Category Archives: Events

Lindy Focus – Fashion Trailblazer

This post was written by Lindy Shopper.

Still recovering and playing catch up from Lindy Focus…and still unpacking…but there are more vendor reports to be had! Until then, I’ll leave you with this superlative I picked up – thanks to everyone who voted! :D

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Sparkles Done Right at Lindy Focus

This post was written by Lindy Shopper.

Adding to the dance and music bliss at Lindy Focus is the particular attention I see many people giving to their ensembles for the evening dances, even more so in years past. While most people save their sparkles for New Year’s Eve, I’m seeing the sparkles come out even earlier this year. I’d like to give a shout out to Anna Bryant and Caitlin Farthing not only for making the finals in the intermediate jack and jill, but also for selecting really stellar competition dresses that were vibrantly colored, swishy in the skirt, and sparkled in a way that drew attention without getting in the way of dancing (as beads and sequins are not so kind to leaders’ hands). Check out Caitlin at 3:28 in the video below, with a sequined collar, and Anna at 4:08 with a rhinestone (?) detail on the front of her dress. The video does not capture how much these two were twinkling in the lights! If I had been a better reporter, I would have gotten a photo of them together, but there’s like 1,000 people here so it’s hard to find everyone. :)

Lindy Focus 2013!

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This post was written by Lindy Shopper.

Just a quick note amidst the amazing chaos to tell you that exciting things are going on at Lindy Focus – there’s going to be another wonderful Nicole Lenzen fashion show, the LF tee shirts are selling out as of the first official day of camp, the consignment shop goes up today for dancers to consign their dance duds (plus glitter tap shoes!), and the myriad vendors that round out our little micro-economy here at the happiest place on earth. Reports soon!

Eastern Balboa Championships 2013 – 10th Anniversary

This post was written by Lindy Shopper.

This weekend is the 10th and final Eastern Balboa Championships – I am sad to see it go, but have so many great memories from this event. I’ve worked with the organizers to bring in some great vendors and this year I am very excited about our local vendor offerings! Stay tuned for a report, but I do hope to see some of you this weekend!

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OcTieBer 2013

This post was written by Lindy Shopper.

The only thing better than OcTieBer is a Christmas with bow ties under the tree.

The only thing better than OcTieBer is a Christmas with bow ties under the tree.

Just a gentle reminder that OcTieBer starts tomorrow – if you are a gent or lady with a super collection of fashionable neckwear or you aspire to be, perhaps participating in OcTieBer is for you – a chance to cultivate excellent ensembles, highlighting neckwear, each day for the month of October. How do you participate? It’s easy – from the OcTieBer Facebook group:

“With the arrival of fall, men (and a few fashionably adventurous women) of style and good taste will once again bond together to demonstrate their embrace of dapper design and finely tailored fabrics.

In short, a month long sartorial celebration of quality neckwear worn in a traditional style.

How to participate? It’s simple:

1. Wear a collared shirt and tie each day (be it a long tie, bow tie, ascot, cravat, bolo, western double string tie or any other traditional neckwear that expresses your personal style). Preferably your outfit will be paired with a jacket, sweater, vest or other accessories that suggest why you’ve chosen that day’s tie.

2. Find the folder with the appropriate date under “Photos” and upload your image of finely attired “dudeness” wearing said outfit with an optional description of the designer, type of knot, fabric, etc.

3. Share the love by encouraging your friends to admire your statement of personal style.”

Ladies may obviously take liberties with the collared shirt requirement. :)

Happy OcTieBer!

ILHC 2013 Vendor and Style Report

This post was written by Lindy Shopper.

Forties Forward at ILHC

Forties Forward at ILHC

The International Lindy Hop Championships proved to be a truly inspiring event this year, with performances by top dancers, of course, but there was also an electricity, a sense of community, and mutual love and understanding that seemed to permeate the room. Am I getting on a hippie tangent? Maybe. But I shared some pretty awesome moments with hundreds of my fellow dancers.

My ONLY disappointment this year was the vendor area. I used the word “vendor” (singular) in the title because, aside from the ILHC tee shirts, I only saw one vendor table set up, which was the always charming Forties Forward, with their bevy of hair blooms and accessories. They were the bright spot in an otherwise empty hotel hallway/foyer.

