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August 10, 2014 - Comments Off on 12 (Mostly) Free Outdoor Events in NYC You Won’t Want to Miss

12 (Mostly) Free Outdoor Events in NYC You Won’t Want to Miss

Photo: Chris Goldberg/Flickr

Photo: Chris Goldberg/Flickr

Summer may soon be sharing its last sunny rays, which is all the more inspiration to get outside and enjoy the great outdoors! Lucky for us, New York City is a fantastic place to do that, considering it's a breeding ground for fantastic (free) events across the city. Whether you're looking to stargaze without leaving the city limits or for an excuse to throw your dancing shoes on, we've scoured the event listings to find the best ways to enjoy the last couple weeks of warm weather.

Peruse the upcoming events that caught our eye below and get moving! You heard us—enjoying a book on your fire escape is great and all, but take some time to enjoy the city while everyone is still happy and bare-shouldered.


Drop the book, ditch the fire escape, and head out to an event! // Photo: Jeffrey Zeldman/Flickr

  • August 12, Sunset Salsa (Meatpacking District): From 6:30-7:15pm every Tuesday night, catch a beginner's Salsa lesson and put your moves to work during the DJ session that follows.
  • August 12, Stargazing on the High Line (Chelsea): The Amateur Astronomers Association pulls out their high-powered telescopes for the public to enjoy every Tuesday night. The viewing takes place between West 13th and West 14th Streets.

Photo: The McGee/Flickr

  • August 16, Coney Island Sand Sculpting Contest (Coney Island): Since 1990, sand artists and castle enthusiasts have graced the famous beach with their work. Grab a hot dog and take in the sights—the event is free, but all donations go toward rebuilding the devastation left behind by Hurricane Sandy. Registration is also free, so find some friends and give your sand sculpting skills a go.
  • August 16-17, Jazz Age Lawn Party (Govenor's Island): We shared a bit of know-how on what to wear to the event, so you know this isn't one to miss. Enjoy some era-inspired cocktails, dress to impress, and learn the Charleston. Summer days don't get much better than that.
  • August 18-22, 12th Annual Central Park Conservancy Film Festival (Manhattan): This year, the annual film festival is featuring five films—one each night of the week—that all fit under the theme "Scenes from our City." Catch titles like "The Royal Tenenbaums" and "Rear Window" in the best bit of nature NYC has to offer. Read more

August 4, 2014 - Comments Off on What to Wear to the Jazz Age Lawn Party on Governor’s Island

What to Wear to the Jazz Age Lawn Party on Governor’s Island

voon_michelleVintage style mavens Michelle Coursey & Voon Chew on the dance floor - photo by Paul Stein

When it comes to themed summer happenings, the Jazz Age Lawn Party on Governor's Island is one of my favorites. It takes place over two glorious weekends, with the final 2014 dates coming up August 16-17th. Conceived by the dapper bandleader Michael Arenella, the event is a dreamy escape back in time: 1920's garb, antique gramophones, a vintage motorcar exhibition, pie contests, properly themed cocktail, and—of course—lots of dancing. (You can see the complete "Run of Show" here.) Once you get past the excitement of what the Lawn Party actually is, don’t let the anxiety of coming up with an outfit weigh you down. There is no specific dress code, but everyone is encouraged to channel elegant vintage-inspired attire to contribute to the overall spirit. Here are a few tips for dressing for the occasion, but make sure to buy your tickets first.

miu_miuMiuccia Prada + Catherine Martin costumes for Baz Luhrman's Gatsby

The Dress
The 1920s style brings about visions of fringed shifts and beaded extravagancies. This is the event to pull out your finest and wear it well. For inspiration, the gorgeous costumes created by Miuccia Prada and Catherine Martin for Bahz Luhrman's Gatsby take the cake, and we absolutely love the campaign for Campari starring the lovely actress Eva Green. Try scouring vintage and thrift shops for aged beauties from the era. Or if you're feeling more daytime summery, lightweight feminine cotton dresses can also fit the bill. For previous lawn parties we've worked with clients to revamp their vintage finds: dresses in silk + cotton gingham as well as a pretty floral print.

nicole_lenzen_jazz-ageNicole Lenzen handmade lace & silk headband paired with a vintage dress - photo by Sarah Joj Tester

Mind Your Head
The headpiece played a role as an extension of a hairstyle in the '20s. What that means: Feel free to keep your 'do simple—a few waves and finger curls should do the trick—and compliment it with a flapper-style headband that was popular towards the end of the decade. If you are one of those DIY-inclined ladies, try using a plain headband or scarf and adding your own adornments to match your outfit. Or if you prefer a hat or fascinator, NYC milliner Gretchen Fenston has gorgeous jazz age-inspired creations. Otherwise a floppy woven hat is perfect for a hot summer's day full of drinking and dancing.

jazz_age_feetDancing in Air - photo by istolethetv

Dancing Shoes
This is a given. Whether you decide to go for a more modern look and pair your favorite pair of lace-ups with your get-up or an era-appropriate pair of crescent-tipped heels, make sure you won't end up nursing blisters halfway through the festivities. If it's a pair of '20s inspired shoes you're hunting for, look for a pair that features an ankle or t-strap (great for dancing!); low, chunky heels; or an oxford for a menswear inspired look. Finding a local pair might be the quickest, but Modcloth has a great selection of era-inspired shoes, as well as Remix and American Duchess for quality vintage repro.

gretchen_fenston_Milliner Gretchen Fenston in her own creation - photo by Voon Chew

Feminine Accessories, Bold Lips
A string of pearls can go a long way. Toss a few around your neck or on your wrists for a feminine touch that won't take away from the rest of your outfit. Bonus: Playing up the nude colors of your accessories allows for a bold, red lip—which is always the best way to cap the perfect outfit. Read more