Shindigs and Soirées

You don’t need to look like Don Draper or Joan Holloway to attend these fabulous parties during Modernism Week Fall Preview, but it’s becoming all the rage.

Kelley Huskey Current Digital, Modernism

Parties have taken on themes with more elaborate parts as Modernism Week has grown in popularity.

Ladies, slip into your best party dress and adorn your neck with pearls — think Audrey Hepburn, Elizabeth Taylor, or Grace Kelly. Gentlemen, get decked out in your best threads and throw on a fedora — channel Cary Grant, Clark Gable, or Gary Cooper. Grab an Old-Fashioned or a martini because Modernism Week Fall Preview is just around the corner (Oct. 18–21), and you’re going to want to look the part.

Modernism Week Fall Preview in October is an appetizer to February’s main course, Modernism Week, and yet provides a sampling of what’s to come during the 11-day festival in 2019. Fall Preview offers more than 50 events taking place throughout Greater Palm Springs, including walking and bicycle tours, double-decker architectural bus tours, educational events and lectures, and plenty of cocktail parties to feed lovers of modern architecture, art, and design.

Each night of Fall Preview, there are at least one or two cocktail parties held at private estates and unique venues. The soirées are social gatherings with a purpose — to educate and to express appreciation of midcentury architecture and design, to entertain, and to raise funds for a variety of charities local to the Coachella Valley.

“Hotels, boutiques, and commercial buildings not regularly used for special events may become a hub of Modernism Week activity with a bit of creativity and festive revelers to share in the cocktail party experience,” says Lisa Vossler Smith, executive director of Modernism Week. “The large blank side of a building exterior can become an enlarged screen for showing clips of 1960s movies, or the party valet can become a showplace for vintage cars lined up to greet the guests. Capturing a bit of the glamour of the midcentury era reflects the vintage Palm Springs resort lifestyle sampled during Fall Preview.”



Private residences often become the venue for cocktail parties.

Many of the cocktail parties take place at private residences, some of which have never before been opened to the public. According to Smith, “these special architectural gems offer an amazing setting for the dramatic landscape and mountains in Palm Springs. Clean roof lines, large glass windows that bring the outside in, and furnishings that express the bright and upbeat Palm Springs style are all factors in creating the perfect Fall Preview house party.”

Here is a list of the parties with tickets still available. Officials recommend you purchase them early because these events often sell out. According to Smith, “the size of the parties and number of guests is often limited to fit the intimate scale of many of the residences where they are hosted.”

Tickets for events and parties can be found at unless noted otherwise.



The Modernism Show & Sale Fall Edition is a special invite before the show is open to the general public. 

Preview Party for Palm Springs Modernism Show & Sale Fall Edition

The Preview Party for Palm Springs Modernism Show & Sale Fall Edition, Oct. 19 at 6 p.m., gives VIP ticket holders the opportunity to preview and buy items from more than 40 national and international decorative and fine arts dealers. Exhibitors will be offering rare 20th and 21st century objects, furniture, and art. Those who attend this event have early buying access before doors open to the public Oct. 20.

Wine, hors d’oeuvres, and live music will accompany the opening night event.

The Show & Sale takes place at the Palm Springs Convention Center. Tickets are $65 in advance or $75 at the door. This event is organized by Modernism Week.

Cocktail Party at the House of Galanos

One of the most anticipated parties of Fall Preview this year happens Oct. 18. The luxury estate in the Las Palmas neighborhood of Palm Springs formerly belonged to American couture fashion designer James Galanos, most famous for dressing Nancy Reagan. Fall Preview will be the first time the home will be opened to the public. It was constructed in the 1940s, with the original interior design done by Hal Broderick.



A cocktail reception with hors d’oeuvres and a DJ will be held poolside at 6 p.m.

Tickets are $150 each. This event is organized by the Mizell Senior Center, and a portion of the proceeds will benefit their Meals on Wheels program.

Nod to Mod: A Dinner Event by PS Underground

The location is a secret, as is the menu. What we can tell you is that the Nod to Mod dinner event will take place somewhere in Palm Springs, and that guests will be in for a midcentury-inspired five-course culinary experience with midcentury-inspired cocktails. Music, movies, television shows, and commercials from the 1940s to 1960s will set the mood.

This dinner event takes place nightly at 6:30 p.m. during Modernism Week Fall Preview. Midcentury attire is encouraged.

Tickets are $125 and can be purchased at


The Desert Star hosts "Modernism With a Twist."

The Best of Mod With a Twist

One of the most popular events during Fall Preview, (Oct. 18–20 from 5 to 6:30 p.m.) is “a social gathering with infotainment,” according to Vossler Smith. Guests will enjoy a glass of wine and some midcentury snacks while listening to five 10-minute presentations about life and culture in midcentury America, from fashion and architecture to food, film, and design.

This event, organized by Makerville, takes place at Desert Star in Palm Springs. Tickets are $50.

Laid Back & Leisure With a Modern Twist

“Pretty in Pink at Indian Canyons,” is a beautifully restored modern contemporary home in Palm Springs with stunning views of the San Jacinto Mountains. The last party of Modernism Week Fall Preview takes place at 5 p.m. Oct. 21. Tapas, beer, and wine will be served along with a signature Pom Canyon cocktail. Reggae, calypso, and world music will be performed by Chris Arpad. Colorful island-themed leisure attire is recommended.

Tickets are $100. This event is organized by Volunteer Palm Springs’ educational outreach branch, P.S. Cares.