Bob Bogard and Michael von Wittenau opened their romantic Movie Colony estate, Villa Fontana, for one of the most glamorous evenings of the season — “A Swellegant Gatsby Party,” on Saturday, March 29, 2014. This LUEY (Let Us Entertain You) event was one in a series of privately hosted parties benefitting the Palm Springs Art Museum.
Over 130 revelers were transported back to the exciting Jazz Age for a recreation of one of the opulent parties thrown by fictional bootleg millionaire Jay Gatsby. Guests, donned in elegant 1920s era attire, were greeted at the door by flirtatious flappers in glittering beaded, sequined and rhinestone cocktail dresses, posing with martinis in vintage automobiles, before proceeding down a red carpet to check-in.
Throughout the evening, partiers played croquet and meandered through the lush gardens of the enchanting property, while tuxedoed bartenders poured champagne and cocktails at one of two poolside bars. Arching strings of lights cast a festive glow over the sparkling pool as dusk turned to dark on this perfectly balmy evening.
And what’s a prohibition era party without a speakeasy?
Nestled in a corner of the property, was a secret hidden speakeasy, replete with deco furniture and a special bar pouring “bathtub” gin and whiskey, and a specialty “Lemon Thyme Elixir” featuring freshly-squeezed Meyer lemons. Sultry Keisha D performed vintage numbers accompanied by a special blend of 1920s music. Sumptuous passed hors d’oeuvres were served by Tinto, the James Beard Award-winning Iron Chef Jose Garces restaurant inside the Saguaro Hotel.
This event raised more than $10,000 with all proceeds benefiting the Palm Springs Art Museum and its Docent Council.
For information on membership or support of the Palm Springs Art Museum, please contact MarJon Hudson at 760-322-4825 or go to: www.PSMuseum.org
Photography by: Lani Garfield