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Art Deco Weekend

When I was a kid I used to get dressed up in pretty, lacy, or sparkly clothes with my friends.  As an adult it's not often I get the chance to do that in public without some very strange looks.  Going to Napier for the Art Deco weekend was like being a kid again.  

The city is thronged with other "kids" of all ages dressed up and having fun.  There was no snobbery about historical accuracy, people really did seem to hold true to the saying "anything goes!".  During my time in Napier I loved that lots of young children and teens were voluntarily dressed in great deco style and having a fabulous time.  I loved seeing how many older ladies had gone for feather boas, fringed dresses and flapper headbands.  I could easily spend the whole weekend just looking at the gorgeous outfits people were wearing.  

I loved the hundreds of vintage cars that invaded the town for the weekend, seeing those beautiful and often lovingly restored cars parked or driving all over town was definitely an awesome sight.

The Art Deco Trust are amazing and the events they organised were fantastic.  It's obvious that they are a wonderful and effective group that work hard to make the weekend fun and fancy free for the rest of us.  I really hope the Dilmah High Tea and The Quiz night become annual events, I thoroughly enjoyed them both!

The shops of Napier really got into the spirit, even chain stores had staff in deco dress and/or decorations.  I was also very impressed and the wonderful range of deco stores to choose from.  These stores really did make you feel like you could walk in and get everything you need for the weekend.

And not to forget that even without the festival, Napier itself really is an amazing place. The natural and man made beauty is totally in sync.  The gorgeous buildings through the city felt like a timely reminder that out of even the worst disasters can come something positive.  The natural landscape was stunning and felt strangely well suited to the Art Deco style used in travel posters of the time.

We are lucky to have such a wonderful, world class festival, in such a beautiful climate right here in New Zealand.  It makes me wonder why so many people are eager to go so far from home when there are such wonderful places and events around New Zealand that need to be explored.  The most striking thing about flying to and from Napier was how easy and stress free travel is to these small centres, it feels like you've gone back to a simpler time.  

If anyone is thinking about going to Napier, I'd say go for it, especially if the Art Deco Festival is on!

Blog by Emma Dyer. Photos by Emma Dyer, Michelle Sullivan and Stephen Bunting

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