Can’t Repeat the Past? Why, Of Course You Can… With a Badass Theme Party
February 25, 2013 § 25 Comments
Is anyone else counting the days until The Great Gatsby movie comes out? Have you watched these trailers 40 billion times?
No? Just me, then? OK.
One of the reasons I’m so excited for this Baz Luhrmann flick is that it just LOOKS so good. Visually, I mean. Beautiful people in beautiful outfits walking around in beautiful settings, all vintage-fabulous. Plus, it’s got that nerd-cachet, what with being an adaptation of a great book. Very much my cup of tea. Or glass of prohibition-era moonshine, as it were.
Anyway, what I hope most of all is that someone will have an over-the-top Great Gatsby party to celebrate the premiere and invite me. Because if there’s one thing I love, it’s a bygone-era theme party. Also, I really want to turn around and go, “Gatsby? What Gatsby?” every time someone walks into the party.
A few years ago, to celebrate the start of the third season of Mad Men, we hosted a Mad Men party (yeah, us and every other household in America, whatever). It was, if I may say so, legendary — as were the hangovers that followed it. From the bar to the food to the music to the behavior (the hundreds of Parliaments masquerading as Lucky Strikes in my mother’s antique silver cigarette boxes were supposed to be props, but tell that to a bunch of drunk Don Drapers) … it was the party to shame all parties we’d ever had before. And the outfits – oh my word, the outfits.
^ I wanted to recreate that scene for the party, but I ultimately decided against it, because (a) guns at a party, and (b) filmy peignoir set in public.
We haven’t had a Downton Abbey party, but only because we just finished watching seasons one through three last week. Give us time.
Now, to be honest, not every attempt at theme-dressing has been such a smashing success. When my husband and I moved into our first house, we were a good bit younger than all the responsible, child-rearing adult neighbors around us and didn’t know a soul. So we were tickled to be invited to join the neighborhood supper club. As we understood it, the group met every other month at someone’s house for dinner, and there was always a theme. A THEME!
So, fast-forward a few weeks. Our first supper club invitation arrived in our mailbox: Please join your neighbors for dinner this Saturday evening. And dress accordingly… it’s a Disco Inferno.Oh, you better believe we dressed up. I wore a groove-taculous polyester FLOOR LENGTH gown with spaghetti straps and orange/green/turquoise stripes. It was glorious. Glorious, I tell you. My hubby wore a smoooooooth thrift-shop ensemble, including a paisley shirt made of God-knows-what, an enormous pair of sunglasses, and a nice medallion, all the better to show off against his chest with the shirt unbuttoned to his navel. He added a big afro wig at the last minute. Nice touch, babe.
Night of the party: We made our way up the driveway of the party house. (The neighbors are going to love us, aren’t they? Oh, they totally are.)
We rang the doorbell.
A man answered the door.
The man stared us up and down. “You must be the new neighbors,” he said.
We looked at him, in his khakis and polo shirt, then looked past him, to the living room where EVERYONE WAS IN SWEATER SETS AND BUTTON-DOWN SHIRTS LIKE IT WAS JUST A NORMAL FUCKING DAY.
So, yeah. Unspoken rule of supper club? Nobody ever dressed up.
Except us that one time. Because when we embarrass ourselves, we do it UP. Go big or go home.
Anyway. That’s one reason I’m super excited for the Gatsby movie. I am already planning the outfit. I just need the party.
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On a completely unrelated note, for those of you who are into the penguins: The Random Penguins Shop is now open on Etsy. Get your birds on paper! There are currently 10 varieties of notecards available — as well as multi-packs of stationery, which make a nice little gift for your weirder friends — with more possibly to be added in the future.