I think the vendor area is important for a few reasons:
- Dancers get products they need
- Dancers can try things on
- Foreign dancers can buy things without having to pay for shipping
- We want to support businesses that cater to our specific needs/wants
- Many of the vendors are dancers themselves, so we like to invest in this micro-economy of dance events

I’m sure there are more. For whatever reason, I hope that the decline in vendor attendance is not permanent.

That said, I hate to leave a post like this, so I’m going to share with you some of the trends I noticed this year at ILHC, some of which I reported during my commentary on Yehoodi’s ILHC broadcast:

Head bands/scarves – the hair flower has reigned supreme for a long time as the hair accessory of choice for swing dancers. This year I saw many more things encircling dancers’ heads (including things with hair flowers attached), as well as creative use of colorful scarves. My favorite was Baltimore dancer Brandi Ferrebee using a head scarf as a snood to cover her curl set during prelims so that her set would be fresh (and dry!) for the dance that night.

The fabulous Anne Williams models a pencil skirt with a slit on the front left leg.

The fabulous Anne Williams models a pencil skirt with a slit on the front left leg.

Skirts with a front slit – the skirt slit or vent can be an essential if you aren’t wearing a full skirt. A larger slit or opening can increase your range of motion, which is always helpful in Lindy Hop. The options ranged from the sexy offset front slit to A-line skirts to tulip skirts to a pieced/sectioned skirt that managed to have an awesome slit and twirl at the same time. The effect was functional and lovely, though add a bit of caution when securing or selecting one of these skirts – that slit can migrate, either from side-to-side or up the seam. Give it a test run and make sure the top of the slit is sewn securely or reinforced to prevent splitting.

Double breasted suits – I saw several gentlemen in competition looking very sharp and put-together with their buttoned-up double breasted suits. Certainly, giving men more clothing alternatives for competitions is an excellent thing.

TweedRamona Staffeld and Todd Yannacone set the tweed tone with their matching plaid suits – Ramona’s a vest and skirt combo, while Todd’s was a three piece suit. They looked so sharp and were able to use pieces from this uniform for several competitions. I noticed other competitors in tweed-looking fabrics ranging from an oatmeal fleck to large plaids. The effect was definitely classy, with a nod to fall.

Sequin bloomers – ladies, your sequin bloomers were fabulous and timely, because ILHC is the time to sparkle. :)

International Lindy Hop Championships 2013

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As always, I am very excited to be attending the International Lindy Hop Championships in Washington, DC – this year I will reprise my role as guest commentator on Yehoodi’s live stream broadcast of the Open Balboa competition (in HD!) and look forward to seeing all the wonderfully creative competition outfits and pairings the competitors put together. I will also be on hand to report about all the wonderful vendors at ILHC and I am hopeful for a few new faces this year in the vendor area.

See you there or see you online!

All Balboa Weekend 2013 Report

This post was written by Lindy Shopper.

If you are a good girl and save your pennies, the Cleveland fairy will bring you vintage on All Balboa Eve.

If you are a good girl and save your pennies, the Cleveland fairy will bring you vintage and repro on All Balboa Eve.

Still basking in the afterglow of All Balboa Weekend, the Balboa Mecca that occurs every year in Cleveland, Ohio. It is a hub for so many things I love – good dancing, good music, good vintage shopping, good company, and good cupcakes. I left with a full heart and a shopping bag full of goodies – it was like Christmas!

My first stop in Cleveland, per usual, was Sweet Lorain, the vintage department store where I seem to have the most luck finding things in my size. I was greeted at the door by the owner, Redwin Lewis, who remembered me from years past (and possibly phone orders – yes, you can call them back if you decide later that you really want/need something you saw, even 6 months later the item may still be there!) and we chatted about high school reunions and all the films (THE film being Captain America) shopping at his store. I was on a mission for a full slip with some sweet details and Sweet Lorain did not disappoint, with two full racks to choose from.

