Monday, August 26, 2013

How To Have a Mad Men Party - The Mod Years

On Saturday we had (yet another) Mad Men Party, (yet another) fundraiser for the kids' school. This time is was The Mod Years - 1968. It was the most enjoyable party we've hosted in a long time. We couldn't quite pin down why; must have been a combo of the 40 guests and how easy and organised were our six co-hosts.

I got a "messy updo" only took ten minutes, maybe too messy?...my kids say this selfie makes me looked crazed.

Goober! The dress was my "Heathrow Airport purchase" aka "le Mutton dressed as lambe"- what the hell was I thinking? My husband was there at the time, so I blame him.  


YSLs, most comfortable evening shoes apparently (all relative). OK off to pick up the dog poop  before the guests arrive!

All the hosts

Prep: One of the most dangerous things you'll do in your life is bring back balloons from Safeway. I have bungy jumped in Queenstown and backpacked through Syria by myself and neither was as life-threatening as driving party balloons around town. Every time I blopple-bob 12 balloons into my car I think: this could be it, someone comes at me from the side and I can't see them because of all the pink, blue and yellow. The good news is that at my funeral everyone will say: "She went out with a bang! It was how she would have wanted it..."
Another narrow escape from death!

Food and Booze: From the other Mad Men party (and my birthday was 1962-themed) we learned - Keep it simple...no, even simpler than that. I knew I had some good co-hosts when I was considering the chicken and someone said: KFC! Rule of catering... even if your guests are the ultimate gastrosnobbes, fried chicken always gets eaten first.


Cindy chillin' in the livin'
Cindy's iceberg quartettes

Starters was chex mix, cheese straws and meatballs. Dinner was macaroni cheese from homeroom, a restaurant in Oakland that only serves mac'n'cheese and has lines around the block at every minute of the day. Fried chicken from Safeway (I bought 150pieces and we were left with 75 - people don't eat as much as you'd think at parties) chunks of iceberg lettuce with bacon and tomatoes and salad dressing over the top. Dessert was homemade brownies, flower cookies and cake.



Shhhhugar...I spelt the word wrong (Zou Bizou Bizou)

We've learned from our two others two Mad Men parties that many of the Sixties drinks are disgusting. We narrowed it down to Gimlets The Roger, Manhattans The Don and  Cosmos The Joannie, plus wine and kegs. Fresh is important for drinks, so there was a lot of lime squeezing before guests arrived.

Cindy, Laura and John squeezing limes, Barry supervising

Portrait: We took Poloroids of all the guests so they can take a photo home.

Lesley taking the poloroids, she wore her grandmother's  jumpsuit

Games: We had hula hoop competitions and a quiz about the show. Other sixties games to try: Twister and Pass The Lemon (if people know each other well)

A incredibly relaxed technique meant this guest took home First Place
Ali and Sarah,  the eventual runners up, hotly contested the title

Quick quiz question - prize is free subscription to my blog!
Don Drapers' wife is called Megan. Her clothes, hair and (maybe eventual fate) are believed to be modeled on?
a. Sharon Tate
b. Jane Fonda
c. Julie Christie
d. Elizabeth Taylor


61 comments:

  1. Your party looks like a success...what a great time! I think we'll go retro for our next bash. The food and drinks are so easy and the outfit planning would be a hoot!

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    1. Hi there, it was! I can't decide whether 1962 (The Grace Kelly years) were more funner than 1968 (The Bardot years). Try both! Cocktails seem to be similar.

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  2. haha that looks like a great time
    Never knew the drinks were a crime
    And no idea at all
    Never watched the show at my hall

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  3. Years ago, a bunch of us girls got together as a "singing group" called The Pink Ladies, à la Diana Ross and The Supremes, see how perfectly you would have fit in?

    Disagree with your kids, you look gorgeous and I love that dress! I see that second pic on a page in a fashion mag.

    What great fun and yep, thank goodness you survived transporting balloons. That's a dangerous mission.

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    1. The Pink Ladies would be good fit - now for the singing!

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    2. Well ... we didn't actually sing ...

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  4. Jody, Love the dress and the pleats. You look gorgeous as you always do. I am amazed you host these parties so effortlessly. Your school is fortunate to have you. The fried chicken is perfect! Someone had it at a Christmas party and it was the most popular thing. I like the little salads too!

    Fun! xKim

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  5. Very funny! Love you hit pink dress, absolutely lifts the spirits...looks like it was great fun. S was it Julie christie

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    1. Sharon Tate! Kind of creepy when you think about it...are they setting her up?

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  6. Did you know that that colour pink really suits you! Colours like that drain the life out of me :-(
    Qx

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    1. How funny, I once read that pink suits everyone, maybe its the lighter tones? The spray tan covered a myriad of sins

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  7. Ha - that would be me mis-spelling the icing on the cake too.

    Give the hubs a kiss - the pink is good!

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  8. Can you come and organise my 50th? :)

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    1. Sarah, I was having similar thoughts for mine next year. 1964 - same food and drinks! Sorted.

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  9. Well I already have a free subscription, but Sharon Tate!

    You look fab! You know I love a theme party (studio 54, Titanic, etc) so I would have been all of this.

    You tell your friend I WANT those orange boots! They are the best boots I have ever seen!

    You don't look crazed - tell the kids everyone looked crazed in the 1960s - it was all the white bread and cold war!

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    1. Great answer, white bread cold war and celery sticks - all crazy making, Im in character!

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    2. Got the deets from Cindy: "The dress(her black and white one) I found on EBAY (new, not used), from the online store "Bargains By Way of Vermont". The boots were from the Halloween Superstore (online). Each were about $35 - quite a bargain!"

