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Planning For Your Gatsby Party The (Speak)easy Way

There is something about the 1920s and its fashion that never goes away. Nobody talks about wearing 1910s or 1930s fashion, but the ‘Roaring Twenties’ still captures the imagination a century on.

Perhaps it is no surprise that books and films about that era - one of misplaced optimism in the US but also its underbelly of Prohibition-era gangsterism - should prove inspirational in popular culture. However, only F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby inspires themed parties, perhaps because emulating Bugsy Malone might be a little bit messy.

To make your Gatsby party a special one will require a lot of preparation as well as the right dress code. Feather centrepieces will be a vital element of capturing the ‘flapper’ fashion of the day, but your event can also contain some specific elements.

A speakeasy is the 1920s theme every Gatsby party should have. That means conveying the appearance that alcoholic drinks are not being provided openly, but in an ‘under the counter’ manner, while there is still plenty of other entertainment going on to provide a cover for the inebriating activity.

The décor needs to be black and gold everywhere, while all the lettering and the props should have a distinctly Art Deco style, and 1920s music will provide the correct audio backdrop.

It is perhaps ironic that The Great Gatsby focused on the lead character’s disillusionment with the American dream in a time of great hedonism and enthusiasm (sentiments shared by the author), although this may explain the later success of the novel after its early poor reviews, due to the huge reality checks provided by Wall Street in 1929 and Pearl Harbour in 1941.

For all that, a Gatsby Party can still provide a wonderful evening of hedonism and a bit of rebellion as each glass of what would have been illegal a century ago is downed.


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