Napier Art Deco Festivals 2019

I’m sitting at home with a cold dreaming of spring, the daffodils know it isn’t far away but it still feels more appropriate to be sewing woolly coats than silk dresses. Napier has proper seasonal changes, snow on the mountains in winter and hot rainless summer days. We celebrate both extremes here with the Art deco festivals, and it got me thinking – I used to write up in great detail the fun and festivities of the Art Deco festival. But as I’ve got so busy sewing, my blog posts have been very sporadic (the last one was over a year ago!) So here’s Napier Art Deco festivals 2019 Summer and Winter together.

Summer Deco 2019 was fashion focused, and it was the biggest week for me, it really felt like I was working the dream job, the whole week was scheduled out with dance lessons to teach, runway rehearsals, my first fashion seminar and TV interview, and the cherry on the top – my first ever runway collection.

Summer is always a haze of sun and excitement, massive crowds and music under the stars, the smell of vintage cars in the heat, a minimum three outfit changes a day and the thrill of stumbling on some impromptu entertainment – gypsy jazz musicians playing under a tree, the prime minister being dragged onto stage last-minute to hand out deco dog parade prizes…

When I was given the chance to create a fashion collection for the runway I couldn’t believe my good fortune. I didn’t want to tell anyone for fear that I’d dreamt it up and it wasn’t really going to happen. But I knew straight away I wanted my collection to be the most colourful on the runway, to encapsulate summer fun and to showcase the variety of styles, fabrics and shapes that Art Deco fashions encompass.

There were tears and tantrums sewn into this collection, but it was all worth it! I ended up with 10 pieces which I am so proud of (and there’s only one left for sale!) I put just as much effort into the details and pattern matching as I did the colours and shapes. And the end result was one elated Tammy!

Winter Deco is intimate by comparison, it feels almost secret, as though even most locals don’t know it’s happening. But it is equally important in my calendar, a warm cozy weekend in July. It’s a chance to get out the furs and tweeds and brave the weather, and later, the perfect excuse to spend the evening snuggled in velvet drinking hot toddies.

Winter deco is relaxing and low-key, a part time job not a full time one. We taught dance classes and performed at the ball, but we had time for long dinners and leisurely oriental lounging and hikes in the hills. As usual for any festival I was sewing right till the last minute, with one dress still being sewn only hours before the ball.

A real highlight was watching the fashion parade and cheering as one of my creations took the prize. Doesn’t she just look fabulous?

It’s always sad when the festival finishes, but its never too soon to start planning for the next one.

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