Retro Resurgence: Why Vintage And Rockabilly Are So Hot Right Now

September 22, 2015
retro, vintage, rockabilly

Kitsch is positively cool again and retro, vintage and rockabilly have made a huge comeback if popular, new free events like Queensland’s Kitsch in the Swich 2015 are anything to go by.

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Thousands of people from all over Australia are expected to flock to this year’s third annual vintage festival at the Ipswich Mall on Saturday, September 26 from 2-7pm. Ipswich is an urban centre in south-east Queensland, about 40km west of the Brisbane CBD.

Picture more than 250 cars lining the CBD, a traditional 1950’s beach, pinup parades, live rockabilly music, the Prom King and Queen Pageant, vintage and retro markets, swing dancing and bombshell babes galore and you get a good idea of what’s in store for this year’s Kitsch audience.

The one-day fiesta, part of the Ipswich Fashion Festival, will see thousands flock to the mall for a day of fashion and fun, with special guests including West Texas Crude, Miss Chrissy from the Lindy Charm School, Swing a Billy Ray, the Eastside Belles, Bonnie Rose Burlesque and Miss Katrina Lee all hitting the stage with live music, swing dancing and more.

retro, vintage, rockabilly

Local pinup babes and cool cats are invited to strut their stuff in the Prom King and Queen Pageant, where the winners of each category will win a vintage fashion shoot and the chance to appear in all Kitsch 2016 advertising and media. The Pinup Parades will feature retro, vintage and rockabilly fashions from local and visiting fashion specialists and designers, while the Pamper Parlour will be open all day to give visitors a touch of vintage va va voom with free make-up touch-ups throughout the event.

And this year’s Kitsch will also feature two new attractions: vintage photo booth Mavis the Caravan, via www.frankieandmavis.com, will be on-site for free photos and the Brighton Beach ’53 pop-up will feature all of the traditional 1950s seaside treats – seaside donkey rides, a Punch and Judy puppet show, canvas deck chairs for visitors to relax in and a sand area.

Kitsch in the Swich 2015 is a huge national draw-card due to the fact that the whole retro, vintage and rockabilly market is exploding, says event organiser, Ipswich City Square marketing executive Rachel Vickary (pictured).

retro, vintage, rockabilly

“There are so many avid followers now and they all seem to travel big distances to attend various vintage events like ours,” Rachel says. “They also all seem to know each other and will see each other at different events.  There are even lifestyle vintage gurus who make a full-time living doing pinup shoots, workshops, hen’s parties, swing dancing nights and more. And there’s also been a resurgence of burlesque, with women of all ages, shapes and sizes learning the old art.

“I think all this is partly due to the fact that 1940s/50s fashion was all about curves and the female shape. Back then, the women were most universally agreed to be the sexiest – Marilyn Monroe, Betty Grable, Jane Russell – were all voluptuous ladies with big busts, butts and curves. I think part of the attraction to the retro and rockabilly lifestyle is that women don’t feel as pressured to be thin in retro wear as they do in modern designs where you need to be a size 6 to wear the clothes. With retro and rockabilly, it’s possible for plus-size women to feel really sexy and pretty without the whole fat-shame thing.

“That time was also strongly influenced by music and a big step away from modern electronic music and metal. There’s been a big resurgence in swing dance music, blue grass and traditional rock in recent years, all of which have strong ties to classic car culture – think T-Birds from Grease. I’m constantly fascinated by this whole sub-culture.”

retro, vintage, rockabilly

For more information on Kitsch in the Swich 2015, visit www.ipswichcitysquare.com.au.

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