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Katie McLaren, a pin-up from Paeroa, will be in her element at the Repco Beach Hop this week. Photo: KELLEY TANTAU

Beach Hop ready, rain or shine

When gearing up for the country’s largest rock and roll festival, which spans five days and four towns, there has to be a consideration of what hairstyle will withstand the elements.
“Everything is weather dependent. The car is weather dependent, hair is weather dependent… but even if it’s raining, if there’s enough hairspray in it, it’s not going to waver.”
Katie McLaren is a Paeroa pin-up and rock ‘n’ roll dancer well-known for wearing vintage outfits on the daily.
She will be in her element at the Repco Beach Hop, which kicks off in Waihī on November 23, before cruising to Thames, Onemana, and Whangamatā.
“I find it hard to pinpoint just one thing to look forward to, but I really enjoy interacting with people from that community,” she told The Profile.
“You spend five days doing it and when you get to Monday and Tuesday, you get the glitter crash, where you feel a little bit sad and lonely because you were all of a sudden engrossed in this scene.”
Katie will compete in the Best Dressed Fashion Show at the Waihī warm-up party on Wednesday, before participating in the cruise-ins to other towns in her uncle’s 1932 Ford Roadster.
Her top tip for fashioning a hair-do that can withstand the fickle weather? Start with a head scarf.
“I have a very big scarf obsession,” she said. “I always buy scarves from op shops because they’re only $2 or so… and I quite frequently get sucked in and come out with four or five scarves.”
Katie said an outfit worthy of Beach Hop can all start with a head scarf – just pick a colour and build an outfit around it.
Alternatively, high-waisted jeans, a black jacket, and a victory roll or pony tail can transport women to the rockabilly era, while suspenders and cheese cutter hats, collared shirts and slicked back hair can make a man suit his surroundings.
“Don’t be shy about it,” Katie said. “There are so many places where you can find inspiration. If you’re a social media mogul, there’s Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest, and YouTube has heaps of videos on how you can style your hair.”
For Katie, whose wardrobe is full of swing dresses and chunky bracelets and brooches, Beach Hop fashion is an everyday thing, and she said she would love to inspire more people to step back into the more “sophisticated” style of clothing.
“The fashion that’s coming back is 90s style, and it’s very reminiscent for me – I was a kid in the 90s and we’d always wear crop tops and boyfriend baggy jeans. I’m not a massive fan of modern fashion though,” she said. “I never really had a place in fashion until now.”
DETAILS: Established back in 2000, Beach Hop has brought thousands of Kiwis together for its annual festival. For info, visit: