Going Gatsby

Stills from 'The Great Gatsby' (1974)

Hemingway's Garden of Eden (from the Paris Review)

In a recession, we look to the past. Nostalgia keeps us going. In fashion, nostalgia keeps a whole industry going, and not only in a recession. This year, the early 1960s were the years to look to for escape – to a simpler time when everyone dressed well and life was simpler. It was to be the bringer of a 'new womanly' style – a move away from boom-induced frivolity, and a nod to being grown up, and sexily sensible.

Fashion can't stay so sensible for long – it seems to be gradually embracing this perfect opportunity to go Gatsby.

1. Dress: Alice + Olivia 2. Shoes: Repetto 3. Headband: Topshop

Carey Mulligan will be making her leap from An Education's British 1960s to the bright young world of the American 1920s as Daisy Buchanan in Baz Luhrmann's take on The Great Gatsby next year. Later this year, Mena Suvari plays Catherine, an American newlywed traveling Europe with her husband in an adaptation of Hemingway's unfinished novel Garden of Eden, set in the twenties, one war just finished, another just brewing.

The 1920s have much in common with the 1960s. Both were, at least in America, inter-war years, both were shocked by the relative emancipation of their women and both were boom decades building towards an inevitable crash and recession. In 2010, in the middle of our own recession, we ignore the end of the story and pick out the glamour, the freedom and the excitement of those years, and wear styles which evoke that atmosphere for us.

1. Lace top: Lover 2. Fedora: French Connection 3. Russian Red Lipstick: Mac

1. White Dress: French Connection 2. Dropwaist Blue Dress: ASOS

'With the influence of her dress her personality had also undergone a change' says Nick Carraway of Daisy Buchanan, and, if clothes really can create optimism, the 1920s are already quietly appearing just for that purpose, in innocent white fabrics, dropped waists and jaunty hats.


Craft Fair

Among the fiddly porcelain, shelves of teapots, and precariously balanced jewelery there was not a great deal of room for a video camera and a tripod, but last weekend Benjamin and I ploughed in regardless. We were very much in the way.

Benjamin was filming one of his interviewees for a project at Hereford Craft Fair. The interviewee was a potter named Jewels, who makes tiny sea-inspired pottery sets after just doing an evening class at the local college. Late learning is in the family – her 75-year-old mother is studying for a PhD in older people's attitudes to death. She sounds fascinating – I'd love to meet her.

As I hate being in the way above all things, I drifted around with the crowd, taking photographs and chatting to some of the stall holders. It was surprisingly busy. It's amazing and brilliant that the most popular designs were the simplest and the most old fashioned, and that people were still snapping them up despite the modern age of austerity, and the availability of cheap china from the east, and Ikea.

I got talking to a potter who looked more like a 1960s bank manager than an artist. He had in fact spent the 1960s studying pottery, which he left for large scale manufacturing. He only came back to potting a few years ago, and had just sold an entire £1,500 dinner set on commission: 'The woman who bought it didn't even blink at the price', he told me.

This weekend, in the middle of another fruitless Bristol shopping trip, I cheered myself up with this fantastically long wool scarf from Zara. I love how thick the wool is, and how many times I can wrap it around. If you add a topknot (my hair's default setting at the moment) it is a really satisfying one too.

Scarf: Zara
Cardigan: H&M
Skirt: Zara
Boots & Bag: Vintage