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An Era of Glamour:

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The Gatsby Gala
City Club at de Rosset
23 S. 2nd Street
Tickets: $35 (includes food and two complimentary drinks)

WIN THIS! Raffle tickets will be sold to benefit DREAMS, and a lucky winner will take home this Jonathan Nelson pendant design, valued at $1,750. Courtesy photo.

The glitz, the glam, the suave and chic atitudes permeating the era. There is something alluring about the Roaring Twenties—a time when most Americans daydream of being cool enough to enter an underground speakeasy. Men decked out in three-piece suits; women sashaying in flapper dresses, bewjewled head pieces and long strands of pearls. Prohibition was in full effect, and the great American novel was born: F. Scott Fitzgerald’s “The Great Gatsby.”

Such elements combined to inspire Style Girl Jess James’ latest fashion celebration, which will be held this Thursday at the City Club, downtown Wilmington’s most regal hotspot to beckon any historic age of enlightenment. To help kick off the club’s fall membership, they are offering 80 percent off their one-time initiation fee—plus access to the Gatsby speakeasy!

“City Club members (and new members that sign up that evening) will be given a small envelope containing the ‘secret word’ for entrance,” James says.

With the onset of the 2012 film starring Leonardo DiCaprio and Carey Mulligan on the rise, the timing is quite appropriate. “I just re-read [the book],” James says. “And the joie de vivre of the Jazz Age glamourized by Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald” cannot be matched in comprising this fashion-savvy event—something that gains relevancy even 80 years later.

encore spoke with James about the ins and outs of the evening. Here is what to expect…

encore: What about that era fascinates you most when it comes to fashion and style?
Jess James: Well, it was the beginning of a boom era so there was a lot of change and excitement in the air. To me, the fashion of that era represents a form of women’s liberation with the freedom dictated in this “new” silhouette—the loose shape, the drop waist, the bold attitude of the flappers. And, I absolutely adore the art deco aesthetic—the prints, the architecture and of course the amazing accessories!

e: What looks do you encourage people to don?
JJ: There are so many options. You can dress as your favorite “Gatsby” character: diaphanous white like Daisy, or for the guys Gatsby day or Gatsby night—a black-tie tux or perhaps a light-colored three-piece suit with a straw boater hat. You can add some Jazz Age panache to any LBD with the right accessories: a headband or cloche, sequins and feathers, deco earrings and some T-strap heels and you’re all set!

e: What about sounds and tastes of the era? What can we expect?
JJ: The City Club’s director, Karen Smith, has developed deviled eggs with caviar, mini Caesar salad cups, beef and asparagus roll- mops, mushroom toast, hot spinach dip and more!
We will also have live music by Benny Hill jazz trio and chanteuse Susan Savia.

e: I see you’re selling raffle tickets to the event to benefit DREAMS. How did you decide to team up with them? Will any portions of proceeds from ticket sales go to them, too?

JJ: Land Rover commissioned a custom piece from Jonathan Nelson of J Nelson Designs (located inside Cape Fear Jewelry) to raffle off that evening to benefit DREAMS. The custom necklace was made with a vintage 1920’s pendant valued at $1,750.

AJ, the general manager of Land Rover, and I chose to work with DREAMS since we both see the value of providing arts education for youth in need in our community. DREAMS has been a benefactor of fashion shows I’ve hosted in the past, and I’ve always enjoyed sharing their cause. The evening’s raffle prizes will benefit DREAMS, and we have some fabulous giveaways for the evening’s “Best Dressed” (valued at over $400).

This style-conscious event will also feature 1920’s inspired shopping with A Second Time Around, Cape Fear Jewelry and Ziabird. Models styled by Salon 02 and Jess James will be on site, too, donning Roaring Twenties reverie.

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Encore Magazine regularly covers topics pertaining to news, arts, entertainment, food, and city life in Wilmington. It also maintains schedules and listings of local events like concerts, festivals, live performance art and think-tank events. Encore Magazine is an entity of H&P Media, which also powers Wilmington’s local ticketing platform, Print and online editions are updated every Wednesday.

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