Friday, April 4, 2014

GBVS's 1920s White Lightning Ball

As promised here are some photos from the Greater Boston Vintage Society's event last weekend, the 1920s White Lightning Ball. This amazing event was held at the Larz Anderson Auto Museum.

Lots of photos! :)

The British soldier and the aviatrix
The Larz Anderson Auto Museum is full of great displays, including this "barn find." Discovered in an old barn, the car placed on display exactly as it was found, dust and all. If you look closely you can still see the cobwebs.

Lots of fun photo opportunities during the night. The Carriage House, built in 1888, was transformed into a 1920s speakeasy complete with backroom gambling and a bar. There was even a prohibition era moonshine still set up and someone brought it a Tommy gun to use as a prop. You could even do a little shopping at vendors Bobby from Boston and Salmagundi. Music was provided by the Hot Club of Somerville Jazz Band. They were great!

Cori caught helping himself to another drink.

If you visit the GBVS's Facebook page you will see lots of great photos from the night. There are even some video clips!

Right, so outfit details. I started the morning looking like this. Super attractive I know. I used combination of hair gel, wave clips, and lots of little hair clips and bobby pins. I started with dry hair and only added gel to the front sections. I've blogged a little about finger waves and 1920s hair styles here and here. Once all the pins and clips were set I rolled and pinned the back section of hair up out of the way. I let it dry all day.

About an hour or so before the event I took all the clips and pins out. I used a comb to very gently comb the waves, just enough to break up some of the stiffness of the dried hair gel. I then re-rolled and pinned the back section of my hair so it was neater and more secure. The brown comb was mostly for decoration. This what my hair looked like at the end of the night.

I've made a couple 1920s dresses before so for this event I really wanted to do something different. My inspiration came from photos of women pilots and motorcycle riders. I find it really fascinating to study women who take on roles that are not the norm for their time period. The end result was sort of a Beatrice Shilling meets Amelia Earhart kind of look. My blouse was made using this pattern. It's just the top section of the dress. The boots (which really started my thinking process for this outfit) were steal on Ebay, the vintage jodhpurs and leather jacket were a great thrifted find as well.

I made a cotton flying/motorcycle helmet but I didn't end up wearing the helmet very much. I don't think I have any good pictures. Fortunately, I have these amusing photos of Cori modeling it shortly after I finished sewing it together. It's based off this one I saw on Etsy. I made the pattern up as I went along. I started by cutting the pieces really big then slowly took in seam allowance and reshaped the front section where it curves around the face forming the chin strap. Eventually I just cut that section off and decided it would be better to add a separate and much smaller chin strap. My first attempt looked something like a combination between a Roman helmet and a balaclava....

Cori wore his reproduction British WWI uniform. He just joined the 1st Bttn./South Wales Borderers Great War Living History group and this was the first time he has had the opportunity to wear the new uniform in public. They only thing he didn't wear were the boots. They have some serious heel plates and hobnails, not a good combination on old wood floors.

Here are a few more photos to finish out this post. Enjoy!

Don't worry, that's not a real cigarette! It's a candy stick. :) There were a couple well dressed ladies handing out boxes of "cigarettes" throughout the evening. I didn't even know candy cigarettes were still being made.


  1. WOOOOOOOOW!!! You look fabulous!! I am so loving your outfit!! What fun about the boots, jodhpurs and jacket!! Love awesome thrift finds!! Your blouse is so lovely! YOUR HAIR!!! Laaaaa!!! I believe I will be looking at your tutorials when the time comes form me to make finger waves in my own hair!! You look fabulous!! What a fun event!!


  2. totally adorable love the hair and outfit!!!!


    An award!!!

  4. Gosh I've never seen someone successfully master the finger wave. What a job you did! You look FABULOUS and spot on. I'm so glad I've found your blog. xx

  5. Seriously WOW!!!!!!!!!!!! You guys both look stop-you-in-your-tracks terrific!

    ♥ Jessica

  6. Thank you ladies for your wonderful comments. Goodness, I'm blushing now! Preparing for this event was half the fun I think. Of course the event itself was out of this world fun too! The GBVS really did a great job.


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