Residents and visitors alike know that Wilmington has a very diverse social calendar.  Among the Southern belles and Hollywood extravaganzas, a few events do stand out—perhaps foremost among them the Gatsby Gala.  Hosted by City Club of Wilmington at the historic de Rosset house and sponsored by, the Gala recreates in detail the Roaring Twenties, the romantic Jazz Age commemorated in the novels of F. Scott Fitzgerald.

Live 1920s music in the garden.  Prohibition-era cocktails at the bar.  Models in period fashion and a burlesque show in the speakeasy. All set against a Gatsby-themed backdrop at the rooms of the house are reimagined in 1920s themes.  The historic spectacle springs from the fertile imagination of Jess James, Wilmington’s own style girl.  We were lucky enough to get an exclusive interview with Ms. James, for whom this year’s Gala is both a celebration of a rich period in American Fashion and the chance to honor an old friend:

I have been hosting style-based events monthly for the past several years and I must say, the Gatsby just might be my favorite. The Roaring 20’s were a time of high style, excess and romance! What can be better than a night to relive the Jazz Age dressed to the nines at one of the most beautiful estates in Wilmington?

It makes me sad to think of everyone who misses out on this event. It’s a special one!

Thursday night’s Gala is held in loving memory of Donna Crutchfield, my dear friend Amy Kennison’s mom, who just loved this event and was hoping to break out her flapper pearls once again. Donna will always be an inspiration, a lasting smile, the fairest rose in the garden and a loving angel to so many.

Decadence and romance, rich indulgence and deep sentiment: Ms. James captures the spirit of the 20s and the feeling of the affair with her typical grand fashion. The tone is set for an evening we’ll all remember for quite some time.

The Gatsby Gala is the only City Club event open to the public, and thus a great chance to introduce prospective members to everything the Club has to offer. The Club will be offering a generous 80% discount on the membership sign-up fee for this one night only.  For more information about the event, including purchasing tickets and a themed photo shoot, visit Jess James’s website


We hope to see you there!