Baz Luhrmann,

I enjoy an evening of 1920’s style with The Great Gatsby & fashion guru Anna Dowd to celebrate the home release of The Great Gatsby - Event Report

Monday, November 11, 2013 Craig Grobler 0 Comments

The Great Gatsby Home Release LaunchI got an invitation. I probably wasn't the only one but everyone who was everyone was going to be there. When I say everyone I mean from every walk of life, from every corner of London, this kaleidoscopic carnival spilled through the door of the Roxy Bar and Screen for an evening of Gatsby glamour!

When we arrived the place was filled with partying people. A caravanserai of billionaire playboy publishers and their blonde nurses, heiresses comparing inheritances on the very comfortable sofas of the Roxy. Gossip columnists alongside gangsters and governors exchanging telephone numbers. There were Film stars, fashion gurus, Broadway directors, morality protectors, high school defectors, and Ewing Klipspringer the dubious descendent of Beethoven was DJing.

The Great Gatsby Party Invitation
The Great Gatsby Party Invitation ZOOM

The Great Gatsby 
A young newcomer to New York finds himself drawn to the past and lifestyle of his millionaire neighbour. 

Baz Luhrmann

Baz Luhrmann, Craig Pearce, F. Scott Fitzgerald

Leonardo DiCaprio, Carey Mulligan, Joel Edgerton, Tobey Maguire

UK Home Release Date:
11 November 2013

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“If I had to sum up the 1920s fashion in 3 words.... revolutionary, liberating and modern because the 60s were massively influenced by the 20s.”
- Vintage stylist expert Anna Dowd
The bar, where we glanced first, was crowded, but Gatsby was not there, instead we quaffed a Beautiful Fool and an Old Sport - refreshing cocktails made especially for the evening by The Roxy team. Afterwards we browsed the vintage dresses and exquisite period accessories on display, whilst nibbling the canapés.

The Great Gatsby DVD Cover
The Great Gatsby DVD Cover ZOOM
Pretty soon we found ourselves on one of the oversized red leather sofas getting ready for an evening with The Great Gatsby and I have to say I was quite taken by the Roxy's comfortable boutique boho chic setting, watching a film from one of their sofas is one of the more comfortable film experiences I have enjoyed.

Whilst Jimmy Gatz may have had to rely on a mixture of rising early, Dumbbell exercise, wall-scaling and practicing elocution, poise and how to attain it - we had fashion guru Anna Dowd on hand who gave us a talk about Fashion in the roaring 1920s, its cultural significance and how it ties into the themes of The Great Gatsby – which gave some background and depth to the time that Baz Luhrmann's The Great Gatsby is set in.

You can find more about The Great Gatsby on  Facebook or on Twitter

You can find out more about Anna Dowd' and her work on her website here or follow Anna on Twitter here.

An evening of 1920's glamour for The Great Gatsby home entertainment release on November 11th was held at Roxy Bar and Screen, 128-132 Borough High St, London SE1 1LB

You can find the Roxy's website here and follow them on Twitter here or Facebook here.
The Twenties can be viewed as the first decade of the modern era in many areas of human activity and fashion was no exception. The shift in design was truly a clothing revolution. As more women entered the workplace and won the right to vote, more power was achieved in making fashion trends more practical and accessible to all. Gone were the extreme silhouettes of early 20th restrictive tailoring.

Vintage stylist expert Anna Dowd (This Morning, Channel 4) on the social significance of 1920s fashion:

The Great Gatsby Leonardo DiCaprio as Jay Gatsby & Carey Mulligan as Daisy Buchanan
The Great Gatsby Leonardo DiCaprio as Jay Gatsby & Carey Mulligan as Daisy Buchanan ZOOM

“The 20s revolutionised the face of fashion with clothing designed to facilitate the lifestyle of the new jazz age woman. She danced, played sports, drank alcohol and this social emancipation and independence forced freedoms in fashion. Corsets were banished and hemlines crept up as the iconic flapper dress became the perfect piece to dance to the rhythm of the Charleston in. The fringed and embellished hemlines swayed elegantly whilst the loose fitting fabric allowed the wearer to move freely.

As French couturier Jean Patou commented it was 'the taste for dancing' that dictated the style of the evening gowns.

Soft, alluring, pastel colour palettes were a breath of fresh air from the repressive tones associated with War era clothing. Accessories and cosmetics also flourished as society girls wanted to flaunt their new lifestyles using creative blushes, statement clutches and daring headpieces.

A blossoming music scene of free jazz heralded by late night speak easies encouraged dancing and social interaction on a level never seen before. The classic style of the ‘flapper girl’ reflected this. A tubular dress with no defined waist and often pleats or gathers to encourage movement from the wearer. “In Britain and America the new styles of the 20s were called the 'flapper look' and in France it was the 'le garconne' . Both styles promoted a new sense of androgyny and modernism reflecting the overall mood of the era.

