Miss Cooly Rocks On 2014: Part two

In my last post, I talked all about my outfits and the events in the lead up to Miss Cooly Rocks On Vintage Glamour Pageant. Now it’s on to the actual pageant!

I had my makeup done by vintage gal extraordinaire; Kat Creasey of My Little Rockabilly. She was extremely busy (and rightly so!) so, while I waited, I got to panicking about pretty much everything. But mostly, I was worried about how I was going to get my giant crate of stuff and two suit bags across from the car to marquee before we had to be there for the run through. Just before I got to the point where I was going to burst into tears and cry off all my makeup, my sister sent me a picture of herself out the front of the marquee and then one of my mum.

My entire family had driven down to watch me as a surprise! The stress tears threatened to turn to happy tears, but instead of ruining my makeup, I called my sister and made her come and help me with my bags. Once that was done, my nerves and worries just kind of melted away.

In the marquee, we had a run through with Bree, from Dead Gorgeous Hair and Makeup. Bree was honestly amazing over the whole weekend; she answered all our questions, made sure we got lots and lots of time to practise on stage, and was really kind and encouraging.

After the run through, we headed off to the dressing room to change. For lots of people, the word pageant casts lots of ideas about catty, bitchiness, but here there was absolutely none of that. Everyone was kind ad helpful; there was always someone with a spare pair of stockings, or nail polish to catch a run; someone to zip you up, fix up your hair and soothe your nerves. It was a competition, but every single one of the ladies wanted the others to get out on stage and have a blast. And we did!

Backstage, we also had Donna, the manager of That Shop (who also gave really good back rubs just before we went out onto the catwalk) and Lauren, who was Miss Cooly Rocks On 2nd runner up in 2013. They helped us make the quick changes and for me, they helped repair all my bits and pieces that chose to fall apart right before I went on stage. I wouldn’t have made it out onto stage fully dressed if it wasn’t for these two lovely ladies, so a HUGE thank you to both of them.

Daywear: nerdy girl

Nerdy pinup. Photo by Matthew Balaam

This was probably my favourite outfit and my favourite section of the competition. To match my theme, Laura from Pigtails and Pirates custom-made me a gorgeous dress from Avengers fabric. She was even kind enough to rush the order through so that it would arrive in time for the show. I matched this with a red, blue and white basket, filled with comics; some gorgeous Pinup Couture shoes that I bought from Knockout Heels a couple of weeks before; cat-eye glasses from Atomic Cherry and my gorgeous red gloves and the cute marcasite earrings (which you probably can’t see) were from Atomic Martini Vintage.

Photo by John Gass for Cooly Rocks On


Swimwear: Poison Ivy

This was the section I was the most nervous about. But the week before the pageant I had a lesson with BB Le Buff (an amazing burlesque dancer and teacher) who helped me figure out some routines and poses that gave me something to concentrate on other than the fact I was on stage in my togs!

Photo by Chrome-Plated Photography

My suit is the emerald green Marilyn one from Pinup Girl Clothing and I bought it from Your One Stop Pinup Shop. To complement the Poison Ivy theme, I bought strings of ivy from a discount shop and hot glued them to a green umbrella. I also made my own ivy hair clip and my amazing ivy temporary tattoos came from an awesome Brisbane-based Etsy store, Pepper Ink (because as AMAZING as the tattoo looked, I liked that I could take it off). Thanks so much to Pepper Ink for rushing the order to me! Unfortunately, not one of the pictures I’ve gone through really shows off the tattoo, so I don’t have a picture for you, but take my word for it, it was awesome!

The shoes were the only part of the outfit I wasn’t happy with – I couldn’t find any nice green espadrilles, which would have been more authentic. I was left with my glittery green jellies (so much more 90s than 50s!). And one of my favourite parts of this outfit were my 1940s wooden beads which I picked up on my last frantic shopping trip to Atomic Martini.

We walked the catwalk in our swimsuits, then gathered all together on the stage to have a group picture. By this stage, I couldn’t believe it was all almost over!

Photo by Chrome-Plated Photography

Evening wear: Emma Frost
I had a last minute dress change (luckily, last year’s work Christmas party resulted in me having three white evening dresses in my wardrobe) and ended up wearing this Unique Vintage satin dress. It’s from last year’s formal dress collection at Your One Stop Pinup Shop. I love it… in theory. On… I feel like it’s not the most flattering cut for me. But again, BB’s help with the poses gave me way more confidence than I’d usually have and I managed to get out on stage with more confidence than I felt!

Photo by Matthew Balaam

To stick with my theme, I wore lots and lots of blingy accessories (although, half of them fell apart or broke before I went on stage). Most of these were real vintage from my mum and nan’s jewellery boxes or borrowed from firneds, but I did sneak some vintage-look in as well, including my gorgeous gloves which were from Kitten D’amour.

And the winners are:

Petticoat Polly was crowned Miss Cooly Rocks on, with Kitten Darling and Lucy Luxe the first and second runners’ up. These ladies are all fabulous and deserving winners! Congratulations to all of them, and of course, to all the other girls.

All winners in the end! (Photo by John Gass)

I wasn’t a winner, but I sure as all get out felt like one on the night. It was so much fun to be a part of the pageant; to meet the girls in the pageant and all the lovely organisers, sponsors and judges; to walk around wearing a sash and feel like a bit of a celebrity; to be on TV and a part of the amazing parade. I also want to say a huge thank you to the judges and sponsors who gave their time, money and efforts to make sure a great event was put on.

My two last thank yous are perhaps the most important ones.

Firstly, to Karen the owner of That Shop who worked tirelessly to organise us for the pageant. She was our email contact, our organiser. She answered our questions (about ten million inane ones from me that got worse the more nervous I got), dealt with all the fiddly things and was generally amazing. Thank you so much for everything Karen!

And then secondly, to my friend Candy who was my support girl over the weekend. She organised me a place to stay (thanks also to her sister for putting us up!), drove me around, put up with my anxiety and extreme tiredness. She gave up three days of her holidays to be my girl Friday, and I really love her for it.

Photo by Chrome-Plated Photography

It was an honour and a privilege to be chosen as a finalist and I was blown away by how willing people were to go out of their way to help me get up there on that stage; from Lisa at Atomic Martini steaming my hat for me and being so kind, to my friend Candy and her family; to the organisers and sponsors and of course; to my friends who  raced away from work and put aside their weekends to drive down from Brisbane. To the three lovely girls who spent the week before coming up with cheers and, of course to my family for being the best surprise ever.

For me, the whole pageant was a huge achievement and a dream come true, so thanks to everyone who helped make it happen.

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