Get the Gatsby Look May 26 2013

Seeing "The Great Gatsby" the other night has inspired me to write about how to replicate the glamorous fashion of the Roaring Twenties from from drop-waist tea dresses and head scarves to crisp bow ties and spectator shoes.  You don't have to dress head-to-toe in it, you could just pick out a few items that replicate the style of Jay Gatsby or Daisy Buchanan.  Just mix and match, using items from a variety of lower-priced stores like H&M, Accessorize, Primark and eBay.  I picked up a lovely strand of knotted faux pearls from TK Maxx for £7 by the Danish jewellery makers "Pilgrim".

Lace Jacket - River Island Sale £10
Vintage Faux Pearl Necklace - Ebay £5
Vintage Box Bag - Present from my Mummy when I had Chicken Pox!
Turquoise T-Bar Shoes - Carvela Sale £15


You could also sift through secondhand shops and vintage fairs that evoke the era although, actual clothes from the 1920s will be expensive so try to replicate the look cheaply rather than spending a small fortune (unless you want to of course.)

You can easily pull together plenty of fashions and accessories that reflect 1920s glamour by just searching the racks of less-expensive clothing stores like H&M and Primark.  Half the fun can be in the treasure hunt.

Plenty of fashion stores offer such looks as drop-waist dresses in lace or embellished with sequins or beads and head scarves.  Accessorize are doing pretty turbans and embellished clutch bags that are very 1920s.

Looking for a strand of Faux Pearl and T-bar shoes with a small heel?  Shop at low-priced shops like Primark, you could easily pick up both a Faux Pearl necklace and a pair of shoes for about £15 or less!  Pin a Feather or Diamanté brooch to your turban and wrap a string of Faux Pearls around your neck and voila! you have my dahhling, the Flapper Girl look!

Beaded Bag - Accessorize

And boys, if you don't want to wear a Pale Pink suit like Jay Gatsby, you could wear a Pale Pink vest and matching jacket with a Beige pair drop-crotch skinny fit jeans with Slip-on Boat Shoes without socks.  Just don't roll the sleeves up on your jacket or you'll end up looking like Crockett and Tubbs from Miami Vice!  We're talking 1920s here not 1980s!

Betsy Blue has some beautiful decadent brooches for sale from the Art Deco period.   Art Deco is possibly my favourite era, I just love the smooth clean lines of the furniture and architecture and the glitz and glamour of the fashion from that time.  I am an old romantic at heart.  Here are just a few Art Deco brooches on the website..

Greatness of the Gatsby and the Prohibition May 22 2013

Last night, I went to see to “The Great Gatsby” in 3D.  I have heard of the book and the original film made in 1974 with Robert Redford and Mia Farrow (I still can’t believe she was once married to Woody Allen!) but I had neither seen the film all the way through nor read the book at all.

The story takes you to New York during the roaring 1920s when America saw Prohibition and the stock market boom.  It is a love story or rather a love triangle between the mysterious Jay Gatsby (Leonardo DiCaprio), the delectable debutante Daisy (Carey Mulligan) and her incredibly rich but unfaithful husband Tom Buchanan (Joel Edgerton).  It begins with a young Nick Carraway (Tobey Maguire) coming to New York to seek his fortune.  Carraway moves into a bungalow in West Egg an area for the newly rich on Long Island next to the huge mansion, chateau, palace, whichever it is MASSIVE, of Jay Gatsby. 

Gatsby throws parties for all and sundry to come to his house without invitation in hope to entice a particular someone but only Carraway seems to get an invite.  Carraway is Daisy’s cousin.  Are you getting the picture?

People are only interested in Gatsby for what he can do and give them but Carraway wants nothing from him but his friendship.  Carraway helps Gatsby to a “chance” meeting with Daisy and Gatsby wants to rekindle the love that was once between them.  Daisy loves Gatsby but as Gatsby discovers, he has money but he doesn't have the name or position or social power that her husband can offer.

