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Muddy goes backstage at Goodwood Revival

Goodwood Revival is one of THE social events of the year - an epic day of classic cars and vintage fashion with a backdrop of motor racing. But what goes on behind the scenes?

Revival is quite simply the world’s greatest historic motor race meeting, and the only sporting event staged entirely in period theme. It’s a whimsical step back in time, where “make do and mend” was a way of life rather than a casual slogan and it is without doubt Muddy’s favourite day out EVER.

Every year the team at Goodwood dress the hundreds of staff and actors for Revival in vintage style giving the event the feeling of a complete time capsule. But where does all this fabulous fashion come from? Muddy had an exclusive snoop at the huge wardrobe on site to play dress-up before the event in September, but what did we find in this vintage Narnia? 

Muddy Sussex Editor Madeline rummages the rails

There are over 12,000 items in the treasure trove behind the scenes at Goodwood – possibly the world’s biggest dressing up box, all presided over by Sue O’Donoghue, Theatrical Costume Consultant. 

Sue in the Revival wardrobe

Letting Muddy loose in the vintage clothing wardrobe at Goodwood is like leaving a kid in a candy store. Never in my life have I seen so many amazing outfits – from 1950’s prom dresses to Hilda Ogden style housecoats (remember them?), with accessories and props to match it’s like stepping back in time. 

Some of the 12,000 items ‘backstage’ at Revival

But what would Muddy choose? After having a good root through the rails – will it be the 60’s shift or a fitted 50’s suit, (decisions decisions!), we settled on a standard WAAF (Women’s Auxiliary Air Force) uniform to try on, and a rare late 40’s Sambo swing coat styled by Sue with a retro floral dress and a second hand felt hat.

We love a man in uniform – guys get in the spirit too at Revival

She explained; “The coat is one of my personal favourites from the collection – designed by Samuel Sherman, who went on to design under the well known 60’s label, “Dollyrockers,” it’s much sought after by fashion collectors today. The dress I teamed it with is actually a recent piece, proving that it is possible to get a great Revival look without feeling that everything you wear must be true vintage! I believe everyone has in their current wardrobe something that can be adapted to help achieve a convincing and stylish vintage vibe.” 

Fast love -a chic racing fan at Revival

This is the true spirit of Revival – mixing up perhaps one vintage item in your wardrobe (or your Nan’s!), and having fun styling yourself with a mix of current clothes and a few bits salvaged from your local charity shop. Worried your vintage item is a bit er..whiffy and it’s not dry cleanable? Sue revealed her tip is to spray old clothes with an atomiser filled with vodka and leave them to air outside. She didn’t say whether you could also have a little snifter while you waited…

Now to fix the Muddy barnet! At Revival they have amazing pop-up beauty salons called Betty’s where a team of professionals work their magic on the racegoers. 

Betty’s Hair & Beauty Salon pop-up at Revival

Today we had Lisa Langford, who works at Betty’s and is an award winning hair & make-up stylist specialising in vintage looks. She started by adding mousse to my damp hair, (or towel dried if you’ve just washed it) then blasted dry (make sure you have a nozzle on your dryer to minimise frizz).

Lisa’s extra tip: ‘push’ the hair on all directions as you dry to get volume in the roots, then once dry spray the hair with some heat protection (Schwarzkopf do a good one), just a fine mist all over.

Lisa works her magic on the Muddy barnet

Next use tongs or straighteners to curl, and pin each curl up whilst it’s hot (hair holds whatever shape you’ve moulded it into when it cools down). Leave as long as you can, but make sure it’s completely cool – at this point an Ena Sharples hairnet would come in useful! 

Ready for action – Madeline in her WAAF uniform

Finally remove the pins and give light spritz with firm hold hairspray (Lisa’s secret weapon is Got2B Glue Blasting Freeze Spray), then run your fingers through to separate the curls. Voila! Retro hair in an instant! (well almost). 

Even the racing cars are vintage

For my make-up look Lisa kept it simple, using a matte foundation like Revlon ColorStay, (no sheer glowy base in the 1940’s!), and the classic MAC Ruby Woo lipstick which has a completely matte finish. If you prefer a softer lip look Lisa recommends a little Dr PawPaw Original Balm on top (this multi-tasker is also one of Muddy’s favourites.)

Ta-da! Madeline’s finished look 

A flick of liquid liner (Rimmel Scandaleyes Precision Micro Eyeliner is a good cheap one that won’t budge through a full day drinking and jiving) and a swipe of mascara and I’m good to go. 

So there you have it – from Muddy Stilettos to marvellous Mary-Janes in the blink of a false eyelash – all thanks to the Goodwood gang. Now, can we keep the car?

Muddy is on it like a car bonnet 

Fancy joining in some of the fun? Goodwood Revival 2022 , 16-18 September 2022. Tickets and packages from £64, children 12 and under go free, young people (13-21) are half price. 

Dance yourself dizzy at Revival

Tickets available at 

Follow the official @goodwoodrevival account on social to stay up-to-date with the latest Revival news and event updates. 

We were blown away with the vintage looks at Goodwood!

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