When I was reading the Great Gatsby in high school, one of my all time favorite novels from one of my all time favorite authors, it was the ’70s and as I turned the pages, I was wearing Elsa Peretti’s sculptural cuff for Tiffany & Co. which I received for my sweet sixteen to match the long swirling open heart pendant she had designed. I was pleased to learn that Catherine Martin, costume designer for the 2012 Baz Luhrmann remake of the 1974 film, (based on the book and starring Leonardo DiCaprio and Carey Mulligan) had raided the archives of Tiffany & Co., which signifies each decade so well. Martin went to the renown house to recreate the platinum, diamond and pearl jewelry that evoked the era of opulence of the elite social set.
While reading the book, I wished I was I was dancing the night away at one of the parties on Long Island in a shimmering cocktail numbers that shimmied when I moved. I loved being transported away to a different place and time, due to my preadolescent sleepovers at my grandmother’s house when we’d dress up in a mix of her long strands of glass beads, tassel earrings and authentic art deco bracelets while she taught me the Charleston and we pretended ginger-ale was champagne, which we drank out of her best crystal.
I am a big fan of authentic art deco jewelry and the less costly costume versions mixed together as well as the roaring twenties fashion –beaded and slinky slip dresses, handkerchief hemlines and the more dramatic fringe styles
It also isn’t surprising that the international spring runways were filled with 1920’s inspired looks, from the more geometric patterns at Caroline Herrera to the prohibition silhouettes at Marc Jacobs, the speakeasy styles at Marchesa and the pull-out -all -the-stops modern revivals of the Jazz Age at Ralph Lauren.
Lauren, in a sense, played homage to himself since he created costumes for the for the 1974 adaptation of Fitzgerald’s novel for the big screen when he outfitted Robert Redford and Mia Farrow.
His show was chock full of swinging earrings, elongated chains and pearls and feminine dresses, brimming with the right accessories–cloche hats and small headdresses.
The rest of the designers gave us their own takes on flappers and thoroughly modern women a la Josephine Baker, Collette and Coco Chanel.
Fine jewelry designers are creating pieces that range from straight-line bracelets and multiple necklaces to swinging earrings that have various cuts in softer and more geometric forms. Ivanka Trump has a vast assortment of styles for the lover of art deco inspired-styles, as does Penny Preville. Smaller designers such as Emily Keifer and Sofia Kaman for Kamofie are all getting a little jazzy this season. I have dusted off my high school copy of The Great Gatsby with it’s yellowed pages and plan on reading it, while sipping ginger-ale in champagne glasses and hanging out in ropes of diamonds and pearls.