I am quite a fan of period pieces. This interest extends to cars, fashions, furniture, cinema or written works of bygone days. Although I didn’t experience the times, the 1920s has always held an allure for me. Even as a young woman I was intrigued by the cars, clothes, hairstyles and conversations from that glamorous era.
In 1975 the very first People magazine issued forth, with none other than the movie stars, Robert Redford and Mia Farrow gracing its cover. They were the leads in a new movie, “The Great Gatsby,” written by the novelist F. Scott Fitzgerald and published in 1925.
I had read this book about the Roaring Twenties in high school and was eager to see the film. I was not disappointed. It was a lavish production for the 1970s.The authentic sets and costumes took me to a place and time which enchanted me. I found myself daydreaming about being a flapper in those days, bobbed Marcelline waves shining, silver pumps flashing as I frantically danced The Charleston, my long pearl necklace swinging.
Onscreen, life was depicted for the most part, as a carefree, glorious existence celebrated by the idle rich. Jay Gatsby’s opulent stone mansion on Long Island Sound was the place to be seen. It was fronted by a huge marble fountain that sprayed guest merry makers who splashed and cavorted in it. The sultry night air was filled with their raucous shouts of glee. An endless line of glistening jalopies poured through the gates, while the orchestra played jazz, jazz, jazz!
Over the years since, I have read Fitzgerald’s other novels that evoke a haunting nostalgia of that era. They inspired me to attempt to sketch some of the beauties of those glorious days. I discovered numerous books that featured hair and dress fashions for the Jazz Age, which incidentally was a term coined by the author himself.
As I furthered my interest in later years, I decided to create a story that opens in the 1970s, and reflects back to those madcap, romantic times of the 1920s.