Inspiration from NYC’s Jazz Age Lawn Party + our GATSBY Editorial

About to board the ferry in Brooklyn to Governor’s Island for the
9th Annual Jazz Age Lawn Party last weekend!

When I realized that my childhood best friend was hosting her engagement party in Pennsylvania only one week from the Jazz Age Lawn Party‘s second installment in August on Governor’s Island off of New York City, I just knew I had to go (again! – see my coverage in June here) After some sweet talking to Joel and presenting him with some snazzy vintage spectators to wear, I “dragged” him to Governor’s Island along with our dear friend, Brad Kunkle (the painter). My mom and her co-flapper Diane met us for another magical day under the trees. Just as the New York Observer stated, Everyone was truly “beaming from the sheer delight of suddenly finding themselves in the height of the roaring ’20s.”

Please take a look at my Jazz Age coverage below along with favorite photo picks from our epic Great Gatsby Gala fashion editorial with Photographer Lisa Brown of Bella Rose Photography. I hope this special edition of the FASHION FIX provides just the Jazz Age inspiration you are looking for to prepare for the 4th annual Great Gatsby Gala September 18th at The City Club in Downtown Wilmington (and after-party at The Blind Elephant). Get your tickets before it’s too late at I promise, it will be the bee’s knees!




Jazz Age Lawn Party Founder & Host Michael Arenella and his Dreamland Orchestra




Michael Arenella chatting with dancers from The Dreamland Follies



L: #whatimwearing – 1930’s pink lace dress from Simplicity Bliss Vintage, 1930’s fringed piano shawl from Thea’s Vintage, 1920’s crescent moon headpiece from Dear Golden, Oliver Peoples 1920’s inspired sunglasses from Port City Eye, rose quartz necklace from J. Crew, rose quartz bracelet from Banana Republic, upcycled mint green bracelet from Vintage Wonderland Designs, beaded necklace from A Second Time Around, a long strand of pearls and vintage embroidered gloves from my neighbor, Gloria.
R: Meeting Michael Arenella and telling him about the Great Gatsby Gala. Wouldn’t it be fun if he made an appearance?




My mom attended her first Jazz Age Lawn Party along with her friend Diane. They claimed this bench for their own and were delighted to have throngs of Jazz Age attendees ask for their photo over and over again.


Classic Jazz Age Lawn Party sighting: Photographer Bill Cunningham doing his thing.
“I can’t think of a more delightful way to spend a weekend in the city.”
– Bill Cunningham, The New York Times 2014


It was also Joel and Brad’s first Jazz Age Lawn Party, my handsome escorts for the day!


Some of my favorite picks for “best dressed” at the Lawn Party.






Adored this cast of vintage characters! I photographed the blonde at the June event as well. And this dapper gent was so observant of details that he recognized my jewelry as rose quartz recalling that rose quartz is known to attract love (it’s also my power stone).


Vintage skater dude. He was so in the zone.


The dance floor is the hot spot for people watching and doing the Charleston all day long.


The beautiful Dreamland Follies. These peach rompers are the jam.


Guess who took a spin on the dance floor?
And believe it or not, it was Joel’s idea to cut a rug!


(Mom was our paparazzi)


Jan and I’s favorite bartender from St. Germain was back again
making “Flappers Delight” and “Strike Up the Band”
from Mixologist Julie Reiner’s (Brooklyn’s Clover Club) recipes





A second dance floor sponsored by Boardwalk Empire? Yes, please!



L: Lovely dress purchased from one of my favorite vintage sellers, Wildfell Hall Vintage
R: This dapper fella really was the cat’s meow.


It’s a family affair, darlings!


Pretty sure this was my favorite part of the day. Nothing beats lounging in beautiful clothes in an ethereal environment with good company under the trees. My idea of paradise.


The story goes that actor Josh Lucas (Sweet Home Alabama – swoooon!) stumbled upon the Jazz Age Lawn Party one year and has now become a regular – along with his adorable son Noah


Brad capturing the last dancers as the crew breaks down the dance floor


Flappers modern-day escape getaway


Back to reality.
Jazz Age revelers heading back to the city on the ferry.
Till next year, my sweets!





