Fêtes in Film | The Great Gatsby

May 24, 2019

I Like Large Parties, They’re So Intimate…

Memorial Day Weekend is upon us and the certified kick-off to summer has got us thinking about poolside soirees. Sure, there’s the lovely and casual poolside hang where you fire up the grill and lounge on the rattan furniture. But if you are like us and are feeling a little more daring, a classic film offers up an inspiring case for re-envisioning the summer soiree. By taking a page out of the screen adaption of The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald, we’ve set our sights beyond seasonal white attire and we’re ready to go all out glam. As the dialogue in the film so appropriately suggests, “when the Fahrenheit rises, bring on the foxtrot.” Brilliant old sport! Why not convert the pool into an integral part of your dance floor and make a Roaring 20’s splash?

There are few fêtes in film more iconic than the revelry depicted in The Great Gatsby. Both the original edition and Baz Luhrmann’s cinematic spectacle provide perfect inspiration for summer grand affairs. Taking your outdoor space and transforming it into a playground for flappers, fantasy, and feathers brings a fantastical new twist for guests. Gatsby’s parties offered a diverse range of surprise elements that kept party-goers engaged, delighted, and captivated long past their usual “Irish goodbye” hour. As the host, make like Gatsby and wander through the crowds, soaking in the festive spirit, while leaving the remarks to a larger-than-life personality. We suggest bringing in a master of ceremonies to liven up the entertainment; they will seamlessly transition between acts in the program and invigorate the audience. The backyard, outdoor setting is ideal for the soundtrack of the evening, composed of rousing brass instruments and jazz musicians. One of our favorite tricks to jump start a party is to bring in Charleston dancers to accompany the band, whose infectious energy will be sure to get the dance floor started. Similar to the film, flowing champagne and martinis will gently nudge even the most dedicated bystander (aka the Mr. Carraway’s of the crowd) into believing they can shake a tail feather.

A celebration of this level calls for attendees to dress to the nines. For those who are invited to your personal Gatsby manor, everyone knows that bowties and fringe are the secret password into the coveted speakeasy. Assist guests with earning participation points by communicating the theme in advance and having artisans on-site to fashion accessories that will complete their look. Ornate headpieces bring personality for the dames of the dance floor and for the gents, rosette boutonnieres are a dapper detail. Both items are gifts guests can wear throughout the evening and take home as a souvenir to recall the surreal encounters of their Fitzgerald adventure.

Of course, Mr. Gatsby himself would insist that no party is complete without an extravagant fireworks display. We think this makes a case for a twist on the typical 4th of July summer barbecue. Celebrate independence likes it’s the end of prohibition and take advantage of the city’s sparks to end your Art Deco Affair with a bang.

We bet there will be three cheers, and lots of cheers-ing, for the red, white, and blue!