5 posts categorized "Gatsby Style"

Newport Vintage Dance Week

It was just about a year ago that I wrote about the Newport Vintage Dance Week, hosted by The Commonwealth Vintage Dancers. (If you missed it you can read about it here.)   Part of the schedule last year was an afternoon at The Newport International Polo Grounds to watch a polo match, enjoy a picnic buffet and dance under the big white tent.  The CVD contacted me to see if I wouldn't mind adding a bit of vintage tailgaiting decor to the event and to observe, interview & capture it through photographs.  I jumped at it, of course.

There was one common thread that ran through the brief conversations I was able to have with some of the guests: a fear that the days were numbered for events such as this and that there was a weakening interest in all that the CVD and it's devotees stand for.  I drove home that night feeling as if I had been transported back in time to old~world Newport, the original resort town by the sea and fearing, too, that this wonderful experience would not be had by many more in todays rapidly & ever-changing world. . .

After much thought, I decided to wait until the spring to write this post, thinking that it could give the event a big shout-out as the season was just about to descend upon us but in plenty of time to book the trip and save the date.

I visited the website this week to confirm the event dates and so forth and lo and behold you won't believe it but:

Newport Dance Week 2012 Completely Booked!

Booked Solid.  The entire week.  A wait list in place.  How is that possible?  I ask myself after so many voiced concern over a lack of interest, not to mention that bad "e" word -- the troubled economy.  Well, maybe it was the wonderful piece Bill Cunningham wrote for the NYT about it or the great narrated video he created.   Perhaps all the attention and excitement about the release of the 2012 version of "The Great Gatsby" directed by Baz Luhrmann?  Who knows?  What I do know is that it doesn't get much better than that for CVD and I am sending my warmest congratulations to them and best wishes for another wonderful week in Newport. 

And now, just about one year later, but all the sweeter for the memory, are my photographs from

The Newport Vintage Dance Week
at
The Newport International Polo Grounds
30 July 2011.

Best hat at Newport Vintage Dance Week 2011 Newport International Polo Grounds


 Commonwealth Vintage Dancers at The Newport International Polo Grounds


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 Commonwealth Vintage Dancers at The Newport International Polo Grounds.JPG (7)


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Commonwealth Vintage Dancers at The Newport International Polo Grounds.JPG (12)


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 Commonwealth Vintage Dancers at The Newport International Polo Grounds.JPG (14)

 


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 The Commonwealth Vintage Dancers at The Newport International Polo Grounds.JPG


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 The Commonwealth Vintage Dancers at twilight at The Newport International Polo Grounds


 Commonwealth Vintage Dancers dance at The Newport International Polo Grounds (6)

Commonwealth Vintage Dancers dance at The Newport International Polo Grounds

Commonwealth Vintage Dancers dance at The Newport International Polo Grounds (12)


 Commonwealth Vintage Dancers dance at The Newport International Polo Grounds (14)


 Commonwealth Vintage Dancers dance at The Newport International Polo Grounds (15)

Commonwealth Vintage Dancers dance at The Newport International Polo Grounds (16)


 Commonwealth Vintage Dancers dance at The Newport International Polo Grounds (19)

 

Commonwealth Vintage Dancers dance at The Newport International Polo Grounds (21)

Commonwealth Vintage Dancers dance at The Newport International Polo Grounds (22)

Commonwealth Vintage Dancers dance at The Newport International Polo Grounds (23)

 

Getting music ready for the Commonwealth Vintage Dancers dance at The Newport International Polo Grounds (4)

This beagle would like a dance Commonwealth Vintage Dancers Newport Polo Grounds

Commonwealth Vintage Dancers dance at The Newport International Polo Grounds (2)

Commonwealth Vintage Dancers dance at The Newport International Polo Grounds (3)

 Commonwealth Vintage Dancers dance at The Newport International Polo Grounds (24)

Vintage tailgaiting by The Red Velvet Shoe @ Newport Vintage Dance Week Polo Grounds

Newport International Polo Club Newport Vintage Dance Week The Red Velvet Shoe

xx ~ Michelle


Newport Vintage Dance Week 2011

If you happen to follow the Facebook page of my blog/site, you may recall I mentioned quite awhile back that I had been invited to attend "The Newport Vintage Dance Week" after one of the sponsors came across my post about Vintage Tailgating.  It was one of those moments when, upon learning of this event, I again thought to myself:  "How is it I have never heard of this?" 


(photo courtesy of The Commonwealth Vintage Dancers)

Newport is less than an hour away, and although my days of hanging out at The Black Pearl, The Pelham & The Red Parrot have been long laid to rest, I do at times feel the urge to head to Newport, but on a far more grown-up level.  I now tend to head there "off season", when traffic has slowed, parking is available & the weather is much more conducive to enjoying the coast with a wicker basket picnic or dining outdoors sans staring tourists with cameras and drunk prepsters who are trashing yachts Onassis couldn't afford to own.  I suppose you can consider yourself a grown up when you'd rather be "un-seen" than "be seen" in such a place as Newport purports to be. 

Yachts in Newport Harbor  
(photo courtesy of 12 Meter Charters)

Although still the lovely "City By The Sea", when you watch films shot on location in or about Newport such as "The Age of Innocence", "The Great Gatsby", "High Society" and "Mr. North", you have to wonder where all the charm, the grace, the manners and propriety that was once associated with and demanded by those who swam the circles of Newport's social seas has gone.  The glamour once associated with the glamorous likes of Doris Duke and Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy has all but disappeared and been replaced with a much less refined sense of entitlement and entertainment.

Jfk and jackie 

While I cannot tell you (in a simple blog post, anyway) where those days have gone, I can tell you there is a troupe of rather talented, aesthetically concerned persons who wish to reclaim, revive, and at the very least recall the grand days of yesteryear.

