Tuesday, 22 January 2013

Can't repeat the past? Why of course you can

I'm a relatively new initiate into the world of The Great Gatsby, having only read the novel at the end of last year when a nice guy from Brighton called Paul let me borrow his copy on a tiny island in Indonesia.

I thoroughly enjoyed the book and am now really looking forward to the upcoming movie adaptation from Baz Luhrmann, the guy behind the incredible spectacles that are Romeo + Juliet and Moulin Rouge

(Funny how no-one ever cites Australia, huh?)

The roaring twenties - the book is set in 1922 - made a big splash on the fashion scene and with the flapper era, Luhrmann's penchant for eye-popping visuals, and the involvement of Miuccia Prada with the costumes, the new film is sure to reflect that.

Stills and trailers have been doing the rounds for a while, showing off some of the film's sumptuous sets and clothes. Most of the attention has been on Carey Mulligan, playing Daisy Buchanan, the love interest of the titled Jay "The Great" Gatsby. She's looking flashy in bright greens and yellows, flowing kimonos, jewel-encrusted cocktail dresses and fur shrugs, a super-short blonde bob set off with pins and headbands, and positively dripping in diamonds and pearls.

Now sketches of four of Prada's 40 costume contributions have been released and they're a feast of twenties motifs like beading, organza, fur (not my cup of tea, but it is a period piece), knee-brushing boyish shapes, and rich jewel tones.

 Pretty blue layered tulle and silk with Swarovski embellishments.

 Orange organza, fish scale sequins and fur.

Drop-backed blue sequins with embroidery and beading, plus matching fur stole.

 Stunning, dramatic green gown with pearls, rhinestone and sequin fringes.

Miuccia Prada also worked with Baz Luhrmann and Leonardo DiCaprio in 1996, on Romeo + Juliet (one of my all-time favourite movies) when she designed the suit that Romeo wore for the wedding scene.

Swoon. Sob.

Catherine Martin, costume designer on The Great Gatsby and Mrs Baz Luhrmann, is quoted as saying:
"Baz and Miuccia have always connected on their shared fascination with finding modern ways of releasing classic and historical references from the shackles of the past."
And:
"We have tried to create an environment that the audience will be subconsciously familiar with, yet separated from."
So it doesn't sound like the fashion is going to be 100% historically accurate in terms of the materials and styles used, but more a way of bringing the 1920 styles up to date for a 2013 movie.

The fashion kudos for the film doesn't stop at this high-profile costume collaboration. The Telegraph has also reported that: 
"American jeweller Tiffany & Co is outfitting the cast in one-of-a-kind diamond jewels inspired by its archives [and] Ashley Olsen, one half of the stylish Olsen twins, has loaned her collection of vintage dresses to the film's fashion cause."
"[Tiffany & Co] has designed one-off platinum and diamond-encrusted rings, headpieces, bracelets and pearl necklaces inspired by its archives."
The 1974 film version of The Great Gatsby, starring Robert Redford and Mia Farrow, also did a pretty fabulous job of reflecting the splendor and frivolity of the period.


Although I don't think Farrow's Daisy has quite the same level of flirty, youthfulness in her wardrobe as is promised by the new adaptation.


Baz Luhrmann's bash at the literary classic is currently slated for a May release. I'll definitely be in line to see it, in the director's home country no less!

Go here to see the official trailers.

Bunny x

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