Breasts were taped down to get rid of unwanted curves and achieve a boyish look to suit the straight up and down styles. Hemlines crept up to the knee allowing more movement, liberating women from the constraining styles of the past”

The Great Gatsby Tobey Maguire Nick Carraway Elizabeth Debicki Jordan Baker
The Great Gatsby: Tobey Maguire as Nick Carraway & Elizabeth Debicki as Jordan Baker  ZOOM

Anna Dowd on the shifting times and fashion:

Embellishment was also used in a new way – all over beading and free flowing, twinkling diamante reflected the allure of city life, new technologies and a newfound elegance in starry nightlife. Smokey streets in metropolitan areas were no longer viewed as just a scene of business and commerce but also an exciting environment where hedonistic crowds could attend jazz clubs and dance parties.

Anna Dowd on the most iconic and timeless fashion statement of the 1920s:

“Coco Chanel was at the forefront of fashion design in the 20s and her modern, minimal approach mirrored the shift in social change. In 1926 Chanel designed the LBD and in October of the same year American Vogue published an article calling it 'Chanel's Ford' comparing it to Henry Ford's mass produced model-T car. Both the LBD and Model-T were accessible; appealed to the mass market and as Vogue said of the LBD it 'would become a sort of uniform for all women of taste”

The Great Gatsby Carey Mulligan as Daisy Buchanan
The Great Gatsby Carey Mulligan as Daisy Buchanan ZOOM

Anne Dowd on what to wear this season to recreate the chic roaring 20s look:

“The dresses are so symbolic of the 20s that for christmas you tend to notice them on the high streets because it is a bit of a winner. There are key pieces like the Dior New Look, you always see that style about  as certain pieces that are so well designed that they never go out, they are typical of that era but still as relevant today as back then.

There are a lot of retailers that specialise in 20s style,  like Miss Selfridge, who have a designer who actually take 1920s dresses and recreate them - so you can get newly made dresses. if you are going to wear one I wouldn't wear a real one as they are too fragile.

If you are going to wear one you want to enjoy life like the girls did in the 20s so I would wear a reproduction.

The key is not to wear costume from head to toe so don't wear a pearl necklace and a headband, but mix and match and make it your own.

If you are a bit of a rocker team it with leather, if you are a bit curvy you can wear it with leggings underneath. Style it in your own way.

Ostrich feathers are really in, there is lots of fur around this season and there are some ostrich  feather jackets.

There are a lot of accessories that can help create the look but Coco Chanel had a rule -  before you leave the house look in a mirror and remove one accessory so you know its not too much.”

I asked Anna for her take on Baz Luhrmann's The Great Gatsby and if there was anything she would have liked to see in the film that wasn't covered in the most recent adaptation of Gatsby:

The Great Gatsby Leonardo DiCaprio As Jay Gatsby
The Great Gatsby Leonardo DiCaprio As Jay Gatsby ZOOM
“In all honesty, I loved the book and have my own images in my mind from reading it. Aesthetically the movie is amazing - its just like candy and you want to see  more, more, more. Prada provided the costumes and they are phenomenal, the art direction is amazing but reading the book first I had different characters in mind that weren't Carey Mulligan or Leonardo DiCaprio.”

And with that we settled into our sofa with our cocktails as the lights dimmed and The Great Gatsby finally revealed himself as he flickered to life onto the screen in all his glory.


Celebrate 1920’s style with The Great Gatsby, out on Blu-ray 3D, Blu-ray, DVD and Digital Download from 11th November

It's the spring of 1922 in New York City, a decadent playground of shifting morals, glittering jazz, bootleg empires and skyrocketing stocks. Chasing the American dream, would-be writer Nick Callaway (Golden Globe® nominee Tobey Maguire) arrives from the Midwest only to land next door to Jay Gatsby (three-time Oscar® nominee Leonardo DiCaprio), a mysterious millionaire whose estate overflows with endless parties.

As Nick’s beautiful cousin Daisy (Oscar® nominee Carey Mulligan) and her blue-blooded husband Tom Buchanan (Joel Edgerton) fall into Gatsby’s orbit, Nick bears witness to the tragedy of impossible love and incorruptible dreams. Based on F. Scott Fitzgerald's timeless epic, The Great Gatsby mirrors the struggle of modern times in a dazzling visual journey from the mind of Baz Luhrmann, director of the Oscar® - winning Moulin Rouge. 


Wanna fight?
Craig was brought up in America but educated at Oxford, he has lived in all of the capitals of Europe, collecting jewels (chiefly rubies), hunting big game, painting a little. He was a German spy during the great war and the Kaiser's assassin. He is second cousin to the Kaiser, third cousin to the devil. He enlisted in the 7th battalion, 3rd Division and took two machine-gun detachments into such a fierce battle, he was decorated by every allied Government even little Montenegro down on the Adriatic Sea. 

He is a bootlegger with an underground pipeline to Canada, he doesn't live in a house at all, but in a boat that looks like a house and was moved secretly up and down the Thames but he still believes in the green light old sport, you see? - Ad Finem Fidelis

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