leadThe English summer may be over, if it ever really started, but last weekend it was well and truly in full swing when The Fox in East London hosted the deliriously decadent ‘Scandalous High Socie-tea’ vintage garden party. Martha Hayes (pictured, right) went along to find out who wore what.

The brainchild of fabulous vintage model and pin-up Fleur de Guerre and burlesque star Emerald Fontaine, the event magically transformed the relatively inconspicuous East End boozer into a summer garden party of days gone by.

The stuffy darkened rooms were dramatically awakened by an infusion of fresh air, vintage bone-china tea cups of Pimms and platters of cucumber sandwiches, free of charge on arrival, all amidst a sea of handmade floral dresses, red lipstick and some fabulous Forties hairstyles. 

So far, so quaint. But that was the downstairs bar. At the bottom of the staircase, a blackboard with the words, ‘Anyone for croquet or the swinging sounds of the sax pastilles?’ lured you upstairs – a reminder that tonight was going to be a lot more Great Gatsby than Make Do And Mend.

The dulcet tones of the jazz and swing band had the boys showing off with their panama hats, the girls swirling in their petticoats and not a Lady Gaga wannabe in sight. The smoking area doubled as a croquet green, and far from the smokers looking on in disdain and the garden clouding up like a mad scientist’s chemistry lab, you could actually see what was going on – and that was good old fashioned (drinking) games.

With cakes, hot drinks and chocolates for sale from Roaring For Teas, it was no surprise that the four burlesque acts interspersed throughout the evening, were in keeping with the theme, with cupcake nipple tassels and cake being devoured as part of the decadent dance routines.

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