preloading image preloading image

8 Art Deco Props Vital For a 1920s Period Party

18th October 2013
Art Deco Props Vital for a 1920's Party

As a movement, Art Deco occurred during a time of great cultural dynamism and social upheaval. The boldness and brightness of the movement was reflected in the time’s wealth and glamour – and washed down with an alcoholic drop of naughtiness.

It was a time period responsible for stunning architecture, music, art and design, so it’s not surprising that the era has become a hugely popular one for replicating at themed parties. So when it comes to hosting a successful Art Deco party, authenticity is the key to success.

Steer away from gimmicky features, and include as many time-appropriate touches as possible. From correct period attire to subtle lighting, getting these right will help transport you and your guests to another time. 

The Right Art Deco Party Attire 

The 1920s and 1930s were defining decades for fashion, and modern fashion still employs many of these trends today. An authentic Art Deco party must take into account the attire of time, however easy it may be to turn to the flapper dresses and gangster suits! The variety in ladies wear was extremely varied -  take a look at this Art Deco society guide.

1920's art deco dresses

(image via @ carbonated, Flickr)

A keen eye for fashion was equally rife for men during the 1920s. Suits were elaborate, angled and tailored to a high specification. Accessories such as hats and neckties were worn alongside to promote true wealth and sophistication. Tail suits are the epitome of this, but an elaborate bow tie and smart 3-piece suit can do the trick when mimicking the era.


art deco 1920's suit

(image via 21233184@N02, Flickr)


Prohibition Signs

Prohibition in America was among the defining features of the era, and there are some great replica posters, signs and noticeboards made to decorate your party venue. Prohibition took place between 1920 and 1933, and no period party from this era would be complete without at least a mention of the American national ban of alcohol – however ironically.

prohibition sign 1920's

(image via uhmlibrary, Flickr)


No Art Deco party is really complete without the right accessories. Scarves, hats, cigarette cases and pocket squares are all great additions to your attire, and will inevitably add to the sense of the occasion.

1920's art deco accessories

(image via catspyjamasnz, Flickr)

Party Invitations

People love to receive something different, creative and thoughtful in the post, and a well-designed art deco style party invitation is a great way of giving guests a taste of what’s to come at the main event.

art deco party invitations

(image via 64083050@N07, Flickr)


Ornate lighting was par for the course in the 1920s – decadence and elegance reigned supreme, so there’s no reason why you can’t bring a bit of that into your art deco party. A lot of portable lighting is available to rent – Senate House are happy to advise and find the best solution to suit you.

art deco lighting

(image via davidleeguss, Flickr)

The Right Drinks

The all-important! Getting the drinks right at any party is a must, but when you're mimicking an era as glamourous as Art Deco, it's critical. Cocktails are the best way forward – consider 1920s ingredients and pull out all the stops to make this the talking point of your night. The Mint Julep is popular – The Telegraph has a selection of Great Gatsby Cocktail Recipies

art deco cocktail

(image via preppybyday, Flickr)

Choose the Music

You’ve got the right drinks, everyone looks great, and you’ve decorated the venue perfectly. But, it’s nothing without the right music. You need to be able to set an atmosphere…luckily, the 1920s offers up some of the world’s most important and famous music. There is even a whole section dedicated to it on Wikipedia:

1920s vinyl

(images via 24853469@N06, Flickr)

Cultural References

It's worth remembering that the 1920s was the defining era of modern technological breakthrough. ‘Talkie’ sound films became popular, radio broadcasting was widespread, television was launched, air travel became more mainstream than ever, and the economic boom after World War I was providing relative prosperity. Excite your guests with a true feel of this fruitful decade by using bites from films, photographs and other cultural references. The atmosphere will be electric, and the party will feel brilliantly authentic. 

1920'S talkie movies

(image via charmainezoe, Flickr)

Art Deco Party at Senate House 

Putting the focus on architecture, style and design, and allowing you to implement your own theming and dressing options, Senate House is a perfect backdrop for an Art Deco party in London. If this sounds like something you or your business would be interested in, don’t hesitate to contact us about our range of party spaces in London.


Posted by