The Siren Calls…Run for Shelter!
The Blitz Party: D-Day anniversary special
The Blitz Party is without a doubt one of London’s best themed parties. Set in 1940 with an of-the-era dress code it’s one of London’s most popular vintage and re-enactment events and it’s not hard to see why. Held either at New Inn Yard or Shoreditch Studios, decked out as a war-time shelter with sand bags, bunting, flags and 40s posters, as well as some other fantastic props, the Blitz Party feels like stepping back in time as soon as you enter the building.
As the evening develops the Blitz Party gives you more of the best 40s glamour and revelry. Swing bands and some sultry jazz capture spirit and determination, enticing people to show off some of their best swing on the dance floor, or to have a go for the first time. The bars serve cocktails and other drinks chosen for the era; from the Champaign topped ‘The Blitz’, to ‘Ginger Daises’ and whiskey-soaked ‘Screaming Hudsons’, they’re delicious, so it’s easy to have one too many.
I love the Blitz party and was lucky enough to be invited along to review their D-Day special to mark the anniversary of the D-Day landings, and was looked after by the lovely Rosie and Anna. This month’s party was really something special, with some fantastic bands, including Ta Mère, playing as well as dancers from Swing Patrol getting the party going.
The Blitz Party’s fantastic venue took over New Inn Yard and had two stages, a swing dance room, bars, film room and especially for this night a Routemaster on display and a hospital tent serving food and refreshments accessed by a temporary staircase over a wall, which somehow made it feel like entering a base. It took me a while to get a good look around all the rooms, it really was something special.
Of the vintage events I’ve attended in London the Blitz Party is also one where people put the most effort and pride into their outfits. With costumes from soldiers to land girls to high flying pilots.
People come out in imaginative costumes and their very best vintage filling the room with dresses, uniforms, hats, seamed stockings and the bright red lipstick that was so popular in the 40s.
Party-goers Hester, Alex, Mel, Sophie, Lucy and Ming, pictured above, had spent their day preparing for the Blitz Party! Taking a trip to Columbia Road to have their hair and make-up styled into victory rolls and other 40s fashions by the Powderpuff Girls who were fully booked for the day with other people getting ready, Hester said that taking a trip to the Powderpuff Girls had made the day even more special, really looking after them and making them feel glamorous.
The Blitz Party is also a good opportunity for the gentlemen to get dressed up, there’s less really good vintage out there for the boys than there is for the girls which is a shame. But out at the Blitz Party I was able to pick up a couple of recommendations from the soldiers, pilots and sailors around the room (lucky me). Cambridge Army and Navy Stores scoring a couple of great costumes, with the really dedicated picking up extra accessories from online shop The History Bunker. Others hired uniforms from costume stores across London. Uniforms aside plenty came dressed in 40s style clothing, as engineers and even spivs.
The Blitz Party celebrates the community spirit of 1940 and the resilience and determination people had not to be beaten, to enjoy themselves and provide enjoyment for others during one of the most devastating attacks on civilians that England has experienced. I think it is this spirit that attracts so many different people to the event, which regularly sells out and draws a really lovely crowd. A great night out if you love vintage, like role play, re-enactment or just enjoy something different.
To find out when the next event is check out the website www.theblitzparty.com
Tickets are usually £20, with early bird tickets for £15