Let Armchair Traveller Warm Winter (July 20, 2011)
Located on the Balmain peninsula, surrounded by Port Jackson and adjacent to the suburbs of Rozelle to the south-west and Birchgrove to the north-west, Balmain is a lovely inner west Suburb of Sydney.
On the eve of July 2nd, Balmain’s beautiful and historic Town Hall became the hub of the cleverly creative Pia Anderson as she transformed the art deco building into a retro hive of swing and sound with her Mid Winter Warmer event.
Before the doors opened to the crowd of dashing dames and genteel gents, many of whom were dressed in vintage, the Armchair Traveller team arrived to meet Ms Anderson herself and get an idea of how her Vintage Allsorts event would unfold.
As an agent of assertiveness with an eye for detail, she welcomed our offer to help by delegating some duties, which quickly made us feel a part of the event.
Rather than be a wall flower admiring the happenings as they went on around me, I became a florist; arranging flowers for the bar. Meanwhile the team’s photographer Kris Ezergailis helped with candles and carpets (before capturing incredible shots found here).
When the place was prim and proper, stalls set and band primed, the doors opened. Within moments I witnessed partners take to the dance floor.
First beats were broken by The Cocktail Cabinet who paid tribute to the Louis Prima – the band not missing the fact that he would have celebrated his 100th birthday this year.
Band leader Simon Bartlett sung along with Pia Andersen and special guest Sarah J Hyland.
Later, the second set was provided by the Black and White Big Band, playing a collection of classics as well as rare tunes. The vocals were provided by the ‘Hollywood Honeys’ – made up of Kitty Van Horne, Sara Jeanne O’Connor and of course, the diverse Pia Andersen.
And like many in the audience, these gals adore their vintage – dressed in bright satins and taffeta , frosted with opulent jewels their look was as decadent as the pop up shops that surrounded the hall.
When dancers required a break there were plenty of delights on sale to take their fancy –whether another vintage garment was required or a savoury snack, sweet desert or scrumptious drink to whet the palette, it was all there. This reporter even took the opportunity to perfect her pin roll at the Vintage Allsorts Beauty Bar.
Between sets Ms Anderson and the band members made time for a chat with me.
You can hear from Pia Anderson as well as many of the participants of the event: 6pm – 6.30pm July 20th on your favourite station; Eastside 89.7fm.
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MANY THANKS TO:
Pia Anderson of VINTAGE ALLSORTS
Kris Ezergailis of www.whatabigcamera.com
~ Meagan Fitton