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Friday, July 12, 2013

See Beautiful-The Jazz Age Lawn Party

Today is the See Beautiful blog hop.  Every second Friday bloggers post on how they see beauty in their  lives.  I've always loved vintage things, particularly anything from the 1920s and 1930s.  I was introduced to this era by my late father who loved the Fred Astaire films and the works of PG Wodehouse. On June 15, my husband and I attended the Jazz Age Lawn Party on Governors Island, a beautiful event were attendees can dress in era appropriate clothing, listen to jazz music from the Dreamland orchestra, dance the Charleston, shop for vintage wears, and eat era appropriate food.   Its a beautiful day for sure and for a vintage lover like myself nearly as good as a trip in a time machine:

To get to the event you take the Governor's Island ferry which is free, it is a nice short ride.

 The Event is quite popular and there are long lines so you really should buy your tickets in advance, which is what I do, and go early.  The Island is  beautiful and this year the weather was absolutely perfect.

 We got to the event early with the first ferry load of party attendees so there was plenty of space on the lawn.   You can see that most, but not all, of the attendees dress up.  Its like a trip back in time.

I was lucky enough to have a really nice dress from Time Machine Vintage for the event.  She custom made it for me based on a picture I sent her.  Its a little more 1930s then 20s, but then that is my favorite era.   My shoes are from Mod Cloth and my 1930s crochet purse is from Dena's Vintage Closet on Etsy.  I got my hat from Anthropologie with a gift certificate from lovely friend Pat.  With the exception of my wedding dress, this was definitely my favorite outfit ever and very comfortable too!

There are lots of stands with lovely vintage wares.
 There were tables loaded with gorgeous vintage gloves, many of them too tiny for even my relatively small hands but I did buy a beautiful beaded navy blue 1950s pair for not very much money.

                                      Tables of Vintage Jewelry.

         This mint green dresser set was particularly beautiful, but pricey.
 I was sorely tempted by these hand made straw boaters in men's and women's sizes, maybe if I go the second staging of the event in August (they have it then too).

The vintage dresses where from all eras, but the twenties ones at this stand where particularly pretty.

There was a section with vintage cars, complete with era appropriate gangers, on display as well.

Most of the attendees had great outfits, but my particular favorite was this Edwardian lace dress.

 One group of men were dressed in vintage military uniforms.
 Boaters and parasols were very popular, excellent vintage sun protection. I bought my parasol from one of the stands.

John did not opt to dress up but he was a sport about going.  I was so excited to finally get a picture of us together, though I was sad that I somehow lost our ticket to get a vintage moon picture after I paid for it!  I guess there is always next year.

There is food at the event and elderflower cocktails from St. Germain's liquor, but you can also bring your own picnic food.  Since we got there early we found plenty of space on the lawn for our blanket.

The best picnic set by far was this one:

Honestly it was much nicer then most peoples dining rooms.  I just wonder how they carried it all.

Lots of people go to the event to dance to period appropriate music of Michael Aranella and his Dreamland Orchestra:
I loved the striped shirt, red neckerchiefs, and straw boaters on the band.
 I don't dance but it was fun to watch the packed dance floor:

 The street fashion photographer Bill Cunningham was there.  He was zipping around the dance floor in his signature blue jacket, its almost impossible to believe he is 84 years old.

He is such a fascinating character.  There is a great documentary about him, Bill Cunningham-New York that is available for instant view on Netflix, its all about how he has zipped around the city on his bicycle for the last 50 years photographing outfits on ordinary and famous New Yorkers. Even my husband who has little interest in fashion loved it.

By the time we left at 1:30, the event was packed as you can see from the crowds behind me in the picture. 

We were probably the first to leave since I wanted to get back to the dogs.  The one flaw with this event is that are no dogs allowed on Governor's Island, which is really too bad because I know my dogs could totally rock the jazz age fashions.

The boat ride back was nice too.  It was neat to see modern Manhattan in the background after the beautiful trip back in time.

I really have to thank Sid's mom and dad for telling me about this event last year.  Now its pretty much my favorite part of the New York City summer.


  1. Perfection! You look beautiful, and I know you were in seventh heaven.

  2. Wow this might be my favorite of all your posts (I've only visited Urban Hounds before). Thank you for sharing your fascinating photos about this unique event. You make living in New York City look like a blast. That dresser set was to die for. Your outfit was sweet and summery for the occasion. Your husband got a wonderful picture of you on the picnic blanket. Like him, I'm shy about dressing up but enjoy admiring all the nice outfits and costumes.

  3. I love your outfit too!! When I clicked to see your wedding dress though, it came back to this page. I would have loved to see your dress, I am sure it was beautiful! This event looks amazing too!

  4. What fun! I am officially jealous.

  5. I had a lot of fun reading this post and looking at the pictures :) the topic was quite fresh and fascinating for me :)

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