Camp Sheridan to Union Station: The Fashion of Zelda Fitzgerald

Four MGM locations that inspired Zelda Fitzgerald's legendary style.

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“Destroying a dress while popping Champagne?..That’s so Zelda..”

 Vanity Fair described it best while highlighting the vintage fashion that is so definitive of the recent Amazon series on Zelda Fitzgerald, “Z: The Beginning of Everything”.

While the series is filmed in Savannah, the Montgomery episodes hold a reverence for the historic neighborhoods that are within our fair city. Zelda Sayre Fitzgerald is a native of Montgomery, Alabama and her infamous meeting with a local soldier stationed at Camp Sheridan (F. Scott Fitzgerald). The couple inaugurated the ‘Jazz Age’ through larger than life behavior, literary legend and a tragic romance that remains to be a story for the ages, made apparent by not one, but two Amazon series. (The Last Tycoon is also available to stream)

 Zelda, known for her iconic fashion, daring antics, considered the ‘first flapper’ and lives as an example to women even today. Around here, she was known as ‘different’ but with a dancer’s grace, the daughter of a prominent Alabama Supreme Court Judge and best defined by her own fictional heroine Alabama Beggs, who said, “I’ll be troublesome, too, if I can’t do as I please.”
In anticipation of the Fitzgerald Museum‘s upcoming gala & silent auction, we are highlighting four locations throughout Montgomery that tie into the narrative of the Fitzgerald family as well as local vintage fashion from Kynard Korner at Eastbrook Flea Market, which will be available at the auction. The museum itself acts as its own location, being the last home that the Fitzgerald’s lived in as a family from 1931-1932, just after Zelda’s first mental health breakdown.

4. Camp Sheridan

Camp Sheridan Dress
The dress featured will be on auction at the Fitzgerald Museum’s annual Gala & Silent Auction, “Intercontinental” and is provided by Kynard Korner Vintage Boutique.

Camp Sheridan, once located about ten minutes north of Montgomery and now the Boylston district, was the reason F. Scott Fitzgerald was in Montgomery in the first place. He was penning his first novel while serving in the army within the haze of the Country Club (previously located where the Sonic stands on Carter Hill Road), where he would meet his future wife, Zelda Sayre. She was a talented ballerina that performed frequently there. Although local lore offers a different story that takes us to our next location.

3. Cottage Hill

The hat and dress featured are available at Kynard Korner Vintage Boutique.
Historic Cottage Hill is the true stomping ground of young Zelda Sayre and the oldest neighborhood in Montgomery. Zelda spent most of her youth on 6 Pleasant Avenue, a home that is no longer standing, and later returned to Sayre Street before her death in 1948. The neighborhood is the setting of what Montgomery myth would say is the true location of Scott & Zelda’s first meeting, at another hidden gem, Winter Place. The Jubilee Community Center, or The Sanctuary, was the church that Zelda attended and would later be known as the Montgomery Little Theatre.

2. The Capitol & Court Square

The shoes and dress featured are available at Kynard Korner Vintage Boutique.

Dexter Avenue is home to the Capitol Building, Dexter Memorial Baptist Church, the center of the Civil Rights march, Court Square and a variety of diverse, local history. In early childhood, Zelda was said to watch the Ringling Brothers circus parade from the Moses Building, in 1918 she was said to incite a ‘senior skip day’ to the Empire Theater (which would later serve as the discovery point for another famous Montgomery musician and again during the Civil Right’s movement when Rosa Parks would board the Cleveland Avenue bus), she attended Sidney Lanier High School (now Baldwin Magnet) and last but not least, the Capitol, the office of her father Judge Sayre. It is said that Zelda slid down the banisters of the rotunda staircase and put on plays on the Capitol steps. She held court in Court Square, with other Montgomery characters like Tallulah Bankhead and even convinced close friend Sara Haardt to cartwheel down Perry Street on occasion.

1. Commerce Street & Union Station

It is said that Zelda dined with another beaux at the Pickwick Cafe on Commerce in 1917; the restaurant would close in 1954. But Commerce Street is also a stone’s throw from historic Union Station, the once active train station and epicenter of the city. Union Station would bring F. Scott to Montgomery and the rest is history. It will now act as the venue for the Fitzgerald Museum’s annual Gala & Silent Auction within the current visitor’s center and courtyard, continuing the local history that springs from the streets of our fair city. For more information on the upcoming gala, visit thefitzgeraldmuseum.org or visit the historic location at 919 Felder Avenue.

The Fitzgerald Gala’s largest annual fundraiser and a “Jazz Age” party of epic proportions is Saturday, May 6. This year, the event moves from the museum to historic Union Station to go along with the ‘Intercontinental’ theme focused on the travels of F. Scott and Zelda from Paris to Capri to the French Riviera and beyond!  
Guests from all over the region attend, decked out in 1910s, ’20s, and ’30s costumes. Heavy hors d’oeuvres, complimentary wine and cash bar, live period music, and a jaw-dropping Silent Auction make this event Montgomery’s affair of the year!

Gypsy Cornbread will be providing live music this year. VIP tickets and members will have access to a speakeasy event from 10pm- midnight. The speakeasy location will be revealed within your invitation. Tickets are available here.

Special thanks to Sara Powell for coordinating and contributing this content, Jonathon Kohn and the Cottage Hill Foundation for the photos of The Sanctuary and Winter Place, Nina Kynard for her beautiful vintage fashion, and Kirk Curnutt for providing some of the local lore.

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