New Years Eve Eve is a one of the highlights in every swing dancer and vintage enthusiast’s year. One of the big events on that evening is put on by The Salon, a Soluri brother operation here in New York known for their wonderful speakeasy style happenings. It is captured here by photographer Gabi Porter for Metromix.
Photo by John Russo
This year I attended to dance to the tunes of George Gee’s Big Band, see friends and generally have a wonderful time. I chose to wear a vintage silk 1930s gown that I have had since college days when everything vintage was easily found. It is a beautiful flower print. I sewed up a few seams as the thread is over 80 years old and periodically wears out. I added a thin black belt in place of its missing belt and realized I can never wear it again without it. It was perfect! I added a pair of black retro-1930s satin shoes that I’ve had for years from a family wedding event
Silk I.Miller shoes circa 1980
and a purple orchid hair flower from My Heinies. To add even more I wore my vintage 1970s floor-length black velvet coat with cuffed and buttoned sleeves that I treasure and purchased many moons ago in Michigan. Despite the wide collar it has a very 1930s/1940s style about it and blends in very well. The absolute finishing touch is a black woven handbag from the 1930s/40s that I’ve had so long I don’t even remember where I got it.
Woven Fabric 1930s/40s Handbag
Velvet 1970s Floor Length Coat by Jacobson's Young Signature Collection
It is my go-to bag but, to my chagrin, seems to be more delicate these days. The zipper works but is torn and last year I spent a few hours weaving new thick threads into it to replace the old broken ones.
Photo by Gabi Porter for Metromix.
Well, it was a lovely evening filled with friends and dancing and homemade cookies that sat alongside Dawn Hampton in her place of honor by the side of the band. Afterwards, a small band of weary dancers made our way to a diner for late-night food and giddy silliness before heading off in our separate directions. If any of you love The Fifth Element then you would have appreciated our replication of the “Gimme the cash” sequence. Good times!
Now vintage-wise, I have to say I put that outfit through the ringer. It was spilled on, sweated in, pulled and generally manhandled to the tune of busted seams, broken belt loop and alcohol stain. I was able to hand wash it and remove the alcohol (whew!). The busted seams will have to wait but are definitely repairable. I feel lucky no tears developed (woot!) and have to say this dress will never be danced in again. While I am definitely of the school of thought that advocates use over mere collecting, I will save it for other evening gatherings. 80+ years is a long time and while vigorous swing dancing is a bit too much for it, it will remain in its honored place in my wardrobe forever.
I would love to hear your New Years Eve Stories too! Please comment below and share the highlights of your vintage outfits and swell times wearing them. Happy New Year to all!