Southern Belle Pageant 2019

This weekend I was a top ten finalist for the Southern Belle pageant. Southern Belle is a three-section pageant (daywear, beachwear, and eveningwear) held over two days, and is held in conjunction with Rockabilly Show and Shine in New Brighton, Christchurch.

Let’s get this out of the way first — I WAS NAMED RUNNER UP!!!! I’m still fizzing about that almost 24 hours later. The judges (Miss Harmony Belle, Miss Lola Turquoise, and Miss Victory Violet) had a ridiculously hard job as the calibre of the entire top ten was incredible, and I don’t envy them having to make that call at all. Miss Lilith Fang took out the top spot and it was such a well-deserved win for her!

This was the first proper pageant I’d ever competed in (though I’ve done a few Best Dressed competitions at car shows) and I really wanted to bring my A game. I was so proud of each look I put together and really felt like I put my best foot forward!

Daywear

Somewhere in the message history between Lovecraft Couture and I is a message that reads something along the lines of: “I have no idea what I’m doing for daywear, but I know I want you to make it.” After weeks of Googling, Pinteresting, and general pondering, I had the bright idea to flick through my Gertie pattern books — and inspiration struck. Gertie’s Swirl dress was such a cool pattern, and it was just begging to be made with my family tartan! Lincoln adjusted the pattern a bit to turn the skirt into a full circle so I could rock a petticoat underneath, and my husband 3D printed the buttons for the front pockets. There’s a tiny thread of yellow in the tartan which I pulled out into my accessories and the whole look came together absolutely perfectly.

Outfit details:
Dress – custom made from Brodie family tartan by
Lovecraft Couture (who is featured in that second picture!!)
Petticoat – Banned Apparel from Kabella Baby
Shoes – Popping Candy from Kabella Baby (the bows were spray painted to match the 3D printed buttons and bracelets!)
Bracelets – made by me (3D printed!!)
Necklace – Kabella Baby
Earrings – Lovisa
Bag – Starstruck Clothing from Cobalt Heights

Beachwear

I think it’s fair to say beachwear was the section most of the top ten were dreading the most. The section is very deliberately beachwear, not swimwear, so as not to force people into a bathing suit if they’re not comfortable with it — but no matter what you’re rocking, beachwear is a scary thing to strut your stuff in when you’re at a car show instead of at the beach! I bought a swimsuit online and when it arrived and I tried it on a couple of weeks before the pageant… it looked very, very, very bad. I had to come up with another option on the fly. I tracked down a Simplicity 1950s pattern for a swim dress with an overcoat, bought fabric from Spotlight, and prayed to every deity I could think of as well as my late grandmother (who was a dressmaker)… and sewed my little heart out over the weekend. I’m an intermediate sewer at best, so I am REALLY thrilled with how well the outfit turned out — I felt amazing in it!

Outfit details:
Bathing Dress and Jacket – custom made by me with fabric from Spotlight!
Shoes – The Warehouse
Necklace, bracelets, and earrings – Taking Shape
Hat – Glassons
Bag – a gift my friend bought me in Bali!
Sunnies – Moana Road
Dress in the last picture (because I wasn’t wandering around in my beachwear all day!) –
Vixen by Micheline Pitt

Eveningwear

An excuse for everyone to be glam as hell! My evening dress was the only one that wasn’t custom — I bought it while at Very Vintage Day Out! I felt super fancy and glamorous and was really thrilled with how the whole look came together.

Thanks to Leon from Aces & Eights Imagery for the action shot!!
Outfit details:
Dress – The Pretty Dress Company from Rita Sue Clothing
Petticoat – Banned Apparel from Kabella Baby
Shoes – Popping Candy from Kabella Baby
Necklace, bracelet, and earrings – Lovisa
Gloves – Spotlight

Bag – Sourpuss Clothing from Cobalt Heights

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