it! 🙂

Viva Las Vegas 15 – Spectacular Saturday

Sorry it took me forever to write more about Viva, but between being ill, enjoying Viva, and other such silliness, I have had no time recently! But I do want to let you in to the innards of Saturday at Viva, and my there is a lot to get through!

Saturday is probably the biggest day of Viva because there are a lot of important events going on, such as the car show. I actually wanted to go to the burlesque competition, but had to let that go so I would be able to see JD McPherson, which was only 30 minutes afterwards! So you can see where a girl might get flustered at having to make some difficult choices!

The weather in Vegas was fabulous as usual for the car show, with it being around 80 degrees and not a cloud in the sky. I wanted to get a parasol in order to prevent getting a sunburn or a tan, but alas, money issues arose after getting some items Friday and a pre-order for a suit from Vintage Suits by Mary, so I ended up with a mild burn, unfortunately 😦 But I still had enormous amounts of fun at the car show, and here’s pictures for all of you!

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There was also a little makeshift wedding chapel there, where in typical Vegas style, you can get married by Elvis! I know at least one of my friends on Facebook did this LOL!

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One of my favourite parts of the car show was that I got to meet Erin Cummings, Masuimi Max, and Doris Mayday at the Pin Up Girl Clothing Model Lounge! All of the ladies were so sweet. Doris gave me this huge hug when I said hi to her, which was a bit unexpected for this New Yorker LOL! But definitely not unpleasant 🙂 Masuimi also basically grabbed my boob when she saw my pen necklace and grabbed it to get a better look. Erin then commented, “That’s the Joan necklace, from Mad Men!” to which I agreed. They were all going on about how much they loved it. Then I managed to get Doris to autograph the latest issue of “The Pin Up” in which she is the cover girl. All in all, some amazing and totally fun ladies!

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Then, of course, since I could not go to the burlesque competition, I did the next best thing – burlesque bingo!

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This is Audrey DeLuxe, from LA. She was the hostess with the mostess and was such a cutie pie. I wanted to take a bite of her!

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These are all of the lovely ladies that were hosting that day. The one lady next to last on the right, Truvy Trollop, was absolutely hysterical! She had all of us laughing 98% of the time. Loved her!

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This is a part of Tara MiSioux’s performance. As you can see, she would take her clothes off, and drop them on a board, where Miss DeLuxe would announce the numbers covered by the clothing, which you would mark off on your bingo board until you got a bingo.

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After the performances and there were at most four bingo winners, they would go up on stage and roll the fuzzy dice they had, seeing who rolled the highest number, and therefore won. They had great prizes like professional photography packages and things that were absolutely fab!

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This is my friend Kitty Kin-Evil, rolling the dice and going on to win! I was happy for her, and had to take a pic 🙂

After the fun of burlesque bingo, we ran to go to the ballroom to wait for JD McPherson. I will have my next post all about it! Stay tuned, dolls!

Burlesque Showcase at Viva Las Vegas 15

Here is my coverage in video form of the burlesque showcase from Friday evening at Viva. You had to get tickets at noon at the box office the day of, and WOW, was the line long! The Orleans is a huge casino resort, and the line must have been 3 or 4 wide, and clear across the casino. But damn, was the show worth it! The proof of this statement is below 🙂

I am so glad I had my iPhone with me in order to take these videos, but I know the quality of them is not 100% amazing as I would have loved for all of you. But I hope you can get the general vibe of the video, and that you can enjoy them nonetheless. I was starting to become disappointed when my phone was giving me issues about taking videos versus what space I had remaining. Damn 8 GB – I need at least four times that much space! LOL.

I have been working on several entries to post over the next few days, all that cover Viva in a more in depth way, and don’t just leisurely brush over everything. I don’t want my fabulous readers to think I don’t care enough about them to just write one post, skimming over all of the fun and leaving them hanging. Stay tuned, for you will be satiated! 🙂