This post was written by Lindy Shopper.
This past weekend I was transported to a parallel universe, where the Jazz Age met modern day New York under the boughs of ancient trees on an island that felt so far away from the city it could have been a country estate in the middle of…somewhere fabulous. The weather was perfect, the dance floor shaded, and the eye and ear candy plentiful. While the champagne sorbet and Saint Germaine cocktails flowed, strollers could pick out a cloche or fedora to wear that day, just in case they hadn’t brought their own. Need a parasol? No problem, just pick one up the way to your picnic blanket. While the shopping, eating, and drinking were all delightful, the centerpiece of this event was the people – Michael Arenella’s Dreamland Orchestra serenaded the crowd with 1920’s dance favorites, while the raucous Drew Nugent and the Midnight Society egged the dancers on with their high energy tunes and antics. Dancers were on hand for 1920’s-inspired performances, bathing beauties and hat wearers paraded, and all kinds of people joined in for the tug of war.
I only hope I can come back to one of the Jazz Age Lawn Parties next year. I better get started shopping for my outfits now, as the vintage clothing collectors who attended obviously spent a lot of time scouring vintage sources for the perfect ensemble, from shoes to hat to accessories to picnic blankets.
For more information about the Jazz Age Lawn Party, visit the Dreamland Orchestra’s web site. For more photographs of this lovely event, especially those featuring swing dancers, visit the Yehoodi thread for the August 2010 Jazz Age Lawn Party.
As promised, I scouted out the vendors at the lawn party and managed to take a few pictures of their wares. While you can’t wear anything from the food vendors, two of them are definitely worth mentioning: first, Wine Cellar Sorbet out of Brooklyn, N.Y. had a delicious assortment of flavors, such as sangria, mimosa, pinot noir, and other varietals; second, a cocktail made with St. Germain Elderflower liqueur kept everyone refreshed on a warm summer’s day. I picked up a little cocktail book from the St. Germain table and hope to make use of it soon, as I did not get to try one of these cocktails (but certainly heard a lot about them from others).
My favorite vendor of the weekend was The Village Scandal, which had a delightful array of jazz era millinery for men and women. Boaters and straw fedora style hats were popular, and I saw a number of gals sporting their straw cloches and a beautiful fascinator made of lightweight straw material and feathers curled into a divine confection. My friend Rachel Hundley models her fascinator, pictured to the right. The Village Scandal has a retail location in New York at 19 E. 7th Street, but I understand from the shopkeepers that the website is being revamped and will be more friendly to shoppers soon. These were truly wonderful hats and the cloches are to die for.
There were some odds and ends vendors, selling less expensive goods like these parasols. If you weren’t in the shade, you definitely needed one of these!
Finally, Odd Twin out of Brooklyn, NY was on hand with vintage clothing and accessories. While most of the clothing at their tent was not of the Jazz Age, they had tables spread out with some solid older accessories, like purses and ties, and some fun bloomers on the racks.
In all a wonderful weekend – if you’ve been on the fence about going, I’m here to say solidly that the grass is greener on Governor’s Island!