'Gatsby' inspires flapper fashions

Fashion • Wear vintage pieces with newer styles for best look.
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2013, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

The opulence of the 1920s roars onto the silver screen with Friday's opening of "The Great Gatsby."

Baz Luhrmann's adaptation of F. Scott Fitzgerald's literary classic features an A-list cast (Leonardo DiCaprio, Carey Mulligan, Tobey Maguire) and soundtrack (Jay-Z, Beyoncé, Florence + The Machine).

But it's the lineup of costume collaborations that is creating "flapper fever" in the fashion world. Names such as Miuccia Prada, Tiffany & Co. and Oscar-winning costume designer Catherine Martin have the fashion world bursting with anticipation.

"People have always been enamored with the Roaring '20s; it was such a glamorous and prosperous time in America," says Kyong An Millar, owner of Koo De Ker boutique in Salt Lake City. "I think everyone [in the fashion world] has been eagerly awaiting this film since we heard of production."

Millar said during 1920s, some of fashion's most powerful players entered the stage, and prominent designers such as Chanel and Schiaparelli changed the way the world viewed and experienced style.

Jennifer Booth, local fashion blogger (www.frayed-threads.com), explains that the '20s introduced sex appeal into fashion as women said goodbye to their restrictive clothing and corsets. The flapper girl was introduced as spunky; independent women started wearing loose drop-waist dresses to hide their curves. They hiked their hemlines above the knees and covered their legs in fishnets and patterned tights instead of traditional stockings.

Feathered headbands, bell-shaped cloche hats, layers of long pearl necklaces and bold costume jewelry were typical accessories. Women bobbed their hair, wore faces full of makeup and used the first tube lipsticks to make their lips bold and dark.

Women still love the '20s fashion and want to be like the graceful Daisy Buchanan in "The Great Gatsby," Millar said. "What girl wouldn't want to wear a sparkly frock, some great heels and go dancing till dawn?"

As the film's release date approached, Millar said she has noticed more jeweled tops, feathers, fringe and sequins appear. "It's such a unique look that has staying power."

Booth agreed, adding that lace dresses, pearls, statement headbands and embellished cloche hats are '20s-inspired trends that will take off during the next few seasons. They're easily modernized, versatile for year-round wear and flatter practically everyone without too much work, she said.

The key to wearing this retro look, said Booth, is to take one vintage aspect and update it with modern accessories and trends. Try a drop waist-dress with gladiator sandals; a feathered headband with a sexy sequin skirt and heels; or layers of pearls with a classic little black dress.

For high style and glamour, start with pearls, as they are timeless and always a classic, says Julie Peterson, store director at Tiffany & Co. Plus, they go with everything from a simple tee to an elegant evening gown.

For an inspired look, add more pearls —you can never have too many pearls — layered with silver chains and an Art Deco piece, such as an onyx pendant. Adding darker stones gives a visual pop, and a contemporary style is achieved by mixing the two contrasts.

features@sltrib.com —

Get the look


Do have fun and experiment with '20s-inspired pieces.

Do try headbands and turbans.

Do visit vintage stores for authentic pieces to pair with current items.


Don't give in to a trend you dislike. Not into drop-waists? Try a sheath or wide-leg trousers.

Don't be afraid to invest in pearls; they will last a lifetime.

Don't wear a full flapper ensemble. Balance vintage pieces with newer styles. "Remember, it's '20s inspired, not '20s revival!" —

Clothing and location details

The photographs that accompany this story were taken inside Salt Lake City's Hotel Monaco with clothes provided by Koo Dee Ker boutique. Vintage jewelry by Rachel Coon.

Koo De Ker • 1037 E. 900 South, Salt Lake City; 801-359-4870. A local women's boutique offers fresh trends and designs at affordable prices.

Hotel Monaco • 15 W. 200 South, Salt Lake City; 801-595-0000. This boutique hotel in the historic Continental Bank building was recently renovated and has Art Deco/Jazz Age décor.

Tiffany & Co. • 50 S. Main St. in City Creek, second level; 801-359-2005. Inspiration for "The Great Gatsby's" lavish diamond headpieces, bracelets and long ropes of pearls came from the Tiffany archives, with some pieces available for purchase through the Tiffany Blue Book catalog. Also themed around the lavish style of the '20s is the more affordable Ziegfeld Collection of sterling silver, black onyx and pearls, featuring lockets, pendants, rings, cufflinks and strands of pearls starting at $135.