Fashion Editorial


As you know, the 4th annual Great Gatsby Gala is upon us. So basically I am living, dreaming, sleeping, and breathing Gatsby till the evening of September 18th. And, I’m not complaining. It’s safe to say I’m in my element.

Two weeks ago, I joined the incredibly talented Lisa Brown of Bella Rose Photography (her 3rd Gatsby!) and an amazing entourage at The City Club and The Blind Elephant speakesy for our latest installment of our Gatsby fantasy.

After a 14-hour-day shoot day and an 8-hour editing session (2,300 photos – eeks!), I am crossing my fingers that you enjoy the images nearly as much as we enjoyed creating them.

Photography: Lisa Brown of Bella Rose Photography
Wardrobe Styling + Casting: Jess James
Hair: Rozy Bathon of Rockin’ Roller Salon
Makeup: Amy Kennison
Locations: The City Club + The Blind Elephant
Vintage Car: The British Taxi

Gatsby – Clark Dean
Daisy – Adrienne O’Docharty
Tom Buchanan – Troy Widmer
Nick Carraway – Ben Jamieson
Jordan – Josie Evans
Myrtle – Michelle Glauber

Paige LaWall
Jessica Baltos

Nnenne Terzian

David Walen

Big Thank You to
all of you for making our Gatsby
come to life so beautifully!

Tom (far right):
Ike Behar Parker black tux from Cape Fear Formalwear


Vintage white drop waist dress $145 from Style Girl Collection, Silver mesh headpiece with feather $125, Deco teardrop rhinestone earrings $125 – All from aMuse. Statement silver necklace with pendant and fringe chain $65 from A Second Time Around, Aquamarine and diamond ring $10,000 from Lumina Gem.
Tan Suit by Perry Ellis, White rapture necktie and Genoa espresso lace-up shoes. All from Cape Fear Formalwear.


Sheer beaded dress w/ wrap $130, Green slip $30, 1920’s beaded fringe necklace $125, Bronze boa $114, Gold wire beaded headpiece $50, Long gold chain with amber colored stones $40 – All from aMuse. Gold and amber statement earrings, vintage compact $35 and beaded gold clutch $75 – All from A Second Time Around. Shoes, stylist’s own.

After Six Riviera navy suit from Cape Fear Formalwear. Tie, stylist’s own.


“Violet” (Daisy’s Mom):
Pat Kusek of Kusek Financial Group, our beautiful presenting sponsor, wearing her new flapper dress with jewelry and handmade headpiece from aMuse

Ralph Lauren 1930’s inspired silver halter gown (size 14 – pinned) and authentic 1920‘s beaded bag $110 from A Second Time Around, Blue velvet and rhinestone headpiece $85, Mesh and rhinestone statement necklace $95, Rhinestone cluster earrings $150, Gray square stone bracelet $105, Rhinestone bracelet with 3 center stones $125 – All from aMuse. Sapphire and diamond bracelet $22,000, Aquamarine and diamond ring $10,000 both from Lumina Gem.


Gatsby & Daisy take a #selfie.

White tux from Cape Fear Formalwear

Wide gold and pearl fringe bracelet $65,
Deco teardrop dangle earrings $125 – both from aMuse,
Vintage kimono, shoes and scarf, stylist’s own.


Jessica McClintock red/orange dress size 2-4 $85, Chandelier earrings $25 and Starburst clip-on earrings (worn as dress clips) from Lumina Gem, Copper snake belt as necklace $40 and Bracelet with gold nuggets $48 from aMuse.

Vintage Cache aqua beaded gown, Snake rhinestone necklace $25, White fur stole, Blue rhinestone drop earrings $30 – All from A Second Time Around. Gold medallion necklace with aqua stone $95, Long gold chain with purple stone pendant $55, Wide gold and pearl fringe bracelet $65, Aqua beaded fringe headpiece $75 – All from aMuse.