Dad's pitcher - my favorite find in Cleveland

Dad’s pitcher – my favorite find in Cleveland

On a personal note, I was ecstatic to find a red plastic beverage pitcher at Sweet Lorain, perhaps circa 40′s/50′s, that I have been seeking for the past decade or so – when I was in undergrad I picked up a plastic yellow pitcher from Target that looked vintage, with some sweet Deco detail on it. I probably paid less than $10 for it. My dad saw it in my apartment and was immediately drawn to it, asking where I got it, and how much it cost. I told him that I had purchased it at Target several months ago and that it was out of stock. He was crestfallen – my grandmother had owned one during his childhood and he had always thought it was a great design, with a lid that opens when you tilt it and closes when it’s upright. Flash forward to ABW 2013, I was chatting with Redwin in the housewares section and my eye caught a flash of red in that distinct shape. It was the pitcher! I text messaged my dad a photo of it and he confirmed that he wanted it. Done! I look forward to “reuniting” my dad with his childhood pitcher this coming weekend. :)

Thus Spake Zarathustra

Thus Spake Zarathustra…at Chelsea Costumes

My next stop was Chelsea Costumes, which I had somehow managed to miss on all prior visits to Cleveland. The sheer volume of square footage packed literally floor to ceiling was overwhelming in a way that only a disorganized Goodwill warehouse of great magnitude could rival. The racks were three tiers high, with the top two racks reachable by rolling staircases located on each aisle. Adding to the library feel of the place, the ends of the racks were labeled by decade range. I searched in vain for the early vintage clothing and had to ask where it was located – at the end of one of the 1950′s racks was a single rack with 1940′s clothing. I found a couple of items I liked, but they had fatal flaws (fading, shredding, etc.). I’d say it’s definitely worth a look, especially if you are into later decades, and it’s an absolute must if you are looking for menswear – I saw just about every size, shape, color, item, and a range of seasonal weights, with a massive selection. You do have to be a digger to make this worthwhile, but the prices are good and worth the dig.

Back at the hotel, ABW had an array of vendors, some new, some old, that filled up the hallway in front of the ballroom. The first vendor was The Cleveland Shop, with an array of clothing and accessories for men and women. Favorites included some divine shoes, a burgundy silk 1930′s gown, and every dress that went on the mannequin and immediately sold.

Next up was the ABW merchandise, which featured some cool shirts with stripes, a henley, and a girly slouchy tee with cool sleeve detail. This year also saw the return of the ABW shoe bag – I do love a shoe bag!

New style!!!

New style!!!

Moving down the hallway, the next vendor was the ever-popular Re-mix Vintage Shoes, with owner Philip Heath on hand to help all the men and women eager to try on their shoes. This year, they took advance requests from people for specific shoes and sizes, so if you wanted a guaranteed shot at trying on a certain pair in your size, you got that chance. I took advantage of this for my husband, who is sort of between sizes and needed another pair of oxfords. It also resulted in Re-mix bringing a number of pairs of wedges, which have never made it out to ABW, since we mostly dance “the Balboa” in heels. ;)

Romper, umbrella, and THE belts at Bettie Page Clothing

Romper, umbrella, and THE belts at Bettie Page Clothing

Bettie Page Clothing made its debut as a vendor this year, spearheaded by the lovely Shannon Butler, who is now the manager of the Bettie Page store at the Mall of America in Minnepolis, MN. Shannon brought another innovative way to make sure everyone got to try on the clothing and get the sizes they need – she kept a stock of the dresses, shirts, and skirts she brought as try-ons and once you decided what you wanted, she called the Mall of America store, placed your order, and it was shipped to you (sometimes that day!) free of charge. In addition to all the adorable clothing, she brought these great adjustable belts that are the perfect dress belt, for when that vintage dress comes without a belt or maybe you lost the belt or want to add a belt…regardless, good, skinny dress belts are hard to come by and these babies are only $10 and come in several handy colors.

Flower Child took up about half the hallway, with a wonderful display that moved from housewares and accessories, to jewelry, to several large racks of clothing at the end of the hall. Because Flower Child is made up of several vendors, there were a range of prices in the shop, and they definitely had the larges selection. Favorites included a 1940′s gold bathing suit, rayon Asian print pajamas, and an adorable dress with strawberry ribbon trim that came home with me.

Still obsessing over Dancestore.com's mesh and leather wingtip

Still obsessing over Dancestore.com’s mesh and leather wingtip

Finally, Dancestore.com made an appearance with most of their line of shoes. I liked that they had a set of “try-on” pairs that you could put on and take for a spin during one dance. It helps you decide, cuts down on wear and tear of new pairs, and also gives you an idea of how they will feel once they are broken in. Great idea!

