Did Hollywood give the 1920s a boob job? "Gatsby" costume designer tells all


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Next bubble to burst: The music of Jay-Z, Will.i.am and Jack White is NOT authentic Roaring Twenties soundtrack music.


Baz made this particular Gatsby for this moment. Of course the costume designer reached for current ideals of beauty --because Baz’s entire visual language is grounded in this moment. Just look at the size of the “cars.”

Baz was paying high homage to Fitzgerald with his numerous a-historical visual features. For the truly timeless works, the setting, costumes, and other affectations can be altered radically and the work stays true. That’s what “timeless” is all about. Romeo and Juliet was just as fantastic when set on the Upper West Side and staged as a Broadway musical.

next story: some expert reveals there wasn’t Rap music the 20s, either.

to be followed by: African - Americans were treated far worse in Jazz Age Manhattan than suggested by Baz’s movie.



It’s not unusual for period films and television programs to have some trappings of the original era but also trappings of the current one. Where one doesn’t see it in clothing and hairstyle, one sees it in choice of vocabulary, idioms and phrasing, memes, zeitgeist… What is being created for the viewer is a scene which is supposed to evoke a sense of the historical period, along with a reading of the characters that fits with their role in story. Our reading of the character and motivation will necessarily be a reading based upon our experience with the contemporary world, although some portion of the audience will have some generally superficial knowledge of the fashions, language, and worldview of the historical time being depicted.

Discounting boob jobs doesn’t improved nutrition and the like mean boobs are simply bigger these days?

Also that due to the streamlined fashions would the women with boobs simply have not really been photoed as much? Cause there must have been women with big busters in the 20s even if they weren’t as common or it wasn’t the fashion.

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The boyish shape was very trendy in the 20s, but it was mostly worn by young women - definitely not all women. Shapewear (corsets and corselets) were worn to flatten busts and hips.


“She was the wrong costumer to get the job if she can’t see the beauty in the real 1920s silhouette.” No. She was the perfect costumer for the job if she fulfilled Luhrmann’s vision. I get very annoyed at this type of scolding and pedantry in the costuming world. Not every production is meant to be a perfect historical reenactment. Anna Karenina is another recent movie that got slammed by costume purists, because the designer (Jacqueline Durran) dared to mix styles from two different eras.


I don’t think it s down to nutrition. Hormone and hormone mimics are a much more likely answer. From BPA to hormonal cows to phthalate in health and beauty products, they’re more likely than simply improved nutrition.

Edit: wow, interesting pic

Myrtle Wilson is clearly not boyish in shape in the book.

“The artificiality of femininity” seems wrong. “The exaggeration of femininity” would be more accurate.


Myrtle Wilson is clearly not boyish in shape in the book.

My first reading of Gatsby was the first time I encountered the word “voluptuous.”

What I’m curious about is why anyone involved thinks women’s bodies (or, hell, anyone’s bodies) were uniform in shape in the 1920s.


flattening the hips, eh? good luck with that, bonecrusher!

Also you are not supposed to see laser beams in space, or hear the spaceships fly by. Just saying.

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This. It’s incredibly hard, and perhaps even undesirable, to make an absolutely period film. If you go back and watch “The Sting” or “The Godfather”, it’s screamingly obvious that these were made in the 1970s. And with Gatsby, it’s quite apparent that period accuracy wasn’t very important to Luhrmann anyway.


Are you making dad jokes or just obtuse? Hips = hip area. Not hip bones. Same technique was used with long line corsets in the post-Edwardian era.

"all about the artificiality of femininity.”

Boobs and hips are artificial??


Hmmmm. . . I like boobs, maybe I should go see this movie. Thanks Boing Boing!

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And I always assumed The Great Gatsby was a work of fiction. I had no idea it was supposed to be historically accurate.

apologies for the double post but I had to share some links. It took less than 10 minutes of googling to learn that women of the 20’s often had ample endowment and did not hide it.

Since it was written in 1925 (and set in 1922) I’d assume the book is fairly historically accurate as to the period details.

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