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Monday, November 2nd 2009

How I Became a Bahhston-lovin’ Bootleggin’ Buchanan Babe

News from Our NY Editor at Large

It’s not news that flapper fashion is back in a big way—fringe, sequins, drop-waist dresses, and sparkling headgear are as en vogue today as they were back in the Roaring Twenties. So when my friend Alia Ahmed-Yahia invited me to a Bootleggers and Babes party in Boston (hosted by Elle’s Alexa Brazilian) I didn’t stress about where to find my outfit—but how to stand out in a sea of flappers. (I like attention, so sue me!) Enter Daisy Buchanan. It might sound cliché, but before you say, “of course, The Great Gatsby is your favorite book,” it’s not. But the lifestyle sure is somethin’. Mansions of money separated by neighborhoods, martinis before 5 pm (take that, prohibition), men in white three-piece suits (hello, Robert Redford), pin curls, and an excuse to wear every sort of hat from cloche to cap—what’s not to love? (P.S. Did you know the term gold digger was actually coined in the ’20s? Another loss for Kanye.)

I stumbled upon this Harper’s Bazaar shoot from 2007, featuring Kate Hudson (another style idol of mine) as a modern day Daisy Buchanan—genius. I needed a vintage dress.

I settled on an eggshell peplum-waist frock that I found at Edith Machinist on the LES—hands down the best affordable vintage in the city. I hacked it off as short as humanly possible and kept saying to the tailor, “no, tighter, a little shorter,” until he felt quite uncomfortable and drew the professional line. Add fishnets, patent leather Mary Janes, and my Deepa Gurnani headband, and you got yourself a little taste of Daisy by way of Joyann. I really wanted to wear gloves like Kate Hudson, but was worried the rest of the guests wouldn’t be so in-costume—boy, was I wrong!

Clockwise from top left: Flappers and feathers; money boa equals best costume; Alia and I; the beautiful host Alexa Brazilian and her boy Tanner; don’t give this girl a gun!

The party was a full-on gin mill—a flapper and gangster’s paradise. Everyone brought their best, but my favorite look of the night involved a boa made of money.

While I didn’t find my Jay Gatsby, I did find an affinity for red lipstick (okay, I was already a fan) and a liking for gin mixed with champagne (albeit less amazing the next day). And next time, I’m wearing the gloves!

Stay tuned for my next societal undertaking—Murder on the Dance Floor, a charity party here in N.Y.C. benefiting cerebral palsy. And with a name like that, there should be more than enough fun (and fashion) to speak of.

It’s a tough job, but someone’s got to do it.


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