This year was probably the best year for vendors yet – many of the vendors are veterans at this point, they know their audience, and they only bring the best stuff as it pertains to swing dancers. I am elated that they continue to come out, year after year.

Here are my photos from the weekend – enjoy!

Collar detail *swoon*

Collar detail at Sweet Lorain *swoon*

Velvet collar detail at Sweet Lorain

Velvet collar detail at Sweet Lorain

Love this Jack and the Beanstalk novelty print - at Sweet Lorain

Love this Jack and the Beanstalk novelty print – at Sweet Lorain

Menswear knits in shades of brown, at Sweet Lorain

Menswear knits in shades of brown, at Sweet Lorain

This photo does not do justice to the awesomeness of these sheer cutouts - at Sweet Lorain

This photo does not do justice to the awesomeness of these sheer cutouts – at Sweet Lorain

Oxfords at Sweet Lorain

Oxfords at Sweet Lorain

The entrance to Chelsea Costumes

The entrance to Chelsea Costumes

Brain...shuts...down...

Brain…shuts…down…

Navigation system at Chelsea Costumes

Navigation system at Chelsea Costumes

Lovely dress at Chelsea Costumes

Lovely dress at Chelsea Costumes

Collar detail at Chelsea Costumes

Collar detail at Chelsea Costumes

The view from the top of one of the rolling staircases at Chelsea Costumes

The view from the top of one of the rolling staircases at Chelsea Costumes

Select menswear items from The Cleveland Shop

Select menswear items from The Cleveland Shop

Cool cotton print dress from The Cleveland Shop

Cool cotton print dress from The Cleveland Shop

Tri-strap! From Re-mix Vintage Shoes

Tri-strap! From Re-mix Vintage Shoes

Did you know these come in GREEN?

Did you know these came in GREEN?

A lovely display from Flower Child

A lovely display from Flower Child

Gold bathing suit FTW - courtesy of Flower Child

Gold bathing suit FTW – courtesy of Flower Child

Love all of this - at Flower Child

Love all of this – at Flower Child

Suit jacket peplum made of petals! At Flower Child

Suit jacket peplum made of petals! At Flower Child

Pajamas! At Flower Child

Pajamas! At Flower Child

Lots of good knits this year - this from Flower Child

Lots of good knits this year – this from Flower Child

This Bettie Page blouse went home with many a gal

This Bettie Page blouse went home with many a gal

Lovely dresses from Bettie Page Clothing

Lovely dresses from Bettie Page Clothing

Indiegogo: Yehoodi Live Stream From ILHC

This post was written by Lindy Shopper.

Let's do 2013 even better!

Let’s do 2013 even better!

Last year was the first year that Yehoodi live broadcasted all of the competitions at the International Lindy Hop Championships. The broadcast garnered over 23,000 views and had an international audience. This is no small feat! I had the pleasure of being a part of this landmark broadcast as a commentator during the Open Balboa competition and marveled at how dedicated the Yehoodi staff was to putting out a quality broadcast in spite of their small crew and minimal equipment. It was a lot of work, for sure, and I am excited to report that they are planning on doing it again this year.

But they need a little help to do it right. From their Indiegogo page:

“For 15 years, Yehoodi.com has been providing, free of charge, an online home for the lindy hop community. We’ve run discussion forums, live events like the Basie Centennial, streaming online swing radio, and audio/video podcasts like the Yehoodi Talk Show, Hey Mr. Jesse and SwingNation.

In all of that time, we have never asked for a dime from our members and viewers. Today is the first time on all those years we are asking the lindy hop community for support.

ILHC logoLast year, we went to the International Lindy Hop Championships in Washington DC and produced our first live on-site dance competition show. Using basic production equipment and a skeleton crew, we were able to put on a high quality production that had 23,000+ views over the weekend, with viewers logging in from Korea, Sweden, Australia and many more countries. We heard from hundreds of you how much you enjoyed the live broadcast and the video archive later.

This year, we think we can do even better. We have an opportunity to create a television-quality, high definition video production from ILHC. But we need your help.

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Here’s what we need:

– bad ass equipment

– a killer production team…

(insert description of bad ass equipment and killer production team)”

FURTHER:

If I'm not attending this I want to be watching this!

If I’m not attending this I want to be watching this!

“We have already been approached by several event organizers to stream their competitions and showcases live to the internet. In particular, the team behind the Frankie100 Centennial Celebration have said that they would love for Yehoodi to be there in May of 2014 to stream some of that historic event to the world. With your support, that can happen.