They are The Commonwealth Vintage Dancers and their mission is rather admirable and most noteworthy.  Voted two years in a row one of The Top Five Most Memorable Events of 2010 by Bill Cunningham of The New York Times (additional photos here) , the upcoming 24th Annual Newport Vintage Dance Week (30 July - 5 August 2011) is, rather obviously, the place to be. 

The week kicks off on Saturday, 30 July 2011 at 5:00 pm with a Polo Match (Newport vs New York), a Dinner Buffet & Welcome Dance to be held at The Newport International Polo Grounds at Glen Farm in Portsmouth, RI and includes private box seating in the Subscriber's Enclosure for excellent viewing of the match.  Registration for the event will begin at 1:00 pm to allow plenty of time for settling in, mingling and enjoying the lovely grounds of this Rhode Island landmark. 

"Travel Back in Time to the summer playground of the Gilded Age.
 Perfect your dancing skills with classes taught by leading experts on vintage dance.
 Experience the breathtaking opulence of America ’s finest ballrooms as you dance in Newport’s famous mansions.
 Let yourself be immersed in a bygone era as you sip tea by the shore..."  (courtesy of TCVD website)

 

 

xx ~ Michelle


Roaring 20s!

Roaring 20s  Billy Randolph and the High Hatters Album Cover

Roaring 20s
featuring
Billy Randolph and the High Hatters
 
Excerpt from back cover:

"But what of the music of this frantic and frentic era?  The songs were those of the flapper ... the one with the stockings rolled "below" the knee.  The hip flask ... and long cigarette-holder (for women had just started to smoke in public).  The songs of the era were bright and slightly fragile.  The melodies that depicted wild life on the campuses of America.  The songs from the smoke-filled cabarets of the major cities.  The spots where for a price, the most beautiful dancer in the show would bathe in a bowl of champagne...for the exotic enjoyment of the elite.  An era running full speed toward destruction.  Not knowing it.  But laughing and singing as they went..."

I pulled the album out of the cover and began to laugh~~it's candy apple red see-through vinyl....perfect!

xx ~ Michelle


ONE HOT 'N JAZZY SUMMER LAWN PARTY

Well, despite the greatest effort to NOT miss this fabulous New York event, I once again lost track of the summer weekends and missed the annual "Governors Island Summer Jazz Lawn Party (2010)".  So who knew that last Saturday, the day my Mom and I chose to have her annual yard sale, would be the hottest, muggiest, most humid day of the year so far?   As I sought cover under the colorful beach umbrella we embedded into her front lawn to give us shelter from the sun, little did I know that I had sold out on a chance to attend this fabulous venue for a mere $45.00 . . . well, I really did forget, but for all the unsightly sweating and interacting with strangers all day, I would much rather have endured it at the Jazz Party!   So while I was making a half hearted attempt to pedal my wares, less than four hours away this is what was goin' on:

Governors Island Jazz Lawn party 2010 (10)

Governors Island Jazz Lawn party 2010 (3) 

Governors Island Jazz Lawn party 2010 (2) 

Governors Island Jazz Lawn party 2010 (6) 

Governors Island Jazz Lawn party 2010 (12) 

Governors Island Jazz Lawn party 2010 (7) 

Governors Island Jazz Lawn party 2010 (13) 

Governors Island Jazz Lawn party 2010 (4) 

Governors Island Jazz Lawn party 2010 (5) 

Governors Island Jazz Lawn party 2010 (8) 

Governors Island Jazz Lawn party 2010 (9) 

Governors Island Jazz Lawn party 2010 


 

I think you can tell, from the all the smiles and the overall glow in the photographs that it was a wonderful success!   Almost everyone (with the outstanding exception of "The Sart" himself, shocking!) dressed for the occasion and did not let the heat be an excuse to be a slob.  A lesson many could learn in our modern, slovenly clad world.  

Take heart, though, if after viewing these lovely photographs (you can find another fabulous set of photos here)  you, too, are kicking yourself silly for not making it to this fabulous venue:  there will be a second lawn party held the weekend of August 28 & 29!!  I'm in, anyone else?????

Just remember, proper dress required!
   
 
 

xx ~ Michelle


A BIT OF GREAT GATSBY~NESS

Thegreatgatsby2 Looking for a great summer flick to watch with some great vintage clothing inspiration?


Look no further!

I realize many would be insulted to think those are the reasons to watch this amazing film, but I humbly admit that when I am not feeling scholarly, these are my reasons.  (Seeing some 2008 CE  fashion disaster roaming around a famous taking~over~the~planet discount store is another very good reason to watch this film~~it reminds one of a time when people actually cared about what they looked like and they looked very fine, indeed.)

I read this wonderful post over at Hemingway's Paris and decided it was time to read this book again, or at the very least, watch the movie. . .which I have done numerous times. . .and while searching for some images I came across this:

The great gatsby A&E2001An A&E version of The Great Gatsby!  I never knew it existed and am now on the hunt for it. . .not that anything could replace the Robert Redford version but I would still enjoy seeing it. . .

July 1990victoria To go along with the whole Gatsby theme, here is one of my favorite issues of Victoria magazinge. . .(there are a few available on eBay if you like what you see!)  It's the July 1990 issue and it is wonderful for 1920's inspiration! 

This photo was taken at the Dunsmuir Historic Estate where they host an annual Gatsby Afternoon, be sure to scroll down on the link page for some great photos from those who have been fortunate enough to attend!  And if you are enjoying the whole 1920's fashion theme, check out this link for some more Great Gatsby~ness!

What a way to spend a summer afternoon. . .

xx ~ Michelle