Baz Luhrmann’s long-awaited film adaptation of “The Great Gatsby” by F. Scott Fitzgerald is finally here, opening this Friday.
The story follows Nick Carraway, a Midwestern writer on his way to New York City in 1922, the start of the roaring ‘20s with its flashy jazz age and loose morals. Carraway finds himself next to a mysterious and lavish new neighbor, Jay Gatsby, and not too far from his cousin, Daisy Buchanan and her philandering husband, Tom. Here, Carraway is enticed into the extraordinary lives of the super-rich. However, it doesn’t take long for Carraway to see the reality of these lavish lives and the illusions that hold it together. He writes the tale of unrequited love, crazy obsession, and corrupt dreams in this tragic tale. In the midst of that, he allows us to see our own flaws and modern struggles today.
The star-studded cast includes Leonardo DiCaprio as Jay Gatsby and Tobey Maguire, who plays Nick Carraway. Carey Mulligan stars as Daisy Buchanan and Joel Edgerton as Tom. The film also features Isla Fisher and Jason Clarke as Myrtle and George Wilson and newcomer Elizabeth Debicki as Jordan Baker.
Luhrmann, who brought us the modern rendition of William Shakespeare’s “Romeo+Juliet” and also received an Oscar nomination for his direction of “Moulin Rouge!,” co-wrote the screenplay with Craig Pearce. Luhrmann worked on getting the rights for some time and wanted to create a film that best represented the center and meaning of Fitzsgerald’s classic.
Catherine Martin, two-time Oscar-winning production and costume designer (“Moulin Rouge!”) collaborated with Miuccia Prada and Brooks Brothers to deliver the ‘20s-inspired costumes. Prada used altered pieces from the Prada and Miu Miu archives to create custom-made costumes and Brooks Brothers contributed the men’s wadrobe. In addition, the jewelry was provided by Tiffany & Co.
Even today, the influences from the roaring ‘20s are extremely visible. Marc by Marc Jacobs, Alexander McQueen, and Gucci all have pieces in their most recent collections that pay homage to this fascinating period in fashion. T-bar shoes, big flashy jewelry, cloche hats, and flapper-inspired dresses all make that cut this season. Below are examples of pieces that could be incorporated in a wardrobe today and be well-received.
“Baz was describing to me about the modern music in this version of Gatsby and he said, ‘We’ve got to get the audience to feel how it must have felt to hear jazz for the first time at a party. You need to feel how scintillating, extraordinary, new and dynamic these things were; there needs to be a frisson of the new for people to actually understand what it was really like to be there in the Twenties.”
Along with this extraordinary film comes a soundtrack featuring Beyoncé, Andre 3000, will.i.am, Lana Del Rey, Gotye, Emeli Sandé, Florence+The Machine, Fergie, and several other talented artists. Lurhmann collaborated with none other than Jay-Z to produce a different sound. Heavily infused with jazz, this soundtrack offers a new take on the classic sound.
Lurhmann’s adaptation does more than just tell the story. Through the lavish scenery, ornate costumes, and jazz-inspired sound, audiences can expect to feel what Fitzgerald intended….to feel “something new, something extraordinary and beautiful and simple and intricately patterned.”
Cover image courtesy of hdwallpapers.in