The Budawang Pavilion went back in time yesterday as poppets in Coke-bottle sunglasses and mini dresses mingled with 1950s glamour goddesses in taffeta and red lipstick.
And there were little fashionistas getting their hair pinned back in retro waves and curls while mum looked on.
The Love Vintage show, a travelling exhibition of retro fashion, ended its run at Exhibition Park in Canberra with catwalk shows and workshops on vintage hair and make-up.
Among the crowd was Zyanna Fuery, of Dunlop, whose seven-year-old daughter Jemma insisted on accompanying her to the fashion show.
''She wouldn't let us come without her,'' Ms Fuery said.
They didn't get far once they arrived - Jemma got a quick makeover with the Lindy Charm School for Girls, hopping onto a chair to get her hair sprayed, curled and pinned.
Casey Simms, who co-owns Sydney-based business Forever Vintage, said shoppers were still fascinated by the 1950s.
''The '50s look, the big full skirt, is still really, really in,'' she said.
''And we're starting to see in Canberra everybody wants a coat, which is why we've got coats at the moment. Everybody wants a really stunning investment coat.''
Women who visited Forever Vintage were also looking to buy a really special, one-of-a-kind dress.
''There's something romantic about vintage dresses, everybody looks at them with romance. There's fabrics that don't exist anymore, cuts you can't get anymore,'' she said.
Ms Simms and her mother and business partner Cheryl Lenahan sell a handpicked collection of everything from 1960s shift dresses to jewelled cocktail frocks and brocaded coats, sourced from Europe and the United States.
Retro silhouettes also allow women to experience the often-unfamiliar feeling of being sexy while remaining covered up. ''Fifties dresses, especially, are not about getting the girls out. It's about femininity and shape, it's that sexiness in the shape,'' Ms Simms said.
''There's something really gorgeous about super-cinched waists and a big full skirt, it's voluptuous and curvy.''
Her top tip for vintage shoppers is to get themselves measured to fit into the dresses and coats, which were often designed for corseted waists and smaller ribcages.
''You want it to fit, you don't want to put on a vintage dress and say, 'I can't breathe,' '' she said.
Organiser Gary Fitz-Roy, who also runs the annual Craft and Quilt show, brought the Love Vintage expo to Canberra as part of a nationwide tour.
''It's a special feeling wearing vintage, everything has a story to it. They're one-offs that are are different from everything produced today, you know you're going to have something unique,'' he said.
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