Also, if we reach our goal, we will be able to provide the lindy community with a much higher quality version of our weekly lindy hop based show, SwingNation, the only weekly live streamed video podcast that delivers news, events, interviews and featured dance videos for our Lindy Hop audience. The SwingNation show archive will be in the best quality possible for future generations to come.”

MORE BROADCASTS. We will be in a whole other realm of hobby at this point, with potential for a broader international reach, not to mention the ability to bring the events to people who aren’t able to attend them, to see MORE AWESOME DANCING.

I am super excited about the prospects. As with any worthwhile endeavor, it takes blood, sweat, tears, and cash to make things run. Drop a few dollars their way, this is definitely one project that we can continue to benefit from well into the future. Click here to invest in your Lindy Hop future. :)

All Balboa Weekend 2013

This post was written by Lindy Shopper.

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It’s that time of year – the time every year where I drive 8 1/2 hours to my Mecca-of-sorts, All Balboa Weekend in Cleveland, Ohio. There will definitely be a vintage shopping excursion (with a report when I get back), with some old favorites and perhaps a new shop for Lindy Shopper. And cupcakes.

I’m looking forward to working with the many of you who volunteered to participate in All Balboa Weekend’s 1940′s fashion show, as well as seeing all the wonderful clothing that you are bringing and that Val and the vendors are providing for the show!

I am also looking forward to performing with my band, the Mint Julep Jazz Band, at the Friday night dance and to singing with the Boilermaker Jazz Band on Saturday. This is really a dream come true, to be able to have my band perform at my favorite dance weekend of the year, and I’m just…over the moon right now. EXCITED!

Last, but certainly not least, I am one of the main DJs for the weekend, along with head DJ Kyle Smith and fellow blogger Christian Bossert of Swing DJ Resources.

Yes, I will be doing ALL THE THINGS. Including dancing. :D

I hope to see some of you there, please come up and introduce yourself if we are not already acquainted.

Onward to Cleveland!

A Call to Arms: All Balboa Weekend 1940′s Fashion Show

This post was written by Lindy Shopper.

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Do you have a 1940′s outfit? Are you attending All Balboa Weekend 2013? If the answer to both of these questions is yes, I would encourage you to participate in this year’s 1940′s fashion show at All Balboa Weekend! After the success of the 1930′s fashion show in 2011, Valerie Salstrom & Co. are bringing back the fashion show, highlighting a different swinging decade of fashion.

If you are interesting in appearing in your ensemble or modeling else’s clothing, please email me at caab241@hotmail.com. If you are wearing your own outfit, please email me a photo of the outfit (or outfits, we’re always up for a wardrobe change), preferably with you wearing it. If you are interested in modeling, please email me with your sizes (bust/waist/hip for women, jacket/waist/inseam for men).

Any ensemble will do – work-wear, military, gowns, nightgowns, swimwear, you name it, we’ll show it. :)

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Lindy Focus 2012 Vendors

This post was written by Lindy Shopper.

Wide view of the Lindy Focus consignment shop

Wide view of the Lindy Focus consignment shop

This was a bit of an interesting year for vendors at Lindy Focus, in that few of the usual suspects were present, so the vending was made up mostly of DIY lindy hoppers, including endeavors by Lindy Focus itself. Lindy Focus offered a consignment shop for those who had danceable clothes and shoes to get rid of and for those who needed/wanted such items. I did pretty well in the selling department, so some of you may have left Lindy Focus with a Lindy Shopper vintage garment. :)

Noticeably absent was Dancestore and their signature Aris Allen shoes, a serious business faux pas, in my opinion – 900+ attendees, many of which (including me) were looking to buy or replace dance shoes. To make up for the lack of being able to replace dancers’ worn out shoes, Lindy Focus offered a shoe sueding and repair service.

One of Sharon's creations

One of Sharon’s creations

Marathon dance event vendor Sharon Crawford of Creations by Crawford was on hand creating custom hair pieces, boutonnieres, and other elegant accoutrement for ladies and gents at her table, positioned next to the ballroom off the registration lobby. Sharon’s table was always open and always had a bevy of guests – from hairdressers to nappers to chatters, all were welcome to hang out. I don’t know how she got any work done, but I’d wager to say she’s the longest working vendor at Lindy Focus (as evidenced by the sunrise/survivors photo on the last day, she was probably working the whole time).

