Art Deco Preservation Ball
How to Have a ball
"It's almost impossible to overdress for an ADSC event."
-- ADSC Founder Michael Crowe
The Art Deco Preservation Ball is our chance to show off our best vintage and vintage inspired clothing. The decades of the 1920s, 30s, 40s ushered in some of the greatest fashion designs of all time. This guide is designed to help beginner and novice to feel more confident in the world of vintage.
What to wear
Are you wondering what to wear and where to find it? Here are suggestions for you! Check the menu to the left to find what you need. Don't be afraid to check out the Sew Elegant page even if you don't sew; we will cover a lot of fabric and resources that anyone can use.
Please remember the most important thing, have fun putting together your glamorous get-up. We rarely get opportunities these days to really dress to the nines. If you have a tiara, evening fur, or fabulous jewelry here is a where to wear them.
Attire for the ball is "Vintage Formal" 1920s, '30s and '40s gowns and Black Tie or White Tie for men!
Question: Must it be vintage? Wearing vintage is not mandatory for ADSC evening events; dressing up is. While nothing dazzles quite like the real thing; simple fact is, real vintage of the 1920s, 30s and 40s is getting more difficult to find. When you do find an original piece it is often too fragile to wear. If you wear a larger size this is even more difficult. This is not because people were smaller then. Larger sizes tend to get reused as theater costumes and dress up so they get destroyed. Fortunately there are vintage inspired off the rack clothing, period patterns for sewing, and designers to recreate the perfect outfit (check out our shopping guides to find them).
Question: Do women wear long or short gowns? Those that find beaded 1920s style gowns (a terrific contemporary resource is LeLuxe) do wear them shorter, though full length and trains are also correct. Ball gowns from the 1930s and 40s are always floor length.
Question: Is a new tuxedo okay? Of course it is . . . Men's formalwear has not changed all that much over the years. On the other hand, you really should consider vintage! The quality is higher, the price lower and it will never go out of style!
"How to Dress Deco" is a wonderful little booklet put together by Kimberly Manning Aker, Sara Klotz de Aguilar and Alice Jurow. Hints and tips for shopping and the correct styles of the period. $15 and available through the ADSC, 415-982-3326 also available with PayPal on our Publications page.
Deco dressing at its finest: Deco Belles in evening gowns from the 1920s, '30s and early '40s pose during a 75th anniversary fashion show at Oakland's Bellevue Club organized by Laurie Gordon. From left:
- 1928 Nile green chiffon with rhinestone appliques and shoulder scarf.
- 1925 Gabrielle Sevals iridescent floral beaded gown.
- 1922 Black velvet lace and gold lame with elaborate beadwork.
- 1932 bias cut gown with rhinestone circles.
- 1936 Black velvet gown elaborate cut out work embellished with rhinestones.
- 1941 Metallic crocheted dress and jacket. Gold lame slip by Theresa LaQuey.