The Vintage, Pin up and Rockabilly culture has really grown in New Zealand over the last few years. With new reproduction clothing stores and vintage stores opening all around the country, and great events organized like The Very Vintage day out, Atomic Market and Beach Hop to just name a few. More and more ladies and gents have become involved in the scene and fashion.
Myself though has been involved and interested in this culture for around 6 years. But only over the last year I have fully gained confidence to dress Pin Up everyday and post my outfits etc online, and create my Pin Up persona “Miss Jessica Mae”.
Having a supportive partner who also is involved in the rockabilly and hot rodding lifestyle, and starting my own business Kulture Shock, (which is a vintage/retro store). Has gained my confidence to do so and to stop caring what other small mined people think of me and they way I look!
My passion started in 2009 by going to a Hot rod and Rock n Roll festival called Beach Hop located in Whangamata, New Zealand. It is held every year at the end of march.
I saw ladies dressed up in their rock n roll gear and 50′-60’s outfits and I thought to myself I want to dress like that next year! I hunted out dresses and accessories for the following beach hop, but didn’t have much luck. I couldn’t afford to import clothes from America so I was just hunting at op shops, and there weren’t many clothing shops back then that sold the reproduction clothes, that I knew of anyway.
In 2011 I had found a few outfits and entered Miss Beach hop retro fashion pageant. I was very nervous and I didn’t get placed but it was fun and something different.
Beach Hop 2010
Beach Hop 2011
As the years pasted I only wore vintage or reproduction vintage to beach hop.
Beach Hop 2012
Beach Hop 2013
Beach Hop 2014
Beach Hop 2015. You can see how my style, hair & make up has envolved other the years!
As the culture grew and I got older, I started attending more car and vintage related events. I found I had more places to wear my outfits, which I found I loved more and more. I got a lot of compliments (which was nice for a change).
Living in a small town sometimes can be hard to live outside the mainstream day to day life with fashion and the way you look. I felt sometimes I was judged and looked at strangely, especially at my old job! They just did not get me and my style! But I thought life is too short to feel that way and care what other people think of me. So I did what makes me feel happy & embraced it.
I left my partner of 7 years, who did not love anything vintage or let me have vintage items like furniture etc in the house, let alone support my vintage/pin up fashion. I left my job which made me feel like rubbish and never supported my style only back stabbed me as I left the room! In fact the girls there where just plain bitches to put it lightly!
I meet my current man Brett, who loves and supports my style and obsession with vintage and pin up, started my own hair salon and retail vintage shop and couldn’t be happier!
So girls if you have felt like I have in the past, push thru it! I know it’s hard to be different in little Ol New Zealand, BUT you will never feel like your true self if you don’t give it a go! Life is too short! You need to embrace it and do what you LOVE before you miss out.
Miss Jessica Mae xx