To celebrate Jumpstart's 20th anniversary, the nonprofit's
Boston Young Professionals Board decided to celebrate in true '20s fashion with
a Gatsby-themed gala. Never ones to miss a chance at retro debauchery, we put
on our dancing shoes and headed to Fort Point, where we followed some flappers
across a nondescript lobby, into an elevator, and through a maze of hallways to
a tucked-away ballroom where swing music blared and giggle water flowed. Gents
looked dapper in vests and caps, and ladies looked like the bee's knees in
beaded dresses and miles of pearls. Aside from throwing an epic party, the YPB
raised $18,000 for Jumpstart, which helps pre-school children in low-income
neighborhoods develop key language and literacy skills. For more information,
Jan Marie Olownia, singer in Jan Marie and the
isn't her thing. Jan Marie customized her entire outfit, cutting the sleeves
off a frothy mint-green dress from the Garment District and sewing them back on
in a new style. She also made the belt and the headpiece.
Performing everything from Dolly Parton to
Beyoncé, her band plays regularly
at Boston Swing Central and travels as far as Minneapolis and Montreal - but
that night they got the local crowd jiving in their flapper finery.
When she's not on stage, her style is usually vintage-inspired, though she relates more to fashions of the 1940s through the '60s
than those of the roaring '20s. She loves pinstripes and T-strap shoes,
stocking her closet with finds from vintage markets and Goodwill.
Jan Marie isn't afraid to work for her
wardrobe: she first laid eyes on
her beautiful crystal necklace at the Cambridge Antique Market and stalked it
for five months, finally persuading the owner to break up the set it was a part
of and sell it to her.