Vintage white drop waist dress $145 from Style Girl Collection. Silver headpiece $125, Deco teardrop dangle earring $125 – All from aMuse. Statement silver necklace with pendant and fringe chain $65 from A Second Time Around, Aquamarine and diamond ring $10,000 from Lumina Gem. Shoes, model’s own.


Vintage 1920’s embroidered shawl and mink stole, both from A Second Time Around.

Jessica (dancer):
Beaded bralette $58 from A Second Time Around, Black feathered headpiece $125 from aMuse. Beaded shorts, stylist’s own.

1960’s pink beaded fringe top $95, Silver tiered dress, Rhinestone shoe clips $50 from A Second Time Around, Rhinestone tie choker by Kramer $120, Deco teardrop dangle earrings $125, Rhinestone bracelet with 3 center stones $125, Rhinestone bracelet with center marquise $95, Long crystal necklace $115 – All from aMuse. Pink feather fan and silver headpiece, stylist’s own.

Paige & Porcelain (dancers):
own clothing. Headpiece, stylist’s own.


Tan Suit by Perry Ellis, White rapture necktie and Genoa espresso lace-up shoes. All from Cape Fear Formalwear. Gold deco tie clip from A Second Time Around.

Vintage 1970‘s white tiered dress (size small) $98, Vintage white heels – Both from A Second Time Around, Gold lace headpiece $125 from aMuse, Diamond and opal pendant $1,695, Switch gold filled chain $123, Pearl and diamond cuff $2,995, Tiffany and Co. 18kt yellow gold and ruby $1,395 – All from Lumina Gem. Gloves, stylist’s own.



This just might be my favorite photo from the entire shoot.
(Baz Luhrmann inspired)

Nnenne (Jazz Singer):
1970’s satin peach two piece, size small $58 from A Second Time Around, Long rhinestone necklace with emeralds (worn down back) $350, Gold deco earrings $120, Peach beaded headpiece $99, Oval plate bracelet with multi-stones $68 – All from aMuse.

Vintage print fringe scarf $38 from A Second Time Around Jean Yves black tux from Cape Fear Formalwear



The fabulous Porcelain, our burlesque dancer from the last two Gatsby Galas. The beautiful Paige, dancer/hooper Porcelain is passing the baton to in anticipation of Porcelain’s move to Seattle.


Vintage 1970‘s white tiered dress (size small) $98, Vintage white heels both from A Second Time Around, Gold lace headpiece $125 from aMuse, Diamond and opal pendant $1,695, Switch gold filled chain $123, Pearl and diamond cuff $2,995, Tiffany and Co. 18kt yellow gold and ruby $1,395 all from Lumina Gem. Gloves, stylist’s own



Did you hear our Great Gatsby Gala
is hosting our first-ever official After-Party
at Blind Elephant? Head there at 10:30pm!



Vintage black cab provided by our friends
at The British Taxi – give them a call
to arrive in style the night of the gala!


Behind the Scenes







Rozy from Rockin Roller Salon working on some pin curls!


1920’s era makeup perfected by Amy Kennison


L: Some extra accessories once owned by my grandfather
R: 1920’s inspired baubles for sale from aMuse








Aug 21-23
This Weekend!

Lumina Gem’s
1st Antique & Estate Sale

Lumina Gem is hosting their first annual antique and estate jewelry sale featuring a variety of unique classic, antique and collectibles that range from the Art Deco period to Victorian. These one-of-a-kind pieces will be in the store for three days only! From 10:00am to 6:00pm August 21st through 23rd. Keep tabs on their Facebook page for sneak peeks! (both pieces below will be at the sale)


Aug 22
Art Opening


Aug 23
Aqua Fedora’s
Summer Sale

+ 20% off the entire Style Girl Vintage collection!


September 13
Great Gatsby Trunk Show

WHAT: Jess James and Jan Wutkowski, Milliner & owner of aMuse are hosting a joint trunk show featuring 1920’s inspired dresses from Style Girl Vintage and custom flapper headpieces by Jan, along with cases full of Jazz Age jewelry and St. Germain cocktails!

