The Vintage Carnival Leicester & Best Dressed competition

I was super pleased to be asked back to judge the Leicester Vintage Carnival this month and I’m now going to bombard you with pictures from the day. It’s a lovely day out and the lack of torrential rain this year made it all the more enjoyable!
My favourite part about it is the amazing food and drink on offer – what can I say, this girl loves feeding her face. It’s terribly middle-classed of me I’m sure, but I love a good street-food stall. The first thing we did when we turned up was scoped out what was on offer. I’m still trying to eat no or low gluten because I felt so much better when I stuck to it before the wedding (I’m intolerant), so The English Indian lured us in with their promise of curried chips and deep-fried haloumi. Honestly, this is the best food I’ve ever eaten at a festival-type-thing. I got the half-half fried chicken and fried haloumi and it was epic. It makes me hungry just thinking about it. If you ever see these guys at an event, do yourselves a favour and make a beeline for them! We followed this with a strawberry Pimms… mmm.
The English Indian half-half
Fed and happy, we went to check out the vintage car show and it was a great display again. My favourite pink Cadillac was back, but as it didn’t match my outfit this time I didn’t get photos with it again 😉 I think you’ll agree my choices are the perfect accessories to this fab Voodoo Vixen dress, that this time I styled with red, orange and gold rather than yellow. B was annoyed I was choosing the cars to stand in front of based on what matched my dress, but then agreed it made for fab photos…


CiCi Marie at the Vintage Carnival Leicester 2017
Car show, Vintage Carnival 2017


CiCi Marie at the Vintage Carnival Leicester 2017
Car show, vintage carnival 2017
CiCi Marie at the Vintage Carnival Leicester 2017


CiCi Marie at the Vintage Carnival Leicester 2017
Hair flowers: old
Sunglasses: Unique Vintage (out of stock)
Dress: c/o Voodoo Vixen (out of stock)
Bag: Joanie Clothing (no longer available)
Shoes: Swedish Hasbeens (similar)


Side note: I have to say, these Swedish Hasbeens served me well – I was expecting them to hurt by the end of the day but they were just fine. Definitely going to bear them in mind for future summer events.
All that looking at cars got me ready for some dessert (who am I kidding, I’m always ready), so we headed to the cafe. The decor was cute and the cakes were outstanding – I had a gluten free millionaire’s shortbread that was better than most standard ones I had. B had a chocolate-orange cake that was also divine. Great tea too. Only problem was the service wasn’t great – too few staff for too many guests. But we weren’t in a hurry so we didn’t mind sitting around once we had our tea.


Tea and cake, vintage carnival 2017


Tea and cake, vintage carnival 2017


Tea and cake, vintage carnival 2017
By this point it was getting closer to when I was supposed to be judging, so we thought we’d check out the tent where it was happening. There was a lindy-hop lesson going on and my shoes were definitely not suitable (ever tried dancing in platform wooden soles?), but it was fun to watch. I used to do lessons when I lived in London, so I was itching to join in. (I’m pretty reserved usually, but for some reason have never felt embarrassed dancing to steps in public.) Having said that, I didn’t do these lessons with B and I think I saved myself some trampled feet.


Lindy-hop, Vintage Carnival 2017


Lindy-hop, Vintage Carnival 2017
And onto the competition! Jess, the festival organiser, myself and Charlie Adams who contributes to Vintage Life magazine were on the judging panel, so here we are below. I think at this point the compere (Jess’s mum!) had just wrongly said Charlie ‘runs Vintage Life magazine’ and we were all chuckling about that.


Best Dressed Competition, Vintage Carnival 2017
There were just under 30 contestants and I was particularly smitten with #1 here’s Seamstress of Bloomsbury dress and Miss L Fire shoes (I’ve been trying to get my hands on these for ages) – and her absolutely fabulous poodle. I always think poodles aren’t that flattering but she looked fantastic.


Best Dressed Competition, Vintage Carnival 2017
My favourite accessory was the adorable Theodore…


Best Dressed Competition, Vintage Carnival 2017


Best Dressed Competition, Vintage Carnival 2017
Best Dressed Competition, Vintage Carnival 2017
Time to judge, check out the concentration…


Best Dressed Competition, Vintage Carnival 2017
And ta-da! Our winners. 1st place in the middle we loved all of her coordination and accessories. 2nd her 40s vintage dress and fantastic hair (a gibson roll with flowers tucked in the back and pompodour). 3rd the aforementioned fantastic poodle was a big swaying factor!


Best Dressed Competition winners, Vintage Carnival 2017
It turned out I’d bought hair flowers from our second place, as she’s the owner of Sink or Swim Bowtique! Our vintage-loving world is a small one…


  1. July 5, 2017 / 4:44 pm

    This looks like such a fab day out, lots to entertain plus good food is a winning recipe! You and the other judges chose well and took it seriously, I like all of the winners' looks. Nothing wrong with posing by cars in complimentary colours 😉 Long may this glorious festival friendly weather continue! Xx

    • July 6, 2017 / 12:55 pm

      The food is top quality at these events, for sure! Hope you get to go to one – this year they have two locations, so who knows maybe one will end up closer to you!! xx

  2. July 6, 2017 / 10:27 am

    I adore your dress – just perfect for the day. It looks like you had a lot fun! Kx

    • July 6, 2017 / 12:56 pm

      Aw thanks 🙂 I had a lot of eating, which to me definitely counts as fun 😉 x

  3. July 7, 2017 / 8:15 am

    What lovely ladies – judging the competition must have been such fun, as also I know you'd do it in a "Here's what I love about each one" way, not a "Well, this sucks…" way. Though I'd give the prize to Theodore. And then steal him. He and I could go for a walk in the park and eat some of those delicious-looking chips…

    • July 8, 2017 / 6:47 am

      There was a lot to love about everyone's outfits – I loved seeing the effort that had gone in, because it was like being surrounded by kindred spirits 😉 I wanted to give the prize to Theodore too – I genuinely said that at one point!

  4. July 8, 2017 / 11:00 am

    How wonderful everyone looks! As per usual you know how to pick a winner – love everything that the winning contestants are wearing. Nice to see a Seamstress of Bloomsbury dress here too! Although I have to say I'm a especially partial to the lovely lady in the floral Hell Bunny and cutest accessory ever – although surely it's cheating to bring such a cute fellow along? Only kidding of course, but what a lovely pair they make! I see here though that the judges were every bit as well dressed as the contestants – the SH shoes look great with the VV dress. And the matching cars 😛

  5. July 10, 2017 / 10:21 am

    Omg looks like it was such a great day out! Beautiful outfits, amazing cars and great food! I love your outfit and everytime you post about it I feel the need to make one of the designs in this fabric mine! Gorgeous styling as always x

  6. July 11, 2017 / 5:31 pm

    Looks like a fab event! And all of the ladies look absolutely gorgeous!! Glad to hear the food was good, that's a make or break for an event to me!

  7. July 11, 2017 / 5:54 pm

    Fantastic writeup CiCi! The outfits were gorgeous.

    It was a really good day and you're always welcome to come along and dance with us. Everyone who joined in our workshop was so much fun and we loved teaching everyone. We'll be doing it all again in September, so do come and say hello!

  8. July 13, 2017 / 12:23 am

    How fun does this look! I think the girl in 2nd place is my fave – that hair! Those sunglasses!
    You, of course, look gorgeous as well. I remember being really smitten with this dress the first time around, and I might like it even better with the red accessories. And of course you had to pose with the cars that matched!

  9. July 13, 2017 / 3:47 am

    This looks like so much fun!
    And of course posing with coordinating surroundings is a must 🙂

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