Second-Annual Vintage Prom

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by Taylor Nye

These are two things in my life I deeply regret: never having a great prom experience and not being born in the 1950s. Luckily for me, Vintage Madison, in conjunction with Wanderlost Vintage, is putting on an event called “Vintage Prom” for its second consecutive year in May.

Founded in 2005, Wanderlost Vintage is the brainchild of Jess Parvin, an art program graduate who was looking to combine her skills with something that she loved: fashion. Wanderlost was originally founded as a handmade clothing and screen printed T-shirt company. Jess’s business grew further when she began to travel, acquiring vintage items abroad and selling the ones she didn’t have room for when her closet started to overflow.

“If I did all of my shopping in Southern Wisconsin,” Parvin said, “I don’t think it would have the same appeal.”

Realizing Madison was full of like-minded people, Parvin started a group called Vintage Madison, a collection of shop owners, online sellers and collectors who host vintage-themed events around town. After the group’s first event, a vintage fall fashion show, they decided to host a vintage prom night. After its success, the plans for its second year were in the works.

Last year’s vintage prom was held at the East Side Club (3735 Monona Drive), where it will also be held this year. With stunning views of the lake and Capitol, it’s a fittingly posh location.

“Some guests even arrived by boat,” Parvin said.

Last year’s event also featured dance hits from the 50s through the 90s as well as a funky photo booth with costume accessories for dressing up. This year may even include an outdoor tiki bar and food cart vendors.

The soiree promises to be a night of retro-inspired cocktails and lakeside dancing. Plus, adds Parvin, “We’re going all out with the decorations.”

Don’t have a vintage prom dress? Not many of us do, so don’t worry. Wanderlost is hosting a pre-prom pop-up shop at the Project Lodge the first week of May to meet all of your vintage prom needs.

I, for one, am looking forward to pulling my pink tulle ball gown out of storage and donning the jewelry that everyone else calls, “so June Cleaver,” during the rest of the year. The vintage event in a modern setting is a perfect marriage of old and new, and the fashion is likely to be exquisite. Now if only I can find a prom date, I’ll be set.

For more information on the second-annual Vintage Prom, check out

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