Gatsby Gala: Planning an Art Deco Extravaganza to Remember

Last Updated on 13th February 2024

The roaring 1920s were a time of lavish parties and bold style. Why not bring some of that decadent spirit to your next special Gatsby gala event with an art deco theme? An art deco theme is guaranteed to impress your guests with glitz, glamour and sophistication. Here’s how to plan an unforgettable Great Gatsby inspired soiree.

Great Gatsby gala art decor style interior
A Great Gatsby themed gala in the style of art decor radiates opulence and elegance

Set the Scene with Art Deco Style

Art deco characteristics are all about striking geometric shapes, rich colours, lavish ornamentation and exaggerated luxury. When it comes to décor, go big or go home! Drape the walls in shimmering gold and silver fabrics. Use bold geometric patterns on tablecloths, napkins and chair covers. Centrepieces should feature architectural-looking vases and sculptures. Metallic fringe, beaded tassels and faux jewels make great accents.

Aim for a mix of sleek lines and lush embellishments for your interior design furnishings. This contrast of simple and ornate is a hallmark of the art deco design style. Remember, every surface is an opportunity for drama. Use lacquered furniture, gleaming mirrors, glossy black and white floors, pearl-inlaid shelves – anything that catches the eye. A venue with an existing art deco architecture design style is ideal, but any space can be transformed with the right décor.

When it comes to lighting, go for warm, moody and intimate. Use lampshades trimmed in fringe or beading to cast a soft glow over the event. Candles and marquee lighting also help set the sultry speakeasy vibe. Keep centrepieces and decor low to encourage mingling and connection across the table.

great gatsby inspired gala with guests in 1920s style clothing

Dress Code: Black Tie and Fringed Dresses

The fashion of the 1920s was just as bold and lavish as the décor. As your guests arrive, they should feel like they’ve stepped back in time. Establish a black tie dress code – tuxedos and evening gowns are a must. Recommend your female guests wear fringed, beaded and sequined flapper dresses in rich colours and fabrics like velvet and satin. Feathered headpieces, boas and long strings of beads make for perfect accessories.

Men should sport traditional black tuxedos with bow ties, cuff links and pocket squares. Braces are a fun option, too. They can slick back their hair with pomade, and opt for classic leather wingtips or oxfords. Bold cuff links and rings add Gatsby-esque flair. Providing guests with inexpensive costume pieces like headbands, hair clips, and bow ties is a nice touch.

guests a a gatsby themed gala

Set a Speakeasy Vibe with Music and Entertainment

Before the party, create playlists featuring jazz, swing, and popular music from the 1920s. The band should be ready to provide lively dance music all night long. Consider hiring dancers to start the party with an exciting Charleston performance. Later, guests can try out their own moves!

Add in a few lounge singers for a touch of cabaret. Have them perform hits from musicals and films set in the era, like Chicago, Cabaret, and The Great Gatsby. If possible, book burlesque or vaudeville-style performers – think jugglers, comedians, and tap dancers. Their variety acts will capture the speakeasy spirit.

Provide games and entertainment between performances to keep the energy high. Ideas include casino tables, cigar rolling lessons, tarot card readings, or a vintage photo booth with costumes and props. Award silly prizes for contests like a ballroom dance competition or a recreation of an iconic 1920s photo.

art deco style cake

Plan a Menu to Impress

When it comes to the menu, think of posh presentations with wealthy ingredients like caviar, lobster, premium cuts of steak, and French champagne. Passed hors d’oeuvres could include devilled eggs, oysters Rockefeller, and crab cakes. A buffet table should offer glamorous bites like lobster salad in pastry cups, bacon-wrapped scallops, and petit flatbread pizzas.

Elegant plated dinners could feature options like filet mignon with béarnaise sauce, butter-poached lobster tails or seared duck breast with cherry sauce. Don’t forget fancy sides like truffle mac and cheese or roasted asparagus with hollandaise. Top it all off with an art deco-inspired tiered cake glittering with gold leaf, edible pearls or fondant fringe.

With luxe flavours and intricate presentation, the food will be as dazzling as the opulent décor. Just be sure to provide ample seating so guests can relax and dine in style. Having roaming waiters to offer drinks and refreshments will also add to the luxury experience.

art deco design elements
Black and gold are key colours in art deco interior design

Include Some Iconic Art Deco Elements

As you plan the Gatsby Gala event, look for opportunities to weave in some iconic art deco motifs and details. This will add to the immersive art nouveau Gatsby feel. A few ideas:

  • Geometric patterns – Use chevrons, zigzags, sunbursts and polygons in the décor. They symbolise the machine-age aesthetic popular in the 1920s.
  • Gold accents – Gold represents wealth and extravagance. It was a prominent colour in 1920s design. Add gilded frames, gold-rimmed plates, and metallic fabrics.
  • Fringes and feathers – Flowing fringe trims and ostrich feather flourishes practically define the flapper look. Incorporate them into clothing, decorations and accessories.
  • Marble and mirrors – Sleek black and white marble and mirrored surfaces help create a glamorous art deco mood. Drape mirrors behind the bar and use marble or glass tabletops.
  • Sculptural lighting – Art deco lighting takes inspiration from skyscrapers, with tall geometric lamps and sconces. Use statement lights and candlesticks that resemble buildings.

Follow these tips, and your guests will feel like they’ve travelled back to the height of art deco style. With striking décor, period entertainment and all the glamour of the roaring twenties, your Gatsby gala will be the party of the century!