The Column: The Gatsby Effect

Get involved in what everyone in the fashion world is doing…


Just incase you’ve missed it, Baz Lurhmann has finally released his film adaptation of F Scott Fitzgeralds beautiful 1920s tragedy, The Great Gatsby. After much anticipation, and a release date that was pushed back and back (it was originally scheduled for Christmas 2012), our cinemas have been flooded with Prada’s twenties glamour and a catchy, although anachronistic, Jay-Z soundtrack. However, not only the cinema’s have been alive with Jazz Age decadence, fashion has gone 1920s mad. Huge names, such as Harrods and Temperley, have decked out their shop windows in glorious roaring twenties inspired displays. Harrods have even opened a twenties cocktail bar to celebrate the films release. Not only high fashion has been given the Gatsby makeover, but the high street has been getting in the 1920s mood too. Debenhams have claimed to have had a 266% increase in sales of vintage-inspired items, including beaded capes and feathered accessories, and Asda’s flapper dress sold out within two days.

With 20s inspired Spring/Summer 2013 collections, from the likes of Roberto Cavalli and Gucci, now pouring into the shops and inspring high street trends, The Great Gatsby has come at a perfect time. It is not surprising that the film has caused a stir in the fashion industry. Even before its release, eager fashionistas were teased with Miuccia Prada’s stunning costume sketches and movie stills of beautiful people draped in endless pearls and Tiffany & Co. jewels. Carey Mulligan’s (Daisy) Tiffany’s jewels were so lavishly large she had to be followed around set by a body guard. I for one, as I watched the first Gatsby trailer released over a year ago, was on the edge of my seat, pulse racing, was awaiting those spectacular party scenes like a child awaits Father Christmas. The film is a fashion lover’s dream come true: the glitter, the glamour, the diamonds, the decadence and not to mention, DiCaprio – it is heaven in cinematic form.


Baz Luhrmann’s wife Catherine Martin was the film’s costume designer, with the 1920s now so culturally saturated Martin claimed that they had to find a ‘new way to excite people’. Having previously collaborated on the 1996 film Romeo & Juliet, they asked Prada to bring the excitement and design forty cocktail dresses. Prada perused her previous collections and found she could create numerous 1920s looks with ‘little reinvention’ of past designs. The ‘chandelier dress’ Mulligan wears in the film is a high point of the Gatsby costumes. It was so heavy Mulligan had to wear Party Feet pads on her shoulders, but combined with a fur stole and a Tiffany’s diamond headpiece, it is nothing short of a visual masterpiece. Martin claims the films acrid colour palette was inspired by the work of Otto Dix and used to represent the vulgarity of Gatsby’s behaviour. The jades, yellows and reds are acrid yet vibrant and rich and all the costumes ooze opulence and vividly show the wealth of Daisy and Gatsby, not to mention the films grand budget. The men’s costumes don’t disappoint either.

Brooks Brothers provided over 500 specially designed suits to ensure all of Gatsby’s party goers were decked-out in 20s style. Both Brooks Brothers and Tiffany’s have released Gatsby collections available to the public. However, if you can’t afford the £155,000 Tiffany’s Great Gatsby headpiece, then the highstreet awaits you with Gatsby-inspired designs galore, so throw a Gatsby party, dress up, and for one night pretend you’re Daisy, the object of DiCaprio’s desires. It’s what everyone else in the fashion world is doing.

One comment

  1. 29 May ’13 at 2:57 pm

    Kathleen Lisson

    I’m loving the wonderful selection of cloche hats as well.

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