HerstoryBound Storytellers: Zelda Fitzgerald

I’m celebrating Women’s History Month with new bounds, or everyday cosplays, every week in March. This week’s theme is Storytellers.

Zelda Fitzgerald

Zelda Fitzgerald and her novelist husband are almost synonymous with the Jazz Age. Zelda Sayre was born in 1900 and married Francis Scott Key Fitzgerald in 1920, two years into their relationship.

From the start, then, there were two Zeldas in the Fitzgerald marriage. There was the living, breathing person, and there was the Zelda that Scott kept putting on the page. 

The Myth of Zelda Fitzgerald

Zelda was a high spirited wild child. She wouldn’t conform to the strict rules of propriety and instead flouted them. Zelda was known for drinking, smoking, sneaking around, and the worst sin of all for a woman: seeking attention. Scott and Zelda’s relationship was at best tumultuous and at worst toxic. They met and married young, achieved sudden celebrity, and both wanted to tell the same stories— their own.

She refused to be bored, chiefly because she wasn’t boring.

Zelda Fitzgerald, Eulogy on the Flapper, 1922

Zelda published one book, Save Me the Waltz, a fictional retelling of her marriage that enraged her husband. It was written during one of her many stays in a sanatorium and when it gained little notice she gave up writing novels. Zelda also tried her hand at playwriting, painting, and ballet, but she was mainly known as F. Scott Fitzgerald’s temperamental wife. In 1948, she died in a fire while hospitalized for depression.

About My Look

I’ve long wanted to put together a Zelda Fitzgerald cosplay. The twenties aesthetic suits me and I love a difficult and/or misunderstood woman.

I found this amazing t-shirt on Poshmark. It so perfectly describes the relationship between Zelda and Scott. She wants to “f” him in every definition of the word. The skirt reminds me of covers and posters of The Great Gatsby. It’s shiny and geometric, evocative of the Roaring Twenties. My clutch reads “and off she went to change the world”. Both were also purchased secondhand. I wore the gloves and pearls to portray Selina Kyle last Costober.

I wanted to play, and show off a few different sides to the Zelda legend. The pants and blouse were also purchased secondhand, some time ago, and I found the knit head wrap at a local craft fair. I used a new eye shadow palette, ‘Hello Charmer!’, which I got off my local freecycle group. I applied a mix of Spoiler and Luxe, which I find entirely appropriate

My props are The Great Gatsby, F. Scott Fitzgerald’s most famous novel, with the Baz Luhrman film poster cover and The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess. The character Daisy Buchanan (Carey Mulligan in the film) is partially based on Zelda and Princess Zelda is named after her. Neither Daisy nor Zelda are the protagonist of their story, but without them there is no reason to read or play.

or Commission a Look

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