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Attendees at the June 2015 party.
Attendees at the June 2015 party.
Photo: Driely S. for Racked. All other photos: Mich Cardin

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Where to Shop for the Jazz Age Lawn Party

It's not every day that New Yorkers get to picnic in the sun and sip St. Germain cocktails with Jay Gatsby and Daisy Buchanan, which is probably why so many of us flock to the Jazz Age Lawn Party on Governor's Island every summer. Who wouldn't want to escape the insanity of present-day Manhattan and take a 1920s daycation on a grassy island with strawberry shortcake, bubbly, and live music?


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Founded by Michael Arenella, who is also the leader of the Dreamland Orchestra, the Jazz Age Lawn Party is now in its 11th year. The throwback event occurs two weekends per summer — for 2016, it's June 11th and 12th and August 13th and 14th — and offers attendees a day of dancing, drinking, and other Prohibition-era debaucheries. Also: People-watching.

Similar to Gatsby and Buchanan, we New Yorkers have a (fashion) reputation to uphold, and attendees historically come dressed to the nines — after all, there will be almost as many street style photographers in attendance as there will be women in flapper dresses. Below, see the vintage stores for finding an outfit that'll get you noticed.


New York Vintage

New York Vintage

The top tier of vintage shops, New York Vintage will not disappoint with its authentic pieces, although it may hurt your wallet with price tags that can reach up to $1,000. Each item is tagged with the era it hails from, so you know your dress will be historically on point. The store offers mostly women's attire and is packed with bags, hats, jewelry, and other accessories to complete your time-traveling transformation. Word is they have a hidden vault dedicated to high-end rentals that are mostly used for editorial shoots, but it wouldn't hurt to ask about it.

117 W 25th Street, Chelsea; (212) 647-1107


Screaming Mimi's

Screaming Mimi's

Screaming Mimi's is New York's vintage secret weapon. It's been on every insider's radar since the ‘70s. There aren't many requests that go unfulfilled here: Mimi's carries reproductions, costumes, and vintage, and its men's and women's Jazz Age section offers a ton of unique options with accessories to match. Prices start at $80, so you'll have some cash left over for that illegal absinthe.

382 Lafayette Street, Noho; (212) 677-6464


Ritual Vintage
Ritual Vintage

Ritual Vintage

The smallish size of this store is deceiving, because Ritual has racks on racks of authentic 1920s dresses that could take you all day to try them all on. Owner Stacy Iannacone collects pieces dating back to 1850, and the store also specializes in 1970s looks (yes please to bold prints). The website is pretty modern and organized for a vintage shop, so you can start brainstorming online before hustling into the store.

377 Broome Street, Soho; (212) 966-4142


Artists & Fleas

Artists & Fleas

Admitting you've never been to Artists & Fleas is like asking friends to meet you in Times Square — prepare to be judged. First arriving in Brooklyn in 2003 and then within Chelsea Market in 2014, the vendor-style marketplace always has new surprises because offerings rotate in and out often, and shoppers can easily stumble upon vintage and old-school period finds. Recently, Brooklyn Bleu has been in residence at the Chelsea location; the vintage pop-up has ornate dresses and tops, 1920s mesh purses, and a Gatsby-themed jewelry line. Jackpot!

70 N 7th Street, Williamsburg; (917) 488-4203 and 88 Tenth Avenue, Chelsea; (917) 488-0044


Olive's Very Vintage

Olive's Very Vintage

For starters, Carroll Gardens feels like a suburban vacation for Manhattanites — Olive's is on a quaint street with a bunch of shops and cafés. And once you get in, you'll find that Olive's itself is brimming with everything from antique tennis racquets to an entire rack of 20s-esque silk slip dresses. The shop carries a large selection of menswear, accessories, shoes — there's even vintage salt and pepper shakers for your Jazz Age Party picnic. First one to land the throwback blue bathing suit wins.

434 Court Street, Carroll Gardens; (718) 243-9094


Pippin Vintage Jewelry

Pippin Vintage Jewelry

Urban minimalism is not going to cut it at the Jazz Age Lawn Party. Lady-like flappers almost never left their wrists and necklines bare. The more layers, the better, so enter Pippin. The shop carries both costume and fine jewelry, and don't rule out the latter — rentals are available for forty percent of the retail price, but costume pieces are just as impressive. Pippin also offers hats, mesh purses, cigarette cases, and frilly picnic china. Not sure where to start? Look toward the flappers on the wall for inspiration.

112 W 17th Street, Chelsea; (212) 505-5159


What Goes Around Comes Around
What Goes Around Comes Around

What Goes Around Comes Around

While the store itself is far more impressive than its 1920s selection, they do boast a secret vault room downstairs with a ton of period pieces. A recent visit uncovered a handful of frocks that would suit any fussy Miss Buchanan. What is more likely to elevate your heart rate, though, is the Chanel handbag collection, which is one of the largest in the world. Word is there are more 1920s pieces in a New Jersey archive that may or may not be available to the public. Note: Flappers were known for their persuasion.

351 W Broadway, Soho; (212) 343-1225