After having a great time last year, I once again attended the Jazz Age Lawn Party on Govenor's Island. Flappers and gents turned out in droves to picnic, imbibe, dance, and, of course, show off their outfits. It's my favorite people-watching NYC event.
I hopped on the free ferry and took in the iconic views.
Govenor's Island is a pleasant place to bicycle, take in outdoor art, or just roam around. Today, though, I followed the vintage-clothed crowd.
This looks like the right place.
This girl got a lot of attention for her sartorial homage to Josephine Baker.
There was a group dance lesson that I considered joining, but I opted to take photos of the participants instead.
Most of the ladies wore very glamorous and super-feminine ensembles. This one, though, went for a jaunty menswear look and pulled it off nicely.
Between the fashion and the period jazz music playing, the lawn party was like stepping into a time machine. Some 21st century incursions were still seen, though.
Oh this must have been so much fun! Your entertainment was every where you looked. I loved the pose of the lady wearing the menswear, I am pretty sure she must be a professional jazz dancer but the leg and hand positioning.
I enjoyed looking at all the details from the hats down to the shoes!
That is a super event, and people have really made an effort to be in period. Josephine Baker was almost correct but missing, or should I say, had added, an unwanted detail. Lovely set of photos all the same.
Man is not lost, only temporarily uncertain of his position
Some 21st century incursions were still seen, though.
The one incursion from a later time that bothers me are the women's shoes, none of which should be flats. Sheesh, even gardening books from the 20s & 30s show the ladies delving & planting in heels. "Josephine's" bodice works for the period, but the shoes break the illusion.
The menswear woman chose well, though. Look at the picture below her: the girl on the right looks perfect because her shoes are so totally correct. My favorite shoes in this report are on the woman in the purple dress & red cloche, 2nd dance class picture, although there are some other good ones in that photo.
Favorites so far (because there will be more, right? ): The natty man & his bicycle, Josephine (major points for moxie), the woman in knickerbockers & the man next to her, the couple in the forefront of the last dance picture, and the girl with the lace dress, navy blue hat & fuchsia parasol.
Bixa, we're on the same page and I'll have you know I made a full commitment to wearing heels. I switched to flats on the subway ride back home, once the spell was broken.
Yes, JB girl gets points for originality and confidence. She was a good dancer, too. (Unfortunately, most of the dance photos I took are junk. I haven't learned to capture motion well.)
I agree, the woman in the red cloche was well put-together from head to toe. I think I recognized the man with the bike from last year, he looked as dapper as he did then. I also liked the menswear look with the added feminine touches, and the demure white lace dress.
People were very happy to pose, either for my benefit or for each other.
I spotted a familiar face from last year.
A few people asked for my photo as well. Here I cozied up to some new acquaintances. (Regrettably, though, the nice guy taking the picture cut off our shoes.)
Families with young children enjoyed themselves.
The event was also a great place to bring a date.
A few more pics...
It's funny, I didn't notice anything unusual about this hat until I zoomed in on the photo later.
The party was even more crowded than last year, probably due, in part, to the release of The Great Gatsby film. As I said before, director Baz Luhrmann was in attendance. I combed through my photos to see if I had unwittingly took a picture of him but, alas, I did not. No sign of Leonardo diCaprio, either (of course).
Despite the increased popularity, the atmosphere was as inviting and convivial as ever. It was a see-and-be-seen event but without any pretension or snobbery. Everyone was just happy to be there.
I hopped on the ferry and said goodbye to the Jazz Age, until next time.
Since Hollywood has put so many wrong ideas in our heads, I was wondering if high heels at such an event might be an anachronism. My research showed that they already existed, but I did not find out if they were a common article or not. Old family photos would seem to indicate that "semi high heels" were considered appropriate for fancy dress, but there was no trace of stilettos (or just even shoes that tall) anywhere.
Maybe it's my being too hetero or just stylistic differences but to me most of the women in this report look wonderful and most of the men look like posh nobs. But no matter, terrific report nyc, looks like a great time.
Super cool report NYCgirl!!! Great costumes and everyone looks to be having a splendid time. And, so natural looking and at ease in their garb. There's a particular phenomena that occurs when people gather together in costumes, (as in Mardi Gras here) and, assume a natural comfortableness with themselves. And, curiously enough, no two look alike, very original. I also happen to really like the style and fashion of that particular era, especially the women's clothing and look. Thanks for this!!! Was the music live?
5000 years? Hardly. The codpiece was a fairly revealing part of men's attire in the 15th & 16th century. But tights & short skirts had revealed men from the 14th century through well into the 16th century.
I've wondered the same thing, though, about why that one decade continues to capture the imagination. Was it because so many entrenched mores and conventions were overthrown after the horrors or WWI? It was a heated time for creative people, so many of whom became famous. The movie Midnight in Paris captures some of the romantic gloss of the period.
As far as the clothing, I think the devil-may-care, kick over the traces attitude of the period is reflected in the clothing, giving it a spirit of fun and self-expression.
I confess that I am wondering about why this era is still so popular. Is is because it was the time in the past when women wore the most revealing clothes?
It was a very free-spirited and "naughty" time. People drank despite Prohibition, whites fraternized with blacks (sometimes), women smoked in public, hung out in bars, and wore short skirts or, perhaps even more daringly, pants. As Bixa said, there was a huge outpouring of creativity and stars were born. The fact that the Great Depression ended the fun and games and the public reverted to a much more restrained lifestyle in the subsequent decades makes the Roaring '20s even more alluring.