Break out your costumes and step “Back In Time” with Key West Art & Historical Society’s formal fundraiser with a history twist held Wednesday, November 30 from 5pm – 10pm at the Custom House Museum and Westin Resort. “Back In Time” celebrates 125 years of the Custom House with event proceeds to support the building’s ongoing preservation needs.
Find your flair and dress to impress for this evening of revelry and eclectic festivities featuring a cocktail reception on the Custom House veranda with an open bar, performers and musicians followed by a red carpet promenade to the Westin for a sit-down dinner with an auction and live music performed by “Reach,” a band that spans the music of all eras.
Not sure what to wear? Step back in time with a fashion era couture review to help you select what best (pun intended) suits you.
1. Art Nouveau, 1890-1914: Striking, seductive, and ornate but not frivolous, this era of fashion questioned conventional gender norms with daring flamboyance, presenting women in suits for the street and overtly seductive lingerie for the boudoir. Think Alphonse Mucha with flowers, buds, insect wings, vine tendrils and other nature-inspired motifs.
2. Belle Epoch: 1900s. Grab a parasol, put a few dozen feathers (found or faux please) in your hat and you’re halfway to being dressed. Because you know you’ve always wanted to wear a tightly-laced corset with full petticoats under a stiff, frilly dress with poufy sleeves in the Florida Keys heat.
3. Art Deco: 1910. It’s time for tulle, turbans, and diaphanous flowing layers—with a harem and geisha girl twist. Fashion and art forms fuse through color, silhouette, and shape, with your body as the canvas.
4. The Roaring 20s: 1920s. Low-waisted dresses with loose hemlines— these duds were made for dancing. Men can show us their socks by donning some oxfords and rolling up their pant legs to acquire the knickers-style that was all the rage in the Great Gatsby days.
5. The Golden Age: 1940s-1950s. Where sophistication and sexy meet in the middle. Pair confidence with a floor-length gown, a top hat, or a dapper bow tie. A pouty smile or a Clark Gable moustache gets you extra points.
6. Fifties Rock: 1950s. Slick back your hair, roll up your sleeves, and find your poodle-skirt flair. Prizes for the biggest bubblegum bubble.
7. Flower Power: 1960s. Loud ties, beehives, and ultra mini skirts, this was the decade we all lived in a yellow submarine. Bring your androgynous modernism to the party and be hugged by everyone for it.
8. Disco Fever: Break out your platforms and three-piece leisure suit. No other accessories necessary.
9. Subculture Funk: Grunge, grommet, minimalist, punk rock, Bo ho, Skater, Hipster, Preppy, Rasta, Beatnik, hip hop…chances are you’ve got something in your closet that could pull off one of these fashion statements.
10. Come As You Are: Wear your birthday suit if it behooves you- but don’t forget the fig leaves.
Join the Party. Step Back in Time to Invest in the Future; purchase a single ticket for $125 or sponsor a table for $1,250, $2,500, $5,00, $10,000 or more— all proceeds will be contributed to the Community Foundation of the Florida Keys’ Custom House Preservation Fund. For more information, visit KWAHS.ORG or contact Shawn Cowles, Society Operations Manager at 305.295.6616 x 111. –Your Museums. Your Community. It takes an Island.