Style Court

Textiles, Art History, Gardens, and a Little Mental Traveling with Courtney Barnes 2006-2016


The Twenties in the Seventies

[Click to enlarge.]

I've only seen the 70s version of The Great Gatsby on the small screen. My computer screen, actually. For the visually inclined, a Netflix stream or iTunes download makes constant pausing hard to resist. There's just so much to see: the soft colors, Daisy's hats, her yellow bathtub, the iconic yellow car, the use of sheer fabrics, and, not to be overlooked, the use of flowers.

Whether you've seen the movie a dozen times or perused lots of Gatsby-focused tumblr pages, you're probably already well-acquainted with memorable elements like Jay Gatsby's pale pink suit, his splendid sea of pastel shirts and the architecture of his manse (French-influenced Rosecliff, in real life). But there are other wonderful things -- some very humble. It's all about natural light, summer heat, and a 1970s appreciation of the 1920s. Let's review:

There's the mound of daisies springing up out of an urn in the Buchanan garden.

[Image of white wicker, below, via Sue Balmforth.]

Wicker comes on strong too, especially with the vases sent by Gatsby to Nick's white-washed cottage. Also in Nick's place: bamboo roller shades, an amazing, probably Audubon bird print and an understated leather wing chair.

Faded grandeur appears with needlework daisies on antique French chairs...

and there are scrapbooks and sterling silver picture frames and of course full garden roses everywhere.

To learn about the book jacket design for Fitzgerald's novel, see this past post. More on a terrific Zelda bio from the 70s here.

[Scott and Zelda in North Africa, 1930.]

The book jacket shown at top is via Princeton University Library. Except where credited otherwise, all other images are screengrabs from the film.

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