I hope this little blog post finds everyone well; life has been absolutely crazy as of late with lots going on so I apologize for the lack of frequent updates! I do however have lots of exciting news to share with you all.
As some of you may know, last weekend (28th and 29th of March) was the date of the infamous Scottish Tattoo Convention, held at Edinburgh's Corn Exchange. Now in it's 5th year, the Scottish Tattoo Convention is quickly becoming one of the UK's leading tattoo events, standing proudly with the likes of the London Tattoo Convention, Brighton Tattoo Convention and the Tattoo Tea Party. The Scottish Tattoo convention hosts all of the usual fare to be expected at an event of this type: burlesque performers, world renowned tattoo artists and piercers, vendors selling their Sailor Jerry print wares and a fabulous host in the form of Pedro- a hilarious American compere with a love for all things tattoo and dance related! As of 2014 however, the Scottish Tattoo Convention is also host to a particularly special event- the Miss Scottish Pinup Pageant.
The Miss Scottish Pinup Pageant is the brainchild of the beautiful Rachel Renegade, star of "Pretty things Peepshow" and fearless knife throwers assistant extraordinaire (Rachel can be found on instagram @Rachelisarenegade). First launched in 2014 when the beautiful Miss Edith was crowned as "Miss Scottish Pinup" the pageant has grown in leaps and bounds since, culminating in the 2nd official Miss Scottish Pinup pageant last weekend. It may be slightly transparent by now, but I decided on a bit of a last minute whim to enter this wonderful competition and this post will detail my experience.
All of the finalists with the lovely Rachel before the summer wear round
The pageant consisted of two separate rounds: summer wear and evening wear with an informal interview portion, followed by the announcing of the winners at the end of the day. Now, I think it's important to mention why I decided to do something like this. For those who know me from my old days on Tumblr or via Instagram you'll know that I'm a huge advocate for body positivity and self-love. I realize that some may view a pageant as something that goes against this stance, but I am a firm believer that beauty comes in all shapes, forms and sizes and I thought this would be a brilliant opportunity to bring this viewpoint to the masses and showcase the diversity that we Scottish women encompass. Truthfully, I've recently been feeling a little less-than-confident about myself and my appearance, so taking part in this pageant seemed like the boost and shock to my system that I was desperately needing. Looking at my beautiful fellow finalists it is abundantly clear that we are all beautiful and all beautifully different- each and every one of us stunning in our own way. The Miss Scottish Pinup Pageant was a truly fantastic experience and although strutting around a stage in a swimming costume sounds quite petrifying- I found it to be an oddly invigorating experience that I ended up loving!
Waiting to go onstage with my lovely fellow finalists
On to the day itself! Fighting nerves and unease, I made my way to the Edinburgh Corn Exchange with several friends, my mum and a giant leopard print suitcase in tow. I made my way backstage to unpack my goods and meet my fellow finalists; expecting a room full of icy stares and a cold reception I was pleasantly surprised to find that all of the girls were friendly and welcoming - our backstage dressing area was a vibrant buzz of hot rollers, makeup and lots of beautiful clothes (the dress envy I was suffering was unlike anything i'd ever experienced before!) We all introduced ourselves to one another and ooh-ed and aah-ed over everyone's wardrobe choices before a brief pep-talk from Rachel and began preparing for our first round- summer wear.
For the summer wear round I wanted to be vibrant and colourful, whilst showcasing my personal style and modern twist on the classic pinup style. I opted to wear the beautiful Marilyn swimsuit by Pinupgirlclothing in a stunning emerald green and I felt incredibly comfortable and happy with this choice. I ordered this swimsuit specifically for the pageant but i'll definitely be getting good use out of it for years to come! The gathered and skirted style is fantastic and incredibly flattering, not to mention the detachable jewel clips - any piece of clothing that comes with it's own jewellery is a huge plus in my opinion! The fit of this piece is fairly generous, and being available in sizes from xs up to a 4x it's a great option for any plus-size or straight-size babes looking for a vintage one-piece this summer. My only gripe with this was the straps; I'd prefer thicker and more robust straps to better support my bosom, but that's by the by.
I paired the Marilyn swimsuit with a vintage sequin kimono that I picked up in Brighton back in December at a Judy's Affordable Vintage Fair. It's a wonderful 80's number with padded shoulders, and with all honestly, these photos do not do this piece justice at all. The craftsmanship and bead/sequin work that has gone into this kimono honestly take my breath away. What also took my breath away was the £25 price tag- proving that pinup style on a budget is totally achievable with a little raking through rails and bargain hunting!