WHEN: Saturday September 13 / 1-4pm

WHERE: aMuse
19 South Second Street
Downtown Wilmington


September 18
4th Annual
Great Gatsby Gala

Pat Kusek of Kusek Financial Group presents the 4th Annual Great Gatsby Gala hosted by Jess James at The City Club inspired by the Great American Novel and the joie de vivre of the Jazz Age glamourized by Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald. Get ready for some Roaring 20’s reverie! As the City Club’s only event open to the public, there will be an exclusive discount (80% discount!) for membership sign-up on the night of the event only.

“And I like large parties. They’re so intimate.”
– Jordan Baker


* Delicious food, Prohibition era cocktails and 1920‘s music with
Chanteuse Nnenne Terzian and The Justin Lacy Swingtet.

* Jazz Age dancers and Gatsby models in 1920‘s finery with hair by Rockin’ Roller Salon,
makeup by Amy Kennison and enchanted deco decor by Kickstand Events.

* Speakeasy: Members Only Burlesque show with nationally renowned burlesque dancer.
Sign up that night to enter!

* Portraits in the Garden with Artist Kat Christian +
Photo Booth with Bella Rose Photography

* Coveted Charity Raffle Prizes benefiting our local Make A Wish

* “The Bee’s Knees” Wardrobe Contest – Shop Gatsby attire at Gatsby Sponsors aMuse,
A Second Time Around, Lumina Gem & Cape Fear Formal Wear

* Official After Party at The Blind Elephant Speakeasy!

Thursday, September 18th
VIP Hour in The Gardens: 6pm-7pm
Event: 7pm-10pm / After Party starts at 10:30pm at The Blind Elephant

The City Club of Wilmington
23 South 2nd Street

On sale NOW
Click Here!

General Admission: $60 in advance / $75 at door
(includes heavy hors d’eouvres + 2 complimentary drinks)
VIP: $130 in advance / $150 at door
(VIP Cocktail Hour in the Gardens with Master Mixologist + entertainment.
City Club will waive new membership initiation fee for VIP guests!)

1920’s, “old sport!”




September 20
4th Annual
CARE Project Gala

The CARE Project is an official 501c3 public charity.
Hosted by Dr. Johnnie Sexton, Audiologist,
founder and Executive Director of The CARE Project.

Official Partner Hotel:Wilmington Riverside Hilton
Special Celebrity Guest: Project Runway Finalist Justin LeBlanc

Project Runway Finalist Justin LeBlanc with
Style Girl LLC’s Juliana Williams at Charleston Fashion Week


The CARE Project raises money to provide retreat weekend counseling
experiences for families with children who are deaf and hard of hearing.

Musical Entertainment: Jack Jack 180

Featured Chef Stations with:
1. Top Chef Contestant Chef Keith Rhodes/Catch
2. Southern Smoke BBQ/Matthew Register
3. Wilmington Riverside Hilton Carving Station
4. Pine Valley Market

Live Auction Featuring:
* Custom designed gown by Jessie Williams/Edge of Urge: value up to $1,500
* Pig Pickin Beach Music Party for 75 People from Southern Smoke BBQ: value $3,000
* French Crepe Dinner Party – up to 14 people (incl wine + limo)
from SouthnFrance Bonbons: value $2,000
* 2012 Club Car Golf Cart from Meekins Auction House: value $2,500
* Original Bald Head Island Marshscape Oil Painting by Xris Kessler: value $1,700
* Frying Pan Towers B & B Weekend for 2 (incl roundtrip transportation): value $3,000

Saturday, September 20, 2014
6-11 p.m.

Union Station
502 N. Front Street
Downtown Wilmington

Tickets: $45 – To get yours,
Click Here!


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2 Comments Posted on: August 20, 2014
  1. Stellar Gatsby editorial, Jess! The styling was impeccable, the color story lush (those blue playing cards? What a great detail), and all the textures, and baubles, oh my!

  2. Thanks, Helen! I appreciate your feedback, as always. xxoxo

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