Wednesday, February 22, 2012

The Great Gatsby!

Well, I have to say I am anticipating the release of "The Great Gatsby"! I say this with hesitation because the original is a classic and I am afraid this new movie  may not measure up!  The first Gatsby had a cast of amazing actors." Robert Redford and Mia Farrow" really took center stage in this tragic story. Also, it helped that the setting was decadent, dripping in jewels, cars, and a mansion that could take anyone's breath away.  I know the story line was a bit harsh., and a tad reminiscent of the wall street heyday of recent years. It was the era of wanting more, and living like there was no tomorrow. I was enthralled with the fashion, the style , the interiors, and I began to wonder who would  Jay Gatsby have used to design his mansion? Thus began my research on top designers of the roaring 20's! I found a few that I feel would have worked well with Mr. Gatsby. They are as follows: Syrie Maugham, Eileen Gray and Sybil Colefax. These designing women would have been able to keep up with Jay Gatsby's lust for fine things, lavish lifestyle!
Syrie Maugham

Queen of highgloss, which I am a fan of too!

Syrie Maugham was famous for her rocky marriage to Somerset Maugham (British Novelist). The pair was married from 1917 until 1929 when somerset left Syrie for Frederick Haxton. It was probably through those long years that Syrie began her pursuit of design merely out of boredom.  She became famous in the 1920's to 30's for all white rooms!She established a great shop London, and pushed her love of high gloss, white leather, suede, velvet.. and fur into the interiors of many wealthy clients who could afford her goods. For more on Syrie check out the book"Syrie Maugham:"Staging The Glamorous Interior"by Paul Metcalf.
Eileen Gray

This could be a penthouse today!

The Pirogue sofa is incredible!

 Eileen Gray was born 1878 and died 1976. Gray’s father, James, was a painter who encouraged his daughter's artistic interests. He took his daughter on painting tours of Italy and Switzerland which encouraged her independent spirit. Gray spent most of her childhood living in the family's homes in Ireland or South Kensington in London.In 1898, Gray attended classes at the Slade School of Fine Art, where she studied painting. ol. She continued her studies in Paris at the Académie Julian and the Académie Colarossi. Gray later became interested in furniture when she came across a lacquer repair shop in Soho, in London, where she asked the shop owner, Mr. D. Charles to show her the ways of the lacquer trade. He also connected her with lacquer artists, one of them: Seizo Sugawara (or Sugawara-san). He originated from an area of Japan that was known for its decorative lacquer work and had emigrated to Paris to repair the lacquer work exhibited in the Exposition Universelle. Eileen worked with Sugawara and finally at the age of 35, was able to display her lacquered pieces.
In 1914, when World War I broke out, Gray moved back to London, taking Sugawara with her. At the end of the war Gray and Sugawara returned to Paris. There Gray was given the job of decorating an apartment in the rue de Lota. She designed most of its furniture (including her famous Bibendum chair), carpets and lamps, and installed lacquered panels on the walls. The result was favorably reviewed by several art critics who saw it as innovative. Given a boost from the success of the apartment, Gray opened up a small shop in Paris, Jean Desert, to exhibit and sell her work and that of her artist friends.
Sybil Colefax , I am unable to find a photograph of the amazing designer so enjoy her interiors!

Sybil Colefax of "Colefax and Fowler" in of my favorite showrooms at Cowtan & Tout in NYC; was a notable English interior decorator and socialite in the first half of the twentieth century.She was born Sybil Halsey in Wimbledon into a noted society family] and lived in Cawnpore, India, until the age of 20 when she went on the Grand Tour. In 1901, she married patent lawyer Sir Arthur Colefax, who was briefly the MP for Manchester South West in 1910. They set up home at Argyll House, King's Road, Chelsea and at Old Buckhurst in Kent. Widely admired for her taste after she had lost most of her fortune in the Wall Street Crash she began to decorate professionally, using her formidable book for contacts. She was able to purchase the decorating division of the antique dealers Stair and Andrew of Bruton Street, Mayfair and established Sibyl Colefax Ltd in partnership with Peggy Ward, the Countess Munster. On her 'retirement' (following a family tragedy) Peggy Ward aske dif she would to take on John Fowler (1906-1977) as her partner, which she did in April 1938. Unfortunatley,war cut short this partnership. In 1944 the business, managed by John Fowler, took a lease on 39 Brook Street, Mayfair where it remains to this day. Also in 1944 Sibyl Colefax sold the business to Nancy Tree (Nancy Lancaster as she became in 1948) for a sum in the order of £10000. She renamed the business Sibyl Colefax and John Fowler Ltd, the name continuing today as the decorating division of the Colefax Group Plc.

Finally, some posts of the movie which started my designer search! Let us hope that Leonardo DiCaprio will do the role of Jay Gatsby justice! I cannot wait to see the set design,especially now that I have found my favorite designers  of that era!

I think a little flapper dress maybe back this season!!

Very Sybil Colefax!

Oh the pastel colors.. I need spring!!

Okay, nothing more to say!
Thank you Wikipedia, google and "The Peak of Chic"!


  1. My mom kept telling me about this movie and how I should see it. You talking about just makes me want to see it even more.

  2. Hey there!

    Just finished reading your article on "The Great Gatsby!" and I couldn't help but get nostalgic. It's such a timeless classic, isn't it? Your insights and analysis brought back memories of reading the book in school and watching the movie adaptations.

    I loved how you delved into the themes of the Roaring Twenties, the allure of wealth and decadence, and the tragic undertones of the story. It's fascinating to see how these themes still resonate with audiences today.

    Oh, and by the way, your mention of the best leather jacket for women got me thinking about adding some Gatsby-inspired style to my wardrobe! Thanks for reigniting my love for this literary gem! 📖💫


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