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Tuesday, July 16, 2013


It was inevitable that “The Great Gatsby” was going to dominate the beginning of the summer this year.  There had been all sorts of pre-movie hype, and everyone was waiting anxiously for the latest film incarnation of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s literary classic.  In honor of the film, I displayed my “West Egg Mansion” building by Department 56 from their Literary Classics series throughout the summer.

West Egg Mansion, a Department 56 Literary Classics Building.

To prepare myself for the big event, I decided to revisit the story.  I began by pulling out my copy of the book and reading it so that the story would be fresh in my mind.  I also rented the 1974 “Great Gatsby” movie starring Robert Redford and Mis Farrow - this movie was my first introduction to this classic story.  As I watched this movie again, I was intrigued by how slow paced this version was.  Not at all as I had remembered it.  While I still enjoyed it a lot, it did seem to drag in parts.  However even with these low points it was still the perfect start to the “Gatsby Season.” 

A GREAT kick-off to the Gatsby Season!

I also was thrilled back in April when I stopped into Brooks Brother’s and saw that their Gatsby Collection had arrived.  I fell in love with the clothes immediately!  As I’ve mentioned before, I was very impressed with the film’s costume designer, Catherine Martin, for taking the time to meet with Brooks Brothers before beginning her designs.  As we know, Fitzgerald was a life-long Brooks Brothers customer.  This Brooks Brothers/Martin collaboration yielded not only the movie’s costumes, but also the new Gatsby line that I found myself drooling over.

The Gatsby Collection at my local Brooks Brothers store.

Window display at my local Brooks Brothers.

When May finally arrived, I was anxious to see the movie - for the clothes!!!  I need to preface this by saying that I am not a Leonardo DiCaprio fan and usually don’t see his movies, but the clothing collaboration guaranteed that I would indeed see this one.  I had read several not-so-good reviews of the film, and so was not expecting much (Gatsby seems to be a difficult book to adapt accurately to film), however I will say it wasn’t as bad as I had expected.  I won’t go into the many things I didn’t like about the film and the portrayals of the characters, but will instead say how much I LOVED the clothes.  It was the perfect “eye candy” for this Brooks Brothers fan.

The anxiously anticipated movie.

On the heels of the Gatsby hype, my local Goorin Bros. Hat Shop hosted a “Great Gatsby Party.”  it was fun to see everyone dressed up in their 1920’s finery including, of course, some very fun hats.  The event was a lot of fun.  The food was delicious, the band was awesome, and the hats were perfect!

A Gatsby Party . . .

. . . Where the hats were the stars . . .

. . . And dapper gents . . .

. . . Mixed with Roaring 20's-somethings . . .

. . . While the band . . .

. . . Played on.

Finally, I ended my Gatsby summer activities by going on the F. Scott Fitzgerald walking tour in St. Paul.  What many people don’t know is that Fitzgerald was born in St. Paul, and lived there off and on over the years.  The tour was very informative and will be featured in Part Two of my Gatsby Summer series.  

The Gatsby House in St. Paul.

Gatsby House sign.

While Minneapolis may not be the cultural hub that some of the east coast cities are, we can certainly hold our own when it comes to celebrating “The Great Gatsby.”

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