Take Me Back, Please: The Art Deco Preservation Ball at Bimbo's

Men, please dress like this more often. Actually, please dress like this all the time. Thank you.
I could go on about what great clothing people wore to the Art Deco Society of California's Art Deco Preservation Ball on Saturday night, or what an appropriate venue the glitzy and historic Bimbo's 365 Club is for any vintage-themed event, or how people should be throwing money at the Deco society so it can continue its noble efforts to preserve the architectural and artistic masterpieces of that dazzling era. I could, and yes, people looked spectacular and showed off a variety of fascinating period dance moves to the era's tunes, many sung by Frederick Hodges, a true '20's style light tenor. But more interesting than the event itself for someone who wasn't there might be that it highlights what we've lost as a culture in terms of the way we "party" -- what we talk about when we talk about clubbing.
Today, women iron their hair flat and hobble around in weapons-grade stilettos and Bebe only to have Alizé spilled into their cleavage by men donning Ed Hardy shirts and meaningless crosses on fake gold chains. Yet the "mood" lighting is kept so dim as to render everybody's efforts for beautification pointless.
Headdresses by "Mata Hari's Daughter" Carly Reynolds (right).
The music is amped so loudly that conversation is impossible: Apparently it's assumed that people who converge in these social, celebratory settings have nothing to say to each other and don't want to, or can't, talk. The only thing to do other than drink oneself into an embarrassing (and impecunious) condition is to hit the dance floor, which is more of a hunting ground for one-night stands than a place to just dance, with or without ulterior motives. Maybe this is why drugs are so popular on the club scene. Who could stand it sober?

Location Info



Bimbo's 365 Club

1025 Columbus, San Francisco, CA

Category: Music

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tom merle
tom merle

What a superb piece.  This paragraph particularly deserves repeating; "But we've changed the paradigm for celebration and leisure; the effortful illusion of effortlessness has given way to an abject literalism that makes everyone involved look uncreative, desperate, and cynical. And so we must look to other eras and find the occasional oddball nostalgia gig if we want to have a good time and retain our dignity."

 Larissa's lamentation, alas, cannot lead to changed ways of clubbing.  So she is right: only by going back in time when people comported themselves in the ways described in this article, can we push aside the clumsy and boorish behavior of the present era.  C'est la vie.  Hope to see Larisa and others at the De Young this Friday when the Royal Society Jazz Orchestra plays those same tunes and people show up in the dresses and suits of the Good Old Days.

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