I polished off this summer wear look with a cheap purple hair flower from eBay (find similar here), stunning purple floral and lucite-look shoes from one of my favourite brands Irregular choice (find similar here), plus-size nude fishnet dance tights and the highest hair imaginable.
Next up was the evening wear round. For this I opted to wear my new favourite dress of all time: the Lesley-Ann dress, again from Pinupgirlclothing. This is a dress that I've been lusting after for the longest time- ever since the first photos emerged on Instagram of Doris Mayday rocking this tulle and satin explosion I was living for it. This dress does come with a hefty pricetag at $260 but it is so worth it- this dress is heavy with layers upon layers of beautiful fabric and the little details are to put it simply, exquisite. The tulle is delicate but the waistband and construction on the top are made to last -this is definitely a dress to invite comment (all positive, may I add!) and will have everyone lusting over it instantly. I purchased my usual size of Pinupgirlclothing dress (2x) and it fit like a glove. For maximum volume on the swing skirt I added two full-length petticoats from Oh My Honey which are amongst the fullest and softest petticoats I've ever encountered - one in pale pink and one in purple that I hand-dyed to match the colours on the Lesley-Ann dress.
I wanted to add an element of whimsy to this particular style, so added a flower crown with lots of pink and lilac tones to my big bouffant. This crown was picked up in Primark for the grand total of £4 so if you're a fan I recommend getting out and scooping one up. What with festival season and the warmer weather fast approaching this is another piece that'll be making it into my regular wardrobe rotation.
I kept my accessories simple for this round; a plain pearl necklace and some little blue stone drop earrings added some necessary glitz. The main attraction however came in the form of my shoes- i'm afraid there aren't many photos where you can see them clearly but they are a silver sparkly extravaganza from Red or Dead. If you'd like to buy your own pair, check out this link.
With my fellow beautiful finalist, Kelly-Marie of LadyandtheVampVintage
After the finalists had all finished strutting our stuff out on the main stage it was time for the interview rounds. We each had to answer three questions out of a possible four: "Who is your biggest pinup style icon and why?" "If you had three wishes what would they be?" "Describe your ideal date?" and finally "What is your favourite feature about yourself?" I went for the former three options and used this as a chance to showcase issues that I care strongly about - promoting LGBT inclusion in schools, women being in power, making connections with as many people as possible and Cher Horowitz's wardrobe computer from Clueless, naturally.
Once the evening wear round was finished, we finalists were free to wander around the convention until it was time to announce the winners. For this, I decided to change into a separate outfit; the Sweetheart Print Grace dress from Vivien of Holloway.
The Grace dress is another of my firm wardrobe favourites- When I find a dress that I love I usually have an overwhelming urge to buy it in every colourway imaginable, and I have the Grace in Black Lace print, Pink Floral print and the above Sweetheart print which is testament to my feelings! This dress features a gorgeous high-v neckline with a lower v-style back, a huge billowing circle skirt and tiny nipped in waist, perfect for dancing or prancing around on stage as you can see from the above photograph! I coupled this with a pair of simple red shoes from BHS, nude stockings from What Katie Did and a red rose flower crown from Topshop.
The crowning was the pinnacle of the Miss Scottish Pinup finals, and there were four awards to be given out: 1st place, 2nd place, 3rd place and "People's Choice" whereby the audience of the Scottish Tattoo Convention vote for their winner. The judges on the panel included the incomparable Georgina Horne of FullerFigureFullerBust, timeless beauty Tina Warren of burlesque collective Club Noir and 2014's Miss Scottish Pinup Miss Edith. After much deliberation we were called on to the main stage for the winners to be announced......
I was absolutely flabbergasted to be awarded the "People's Choice" title! I was in absolute shock and so honoured by this accolade- It took me completely by surprise! Taking part in the Miss Scottish Pinup finals was such a wonderful opportunity and I'm so happy to have been given the chance to share the stage with so many fabulous women. My fears and apprehensions about taking part in the pageant were completely unfounded and by pushing myself to do something out of my comfort zone and a little scary, I had a brilliant time and now have a brilliant memento of the day in the form of this beautiful sash!
A huge congratulations also belongs to my fellow three winners; Miss Katt, Miss Fifi le Fox and the new 2015 Miss Scottish Pinup Miss Kelly-Marie (whose wonderful blog I've linked to above). Meeting all of these wonderful women was such a privilege and definitely is experience that i'll be treasuring for an age to come.
I hope you've enjoyed reading about my recent adventures, and I promise not to go so long before another post!!
Until next time darlings,