Thoughts on Viva Las Vegas from a total newb.
- Stay at the Orleans or somewhere that shuttles to the Orleans. I stayed at the MGM. It was cool but it’s such a pain to if you need to run back to your room for a rest or change of clothes. Not to mention I would rather use my money at the Vendor booths instead of on cab/ride share fares.
- Speaking of the Vendor booths, if you want a VLV t-shirt, go as soon as they open. If you’re not in the market for a T-shirt, don’t bother with the vendor room until Friday (or any time other than right after it opens). It’s a madhouse. There really wasn’t enough room to browse through the crowd. My favorite way to shop was at the car show, in the open air, with plenty of space.
- Ask for a room with a refrigerator and bring snacks. Eating in Vegas can get pricey. With late nights and lots of walking around snacks are essential. For breakfast I packed instant oatmeal and got hot water when I picked up my coffee in the morning.
- GET REAL EXTRA. Vintage ballgown in the back of your closet you haven’t had an occasion to wear? Bring it. Oversized hair flowers or hats that borderline theatrical? Bring it. Different handbag for each outfit? Girl, bring it. I pride myself on being an extremely efficient packer, but I wish I’d checked a suitcase instead of restricting myself to a carry-on bag. This might be the one place on earth you will run into 3 girls wearing the same vintage reproduction skirt as you, so make it your own and accessorize to the hilt.
- Flats though. Do yourself a favor and bring a pair of *really* comfy shoes for walking, especially if you plan to venture beyond the Orleans.
- Take a trip to the original strip. Any vintage enthusiast will love the old timey vibes on Fremont Street. Plus it has a covered roof, protecting you from the desert sun, meaning you can leave the parasol in your hotel room.
- Parasol + SPF. If you’re the kind that sours in the sun, bring a parasol or plan on buying one there for the car show. Though I didn’t get too hot (I’m from Austin, Texas aka hot & humid AF) the sun was pretty intense. I definitely would have burned if I hadn’t been wearing sleeves and sunscreen. Obviously I care a lot about sun protection…
- Be prepared to wait in line. I didn’t understand how getting into shows worked initially. For the burlesque showcase, for example, the cost of the ticket is included in your Viva pass but you still have to get in line to get your ticket. There were 3 show times for the burlesque showcase. By the time I made it over to the Orleans from MGM the line was already long. It seemed some people stayed up all night to get in line for tickets. Dumb luck, I happened to get a front row seat, simply by choosing the second showtime over the first (IT WAS AMAZING. ALL HAIL QUEEN DITA). I heard they are doing away with this lottery seating method next year, but I’m sharing here just in case.
- Get out of the city. This is one thing I didn’t do, but really want to if I have the time next year. The desert is gorgeous and so under-rated in my opinion. Nevada is #2 in the US for number of national monuments. The way the sun sets on the mountains is enchanting. I hope to spend a little time with nature next time I’m in the region.
- Make friends. I was too chicken to introduce myself to many of my favorite vintage fashion bloggers, stylists and personalities. Mostly out of concern that I would be bothering them while they’re essentially on vacation. An unfair assumption. I personally love meeting new people! The rockabilly scene in Austin is pretty small, so it’s also kind of surreal to see all the people you follow and admire in one place at one time! It can make you feel like an imposter… Everyone I did meet was super friendly and happy to engage though. Let’s get chummy at VLV 21, yeah!?
Photos @ Flamingo Hotel
Photographer: Charles Torrealba
Hair: Miss Rockabilly Ruby
Makeup: Erkia Reno Artistry
Dress & hoop earrings: Vixen by Micheline Pitt
Bra: Forever21, Girdle: Rago, Stockings: WhatKatieDid
Photos @ VLV Car Show
Photographer: Abe Lojero
Hair & Makeup: Miss Bratty B
Dress: Glamour Bunny Clothing, Kimono: Forever21, Purse: LuxDeville, Hair flower: DIY