Few films are guaranteed to effect trends in Menswear and even fewer before they even hit the cinema screens, OK James Bond is always a dead cert, but The Great Gatsby has almost been anticipated with baited breathe. The Original book by F Scott Fitzgerald, takes place in 1922, during the Roaring Twenties, a time of prosperity in the U. S., post World War I. The book received critical acclaim and is generally considered Fitzgerald’s best work. It is also widely regarded as a “Great American Novel” and a literary classic, capturing the essence of an era. The Modern Library named it the second best English language novel of the 20th century, amongst many of its accolades.
Over the years the book has been turned into a number of film versions for both the big and small screen, from a silent version in 1929, to probably the most famous interpretation starring Robert Redford and Mia Farrow. To a made for TV version in 2000 in which Toby Stephens & Mira Sorvino played the lead characters. But the latest incarnation is definitely the one creating the most attention, the vision for this Gatsby is in the Hands of Australian Director Baz Luhrmann (Romeo & Juliet and Moulin Rogue). Now here’s where the problems begin for me, although the aforementioned films are greats, Mr Luhrmann is also responsible for the dreadful Australia with Nicole Kidman and Hugh Jackman and that Chanel Ad with Ms Kidman, you know “I’m a dancer !” Also, and I can’t believe I’m doubting the work of the legendary Mr Carter, also known as Jay Z, who is responsible for the soundtrack. I say this, solely, because of the hideous cover by Mr Andre 3000 & Mrs Carter (Beyonce) who together have tortured the Amy Winehouse (RIP) classic “Back to Black”. Then, it managed to lure me back with another cover, this time a Jazzy 1920’s reworking of the Beyonce, work of genius “Crazy in Love” by the Scottish songbird Emeli Sandé, I know.
Now to the clothing, where to begin, the costumes for this lavish production have been handled by long time collaborator of Baz Luhrmann, in work and play, as they are a husband and wife team, Catherine Martin. For Luhrmann’s Gatsby, she sort a female silhouette, reflective of this era, which could only come from one Fashion house, Prada. Martin worked particularly close with Miuccia Prada to achieve a stunning result. So stunning is the final result on the silver screen, that the work of this collaboration can currently be seen up close and personal in an exhibition, at the Prada New York Epicentre on Broadway NYC, which then moves onto to both Tokyo and Shanghai.
For the male characters of the motion picture, Catherine Martin chose an American clothing institution, in it’s oldest retailer, Brooks Brothers.
“ Brooks Brothers is mentioned numerous times in Fitzgerald’s writings as a representation of the ultimate gentleman’s purveyor of fine clothing to the American man of distinction,” stated Catherine Martin. “It is this most basic and fundamental connection that has made our collaboration so authentic.”
Brooks Brothers were so impressed by Martin’s interpretation of their archive that they have release a limited edition collection inspired by the very film. The collaborative effort consists of formalwear and daywear, including tuxedos, tailored suits, suiting separates (sport coats, waist coats, and trousers), shirts, ties, shoes, and accessories, what more could a dapper gent need ? (See the behind the scenes video below)
But Brooks Brothers and Prada are not the only retailers to have been enthralled by the Gatsby Spell, literally everyone from Marks & Spencer to Harrods latest Summer 2013 Ad campaign have a little more then the Gatsby about them (See below).