Forties Forward - love these gals!

Forties Forward – love these gals!

Forties Forward, one of my favorite hair flower vendors, was right across the hallway from Sharon, making sure that the ladies of Lindy Focus had all the hair flowers they needed. With the customary gussying up for New Year’s Eve, I’m sure they did well. Added inventory this year: false eyelashes. Va-va-voom!

Also a regular, Mike Thibault’s jazz and lindy hop prints are always a welcome sight. I love his selection, especially the new-ish one of the interior of the Savoy ballroom packed to the gills with dancers. If you haven’t seen what he has, definitely check out his website – Vintage Jazz Art – and pick up something inspiring to put on your wall.

Next to Mike’s table was a curious little table of notecards with photograph images of dancers with a sign saying “Dance Cards by DJ Stone.” Perhaps a few campers picked one up to send a note saying “Wish you were here?”

The designer and her models - photograph courtesy of Jessica Keener Photography

The designer and her models – photograph courtesy of Jessica Keener Photography

Finally, New York designer Nicole Lenzen not only had a lovely rack of dresses at her vendor table, she debuted her first collection of dresses and rompers for dancers at Lindy Focus in a glorious fashion show during one of the camp meetings, featuring some of your favorite female instructors as models for her designs. The collection was movement-conscious, high in twirl factor, and rich in textiles. The designer loves to work with fine fabrics, produced ethically and created into garments in New York’s garment district. Nicole hopes to have her website ready to take orders soon – she does custom garments as well as those featured in her collection. Nicole is a delight and I look forward to seeing her business grow and flourish. Check out the fashion show in the video below for a full view of the collection and also Jessica Keener’s lovely photographs.

I think a fashion show and debut collection must be a swing dance event first, if not a Lindy Focus first, no? Clearly we are heading in the right direction.

I’ll close by saying I really enjoyed being on a panel discussing blogging and social media with Rebecca Brightly, Michael Seguin, and Jerry Almonte. Everyone had thoughtful commentary and different insights based on our different experiences. Special thanks to Abigail Browning for inviting us to participate and giving us questions so that we actually had something to say. :)

Mike Thibault's wonderful Vintage Jazz Art prints

Mike Thibault’s wonderful Vintage Jazz Art prints

Dance cards by DJ Stone

Dance cards by DJ Stone

I couldn't resist posting the beading detail from one of Nicole's dresses.  You should go look at the fashion show, but you won't be able to see all the wonderful details in her dresses!

I couldn’t resist posting the beading detail from one of Nicole’s dresses. You should go look at the fashion show, but you won’t be able to see all the wonderful details in her dresses!

Lindy Shopper at Lindy Focus

This post was written by Lindy Shopper.

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I am eagerly anticipating my departure to Lindy Focus XI, not only for the shopping opportunities this year, but also for my appearance as a panelist in one of the Lindy Focus Field Day discussions! Come to the Overlook ballroom at 1:00 p.m. on December 30 for a discussion on “Scene Building in the Age of New Media” with me, Rebecca Brightly of Dance World Takeover, Jerry Almonte of Wandering and Pondering, and others!

In addition to vendors and merch, Lindy Focus boasts a consignment shop where you can bring your gently used clothing and shoes (up to 10 items) to sell in their shop to make a little extra cash for yourself (to do more shopping with, of course!). There’s also a shoe shop where they are offering a sole sueding service – $15 per pair for high quality suede and professional strength cobblers adhesive. They will also have many pairs of vintage and dance shoes for sale at the shoe shop. So many things!

Finally, Lindy Focus has a room with some emergency supplies, if you find yourself ailing outside of drugstore business hours. From Eva Millwood: “In room 128, there will be available band-aids/neosporin, Tylenol, Advil, Aleve, Tums, and Benadryl for $.25, and emergen-c and off-brand 5-hour energy shots for $.50. Someone will almost always be here!” They may add to this list of available items, so come to this room if you find yourself in a bit of a medical bind, but don’t need urgent care.

Lindy Focus continues to exceed expectations – I can’t wait to be there!

EBC 2012 Vendors

This post was written by Lindy Shopper.

