Thursday, April 17, 2014

A Night at the Speakeasy

A few weeks ago, I waved my hair (or made an attempt), rolled my stockings down, and kicked up at the White Lightning Ball hosted by the Greater Boston Vintage Society. It was the bee's knees!

The event took place at the carriage house of the Larz Anderson Auto Museum. Originally built in 1888, the space was perfect for a speakeasy! Jason, our gracious host, put in a huge amount of effort to build some pieces to add to the atmosphere, including a 20s-style roulette wheel, microphones, and jiggering an original still to run water. The props added a lot, and it was a lot of fun to explore everything the event had to offer.

The carriage house in its heyday
I wore a new-ish 20s evening dress I haven't posted about yet, mostly because it's not done. I used the same shot taffeta as the regency dress I whipped together in February, and it is still fabulously magical stuff. Rather than the straight-rectangle shapes I used for the seersucker dress I made this summer, I tried a trapezoid skirt and cut the waistband on the bias to make it a little clingier. I'm really happy with how right for the 20s the silhouette turned out, and once it's trimmed I may actually like it...20s are so not my period! But if it means great cocktails and a lot of dancing, I'll put up with it.

my new (totally untrimmed) shot taffeta dress
I also tried something new with my hair, aiming for those iconic flapper waves. I used an electric 3-barrel crimper on the front sections, which you can sort of see in the picture above. Unfortunately, once my unruly curls started frizzing (the band was too good not to dance!) the effect was way less noticeable. I have some thoughts (thanks to some great advice--thanks Emily!) on what to try next, so I may have give that a shot sometime soon.

waved hair, candy cigarettes, and a real 1920s slot machine
The event was also sponsored by Bully Boy Distillers, a local whiskey distillery. They provided lovely cocktails, and I recommend the brand if you live in the area.

So without further ado, step into the speakeasy with me!

A tin sign protesting the amendment that outlawed alcohol

This banner was strung across the dance floor--are you a member of the Association Against the Prohibition Amendment?
The fab cigarette girls were handing out candy cigarettes--I didn't know they still made those!
a crooked cop dealing at the blackjack table

betting at the roulette table

bottles by the still
with a Bully Boy cocktail

our crew, posing with a prop Tommy gun at the "photo booth"--I'm not sure who the gun belonged to, but we (along with a lot of other guests) took turns guarding the moonshine. And it was just as heavy as the real thing, so that took some serious muscle! (which might be why I look ready to 'whack' someone in all the pictures where I'm holding it...) that.

There were two fun performances by the Chifferobes, and I snapped this just before they started

end-of-the-night announcements on one of the reproduction microphones
What a grand evening! If you're in the Boston area, you definitely shouldn't miss the next one...Check out the site link above for the details, and I'll see you there!


  1. Hi there! This was such a fun event. And you're very welcome for the hair tips. I hope they are helpful.

    To answer the comment you left on my blog today - Yes, Cori and I will both be going to Reading this year. We've never been but everyone tells us its an awesome WWII event. I'm not sure where exactly we'll be during the day but we should plan to meet up somewhere! Our plans to stay overnight on site fell through so we'll be staying in a hotel. Which really isn't terrible as we'll be there for a couple days. Do you know if any other bloggers or people from the GBVS are going? I know Jason V. will be there but not sure about anyone else.

    1. Hello! I have an event this weekend to try my hair-styling skills at, so I'll keep you posted!

      We should definitely plan to meet up! I have no idea what to expect, but I am pretty sure we're staying overnight on site. I'm going with Antonia (who I'm pretty sure you've met at GBVS events before), and since Jason is the one who wrangled us into coming I expect we'll be hanging out with his group a lot. Are you guys with a unit?