12.30.2010

Finding inspirations for NYE ... Capote, Fitzgerald or Kubrick?

One day left until 2011

Trying to brainstorm an outfit for NYE, as tomorrow we will be hosting a party.
The theme is masquerade.

So all day I have been thinking of masquerades, debauchery, and costume balls, and the parties that i would love to have attended...

Without a doubt, the 20's were my favourite decade of the last century: bright young things, the Jazz Years, the Weimar republic in Germany, the NEP in Russia, the beautiful "Lost Decade". The one writer whose life and work epitomized the 20's is Scott Fitzgerald. The 1920s proved to be the most influential decade of Fitzgerald's development. The Great Gatsby, one of my favourite books and one of his masterpieces, was published in 1925.

In 2005, 80 years later Kate Moss themed her 30th Birthday party , The Beautiful and the Damned, alluding to a Fitzgerald novel that deals with.... surprise, surprise.... love, money, debauchery, decadence and young bright things, who took drinking a little too far. The book is believed to be largely based on Fitzgerald’s relationship and marriage with Zelda Fitzgerald and a movie is coming out next year with Kiera K. playing Zelda.

Of his own time, Fitzgerald said: "There seemed no question about what was going to happen. America was going on the greatest party in its history and there was going to be plenty to tell about. "

Fast forward to the 1966 and we have the Truman Capote "Black and White" Ball. Having been catapulted to stardom with "Breakfast at Tiffany's" Capote shocked society and made himself one of the most talked about writers of his generation by releasing "In Cold Blood". The book was eagerly anticipated and didn't disappoint. Capote decided to celebrate himself and his book, Capote loved the celebrity culture and was a real master of self promotion. And promote he did. There were only 540 people invited to the New York City's Plaza Hotel on November 28, 1966, and the invitations became the most coveted pieces of paper for NYC society with some desperate socialites using bribes and threats to try and ensure that they were on the "list".  The event was "meticulously masterminded" and in 2006 it has even been dedicated it's own book by Deborah Davis appropriately named the Party of the Century. 

Guests included newlyweds Frank Sinatra and Mia Farrow, the young actress Candice Bergen, literary lions Norman Mailer and William F. Buckley, and various international crowned heads,  the Kennedys, Rockefellers, Vanderbilts, and Whitneys. 

The last party was inspired by one of my favourite directors Stanley Kubrick and is "Eyes Wide Shut". The movie itself allegedly led to Tom Cruise's and Nicole Kidman's divorce, and was based based upon the 1926 novella Traumnovelle (Dream Story), which was written by Arthur Schnitzler. Which takes us back to where we started the 1920's.

The most visually arresting scenes in the movie are where Tom Cruise walks into the secret orgy - the capes, the colours and the masks. Of course the fashion world could not forget all the sumptuous reference material, so fast forward 11 years. Vogue Paris 90th anniversary, the party of the decade, the theme "Eyes Wide Shut"

Of course excessive debauchery ultimately bring emptiness and detachment to ones mind, but it also gives us the feeling of immediate liberation and provides us with an escape. Tomorrow is New Years Eve so let us focus on the good side of the coin: a great party, the costumes, the fun and the dancing. We can always come back to the dark side in another post.

Happy new year and I will see you in 2011! x












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