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  10. This party looks amazing....you looked gorgeous, loved the outfit and hair :))) Loved it!! Xxx

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  11. Looks like a great party - especially the hula hoops! The sixties was a good choice - a fun era. Love your hot pink dress and the perfectly matching toes.

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  12. Oh my - that dress is gorgeous on you! And I am still laughing at the funeral comment - you crack me up woman! x

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  13. a) Sharon Tate.

    This party looked fab! We've hosted a few Mad Men Parties, our very first one was still the best (that was during Season 3 of Mad Men, so still early '60s). We had so much fun, and I agree....those 1960s cocktails were lethal. Holy crap. We tried some recipes and man.....it's like....hello, I'm instantly tipsy.

    Next time you'll have to make the jellied salad (lemon lime jello) with bits of shredded celery and carrot in it. I made it for a Mad Men Party, everyone laughed and said "My Mom used to make that in the 1970s!!" and it was ALL GONE by the end of the party.

    Those Anne Taintor napkins (and slogans) are hilarious.

    Love those outfits, especially that guy's crazy pants!! hehe

    AND THAT CAKE!! Perfect. Can I steal that idea for our next party?

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    1. Oh my gosh - great tips!!! I guess anything with jello (kiwis call it jelly) and celery is very 60's. Even seventies. The woman I used to babysit for was forever trying to diet on celery sticks and cottage cheese

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    2. And the cake was just a safeway one...still the easiest way...a

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    3. Have you checked out Dina Moe's book, she does cartoon-style illustrations of the Mad Men cast (or google her - she looks like a character from Mad Men!) She did up cocktail pages -- "The Usual, Mommy?" or "What'll It Be Daddy?" Hilarious. My sister-in-law (who would be around Sally's age, a couple of years younger tho) remembers fixing cocktails for my in-laws in the 1960s, so that depiction was accurate!

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  14. You look stunning - invite me next time please:) x

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  15. That's it!!! I want to come to your next party!!! Loving the pink dress ... ignore your kids :)

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  16. I want an invite to the next party!!! I LOVED your outfit! you totally rocked it . . . . loving you posts as usual . . .

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    1. yes! to the invite, would love to have you!

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  17. Replies
    1. Love your post today about your hen who crows! Opposite day in the Contessa household

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  18. Hula hoops!! How fun. This looks like an amazing time. I liked themed parties. Though I don't think I could pull off some of those outfits your guest wore...

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  19. Fab dress, fab party and those paper napkins are great... I have an address book just like them and each picture makes me laugh. p.s I haven't seen Mad Men....does that make me strange?

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    1. You will love it! Now I'm beginning to tire of Don but I love the women in it. Funnily enough many of the people who turned up had not watched the show

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  20. My kind of party! We once had a party themed on 1979 (long story) and had the best time, apart from the drinks - Cherry B & Snowball is not all it was cracked up to be!!

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  21. Hi Jody, Keith, my mom and I had a great time. Thanks for hosting in your lovely home. Leslie

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    1. Great to meet you Leslie!! Loved hearing about your travels - I have some nice photos of you on Facebook!

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  22. First off, that neon pink number looks fab on you gorgeous girl!! A mad man party-to die for. My favorite is how you spelled zoo be zoo be zoo and I KNOW you did that on purpose. Yes "frugal is such an ugly word" to quote your napkins.
    Love!! :)
    xx, Heather @ Stylemindchic

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    1. Thank you Heather - loved your post today on you days amid the vines

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  23. You seem to have a real knack for the 60s party! And once again you look fantastic--- love the hulahoop contest :)


    ~ Alexis Grace of North On Harper

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    1. Love the natural pics of you today on your blog!

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  24. still wondering who Megan was based on. She was far too tight a---d for Julie Christie.
    The pink looks great on you.

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    1. Sharon Tate was the correct answer - and what happened to Julie Christie? do she do anything past the Hairdresser one - yes she was a much more relaxed character

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  25. I just saw Julie Christie in a film actually - The Company You Keep. Really excellent movie, and she still looks kinda stunning.

    Love the Mad Men party look - did anyone come as Peggy?

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    1. Actually no. Think that red hair is very tricky to pull off...

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  26. The dress looks great on you pink is your colour. Your friends orange boots deserve a prize. I would love to go to one of your parties they look so much fun.

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  28. The women at your party are a lot better dressed than the men! My mother had a pleated dress like that in the 60s/70s, but it was pale pink with a plaited pink and white neck bit...always loved it!

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  29. I love all of this, especially the part on how you "narrowed down' the drink list. Love your pink dress!

    xo Mary Jo

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  30. More of a rocker than a mod myself, different type I know.

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  31. Looks like you had a fabulous party. You certainly looked perfect for it!
    I agree that the only way a 60's themed party works is with drinks from the era. You have to be just as tipsy as they were. The last one I did I made Sidecars, but that was in the 90's, long before Mad Men. I just like any party in costume. The only hard part was finding enough Bridge Mix to put around in little bowls.

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  32. Mutton? Lamb? Crazed? Someone needs their eyes tested - you look fab, as ever!

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  33. You look fabulous, Jody! The neon pink goes beautifully against your tanned skin. And those YSL heels - just gorgeous. I adore your parties even if I've never attended one. You have the craziest but looks incredibly fun parties.

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    1. That's the fake tan from the booth, covers a myriad of sins!

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  34. Julie very much picks and chooses her roles; her last in a political thriller in 2012.
    She is also an activist in causes such as animal rights.
    She has just married a journalist who has been her partner since 1979.
    Quite sweet really.

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    1. Julie Christine was great in "AWay From Her" really amazing, think she should have won an Oscar for it. Looked properly aged but beautiful still

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  35. What a great party, Jody. Love it. Your parties are always smashing.

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