Merch upgrade: the Mint Julep Jazz Band was selling logo shoe bags and buttons at EBC and Creations by Crawford decided to take the buttons to the next level – available as a pin or hair flower.

The 9th annual Eastern Balboa Championships was another rousing success, with perhaps even more shenanigans, planned and unplanned, than usual. A highlight of the weekend was dressing in tweeds for the mock English hunt, led by Bobby White, where the tweeded and costumed EBC gentry gave organizer Chris Owens a sporting head start before we unleashed the Nerf guns on him. Perhaps the best part of the weekend for me was performing with my band, the Mint Julep Jazz Band, for the Friday night dance, receiving rave reviews for our performance, and launching a Kickstarter for our first CD. :)

Molly McGowan picked up the wonderful 1940′s dress on the right from Raleigh Vintage, and I had ideas that Adam Speen might like this sweater vest.

The vendors were out again this year, but in spite of not having a shoe vendor, the vendor area certainly looked full. Raleigh Vintage was back with their fabulous trunk show of 1920′s, 1930′s, and 1940′s clothing, as well as a full rack of tweed for some last-minute-pre-hunt shopping. Some of my favorite pieces from the collection are shown below, and I managed to do some Christmas shopping for my husband, as well. My favorite purchase for him was a 1933 World’s Fair tie clip and Raleigh Vintage had a set of three of them, in blue, white, and black. They also had some excellent ladies’ jewelry this time, bakelite, Art Deco necklaces, and clever pins. There was a hilarious pin with maracas and a plaque that said “Hasta Manana” that I loved – but what do you wear with this? I am pondering…

Red beauties from The Cleveland Shop

Following the success of their booth at All Balboa Weekend, The Cleveland Shop made the long journey to North Carolina with an impressive display of vintage dresses, separates, menswear, shoes, hats, and other vintage sundries. I especially appreciate that they brought books on vintage make-up and hair, which can be a chore to figure out without a tutorial. Favorites included the red shoes pictured at left, tons of wonderful rayon floral 30′s and 40′s dresses, and a plaid suit that I would wear loud and proud if I were a dude. I do hope their trip down here was fruitful and that they will return to us next year from the land of vintage with even more goodies.

Last, but certainly not least, Sharon Crawford of Creations by Crawford is the hardest working vendor at these events – most of her creations are custom made for you, during the weekend, and are sometimes being made for a dance that night. Sharon’s vendor table is also a social hub, so you can enjoy the warm, friendly conversation as she creates wonderful pieces made from vintage jewelry, feathers, ribbon, and other tiny pretty things. I’m willing to say that Sharon gets a lot of business from men, as well, and can create the perfect boutonniere to go with any jacket or ensemble.

Don’t miss out on the 10th anniversary party next year, the celebration is going to be huge and full of pranks, I’m sure!

Usually, one of Sharon’s creations begins with a piece of jewelry…

Ms. Crawford and her workstation

One of the books on vintage makeup at The Cleveland Shop’s table

I love the smocking on this dress from The Cleveland Shop

Plaid!

My GAWD the shoes – at Raleigh Vintage

Raleigh Vintage’s table of gentlemanly accoutrements

The jewelry case at Raleigh Vintage’s ladies’ table

This dead stock tie came with a matching pocket square!

Beautiful beading on this 1940′s dress

I do love a Peter Pan collar – at Raleigh Vintage

I REALLY wanted this dress, and it really didn’t have a zipper, snaps, or any way to get into the dress other than over the head – someone smaller than me should come crawl in and enjoy. :)

Another lovely green item, this time for the gents, from Raleigh Vintage.

Dress with matching necklace – how often does that happen? At Raleigh Vintage.

Eastern Balboa Championships 2012

This post was written by Lindy Shopper.

It’s that time of year again, where it’s time for me to hop in my car and drive 30 minutes to the next town over for one of the best Balboa events in the world, the Eastern Balboa Championships! This year will be particularly busy, with vendor reporting, DJ’ing, and my band, the Mint Julep Jazz Band, is playing the Friday night dance (and launching a Kickstarter for our first CD!) – so many things! All the things! While there is no shoe vendor this year, we will see a return of Raleigh Vintage‘s 1920′s through 1940′s trunk show and rumor is that The Cleveland Shop is coming all the way from, well, Cleveland to set up shop! A little ABW at EBC is always welcome. :) Au revior! See you in a few days.