The story also shows you a little of how America dealt with the Prohibition during the 1920s with its organised crime and corrupt constituencies.  Prohibition came into effect 16 January 1920 until 05 December 1933.  It was never illegal to drink alcohol but the Prohibition restricted the manufacture, sale, and transportation of alcoholic beverages.  With no businesses able to sell alcohol, an increase in organised crime became rapid as the supply and demand for alcohol became more and more.  Infact, the Prohibition saw people drinking alcohol more than ever before, probably with the thrill of the thought of breaking the law and never knowing when alcohol was next going to be available.  Underground drinking dens began popping up everywhere.  These were called “Speakeasies”.  Speakeasies were so called because you would had to talk quietly or whisper the password in order to gain entry or give some kind of secret handshake.

Beautiful window display celebrating the Gatsby at Tiffany's New York (sorry it's not very good but this was the best I could take through the window!)

Although the film was set in the “Jazz Age”, there was music including Beyoncé and Andre 3000's cover of Amy Winehouse's, "Black to Black" Lana Del Ray's, "Young and Beautiful" and Florence + the Machine's, "Over the Love."  I read that Director Baz Luhrmann wanted to represent music in the film with the “Hip-Hop Age” because the author of "The Great Gatsby", F Scott Fitzgerald made lots of references to contemporary music of that era and Luhrmann wanted today’s viewers to feel the impact of modern day music the way Fitzgerald did for the readers of his novel at the time of its publication in 1925.

Speakeasies were a major contributor to the development of jazz music. With so many speakeasies springing up everywhere, they needed something different in order to draw more patrons.  Jazz musicians suddenly found a demand for their craft and speakeasy patrons embraced this new style of music.

I loved all the glitz and glamour the film brought to the Silver screen.  I really liked the soundtrack too.  The clothes were absolutely fabulous for both the men and women, the dresses having been made by Prada and Miu Miu...  But I did find Leonardo Di Carprio a little stiff in the film, his “preppy” accent somewhat inconsistent but I’m not entirely sure if that is how his accent is meant to be because of his character.  I don’t want to say too much here because I don’t want to give the film away.  I was also disappointed with Isla Fisher’s first appearance in the film as the good time girl Myrtle Wilson coming down the steps to greet Nick Carraway and Tom Buchanan, I wasn’t sure if she was meant to be Australian or American.  She was meant to be American and her accent did get better as the film went on.  I know I’m being picky but come on, if you’re an actress and you’re doing an accent at least get it right from the off set!

People I know who have seen the film love it but reviewers don’t seem so charmed by it.  So I will let you make your own mind up whether or not to see it but I personally really enjoyed the film and I might now even go out and buy the book!

Looking cool in our 3D Glasses!

A vintage cuppa with the Great and Powerful April 25 2013

At the weekend, my sister and Niece Olivia asked if I wanted to go to the cinema and see the new film, “Oz the Great and Powerful” at the Atrium in Camberley.  Not far from the cinema is a Vintage Tea Shop that had just opened so we thought we'd go treat ourselves to a cupcake and pot of tea before the film started.  We didn’t have to wait long to get a table but most of the yummy cupcakes had gone.  There were some cupcakes left, not necessarily the flavour I wanted but hey, beggars can’t be choosers and I was just happy to get a cupcake!  The cupcakes are actually made in the shop with the bakers busy in the back making them as quickly as they were selling.  I ordered just plain old Vanilla with Buttercream on top and my sister and Livvy ordered Lemon with Lemon Buttercream, all served on a beautiful eclectic vintage teaset.  I’m not a great lover of icing or lashings of Buttercream on cakes and so had to scoop half of mine off onto my plate only to have Livvy ask if she could have mine (she’d already eaten all of hers).  Talk about sugar rush and rot your teeth!

Did you know there are about 15 books in the “OZ” series?  No, nor did I…  “Oz the Great and Powerful” is a sort of pre-equal to the original 1939 film "The Wizard of Oz" and I loved, loved, loved it! I liked the fact that the makers kept the scenery very much in suite to the original and it was rather dark but funny film.  Basically, the film tells us of how the Wizard became the Wizard with his flaws and fears.  And how the Witch Theodora became the Wicked Witch of the West.  I won't say too much or it will be a spoiler for anyone who hasn't yet seen the film but it's truly a wonderful film that I would happily see again, that I think both adults and children alike will enjoy.

"I'll get you my pretty!!!"

("I tried to make your face Green..." Yeah, thanks Livvy, I didn't actually want to look like the Wicked Witch of the West!)