My favorite event of the summer has come and gone: Jazz Age Lawn Party 2013 on Governors Island. Three years ago I attended with my friends Lauren and Christine. Last year we added one more to the trio: my sister Jess. This year, I’ve managed to keep the tradition alive, but the group dwindled down to two (me and Lauren) despite my best efforts to gather a larger group.
Regardless, Lauren and I had a lovely time traveling back to the prohibition era. I was simply amazed by the number of attendees this year. It could have had something to do with the hype surrounding Baz Luhrmann’s The Great Gatsby release earlier this summer. The event continues to grow each year, and the outfits continue to push the limits.
In my never-ending quest to find the perfect 1920s ensemble, I chose a flowy cream frock accented with a layered scalloped hemline and black piping. I complemented the dress with black patent Mary Janes, a strand of pearls, a vintage beaded necklace from my nanny’s jewelry box and a silk patterned turban headband. I turned to Pinterest for makeup inspiration and decided on a simple cat eye, rosy cheeks and rich burgundy lip.
Lauren took a cue from the black sequined flapper dress that I wore last year and opted for a gorgeous black sequined drop-waist dress that shifted perfectly with her every move. (She scored the dress for free!) We both agreed that our outfits seem to get better and better each year.
To prepare for this year’s festivities, and because I adore all-things 1920s, I reread The Great Gatsby for my book club and also in anticipation for the movie. Immediately following, I read A Novel of Zelda Fitzgerald and decided, all psychiatric issues aside, that Zelda and I would have most definitely been friends had I lived during that time.
Finally the time came for us to board the East River Ferry and sail off to Governors Island. The weather was absolutely perfect, I might add. When we arrived, we were greeted by a sea of pastels and neutral hues that blanketed the lawn. Women with parasols strolled merrily through the crowd, and dapper dandies donning suspenders made the ladies swoon. An expanded dance floor accommodated more people, and we actually managed to snag a decent spot to watch live music and performers.
Before we said adieu to the 20s, we even caught a glimpse of Bill Cunningham in his blue jacket doing what he does best: capturing NYC fashion. This year was even more special because of a Parisian carnival exhibit also on the island. Stay tuned for more! Part II coming soon.