Thursday, May 9, 2013

We were literally a fingertip away from Daisy’s dress in The Great Gatsby!

“And I like large parties. They’re so intimate. At small parties there isn’t any privacy.” ― F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby 

On Sunday early evening (Cinco de Mayo!), Lara and I (Cori) – two Reviewers from Art Deco Divas – attended a small party for a private showing of a collection of real costumes, accessories, and props used in Baz Luhrmann’s adaptation of The Great Gatsby (2013) film.

Hosted by the Art Deco Society of Los Angeles ( at Century Guild in Culver City, the event delighted artists, designers, and book/movie lovers with authentic Gatsby costume designs and set pieces that personified glamour in the heyday of the Roaring Twenties. 

When we entered the showcase room, Carey Mulligan (who plays Daisy Buchanan in the film) decked out in her Tiffany-diamond-decorated headband half-smiled at us via a beautiful picture still. 

An avid fan of the book, I couldn't help but think she was the perfect actress to play the part, as she simultaneously portrays the delicate between beautiful innocence and whimsical carelessness. Mia Farrow in an early adaptation was also apropos to play Daisy as an endearing hot mess. They both represent that exceptional and rare beauty that would compel a man like Jay Gatsby to want to own and protect.

Displayed on the wall were the original drawings of the artists’ costumes designs. You could see the likeness of the actors/actresses as they wore the elegant suits and dresses that were so reminiscent of the Jazz Age, considered “the most decadent of all the decades.” An interesting note is that the costumes were designed by Baz Luhrmann’s wife, Catherine Martin.

As we excitedly made our way to the actual costumes on display, we stopped to chat with Annamarie von Firley, owner of renowned clothing store reVamp Vintage, which sells their own ready-to-wear vintage-inspired line and also makes custom clothing.

(Check out our interview with her we published a couple of weeks ago at

If you’re ever at an event with Annamarie (or make an appointment to visit her studio), you’ll likely be inspired by her current projects and endeavors—like, serving as the head of the Art Deco Society of Los Angeles (ADSLA) Event Committee, planning the annual Art Deco Society ball on Catalina Island, running her successful business, and oh….planning this costume preview event.

Feeling inspired from our chat with Annamarie, we then oohed and aahed at the costumes meticulously positioned in a scene straight out of the 20s, and I resisted the urge to stealthily limbo under the velvet rope and sample one of the exquisite dresses.

We then turned to the portrait of Mulligan/Daisy in the backdrop of two more dresses. (Look for the portrait in the film!)

Only the women were privy to an additional portrait (see below) also used in the film, for it adorned the wall of the Ladies restroom.

What was particularly fun about this event were all the guests, some of whom were decked out in the “latest” 20s fashions—bedazzled headband and all. 

Although it’s almost 100 years later, there is a luxurious – almost intoxicating -- elegance from that time period in terms of fashion that still resonates with people today.

We’re excited to see the film—and view its costumes and accessories—not only because it visualizes one of the great American novels, but maybe because of the nostalgia it inspires of an era defined by prosperity, eccentricity, originality, and creative opportunity.

It's no wonder then that I looked down the hallway at the classic automobile parked in the back and thought of escaping into opulence...even if only for a moment.


  1. Replies
    1. Hi Becky! You would have LOVED this. And when you come to SoCal you should def check out Century Guild. Wish you could have been here! xxoo

  2. Everything looks so beautiful! Awe-struck.

    1. Hi Jo! Thanks for your comment. Are you in SoCal? We're going to start listing lots of fun events like this in our blog, so if you're in town keep an eye out. :-) And we will check out your blog! xxoo