The Roaring 20s are back in style again

The silly season is getting a whole lot crazier as the glamorous set gets ready to confuse and entertain as Art Deco style meets 2012 glamour, says Emma Harrowing.

There's a kind of hush in the empty studio at Epic on Magdalen Street. It's the lull before the most decadent storm.

On December 15 the ex-Anglia television studios will be turned into a fashion furore, one that would raise the eyebrows of even The Great Gatsby author F.Scott Fitzgerald. In Fitzgerald's novel, and soon-to-be big budget movie, it's 1922 and would-be-writer Nick Carraway leaves the midwest for New York and when he arrives he is dazzled by the glittering jazz and high-octane entertainment.

And it is this, perhaps more tasteful amusement that Cocktails and Confusion aims to bring to Norwich; a cabaret style evening held to raise money for the charity Help for Heroes.

Organisers of the elaborate event are keeping some of the thrills and spills that will befall guests close to their chest. Rumours are that the programme will include a mix comedians, magicians, vocalists and performers, shaken not stirred and topped with live music from band The Collective.

Speculation over the top secret agenda is only eclipsed by discussions over what to wear. The fashion Twitterati are out in force in cyberspace wondering whether to wear a little black number or tuxedo, to go for sparkles or lace, or pondering the etiquette of dress length.

The familiar questions over whether to buy something new or re-invent your trusty evening dress hanging in your wardrobe surfaces every year when the party season gets under way. This along with concerns over turning up to an event wearing the same dress as someone else can make it a fraught affair.

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Don't let this sway you from enjoying yourself at what is turning into the most prolific evening this festive season. Norwich has a wealth of vintage boutiques where you can find a one-off cocktail dress that no one else will be wearing. Look for a 50s style prom dress if you are conscience of your hips, a straight embellished 60s shift if your body is quite straight, or a ruched 30s style dress if you are unhappy about your tummy. Keep dress lengths on your knee or just below and wear with heels and plenty of sparkle to keep your look current. Cover up and keep warm with a faux fur shrug or coat.

The 1920s is, of course, a current trend this party season, so don't rule out a sparkly flapper style dress or floor length gown. To really make a statement mix up your eras with a dress that suits your body shape and 1920s accessories such as a pearl necklace, cocktail ring and/or head dress. Now that would really be a cocktail of fashion that will cause confusion.

Cocktails and Confusion takes place at Epic on Saturday December 15 from 8pm. Limited tickets are available and cost �60 which includes a canape supper, live music and entertainment. There will also be a sealed bid charity auction in aid of Help for Heroes. For information and tickets visit


Photographer: Emily Jane Morgan of Emily Jane Morgan Photography

Models: Jon Bennett, Marie Leonard; Scott Pearson; Suzanne Chamberlain; Annabelle Farrow.

Styling: Katy Coe from Vintage Deli

Hair and Make up: Gemma Seager and Kerry Clark – The Historical Sauces

Photographic Assistant – Kelly Colby

Coordinator: Alexis Brackpool

See more of the images from the Cocktails and Confusion fashion shoot by clicking on the photo gallery at the top of this page.