Last Friday, I organized my little costume society to dress up and attend The 2013 The Great Gatsby movie premiere. While we were not the only ones dressed up, I do believe we were the best dressed. We received many compliments from other movie goers, the theater staff and waitresses at our before and after party. It was a very fun evening.
I think we all looked very roaring twenties, ready to attend Gatsby’s mansion party. What is great about our group is that we all have different ideas for ’20s clothing. From left to right – a handmade outfit, a vintage ’20s beaded dress, Deco Haus reproduction beaded dress, handmade gold and lace gown, Unique Vintage reproduction dress, and vintage beaded 1920s gown. Don’t we look great!
I loved our shoe circle picture. We had so much creativity with our shoes. From left to right – Black Mary Janes with sparkle stickers (she learned this from me), black bow shoe (so cute!), my Astorias with sparkle stickers, red dyed pumps and new leather straps (here), Astorias again, and 23 Skidoos painted black and gold.
What I really love most about the 1920s is how easy it is to wear the clothing. I don’t have to pile on ten layers of corsets and skirts for a Victorian costume, or find my waist cincher for mid-century looks, or spend hours getting my hair done up in pin curls. Within an hour I was dressed, styled and ready to go. How refreshing!
Here I am practicing my pouty flapper lips with my grandmothers 1920s vintage compact case. Behind me is her vanity, and behind that is the period correct “green” walls in our 1920 house. Do you think I love the 20s?
I get cold in movie theaters so I tossed on this wonderful fringed cape and fur collar I nabbed at a thrift store. The headband is from Forever 21 and earrings I found at Target. The peacock green feather thing is something from my mysterious stash of stuff. It went with my dress (see above). I always recommend accessorizing your costume. It makes a HUGE difference.
For my hair, I was following a 1923 hair styling manual. I have long curly hair, but I still needed to Marcel wave the front to get enough volume. Later in the 1920s Style Guide series I will post some tutorials from the manual.
My husband decided last minute to go formal twenties. He wore his shawl collar tuxedo, white shirt, black bow tie, and black patent wingtip shoes. He also had white gloves and an awesome walking cane to complete the look. (Why did I not take pictures of this look?)
His hair is very curly so it is tough to do much with it, but loading on a glob of hair gel and combing it straight back really added that extra bit of vintage suave he needed. He was going for this look:
As for the movie, my review is mixed, much like that of everyone else in our group. I was not expecting period accuracy, although I was a bit hopeful. I am also not a big fan of Buz Lurhmann movies in the past so it didn’t surprise me that the first few scenes from the book were filled with bright flashy costumes, modern music, and frat party morals. This is where Buz was trying to update the scene so that it would resonate with modern viewers. For that, I give him credit, but overall it was not my cup of tea. My husband, on the other hand, loved these scenes.
What I enjoyed was the next ¾ of the movie. Luhrmann dug deep into the psyche of Gatsby, trying to reveal who this man was that could go from nothing to something, and then lose it all over a girl. It’s something I think Fitzgerald tried to answer in his novel, although he didn’t make it that clear in the book and neither did Luhrmann. I a like psychological, “try to figure out the thoughts of a mysterious character” kind of movie, so for that I give The Great Gatsby 3.5 stars. Would I see it again? Probably not. I still prefer the 1974 version for being a bit more true to the story.
All in all, good try, Luhrman, many people loved it, some hated it, and the rest …well, we appreciated having an excuse to put on our flapper finery and revisit the past for a few hours.
If you are on the fence about seeing the movie, I urge you to watch it and make up your own mind. I also suggest you read the book either before or after watching the movie.