Context is Everything: The Jazz Age Lawn Party

 
 Jazz Age Lawn Party founder Michael Arenella leading his band.

Jazz Age Lawn Party founder Michael Arenella leading his band.

 

By Andrew Yamato

Photography by Jane Kratochvil

Dressing for the occasion has always been the better part of dressing well at all. One’s anticipated milieu, whether formal or relaxed, should always set the tone when putting together the day’s look. Unfortunately, today’s aggressively casual culture offers few opportunities to roll out the elder statesmen of summertime sartorialism — think seersucker and linen suits, panama hats, and spectator shoes — without feeling uncomfortably costumed. Fortunately, for the past twelve years there has been an island sanctuary for those of us who just can’t resist dressing in ice cream shades when the mercury rises: the Jazz Age Lawn Party.

Founded in 2005 by New York City bandleader Michael Arenella as a small picnic gathering for his circle of 1920s and 30s aficionados on the as-yet undiscovered idyll of Governor’s Island, the Jazz Age Lawn Party has since grown into one of the city’s largest (and definitely most stylish) outdoor music festivals. Twice a summer, several thousand would-be flappers and cake-eaters descend on the island’s historic Colonel’s Row to dance, drink, eat, and shop beneath a majestic canopy of plane trees.

 
 Andrew, Michael, and Jonathan at the Alan Flusser Custom tent.

Andrew, Michael, and Jonathan at the Alan Flusser Custom tent.

 

As of last summer, Alan Flusser Custom has been Arenella’s official clothier. The Savile Row-inspired cut of our clothing shares much cultural DNA with Michael’s rejuvenation of trad jazz, and we feel he’s an excellent ambassador of our classic high style to a younger generation that’s rediscovering the pleasures of cloth and cut.        

If you happen to be in the metropolis this weekend, we encourage you to hop on a ferry and come visit the Lawn Party. Jonathan and I will be there in the thick of it, modeling our latest lightweight togs in the Alan Flusser Custom tent. Especially now that it’s (finally!) starting to feel like summer, this should be the perfect occasion to enjoy getting a bit overdressed.    

The Jazz Age Lawn Party runs Saturday June 16th and Sunday June 17th from 11AM to 5PM. 

Tickets can be purchased here.

 
 Arenella in his Alan Flusser Custom lightweight wool 3-piece suit.  

Arenella in his Alan Flusser Custom lightweight wool 3-piece suit.