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#207 Prohibition

February 14, 2011

The band plays on. Image taken with the iPhone's oh-so-trendy-retro Hipstamatic app, obviously. So not, as you were thinking, just 'a shit picture'.

Gin and whisky cocktails were available in teacups. See, it's all red! And it has funny scratchy edges! YOU ARE MEANT TO THINK THIS IS COOL FFS.

Arty, asymmetrical silhouette of modern retro hipsters or the shit result of trying to photograph girls in a nightclub without them noticing? Uh... you decide.

Prohibition! This is more like it. Booze! Dancing! Being a bit old fashioned but not really! So the concept of Prohibition is that it’s a club night where it’s the 1920s again (only sort of the US 1920s, or the title wouldn’t really make sense), and everyone is encouraged to dress up like flappers and wear waistcoats and, for the brave, moustaches. It’s sort of the latest mutation of the obsession with retro that’s been brewing in the hipster crowd for a while now – the events have been going for a couple of years, and they seem to be getting steadily bigger.

Being a bit older than the mostly studenty crowd, we’d seen these kind of trends before. Easy listening? I was ironically polo-necked in ’95. 70s nights? Been there, done that, worn the hateful inflatable afro. School disco? We’d sort of managed to avoid that trend (since school).

Prohibition* started out as a bit edgy, but due to being awesome is now being deluged with scene-sters and is in danger of ending up with a bit of a ‘school disco’ vibe. Nevertheless, the setting (a Victorian basement of a disused Holborn building) and the props were all authentic and fun – gin cocktails in teacups, a silent movie with real piano accompaniment, and a rockin’ steampunky band. Much gin was necked, many Charleston steps were slaughtered (by Mr Brown), blazers were worn, and a good time was well and truly hung out to dry by one and all.

At these kind of events, the girls have lots of fun with dressing up, but things are a bit more limited for the men. Deprived of Victorian brass-goggled insanity of the proper steampunks, and mimicking a world in which formal dress was a little more strict, it’s hard to break out of the suit and waistcoat silhouette. Mrs Brown sparkled and looked amazing, while I looked like I’d turned up early for a court appearance. Maybe next time I’ll buck the trend and go more bohemian. That Aleister Crowley knew how to dress. He was always in a robe, or ram’s horns, or some such, and people said he was ‘the wickedest man in the world.’ They meant that in a good way, right?

Famous black magician Aleister Crowley, from 1906, admittedly, but basically boho as fuck. Surely this is the future of retro? (Not the satanism thing, obviously. That would be wrong.)

The next event’s in March, so click below for details.

*Not to be confused with Prohibition Bar, which is a drinking den in the City. I think.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. Justin Huggler permalink
    February 14, 2011 2:15 pm

    That picture of Aleister Crowley is eerily reminiscent of Ed Mephistophiliband

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