Antonia Prebble brings 1920s glamour

With one month to go until the return of New Zealand’s biggest dress-up party, Napier’s Art Deco Festival has appointed Kiwi Actress Antonia Prebble as Chief Costume Officer (CCO) to offer inspiration to guests and bring some exquisite 1920s glamour to the Bay! 

To give visitors the inspiration they need to plan their 1920s themed outfits, Antonia Prebble shows a photo series showing off her Deco feathers while trotting through the streets of Napier. Prebble’s outfits pay close tribute to trends of the past and beautifully showcase the glitz and glamour of the Art Deco era.

“Everyone is encouraged to dress up, but I know it can be hard to know where to start! There are some simple ways to Deco-fy your outfit. For example, women can accessorise a simple shift dress. The most traditional way to elevate your outfit is to incorporate a matching hat or headpiece (depending on the time of day) in a similar shade. Then you can add a flower, trim, or ribbon and you are instantly Deco,” says Prebble.

She adds: “Men can lean toward a double-breasted pinstripe suit with wide bottom trousers. You can have fun with your headpiece by wearing a fedora, straw boater or panama style hat. And, of course, a cravat or bow tie is a must!”

Prebble not only showcases the impeccable outfits but also some of Hawke’s Bay’s most iconic landmarks, which will feature front and centre at this year’s Art Deco festival. 

From the famous Art Deco Masonic Hotel designed in 1932, the sought-after hotel is positioned in the heart of New Zealand’s Art Deco capital, to the Napier Soundshell and its colonnade surround – an iconic permanent stage hosting various concerts and performances throughout the festival. The venue will be a hub for music and jazzy activities where festival goers can tap their dancing shoes to the sound of 1920s and 30s themed tunes.

Prebble says: “I am delighted to announce my recent appointment as Chief Costume Officer of Napier’s Art Deco Festival. I have been a fan of this era for a long time and own many Deco-inspired items myself. There is something so timelessly elegant about Deco: finger waves, cloche hats, drop-waisted dresses, I love it all and I can’t wait to see what all the attendees of the festival wear, it’s going to be fantastic.”

She continues: “I had so much fun working with Hawke’s Bay Tourism, racing around Napier in truly gorgeous outfits. I was catapulted into the wonderful world of Art Deco, and you can be, too. The Hawke’s Bay region welcomes travellers with open arms this February, so book tickets to the 2024 Art Deco Festival and experience Hawke’s Bay in all its glory!”

Hawke’s Bay’s world-renowned collection of Art Deco buildings was built in the 30s after an earthquake devastated the city and destroyed many of its original structures. Eager for new beginnings, the rebuild leant on the trend of the moment – Art Deco. Thus, bringing us the unique buildings Napier and Hastings are known for today. The Art Deco Festival originated as an ode to the city’s resilience and optimism in the face of disaster. 

The joyous occasion has been postponed for three years due to the pandemic and 2023’s Cyclone Gabrielle. Hawke’s Bay needs our love now more than ever. And what better way to do it than supporting the region’s most esteemed event?

Hamish Saxton, CEO of Hawke’s Bay Tourism, says: “Hawke’s Bay’s annual Art Deco Festival is something we are very proud of. The festival pays tribute to an essential part of our region’s culture. Art Deco is etched into our history and signifies the act of healing from tragedy. We feel that this year’s Art Deco Festival will be our most special yet, and we hope to see visitors from far and wide this February.”

The 2024 Art Deco Festival is an event you won’t want to miss. Head to to see what ticketed events are best for you or check out the array of free experiences available.

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