The Hamilton Gardens have chosen to set the Mansfield Garden party in 1922, the year Mansfield’s story was published (it came out in early Feb, 1922 – and Mansfield had been living with Northern Hemisphere winters for the last 12+ years), rather than ca. 1907, which is when Mansfield was in Wellington, attending garden parties, and which is when I think the story is essentially set, based on the mentions of clothing.
Mansfield’s garden party may not have taken place in 1922, but the parties of The Great Gatsby did, and the early ’20s are certainly a fetching, and easy to wear, era for garden parties.
So what did people wear to garden parties in 1919-1922?
1922 skirts were long – with hemlines still at the level they had been since 1916, skimming the lower calf. The mid-20s rise to just below the knee is still a few years away, and anything at or above the widest part of the calf was for girls under 13 only.
Frocks were always worn with stockings, either in delicate pastels to match the dress, skin tones, or white, in silk or liesl (for the young and sporty), and heeled shoes in light shades. A ca. 1920 silk stocking is much heavier than a modern nylon one – thicker tights give a closer period look.
For women who didn’t find the slim silhouette flattering, one alternative was the robe de style inspired look, with full, romantic skirt:
Tickets are only $35 and include three expert speakers talking about various aspects of "The Garden Party", morning tea, a goodie bag and entry into a raffle draw to win an amazing Glory Days Hamper worth over $1000!
BUY YOUR TICKETS TO THE GLORY DAYS SALON HERE!
If that wasn't enough to convince you to attend, all ticket holders also go in the draw to win a beautiful hand crafted clutch bag from Estelle of Brighton (pictured below), modelled on the Penguin edition of The Garden Party by Katherine Mansfield.