Subversive Femme

It's good to be home (Part 1 – Los Angeles, Palm Springs, Las Vegas)

Hello everyone, I’m finally back after 8 weeks! (What a trip!)

1940s hair style vintage hair ideas redhead forties

It’s very strange to leave Sydney in summer weather and return in winter – but we’re not complaining. I love the cold, and finally got to see some real snow on this trip.

I don’t want to bore you all with my photos (a tonne are on my Instagram over here), but I’ll share some snippets of my favourite places with you. This post is a bit outfit heavy, so I’ll apologise now and promise there’ll be more scenery photos coming in my next post.

Our trip started in Los Angeles and luckily no jet-lag this time! We did have a drama with our accommodation on AirBnb and had to do an emergency hotel switch, but once that was sorted it meant a visit to Hollywood to see some of our favourite actors on the strip.

And a trip to the largest flea market in California, The Rose Bowl (I found bakelite bangles, yay!).

I had people trying to buy my 1940’s Mexican jacket off my back at the market

The Rose Bowl wasn’t how I imagined it in my head (tonnes of cheap vintage treasures, waiting to be found) but we still had a good time.

We went dancing in Pasadena, and Jakk finally met her idol Lil’ Mo, from Lil’ Mo & The Dynaflows. (Lil Mo is a super-sweetie in real life)

Next up was Palm Springs. It’s heaven in the desert, full of mid-century modern houses, vintage, and snow capped mountains. We stayed at Ruby Montana’s Coral Sands Inn, and I would recommend her retro motel to anyone!

Unfortunately I only bought my 1930’s knitted bathers with me (for Viva) so didn’t make it in the pool.
Ruby’s place is right in old Las Palmas, so it’s very easy to walk around and see the beautiful 1950s houses of the rich and famous.
Elvis and Priscilla’s honeymoon house
We also managed to check out Dazzles, one of the largest vintage jewellery dealers in the USA.

Look at all that bakelite and plastic!
San Jacinto is well worth the trip up the mountain, and it’s such a different place to Palm Springs. The temperature is colder, there are trees and even some patches of snow. It’s a great place to take a break from the heat.
Unfortunately we didn’t know there were walking trails, otherwise we’d have come better prepared (a 1950s skirt and wedges isn’t really the best outfit).

After Palm Springs, it was a day’s drive across the desert to Las Vegas.
We took the slightly longer way through Yucca Valley as Jakk really wanted to see Joshua trees. I would recommend driving that way, it’s only slightly longer and much less traffic than via San Bernadino.

Viva Las Vegas, as always, is pretty amazing. A whole weekend of vintage clothing and rockabilly music is just heaven.

This year we were lucky enough to have some of out best friends attending too, which meant shenanigans!


Boy I love those cocktail boots 

Jakk and I didn’t buy many things this year at Viva, although I did go a bit nuts on the Atomic Swag t-shirts and bought 12!

Shout out to one of my favourite vintage dealers, DonnaLand Vintage Variety, I love you guys.

Besides shopping, we were also renewing acquaintances with people we only sadly get to see every few years.

Sylvain and Laurence (from Lost in the 50s) are lovely people, and looked fabulous every time we saw them.

And then there was Western Night, with Jen and Benny (from Reese’s Vintage Pieces). How amazing are their ties?

The King and Queen of the Sydney rockabilly scene – Limpin’ Jimmy and the Swingin’ Kitten (Jimmy and Margie). OK, we see those guys all the time but it was extra special hanging with them in Vegas.

And then the infamous pool party.

I find it really hard to find vintage bathers that fit, so this time I wore vintage wool 1930s ones! So stretchy and only a little bit warm. (A bargain on eBay because they had a LOT of moth bites – cue hours of darning).

1930s knitted wool bathers viva las vegas pool party 19 hair ideas swimwear miss l fire tijuana
The definitely were not for swimming in though! On the upside, I didn’t feel ‘exposed’ and they were surprisingly comfortable. 
I hand-knitted a matching belt, and teamed them with Miss L Fire Tijuana wedges. Hair was easy and tucked under a long floral scarf (period correct for the 1930s).
Jakk wore her 1950’s cabana set – and looked adorable in my opinion.

After Vegas it was time to start our massive adventure with Chicago – but more about that in my next post!


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  • Reply
    Clifford Park Garden
    June 2, 2016 at 10:23 am

    What a Fantastic Trip!! I'm glad you got to see some of the nature out west and some of the spectacle of Vegas (and visits with friends). The vintage shopping looks too glorious! That red 'jacket' you wore in the top pic is just wonderful. Looking forward to the next post!

  • Reply
    Cherry Darling
    June 3, 2016 at 5:02 am

    I'm loving reading and seeing all of your adventures although, I'm still bummed that you weren't able to make it up to Alaska. It's such a beautiful place and I would love to meet you some day. I'm still hoping…. As I'm moving to Nevada in 3 months, I'm sure I'll eventually get to meet you at a Viva, some year. Wow, did that sound stalker, creepy? Can't wait to see the rest of your adventures.

    She Knits in Pearls

  • Reply
    Jessica Cangiano
    June 3, 2016 at 7:54 pm

    Can someone please, please, pleaaaaaseeeee give you two your own travel show, because I want to keep reading/watching you go on amazing vintage filled adventures around the world. I seriously loved – and greatly enjoyed this post – and read it top to bottom three times (and now I want to go to Viva myself, too, more than ever). Thank you for sharing some of the highlights of your awesome recent travels with us.

    xoxo ♥ Jessica

  • Reply
    June 3, 2016 at 11:07 pm

    Bex, have you checked out the Long Beach Flea Market when you're in LA? I usually try to match my visit with that market as have had much better luck with vintage beauties there. Last visit in March I nabbed two vintage Pendletons and a couple of fabulous 50s hats. Fabulous adventure photos, looking forward to more stories. Leisa

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