My 1950s Vintage Prom Night

1 Sep

Want to go “Back to the Future”? Or experience prom, circa. 1955? Then, here’s your chance …

Photos by Gabi Porter/Courtesy of

From the street, music guided me to the entrance where nothing overt would have given pause to the vintage festivities within. But upon descending the staircase, I found a world of youthful gaiety where skirts swooshed, and hair, slicked.

It was the fourth anniversary of Dances of Vice — one of New York’s most opulent monthly event series celebrating the Big Apple’s vintage-, aesthete-, and thespian-inspired subculture. This month’s theme was “Enchantment Under the Sea” and while we danced the night away at Morningside Castle, the setting was a 1955 prom in Any Town, USA.

{What I Wore}

A newly sewn dress, cut off an original 1950s pattern. An eggshell cotton with embossed polka-dots and scalloped edging with a sage green sash to match my retro-inspired kitten heels. Plus, a vintage pearl and rhinestone choker necklace, and a vintage upholstery-style clutch. A crinoline slip, which I also made.

{Who Was There}

Mary-Laura and myself laughing over some silly nonsense. But what is quite serious is that she’s NYC’s newest vintage event producer — more exciting details to come on her first event this fall!

Photographer Don Spiro and I. Don and his lovely fiance Diane Naegel are the powerhouse team beyond the monthly speakeasy event, Wit’s End.

The ever-radiant Shien Lee — a legend in the making — is the producer of Dances of Vice and holds the flier for this 1955 prom celebration.

Band Leader Drew Nugent and his fiance, Daphne Malfitano, stand in the romantic pools of light which basked the courtyard. Drew’s band (Drew Nugent & the Midnight Society) are my hometown heroes having conquored the Philadelphia jazz & swing dancing scene and now are making a name for themselves in the New York jazz culture.

Irishman John Marchini looks as if he never lived in any other era. Bravo for being spot-on, John!

Fellow ginger and all-around sweetheart Laila Fontaine just glows in vintage beauty — per her “standard” look at any jazz-age event.

Gee, what a swell couple! Matthew Karl Gale and Michelle Coursey are nothing but the bees’ knees, as I am sure you can tell!

{The Mood Makers}

Crooning and doo-wopping the night away was heartthrob Matthew Piazzi and the Debonairs.

{The Dancing}

Having just met Andre on the dance floor, I was impressed that this avid tango dancer — who hasn’t been swing dancing “in years” — was quite the Lindyhop lead!

{A Note To My Avid Fans}

I just wanted to say that I have been sorely aware that I have been inconsistent in my blog posts — things like family events, hurricanes, working with new clients, and life in general, have had a certain knack of keeping me from getting the stacks of content I have ready to provide to you, actually to you!

Thank you for your understanding … and I promise to be more regular in posts, as I am working out a publishing schedule right now. Perhaps, in your comments below, you could let me know which days are best for you — the days that you would love to read a post or watch a video … and that way I can plan to publish content exactly when you want it most!

Can’t wait to hear from you …

As always, with much vintage love,


4 Responses to “My 1950s Vintage Prom Night”

  1. Dawn September 1, 2011 at 3:31 PM #

    What a glorious post! It all looks like so much fun! The year 1955 was a VERY good year…I’ll let you figure out why, LOLOLOL…

    Everybody looks fabulous, but those who stand out in mind as I write this are Irishman John and the glowing Laila, who is just ***gorgeous***. The back-up singers look terrific, too.

    And, as your NO. 1 fan, I appreciate all you are able to do with your time and your life. Glad to learn you weathered the storm “up Nawth” well. Looking forward to reading more of your delicious and creative posts in the future, beautiful!


  2. Matthew Karl Gale September 2, 2011 at 8:32 AM #

    Thanks, Robin!


  3. John Marchini June 28, 2012 at 7:54 PM #

    Hey Robin, I didn’t see this when you first posted it. A grand night it was and beautifully captured by your words and choice of images.



  1. Here’s Looking at You, Kid! « Thrifty Vintage Chic - September 27, 2011

    […] wait to gush with her about her art deco engagement ring — a couple weeks prior at the Dances of Vice 1950s Prom, I had gotten the scoop on the ring from […]


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