This past Sunday presented the opportunity to attend a private viewing of a few of the original costumes designed by Catherine Martin for The Great Gatsby. Held at the Century Guild Gallery, the showing featured costumes, sketches and props from the film and was an opportunity for Art Deco Society of Los Angeles members to socialize in the gallery and admire the designs on display.
I know, I know. Many wouldn’t wish to view the designs even if given the opportunity because the advance promotional images haven’t presented the era in the most historically-accurate light. I, however, will jump on any opportunity to chat with friends and if it includes the ability to take a closer look for myself, my curiosity will win out every time.
There were only four actual costumes on display, so there wasn’t much of an opportunity to get up close and personal with a wide representation of the fashion from the film. They were from the wedding of Tom and Daisy, and included Tom and Daisy’s wedding attire, as well as Jordan’s and Mrs. Fay’s dresses.
I don’t claim to be an expert in ‘20s fashion design, unlike some of my friends, but I will say that in looking quickly at the fashions, they pass at first glance as generally resembling the era. I could nitpick, of course. The waistcoat was too long, the wedding robes de style resembled more of a ’50s prom dress. The sketches of some of the costumes reeked ‘30s glamour. However, I am trying to take my husband’s advice when I get into my analytical mode where I pick and take something apart until it is mangled and shredded in a heap at my feet with all of the life sucked out of it. Let the art flow. It is a movie for entertainment sake, not a documentary. And while I cannot testify to the quality of the movie, as it hasn’t been released yet, I can look at the fashions and at least say I don’t see fringe or boas. I know some had hoped and expected more authenticity, but to these inexpert eyes, it is a step in the right direction and I will say no more.
The exhibit also included sketches of fashions not on display and some of them we were allowed to photograph. Again, I’m trying not to shred the authenticity of the silhouettes. So, aren’t they artfully done?
A few props along the way to get a closer peek were also on display.
And I, well, I wore a little period dress of my own seen at the Queen Mary Art Deco Fest. I like how my finger wave ridges give me little lop-sided horns here.
Will I see the film? Yes. Will I enjoy it? Doubt it, as the book doesn’t appeal to me. However, the evening was lovely and I wanted to share with you the little close-up view I had of the film designs. I hope you enjoyed them, if nothing else, for curiosity’s sake.