In which the attendees of the 2015 Gatsby Summer Afternoon make the case for dress codes to be a necessary element for any party invitation.
Even though I am skipping this year's picnic at the historic Dunsmuir Hellman (or is it Hellman Dunsmuir?) estate, I'm grateful that I get to relive last year's through all the photos that I took. Having been about seven months pregnant at the time, it was one of my last "public" appearances.
I remember that I was so overwhelmed by the thought of bringing a tiny dependent into the world that I went into avoidance mode. Instead I spent the weeks before the party trying to insert my very round and steadily inflating shape into an Art Deco Society of California approved look. And all without spending more than about $30.
It was a tall order and I acquitted myself tolerably well, even though on the day of, at my toilette, I was pouty and resentful about all the silly prep that went into this dumb party. Clearly I was under some crazy pregnancy hormone related delusions!
Because look how fabulously diverse yet thematically appropriate these day dresses are. Not to mention how beautiful and happy everyone is.
I've complained about the rules before, but all the pre-picnic stress is worth it. The best/worst bit of crankiness in the "How to Gatsby" section regards the popular notion of a Roaring Twenties™ party. A Halloween-tinged mix of copious black fringe, knee-length fake pearl necklaces, and a couple of stretchy sequined garters worn on the thigh and, inexplicably, the forehead.
In case you haven't gotten the picture from my previous posts about the Gatsby here and here, that impersonation of Hollywood's pre-Code interpretation of a gangster's moll is strictly forbidden. Even the much-lauded Little Black Dress is not allowed.
But what to wear instead? Feast your eyes on the charming day dresses I saw at last year's Gatsby Summer Afternoon. From soft pastels to bold prints, there's enough inspiration here so that you don't have to find yourself ever going back to black*.
If you are as inspired as I am after all these beautiful dresses and are wondering how to incorporate vintage inspiration into your next bike ride, check out Kelly's tips here:
*We miss you, Amy!