a Vintage Los Angeles Lifestyle and Fashion Blog


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.

Gatsby dresses


I know, I know.  Many wouldn’t wish to view the designs even if given the opportunity.  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.  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.  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.
Gatsby dress
Gatsby costume
Gatsby dress
Gatsby dress detail
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.  However, I am trying to delve 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 allowed photography.  Again, I’m trying not to shred the authenticity of the silhouettes.  So, aren’t they artfully done?
Gatsby costume illustration
Gatsby costume illustration
Gatsby costume illustration
Gatsby costume illustration
Gatsby costume illustration
Gatsby costume illustration
A few props along the way to get a closer peek were also on display.Gatsby prop Gatsby prop Gatsby prop
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 lovely evening merited sharing 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.

5 comments so far.


  1. Desirae Day says:

    I tend to pick things apart too. But, they are lovely costumes, even if they are authentically reproduced. I shall take your husbands advice too! You look lovely.

  2. Lizzie says:

    I guess we need to look at them as they are, and that is movie costumes. I hope I've convinced myself of this when I do see the film.

    I love all the props. That scrapbook is amazing. Such attention to detail, and will anyone even notice it while watching the movie?

  3. Beth says:

    I registered for tickets to this event, and then completely forgot to go! Whoops. Thanks for sharing your photos do that I could see it!

  4. Unknown says:

    Dear Patricia, do you happen to have more photos of the props? I'm obsessed in finding out what was written on that letter…

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