Cora Vette & the VaVaVettes – the Biggest D.I.Y. EVER!

©NOLAPUS Photography 2013
©NOLAPUS Photography 2013

Cora Vette and the VaVaVettes – The Biggest D.I.Y. EVER!

By: Cora Vette

Hi Pin Curl readers! It has been a few months since I have had the chance to write one of my D.I.Y. columns, and this is why…I had the chance to put together a line for the Viva Las Vegas Fashion Show in Las Vegas. I am just now coming up for air and wanted to share my experience with you.

A few months ago, after a particularly frustrating day, I saw a post on Facebook (you know, where we all get our news) that the Viva Las Vegas Rockabilly Weekend was looking for fashion designers for their fashion show. The post said just send a link to your website and 5 photos of your designs. Well, I didn’t have anything ready to send down a runway, but I did have Coco Lectric model some of my previous designs about a year ago and a website, so I thought, “what the hell?”

25 outfits. 8 weeks. Whew!
25 outfits. 8 weeks. Whew!

The Viva Las Vegas Fashion Show only allows companies who specialize in designs based on vintage styles to participate in the fashion show. Eve Vette and I had opened VaVaVette a year ago, and we had great success with our accessories and pasties. This was perfect time for me to showcase my vintage sewing designs and debut my new line “Customs By Cora”. I sent my information in, and within an hour, I had an invitation to exhibit. Perfect. What an opportunity! What a lot of work I was in for. I had no idea…

I had only 8 weeks’ notice. I had nothing ready to send down a runway in Vegas.

I didn’t know exactly what I wanted to do, but I knew that I wanted to make it fabulous. So for the next 8 weeks, I sewed a TON, drank a LOT of wine and slept VERY little.

Lucy Britches ©NOLAPUS Photography 2013
Lucy Britches ©NOLAPUS Photography 2013

For the fashion show, I used only my 5 VaVaVettes as models (Eve Vette, Gigi D’Lovely, Lucy Britches, Chakra Tease and Sapphire Stone). Since I make everything custom, using my girls was the only way I could make sure that everything fit once we got to Vegas. It was a very unorthodox way to run a runway show. I had 5 girls and a total of 25 outfits to be shown in 8 minutes. We did it by setting up 5 chairs offstage and laying out the clothing unzipped and unbuttoned in show order so it was ready to go. I put a hamper next to each chair so as they strutted offstage they could strip, dump the clothes in the hamper and grab the next outfit. They did it and they rocked it!

Chakra Tease ©NOLAPUS Photography 2013
Chakra Tease ©NOLAPUS Photography 2013

I decided that since we had 8 minutes of stage time, I wanted to make it into a show. Why not? So I sang everything live to complement the ladies and we even did a little choreography that Lucy Britches put together. It was crazy and insane, but a great success and I am so proud of all my girls for making my hard work look amazing!


We also had a fantastic opportunity to have Andreas Koch (a pin up photographer from New Orleans) follow us around all weekend. If he hadn’t done this for me, I would have no record of the whole experience. I swear. It was that much of a whirlwind.

Original pattern for Chakra Tease's playsuit
Original pattern for Chakra Tease’s playsuit

I have included in this article photos of some of the original vintage patterns on which I based my designs. I made tons of alterations in style, hem length, fabric choice, accessories, styling etc. but, I wanted you to be able to see where all these fashions came from, and what I chose to do with them. I hope you enjoy it!

To top off the weekend, I also hosted the Miss VLV Burlesque Competition night and the VaVaVettes did a group number with me (In costumes that I constructed, of course). What fun!

There are far too many photos to include in this article (Thanks to Andreas Koch). For more of our weekend photos please go here.

There is also a video of our portion of the fashion show here.

25 outfits in 8 weeks – Would I do it again? Probably not. Was it worth it? Hell yes.

We had a blast. Thanks to everyone who was a part of this amazing weekend (especially Misther Cellophane who was in charge of Hussie Wrangling and shuttling us back and forth the from the Gold Coast…next door…).

And now I sleep…maybe.

Xoxo Cora Vette

Want more DIY with Cora? Check out her work here: DIY Zippers, DIY Dye, DIY Gauntlet Gloves, DIY Shrug, DIY Shimmy Belt, DIY G-String, Buying Vintage Patterns, DIY Pencil Skirt

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