Confession. I hated the Great Gatsby. I don’t get why its recommended reading and considered a classic. I haven’t seen the first movie that came out, but I want to see the new one, just for the costumes and set design. In terms of set and costume design, director Baz Luhrman allowed style influences from the entire decade seeing as how the book was written in ’22, published in ’25 and foreshadows ’29. Art Deco design has always appealed to me, and I find it so unique. I always watch movies and am distracted by the amazing decor. So, here are a few of my favorite sets from the movie, The Great Gatsby.
Tom Buchanan’s Love Nest –
The Harlem apartment of the mistress is described as gaudy and garish. Martin worked with original wallpaper sample books from the 1920s and had a floral with lots of red and pink reproduced. In the Fitzgerald book it says the couch is upholstered in something that looked like the 18th century painting of a girl in a swing by Fragonard. It was then digitally printed onto the upholstery fabric.
The Buchanan house –
From the book: “The house was very elaborate and Tom made sure to show off how much of the land he owned to Nick, while sweeping his arm in its expanse.” In the modern movie, it is a red brick mansion with manicured lawns.and an old-money feeling of a house thas has been passed down from generation to generation. It has chinoiserie silk wallpaper, antique furniture, and yet a modern electric fan. “I love the clash of this slightly ugly fan, this modern industrial object, in this posh room,” Martin said. It screams of establishment.
The Great Gatsby House
Gatsby is described as the most extraordinary purveyor of the most extraordinary things, even in the midst of prohibition. From his champagne to his home, no expense is spared. “You get this sense of excess—of someone overreaching. This is conveyed in the Neo-Gothic style of Gatsby’s house, the almost Versailles-sized fountain in the front too. Then you go to the Buchanans’, which is described in the book as an enormous pile of red bricks, and it is a much quieter view of wealth” Martin says, “you get this sense [that Gatsby] lives in an adult Disneyworld.”
Jay’s Gatsby’s Bedroom
The opulent bedroom is two stories high and placed in a castle turret. We see it in the movie trailer with him on throwing expensive shirts off the balcony. It features quilted walls overlaid with metal strips and a custom designed 16×13 rug (which is available for purchase for a mere $17,300). production designer Catherine Martin describes the bedroom as “totally of-the-moment modern” while “The rest of the house has old-money furniture with new-money Art Deco touch”
Have you seen the movie? What rooms are your favorite? What do you like or not like about the Art Deco design style?