Announcing our Judges for Very Vintage Dressmaking Competitions!

We’re excited to announce the judges for the Very Vintage Dressmaking Competitions – Gracie Matthews and Fran Robertson!


Gracie Matthews

Originally a graduate of Fashion Technology in 1984, Gracie Matthews spent a number of years freelancing in the entertainment industry before managing her own costume hire business in Sydney. In 2010 she sold up and moved to the beautiful rural district of the Clevedon Valley. The decision to make country life a reality also led the way for the birth of Gracie Matthews Ltd. This balance has also allowed Gracie to complete a Masters in Design at AUT and to continue sharing her personal costume and textile collection through symposiums, events and exhibitions.

Fran Robertson

Fran Robertson is a crafty lass, with a penchant for vintage clothes, b-grade horror films, and making people feel amazing in whatever they’re wearing! Fran has qualifications in Hairdressing, Makeup Artistry, Special Effects and Prosthetics, Pattern Making, and Fashion Design, along with a passion for the bizarre. The recently crowned Miss Viva Las Vegas makes a bunch of her own garments, including the incredible flowery gown she wore on stage. 



So, this happened! You guys, I am so fucking blown away and totally overwhelmed, and honestly I am really really proud of myself 😂 I had such an amazing day at the Car Show, meeting people, handing out fans, taking photos, and honestly winning the contest was just the icing on the cake ❤❤❤ It’s absolutely the coolest thing in the universe that the judges picked a limpy fat girl to hold this title for the coming year, and I hope I can do y’all proud!!! Thanks so much to @therealrockwell, and thanks to all of the other contestants too, it was such a pleasure competing alongside you, and I have loved meeting every one of you 😘 #ootd #outfitoftheday #pinupootd #pinup #plussize #plussizeootd #plussizepinup #pinupgirl #modernpinup #pinupgram #frantasyisland #franclub #pinupnz #nzpinup #misspinup #pinkhair #pinkhairedpinup #celebratemysize #blogger #psblogger #vivapinup #vlv21 #vivalasvegas #missvivalasvegas #missvivalasvegas21

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Find out more about the entering Very Vintage Dressmaking Competition here!

Very Vintage Spotlight Dressmaking Competitions!

Very Vintage Spotlight Dressmaking Competitions!

We are looking for a collection of brilliant home sewers who are nifty with a needle!

This competition is open to enthusiastic home dressmakers with just two categories; beginners (under 3 yrs experience) and advanced.  

What you will need for your entry:

  • A story about your sewing journey and all your wonderful makes 
  • Ensure you have nice photos of your previous finished projects
  • A vintage-inspired entry garment (can be a 1 or 2 piece outfit)

Entries open on Friday 15th June and close Friday 28th September! Check out the rules and T&Cs here


Other exciting sewing and dressmaking activities at this year’s VVDO…

Gracie’s – Hold my hand sewing lessons for beginners

Book in with Gracie and on an antique singer sewing machine make a tote bag to take home

Meet Gretchen Hirsch at the VVDO sewing lectures for just $12!! Book for Saturday and Sunday via Ticketmaster

You can also buy Gretchen’s latest book and have it signed at Linda McCarthy’s stall.

Very Vintage Vendors: Strangely Normal

Today’s Very Vintage Vendor is Strangely Normal!

40 years ago Strangely Normal thought why not create vintage now. This could possibly be before a lot of vintage lovers were born!  Claire Dutton and Michael Cox were selling  1940s -1960s clothing and noticed quality men’s vintage clothing had started to dry up. They got to work pulling apart old garments, studying the construction and teaching themselves how to sew and everything else related to the garment industry. All garments bearing our label are made right here in New Zealand.                                                            

The Strangely Normal store is in O’Connell St in Auckland CBD.  There literally is something for everyone and when you walk into the store you realize there’s so much more to menswear than what you may have experienced. Another thing you get is you can just enjoy the space, take in the colours and ambience, not necessarily buy anything but walk away a little richer for the experience with the knowledge that if there’s a certain thing you need you’ll be sure to return to make a satisfying purchase. Accessories range from hats to spats!    

