Well wasn’t I only delirah and excira when the wonderful Deirdre Mahon of ”Quack & Dirk”, asked me to model for her at Electric Picnic. Its been a month since the joyous occasion and now I get to re live it all over again as I share my experience with everyone.
Electric Picnic is my favourite festival in Ireland. It is the perfect mix of quality acts, decent festival goers, all set in colourful arty creative wonderland. There are no scumbags hanging around setting peoples tents on fire, just people there for a good time. There are a few outlandish characters dotted among the easy going crowd. There is a very happy go lucky atmosphere about the place. The thing about festivals that I personally love, is everyone acts how they want. They wear absolutely anything. People also seem to leave their worries in whatever county they traveled from. Everyone talks to each other. There are no barriers like in every day life. People are there to have fun, listen to music, drink, eat, be happy. How people act at festivals would seem strange to some people in ‘real’ life, everyone smiling and chatting to each other. Imagine if festival mind sets treacled over into general days. Life would be so much more fun!
I really was delighted when Deirdre asked me to model for her. She owns vintage store ”Quack and Dirk”, which is in Dublin’s Fairview. She is a talented designer, much more than that, she is a fabulous, positive inventive, inspiring, innovative diamond, who has a specially trained set of eyes when it comes to spotting beautiful original vintage pieces. She was also one of the Eco friendly designers who took part in the Emission Zero fashion show which I co-organised back in August so some people may recognize her name from that. Her store from its pictures, looks gorgeous. A vibrant hub of Vintage finds from around the world, beautiful dresses, old school handbags, antique watering cans, she has an item for everyone. I will be visiting her in her store soon and doing a write up all about it, so for now I will talk purely about the EP show.
The show was Electric Picnic’s very first Fashion Show. A few days before we were due to head down to the festival, Deirdre explained to me that the stage we would model on, was in the Body&Soul area, on the Eco Ship. Eh the Eco Ship!!??? How fantastic does that sound! I had visions of a big wooden pirate ship, with thick white ropes hanging from tall wooden masts. To my slight disappointment, when I arrived on the day, I discovered it was in fact a stage, not a ship as my imagination had created. There were no pirates to be seen anywhere. I hid my disappointment from Deirdre and said nothing!
Inspired by the New Mexico self-sustainable desert dwellings of the same name, the Eco Ship stage was built from environmentally friendly, found and recycled materials and clad in electrical waste. I spotted old computer monitors and television screens from the 90’s. It was very imaginative. It looked interesting and exciting.
I felt quite important flashing my performers wrist band heading backstage! It was a very nice experience being at the festival as a ‘performer’, such a luxury to camp in the crew campsite which was conveniently right next to the car park, no lugging heavy bags down small country roads through huge acreage of fields. The portaloos had toilet roll too and there were hot showers at hand! There was no need for me to slum it with the riff raf that I’d gotten so use to being apart of for the last few years.
Chemical Brothers performing on the Main Stage
We met at 9:45am Sunday morning. It was an early start having stayed up quite late dancing to the Chemical Brothers and ravin with the ravers at the rave in the woods, but spirits were high and I was raring to go after my morning coffee and falafel wrap. The lovely Leonie Maguire and Sinead Dunne were my breakfast buddies. Leonie was the talented hair stylist for the day and Sinead, a fellow model.
Backstage having my hair done by the artistic Leonie
All of the models hair looked amazing. It was all very big, full of volume, plenty of oomph. Once our hair was done it was into make-up. Smokey, intense eye colour and nude lips were the order of the day. Aoife and Susan the make-up artists worked magic with their brushes and pots of colour. We then did a quick walk through with stage coordinator Eva. A very encouraging upbeat lady. The rain was falling on and off but sure what would an Irish festival be without a drop of rain!
Then it was showtime. Everything was laid out perfectly. A rail with all our outfits in order and photos of what accessories were to accompany each look. Deirdre is one prepared and professional lady. There was also a dresser on hand to help out for those fiddly zips. Laura, Caoimhe, Katie and Orla did a tremendous job. Luckily all the people working on the show were lovely, hair, make-up, models, helpers, photographer/handy man (Eoin!). They were an absolute smashing bunch of people.
The first show went great and Deirdre seemed to be pleased. The dj was pumping out the beats good and loud and a crowd began to form to see just what exactly was going on at the Eco Ship.
This lace dress was my first look. I think it is stunning. I felt elegant in it and ready to go to some fabulous party set in an elaborate mansion with rolling green gardens. Deirdre had it paired with a simple black elasticated belt with gold fastener on the front which cinch in my waist and emphasized my generous hourglass figure!
Between shows myself and Leonie headed off to get herself a burger from one of the vendors. A nice lady stopped and asked us to pose for a picture. Of course we obliged. The following morning weren’t we all over the papers!
Back at the Eco Ship it was time for the second show. I had my hair re done. It was taken out of the buns and back-combed to the bejaysus. It was huge and looked amazing! I loved it. All our make-up was touched up and it was time for us models to get back on stage. The second show was even better than the first. We had a great crowd watching. The rain had stopped and the sun was sparkling.
We were asked to step it up a notch with attitude and told to have fun. That is exactly what we did. Myself and fellow models; Hilary, Laura, Sinead, Kate, Jill, Niamh and Joanne strutted our stuff to the maximum!
My favourite outfit of all was the one pictured just below. Black skin tight jeans cut right at the ankle, a cream soft woolen short sleeved, cropped top, which I adored and a polka dot blazer. To go with this look Deirdre had added a classic vintage bag with gold chain strap. Perfect.
I arrived back to Dublin a day later than expected, sad to be leaving but happy to have had the fantastic experience I’d had. I made new friends and had the opportunity to be one of the first ever models to model at the festival, so I had a lot to be happy for. I came home with a ‘friendship glove’, a lucky 5p coin from the old punt currency, a dodgy looking lighter with a pussycat on it, and a mind full of fun memories. What a great way to experience Electric Picnic. Hopefully this time next year I will be writing about being a performer again at the 2012 Electric Festival. I can’t go back to camping with the riff raff again!
Leonie, Sinead (fellow model) and myself
For more information on Quack&Dirk and lots more pictures from the fashion show please go to http://www.quackanddirk.com/home