More 20s! (Prohibition Ball 2013)

Only one week after I attended the 1920s Lawn Party, I was immersed in the 1920s again, this time at a Prohibition Ball in Chelmsford, MA. I would guess the attendance at maybe 40-50 people total, though I’m not sure we were ever all in the ballroom at the same time. It was a nice, social group of people and I saw everyone meeting and greeting new people, dancing with a variety of people, and generally being social and having a good time with everyone around. It was also nice to see some of the new people we had met at the 1920s Lawn Party at the ball. The venue, the Chelmsford Center for the Arts, was a lovely place I’d never seen before.

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I wore my 1925 beaded dress and accessorized with a long string of pearls and jeweled/feather hair decoration.

I tried a new style with my hair! I did my now usual 20s thing, where I gel the front sections and use a fine tooth comb to create waves in front while my hair is wet. Then I secure it to my head and let it dry. Usually, I’ve taken the back and put it in a tight bun at the base of my head (like when I’ve worn my not-quite-sailor dress). The idea in doing that is that it makes my hair close to my head and  thus, maybe, more bob-like (I know, I’m kidding myself, it does not actually look like a bob!). This time however, I did something totally different with the back. It seems counter-intuitive, so be prepared… I took my curly hair, and curled it with a curling iron. Yup. Actually, the curling iron eliminates all my usual frizz (that alone is amazing!), but it also creates nice, even, wide curls. I was in a super hurry to get my hair done, so I just did some rather messy curling iron curls then pinned them up in a mass at the back and added my jeweled/feather clip. I love the defined curly mass (different than my normal frizzy, curly mass)! I’m excited to try out curling ironed styles for other events, too!

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Defined curls coiffure surmounted by feathers and jewels.

The other cool thing about the feather/jeweled clip is that from the front I have a small halo of feathers showing. I like that it is visible from the front and packs a big punch in the back! Success!

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Glamour shot! I often make really silly 20s faces, but I think this one works! I love the defined eyelashes, the red lips, the feathers, the pearls…

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More glamour! I’d call this a more sultry shot than mine, which is more playful. It’s got those same fun elements, though, eyelashes, lips, sequins, jewels…

I did mention that this was all for a ball, right? And the ball did include dancing! In addition to normal couple dancing, and large group Charelstons (you can dance the Charleston in a circle like you used to dance in high school!), there were also a lot of mixer-type dances, where participants changed partners, or danced with unknown partners…

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Attendees chatting with each other and looking great.

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Dancing… A foxtrot or one step, perhaps?

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Dancing!

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One of the mixers with a name like “Paul Jones” or something similar.

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The dancing couples trying to escape the gentlemen with umbrellas.

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Another mixer. See the hand over the sheet? Neither gentleman nor lady knows who his or her partner will be.

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Surprise!

There was also a slightly unplanned performance of our five lady Charleston (the same one we performed at the Great Gatsby in May). People really enjoyed it, and it’s always a pleasure to dance a Charleston to the song Egyptian Ella. The Great Gatsby performance post includes a video you can listen to that has the song we performed to, if you’re curious. It’s a fun song!

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We sort of look like penguins in this shot… At least we’re on the same feet!

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There are little bits where we do solos: here I am washing the windows.

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Then I turn and back up. There really isn’t a good way to describe it… looks fun though, right?

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Another solo (well, duo, I suppose). I don’t actually know what this figure is called, but it’s super fun to watch.

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Starting to do the shimmy! (I think it’s the shimmy… It’s really just wiggling, it’s not as shimmy-like as you’re probably imagining!) It was super scandalous in the 20s!

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Final pose.

And of course, there was silly-ness. That’s to be expected when I’m around.

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The “Hello Charleston”… (I made it up…)

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How low can you go?

I had the added bonus of my parents being available to experience, in person, their first vintage dance event. They’ve seen thousands of pictures but have never been able to attend. It was fun to share the experience with them and to Charleston with them! I sure had fun, I hope that you’ve had fun reading about it!

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About quinnmburgess

Quinn M. Burgess creates reproduction and costume historic clothing. Her inspiration has a strong foundation in history: historic dress, social history, and material history. With the addition of clothing construction knowledge, her passions converge in an imaginative world of creative history that she loves to share with others.
Gallery | This entry was posted in 1920s, 20th Century, Galleries, Hair Styles, Vintage Dancing: 20th Century, Wearing Reproduction Clothing and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to More 20s! (Prohibition Ball 2013)

  1. Ruth says:

    Have you ever thought of investing in a wig in a bobbed style for the 1920’s parties you go to? I don’t think I’ve seen you in a hat like a cloche so it might be a good change from fussing with your hair? BTW, I’m jealous, I know curly hair is hard to style at times, but I’ve always wished I had it! Mine is fine and straight, won’t hold a curl, and always has flyaway bits no matter what I do.

    • I’ve thought of a wig but haven’t done anything about it yet. I’ve also thought of hats, but they tend to look dorky on me and I haven’t taken the time to build one that works yet. Thanks for the thoughts!

  2. Raven says:

    Jumping into Ruth’s wig suggestion…I actually own a black bob wig, and I’ve performed (different dancing) in it…I’ve thought about it for twenties but never worn it because it is so hot! I would be concerned about overheating during the Charleston.
    That said, if you ever want to borrow it (or talk me into wearing it as a test), you’re welcome to it!

  3. Doris McEwen Harris says:

    Quinn, you are stunning and so very talented. I always enjoy looking at your work and as importantly, feeling your zest for life. Love you, Aunt Doris

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