Strangely Normal has been long famous for their outstanding shirts. If you want to make your mark, win friends, influence or even alienate people (if this be your wish!) you can achieve this in a shirt selected from the range of dynamic prints. Fabrics range from small foulards & paisleys through to Day of the Dead & Frida Kahlo prints.

40 years in the industry means the pair can draw from their tailoring knowledge which has led to some interesting film projects where they’ve tailored for sir Anthony Hopkins, Hugh Laurie, Danny Houston, Tommy Lee Jones and Martin Clunes but arguably the  most challenging  was making  and fitting 200  x 3 piece suits for  tech mogul, Sean Parker’s wedding guests and himself .

Very Vintage Vendors: Mad Arab Industries

Very Vintage Vendors: Mad Arab Industries

The Very Vintage Day Out is bringing a little something for the gents this year… The Gentlemen’s Lounge!

One of the featured vendors of The Gentlemen’s Lounge is Mad Arab Industries. We asked Ayman from Mad Arab about their humble beginnings and what they’ll be bringing to VVDO.



“I grew up on a steady diet of punk rock, System of a Down and Bill Hicks- I was a kid who loved freedom, self expression and independence – I really hated being told what to do and I took the piss out of everything.

As soon as I left school I grew my hair out long and my beard even longer. My beard was a symbol of my liberty. My boss couldn’t persuade me to shave. Girls couldn’t tease or shame me into picking up a razor. I got called everything from a homeless person to a terrorist – I didn’t care, I was me.

I saw so many of my brothers -bearded or otherwise compromise who they were for work, for their partners or to just ‘fit in’ – a lot of them were depressed or on their way to depression. I wanted to encourage them to embrace who they actually were – to find their essence- to be authentic, unapologetic and most importantly I wanted them to take care of themselves and prioritise their growth and their happiness over pleasing others.

My signature product started as a simple Christmas present for my friends who’d grown their beards out like mine. A few of them had gone against their partner’s wishes in the process and I had to come up with a way to appease their ladies and give the guys something to turn their bristles into manes. My arsenal now includes: beard oils, balms, moustache waxes, pomades, aftershaves and shaving creams – all proudly handcrafted in New Zealand by yours truly – I only use natural ingredients because I’m a tree hugging hippie. My branding is all created by local artists – with each product uniquely packaged with puns, subversive humour and zany illustration.

The fruits of my labour over the past three years is a tightly knit community of brothers who‘ve got each other’s backs. We know how to have a laugh, we know how to look after ourselves and most importantly we’re empowered to be all that we can be(ard).”



Book your hair and make up and WIN with Wigs and Make-up School!

We’re excited to welcome Wig and Make-Up School to their first #VVDO!

Wig and Make up School was started by Charlie Oswin.

Charlie moved from a small village in the UK where she studied for 5 years and worked for free to gain experience in the makeup and wig industry. Having worked mostly in the UK for 16 years, Charlie is a wealth of experience including many TV, film and stage productions, including, Emmerdale, Coronation Street, Hairspray in the West End, Annie in NZ Disney’s Cinderella the movie, plus period dramas, loads of vintage events, weddings and photography shoots and is now the head of make-up and wig at NZ opera.

Charlie recently opened her own Wigs and Make-up School in Takapuna – the same as the business she had in the UK – and is excited to share her skills and experience with the NZ community! As well as her business in Takapuna, Charlie also runs her own online make-up business, promoting incredible high end, naturally based, cruelty-free makeup and skin care products called Make-Up by Charlie.


Most of all, Charlie can’t wait to share her skills, knowledge and experience to make all customers look and feel beautiful!

What Wig and Make-up School will be offering:

Visit Wigs & Make-up School at VVDO, have your hair done and be in to WIN a free vintage tea party!
– $20 vintage hairstyles
– $40 heated styles
– $40 for full make-up (redeem back in products )
– $20 Flick & lips (lipstick included )
– Vintage make-up sets will be available to purchase.
– Free wig and make up demos throughout the day
– Find out more about courses at the Wigs and Make-up school and book your place!

Book Now by calling/texting – 0220264680 or emailing