There’s plenty to see in Palm Springs on a regular afternoon, but once Modernism Week hits, it’s time for the real festivities to begin! Cram as many of the free and ticketed events as you can into your stay this February, but there are definitely some you just cannot miss. Here are the 10 events we’re most excited about. Be sure you don’t miss these—we may even see you there!
1. Mad Men Costume Design
There are plenty of Mad Men-themed events throughout the week, but this one is at the top of our list. Join fashion designer Trina Turk and Mrs. Megan Draper herself Jessica Paré for a close look at the influential looks of Mad Men. Need we say more?
2. Modern Gardens: Designing the Postwar California Landscape
The years after World War II brought a wave of creativity across America. In this presentation all about the innovators of the midcentury as well as modernism’s role in the shaping of the Palm Springs landscape, renowned landscape architect JC Miller for a retrospective on the work of Robert Royston, Garrett Eckbo, Lawrence Halprin and more.
3. The New Photographers of Midcentury Modern Architecture
Everyone loves their midcentury coffee table books featuring breathtaking photos of classic architecture, so now it’s time to see the faces behind those masterpieces. Hear the stories of Darren Bradley, Daniel Chavkin and James Schnepf, photographers who find inspiration in the architecture of days gone by.
4. Charles Phoenix: Super Space Age Slide Show
Get ready to laugh and jump right into some midcentury sci-fi life with Ambassador of Americana Charles Phoenix as he shows off some of his retro slides from his latest trip around the country. For the atomic-age lover, this is not to be missed! (And festive dress is, of course, encouraged.)
5. Eichler Day: Panel, Film and Tour
If you are obsessed with everything Joseph Eichler, you’d best sign up for Eichler Day. Listen to a panel of Eichler experts discuss this architect’s history, his impact on modern-day architecture and how his classic designs are finding life today. Then, watch “People in Glass Houses: The Legacy of Joseph Eichler” before touring the first 21st century desert Eichlers!
6. Hendrick’s Cocktail Academy: An Interactive Mixology Event
Ever wondered how to harness the magic of master mixologists? Join Mark Stoddard, World Champion Mixologist and Hendrick’s Gin Ambassador, for an afternoon of mixing classic drinks, tasting your own concoctions and even learning a thing or two about hosting the perfect cocktail party.
7. Daughters of Design: Bertoia, Eames and Saarinen
Join in on this special event that features the daughters (and one grandaughter) of designers Eero Saarinen, Charles Eames and Harry Bertoia. Learn about the designs and family life of these furniture visionaries as these three women “compare chairs and childhoods.”
8. The Eight Annual Racquet Club Estates Home Tour
Take a tour through seven distinct Alexander homes from the ’50s and ’60s and enjoy architecture by William Krisel and and Donald Wexler up close and personal. The tour isn’t free, but the proceeds go to protecting the incredible Palm Springs homes so you can tour them again next year.
9. Vintage Car Show
Head over to the convention center on the very last day of the show to catch a glimpse of beautiful classic cars against the backdrop of retro haven Palm Springs. Take some photos, chat with some of the cars’ owners and just enjoy the fantastic day in the desert!
10. Shag’s “Midcentury Modern” Print Party
Visit the gallery of midcentury-inspired artist Shag (Josh Agle) to see and even purchase great colorful prints that have come out of retirement just for the evening! You can even meet the artist himself. The best part is that this event is totally free, so why not?