Short skirts, high glamor, and mixed drinks. Conspicuous consumption, love triangles, and dark secrets. It's no wonder that F. Scott Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby seizes the imagination of every generation.
My friend Stephanie, designer of Honey Cooler Handmade lingerie, is a connoisseur of the 20s style. To celebrate her line and the upcoming Baz Lurhmann film, she threw a Gatsby-themed party at a local speakeasy.
I felt so lucky to be invited. Then I panicked, realizing I didn't have a thing to wear. Despite my love for icons like Louise Brooks and original "It Girl" Clara Bow, I've never found the era's silhouette flattering.
Let's just say I have an exaggerated hip-to-waist ratio. And a dropped-waist cut just makes everything go pear-shaped.
But I cannot resist a theme party. So I picked up this blue velvet number from the last place that you would ever expect. The seamed stockings are from American Apparel (although I don't think they wore seams in the 20s?). Copper heels are my very own DIY.
Monogram necklace from The Rusted Key. The pendants are made from beautiful old typewriter keys. Perfect for a literature-inspired party, no? I got so many compliments on these. I think I'll have to make a real effort to wear more jewelry with my outfits.
And since the fog was rolling in, I was forced to cover up with a vintage 60s tie-neck coat in silk dupioni. Similar here.
Stephanie threw her party at San Francisco speak easy Bourbon & Branch. The staff takes the fake illegal-bar gimmick super seriously. In fact the sign outside reads "Anti-Saloon League."
To get in, you have to ring the doorbell and wait. Then you start to worry about leaving your bike outside in the Tenderloin. Finally the perfectly-in-character hostess answers the door to ask you for the password, before letting you in to a cozy library.
And just when I thought that we'd finished all the play-acting, she asked me to wait in front of a wall of books. At this point, all I wanted was a stiff drink to calm my nerves. But then the bookshelf swung aside–just like in the movies!–and I stepped into the party.
Kris from Fashionista SF, Stylist Nikki Flamingo, and Erika Peterson.
Getting ossified with Stephanie and her husband Matt. Photo by Anna Marks Photography.