The look that Bettie Page made famous has been back for a while: full skirts with a hint of crinoline peeking out, polka-dotted tailored tops, patent-leather pumps, red lips and big curls tucked behind tropical flowers. Everything old is always new again, but when it comes to retro, the mid-century rockabilly style seems to increase in popularity every year.
“It’s because it’s classy sexy,” says affable pin-up aficionado Amy Ortiz from under a perfect retro updo. Ortiz is the owner of Downtown’s Rockin Bettie boutique and has been a fan of the rockabilly aesthetic since, as she puts it, “Viva Las Vegas was 50 cars atop the Gold Coast’s garage.” But can class really account for why more and more people flock to retro’s luscious look? Ortiz, a mother of five, explains: “It’s also a really fun style that’s complimentary to all kinds of body types.” Makes sense. What could be cooler than loving the way you look?
Rockin Bettie 1216 S. Main St., 702-877-3000. Monday-Saturday, 11 a.m.-7 p.m.; Sunday, noon-5 p.m.
Take those fine fashions to the Weekender!
If you see a lot of mint-condition muscle cars this weekend, you’re not time-traveling. Viva Las Vegas, one of the biggest rockabilly events in the world, takes over the Orleans for the 18th time, with vintage car shows, dances, bands, burlesque, pool parties and more. Get inspired at the retro fashion show Friday (noon), then learn how to move like a pro in Saturday’s jiving class (1 p.m.), all before showing off your new threads and moves to tunes by more than 20 retro acts at the All-Nite Jumpin’ Showcase (midnight). You’ll need more than diner coffee to make it through all the thrills.
Viva Las Vegas Rockabilly Weekend April 2-5, times & prices vary. Orleans Hotel, vivalasvegas.net.