Ga Ga for Gatsby: Gatsby Taking Westport by Storm, Old Sport

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Aaron Hendel , Breaking News Managing Editor

The fact that F. Scott Fitzgerald lived part of his life here in Westport makes the people of town feel a special connection to the famous author. So, when “The Great Gatsby” movie was released, it was not a surprise that it caused a burst of interest in Westport that some people claim has not been seen since the release of the final Harry Potter film.

The movie has influenced clothing design and fashion. In fact, walking down the streets of downtown Westport, there’s a decent chance that quite a few men will be dressed like Jay Gatsby. This return to wingtips, boater hats, suspenders, or white linen herringbone suits can be credited to Brooks Brothers, which has one of its men’s shopping outlets on Main Street.

This men’s clothing line designed the outfits worn by Leonardo DiCaprio and the other stars of the picture. On April 15, the company released some of their selections to the public to be available for purchasing, which explains why multiple attendees at junior prom  made the decision to sport Gatsby attire.

“I figured that if I looked like Jay Gatsby, I’d be like Jay Gatsby,” said Nick Dedomenico ’14, one of the Gatsby look-alikes from prom. “Who wouldn’t want to be Gatsby? He’s rich, handsome and suave.”

Gatsby’s extravagance and elegance inspired many students to consider having their junior prom after-party theme be based on Gatsby’s own parties, as depicted in the book and movie. However, that idea died down when people figured out that they could not, contrary to the movie, get a zebra for their parties.

Though no known Gatsby-themed after-party was thrown, groups of students from the Advanced Placement Language and Composition course still gathered together to see the movie immediately after completing their A.P. exam. These juniors saw it as an opportunity to see a movie that was based on one of the books they read in their A.P. Lang class.

“I really enjoyed the book and the movie,” Baxter Stein ’14, who is enrolled in A.P. Lang and went to see the Gatsby movie with several students from his class, said. “I went to the theater trying to forget my opinions on the book and I came out really enjoying the way it was portrayed.”

Westport isn’t typically influenced by fictional pop culture characters. So even though Fitzgerald passed away in 1940, his spirit lives on as his creation, Jay Gatsby, continues to take the town by storm.