Dario Calmese for The Plaza
Opening today, Baz Luhrmann’s movie adaptation of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s 1925 novel The Great Gatsby is perhaps the most highly anticipated movie of the summer, if a bit of a guilty pleasure. And in the wake of a swell of projects and promotions inspired by the film (starring Leonardo DiCaprio and Carey Mulligan), we’ve selected a few of the most note-worthy spin-offs.
A Suite Worthy of Fitzgerald
Slated to open today in conjunction with the movie’s release, the new 700-square-foot Fitzgerald Suite on the 18th floor of New York’s Plaza Hotel is an homage to the glamorous Art Deco decor that defined the Jazz Age. (See our slideshow of more Art Deco hotels here.) The Fitzgeralds, who were frequent Plaza patrons, would likely feel at home in this suite, designed by costume designer Catherine Martin complete with period-inspired pieces like 1920s Odeon glass-fringe chandeliers, a Mayfair steamer desk and cast-iron Brooklyn Bridge bookends. The walls fit the theme, too, with Douglas Kirkland portraits of the new film’s cast and 1920s photographs from Vogue and Vanity Fair. Should you need to brush up on your Gatsby knowledge, the bookshelves are stocked with the complete collection of Fitzgerald’s work. Rates start at $2,795; 768 Fifth Ave.; 212-546-5219; theplazany.com.
A Slice of Literary History
Amid a slew of Fitzgerald-themed publications debuting this spring, Therese Anne Fowler’s Z: A Novel of Zelda Fitzgerald (St. Martin’s Press, April 2013) stands out. The fictionalized first-person narrative is told from the point of view of Zelda Fitzgerald and based on newspaper clippings, photos, diary entries and letters. Fowler chips away at the misconceived depiction of Zelda as a mentally insane wife who drove Fitzgerald to alcoholism, a portrayal perpetuated by her husband’s friend and literary contemporary, Ernest Hemingway. Z navigates the Fitzgeralds’ tumultuous and oft-chronicled relationship, redefining our interpretations of Zelda, who set the stage for modern-day celebrity as one of history’s most notorious women. macmillan.com.
A Charleston Dance Lesson
Claridge’s, the ever-elegant hotel in the heart of London's Mayfair, honors the glitz and glamour of the Jazz Age with high-energy, 90-minute dance classes ($195) in its historic ballroom. Taught by the Bee’s Knees—a London-based dance team that specializes in performing and teaching the Charleston—aspiring dancers will learn the toes-in, heels-out dance craze that swept the nation in the 1920s. For added flair, the hotel provides Gatsby-style accessories (pearls, elbow-length gloves, sequined headbands) and each lesson concludes with a flapper-style cocktail of crème de cassis, strawberries and Champagne, created in honor of the ballroom, which opened in 1929. 49 Brook St.; 44-20/7201-1618; claridges.co.uk.