The Jazz Age Lawn Party

Despite terrible dancing skills and curves that make flapper dresses look ridiculous, I could have lived in the Jazz Age. I’m like Owen Wilson’s character in Midnight in Paris: obsessed with the Lost Generation and their post-war glamor, longing to rub elbows with the likes of F. Scott and Hemingway and Gertrude Stein. I dream of writing poetry like TS Eliot (I mean, I don’t write poetry, but maybe if I lived in the 1920’s I would have!). Everyone has their favorite golden era and the Jazz Age is mine.

Which is probably why Kim insisted I come back to New York last weekend to take part in the glitzy Jazz Age Lawn Party on Governor’s Island. And as usual, Kim was right.

Finding a costume was difficult due to those aforementioned curves. Drop waisted dresses make me look about 6 months pregnant and I’m too busty for those sleek low cut things. I eventually came up with a blue, casual but era appropriate dress, a jaunty hat and kim curled my hair into ringlets. She herself wore a flowing black dress and a crown of flowers and her husband Brian went for the khakis and suspenders look. None of us looked like we were going to the same party but we all looked cute.

It didn’t matter anyways, the costumes ranged from boas and sparkles to floor length gowns to colorful sundresses. Nearly everyone came in some kind of costume and if you squinted, the effect was almost right.

Unlike a certain complete travesty of a movie that came out recently (and I’m still mad about it), the Lawn Party actually strives for an air of authenticity. Era appropriate music floated over the lawns where hundreds of people spread out picnic blankets. We drank St. Germaine cocktails in the shade while others learned how to do the Charleston.

The Jazz Age Lawn Party occurs twice a year on Governor’s Island- in June and August.

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25 thoughts on “The Jazz Age Lawn Party”

  1. This is super cool. All my life I’ve been looking for an opportunity to deploy my ability to dance the Charleston (I was raised by old people), but thus far the only use I have found for it is unleashing total pwnage on my Zumba instructor. This Jazz Age party could be just the ticket for taking my retro dance moves beyond the fitness studio!

  2. I love things like this! So cool. I can also relate to Owen Wilson. I am always living in the past. I went to a 1940s Blitz Party in London recently where I got to sport Victory Curls for the first time in my life. Shopping for a costume and doing my hair myself was a bit tricky, but I got there in the end. This party looks especially fun! Thanks for sharing the great photos.

    1. My friends who I went with are moving to Seattle and I’ve already told them how you guys are going to be best friends.

  3. If you are referring to The Great Gatsby (gasp!) I thought it was so good!!!! Party looks like a lot of fun. You’re lucky!

  4. Okay so I can’t say I’ve ever heard of this event before… But it looks AWESOME! I love this era, too (though, like you, I can’t pull off a flapper dress to save my life!).

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