The Great Gatsby: Decadent '20s Party Easy To Plan With Art Deco Details And Champagne; Just Follow Our Foolproof Guide! [PHOTOS]

By Nancy Stiles May 10, 2013 1:51 PM EDT
  • 11 pictures

The Great Gatsby is back in a big way. Baz Luhrmann's highly anticipated adaptation of F. Scott Fitzgerald's generation-defining novel comes out today, and fans are celebrating in style.

Click start to see our Gatsby picks.

But how do you throw a smashing Great Gatsby party, old sport? Follow our tips and the Champagne will be flowing in no time.

Avoid flapper fringe.

Your party will be too costume-y if everyone shows up in polyester, fringed dresses and neon feather boas!

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Instead, take a cue from Miuccia Prada and Catherine Martin, who collaborated on the stars' outfits in The Great Gatsby and focus on drop-waists and sparkle. "I don't want it to look like a gangsters and their gun molls' 21st birthday party," Luhrmann told Martin, who is also his wife. "It has to be totally the '20s, but you have to find an unexpected fresh way of seeing it. I don't want to see people swinging pearls and twirling their feather boas."

Definitely go sleeveless, and look for something with lots of beading. Top off your look with T-strap heels — all the better to do the Charleston in!

Add some sparkle.

Daisy Buchanan was all about the diamonds. You probably don't have the cash for her Tiffany & Co. headband, but you can still rock a glittering headpiece. Pick up a handmade creation from an Etsy shop or find a vintage piece if you can.

A luxurious string of pearls isn't off-limits, though. Daisy's friend Jordan lists a $300,000 strand as one of the gifts Tom used to win over Daisy. Tellingly, he also gives one to his mistress that is perhaps part of her downfall.

Go Art Deco.

Luckily, the Art Deco trend is back. So you can find lots of streamlined décor for your Great Gatsby party. Use Champagne coupes, instead of flutes, to lend a distinctly 1920s air. Play Cole Porter records on an iHome — but one shaped like a phonograph, of course!

Mirrors will liven up the room and are a good source of geometric shapes and frames. Vintage books can be found cheaply at flea markets or online. Peruse Poiret's greatest hits while speculating on just where this mysterious Gatsby came from.

Pop the bubbly.

Champagne was integral to the success of Gatsby's parties. The illegal liquor is a defining mark of the Roaring '20s, and it's one of the ways the penniless Jay Gatz got rich.

Moët & Chandon gave Martin a peek into their archives at their 1921 vintage and lent bottles for their use and reproduction. "The exceptional quality of the  vintage would have made it the drink of choice for a man with epicurean tastes and connections like Gatsby," Martin said.

"Baz and I felt it was not only a credible fit for the film both creatively and historically, but a direct statement about Jay Gatsby's character that he, someone perhaps involved in the production and distribution of alcohol, would impress by only filling his house with the finest available alcohol on the planet."

Jim Meehan created a special Champagne cocktail for The Great Gatsby, inspired by Gatsby himself mixing drinks for Daisy and Nick in the library. Meehan said that Martinis, Gimlets, Highballs, and Old Fashioneds would also be appropriate.

Here's the recipe for the special Moët Imperial Gatsby:

5 oz. Moët Imperial Champagne

1 sugar cube soaked in .25 oz. Green Chartreuse

Garnish with a spiral lime twist

Play old-time jazz.

You can either go period for your party or take Luhrmann's route and blast Jay-Z and Beyoncé. The Great Gatsby's killer soundtrack includes a jazzy cover of "Crazy in Love" and songs by Florence + the Machine and Lana Del Rey.

The soundtrack to Woody Allen's Midnight in Paris is also a good choice; it features original recordings by '20s superstar Josephine Baker and new versions of popular Cole Porter tunes.

Keep the bubbly going and dance the night away — you'll float away to East Egg in no time. And you may even bump into Leo DiCaprio along the way.


Click start to see our Gatsby picks!



  • 11 pictures

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