Another year, another Queen Mary Art Deco Festival has come and gone. This one was divine with some fun additions to an already packed schedule – a double-decker vintage bus tour of Long Beach, two hours in the Starlight Lounge after the ball, movie and martinis on the sports deck, and a bon voyage mimosa and bloody mary bar. I can’t imagine a better way to spend a weekend – truly a highlight of my year.
Friday we arrived and checked in to our stateroom, one of the original cabin (first) class rooms, with wood paneling, cabinets, and lots of storage. We arrived for a bit of a nibble (you can see the dress I wore and a few other fun shots on my Instagram feed) and then got ready for the Cocktails in Historic Places. I wore a new to me dress – my wardrobe was very dark and gothic this weekend, for some reason. Oh well, we wear what we find sometimes, right? It was grand catching up with old friends and meeting some new ones as well.
After cocktails, it was time to dress for the Deco Derby Pajama Party. I wore what I’ve worn for years as I just can’t find something else I like that fits. C’est la vie. This event, sadly, was ruined for me by the arrival of a reality show television cast and crew. I shall not name their show nor their network, however their rude presence sent us scurrying away to the Observation Bar, where we spent the rest of the evening doing what we do best – cocktailing some more! Fortunately, it is a big ship with beautiful places to soak in the atmosphere.
Saturday put me in better spirits as the reality bites players had fled the ship and we were able to enjoy the rest of the event in peace. I attended a lecture on art deco super heros (Superman!). Following, I put in a little time as a volunteer at the check-in desk. It was then time to prepare for the ball.
Excitedly, I was looking forward to this evening for months as I had the perfect deco dress to wear. Imagine my surprise, after checking and double-checking the dress for soundness before I sent it to the dry cleaners, when I took it out of the garment bag to see several large tears in the burnout velvet on one sleeve from the dry cleaner. Aghast, I looked at the clock – two hours before the ball. AAAAARRRRRGGGGGHHHHH!
Thankfully, I always bring a repair kit with me. I never forget it with the handy checklist I use to pack for the Queen Mary Art Deco Festival. Not that this sleeve could be salvaged. At least I could pull the sides together where the rents were and minimize the visual look of the damage. So when people stopped to admire my dress, I presented them with my right arm and not my left. My Frankenstein, panicked stitching job I tried to mask the tears in a hurry looked atrocious. Fortunately, they were big butterfly sleeves, so much of the damage was masked in the folds. Alas, I’m not sure how to fix this one. Purchase some chiffon, snip away the damage, and carefully stitch the velvet parts to a new chiffon backing? How to get a chiffon that matches?
Sunday, I volunteered at 10am (why do I do this to myself?). The lecture spoke of theatrical pioneers of the art deco era, followed by a lecture on home deco-nomics. I spent the rest of the early afternoon dressing and feeding my little man. Paul, my baby and I all went to the tea dance and enjoyed the afternoon. The evening and into the next morning were spent – hello! – cocktailing and catching a peek of Big Broadcast of 1938 on deck, while my little man was safe in the care of a friend on board.