Here’s a stunning springtime look from 1927. That print is so typical of the mid to late 1920s.
It seems like everywhere one turns these days there is an article or reference to the 1920s. I’m sure the up-coming Gatsby film from Baz Luhrmann has a lot to do with the interest. You would almost think this was a Twilight movie with all the buzz that is surrounding it and with the release date less than a month away, the interest is growing. A new trailer was released last week, and with it the lines have been drawn between those who are determined to love it, and those who have vowed to hate it.
I think to key to loving it is to just forget everything you know about fashion in the 1920s, and just enjoy the spectacle that is a Luhrmann film. Go into the theater knowing this is fantasy, not American Lit and certainly not fashion history.
This is the fifth time The Great Gatsby has been filmed. I have not seen the 1926 version (considered to be a lost film) nor have I seen a 2000 made for TV version, but the 1949 and the 1974 films neither accurately captured the fashions of 1922, when the book was set. The clothes in the 1949 film pretty much look like they are from 1949, and the 1974 clothes look like they are from later in the 1920s when skirts had risen almost to the knee.
Of course the problem is that people seeing the film who are not that familiar with the fashions of the early 1920s will now have a visual reference, however misleading, much like the 1974 version crystallized a vision of the 1920s for my generation.
Illustrator: Evelyn Browne
Copyright: Not known. The Fashionable Dress Publishing Company (1915-1930) was absorbed by Fashionist in 1931.