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The Great Gatsby & the 1920s fashion

July 4, 2012

FashionFilm + Entertainment | by Danny & Josh

Ever since the trailer release of Baz Luhrmann’s forthcoming remake of the classic novel, The Great Gatsby, written by F. Scott Fitzgerald, flapper-style hysteria has broken out. The Great Gatsby features a pumping soundtrack, opulent flapper costumes, and an excellent cast including Carey Mulligan, Leonardo DiCaprio, and Tobey Maguire, 1920s fever has been running wild amongst fans.

The 1920s was an affluent time for changes in the world of female fashion, with the introduction of new styles, designs and perspectives. Social changes, such as women’s right to vote, stimulated a new-found independence and power. As a result, hemlines became shorter and waistlines became looser. The focus shifted from war to social life, and fashion became a high priority to women.

The trailer opens with a group of perfectly-costumed revellers frolicking and drinking champagne, whilst their automobile speeds down into Manhattan. Kanye West’s ‘No Church In The Wild’, warms up the trailer’s mood, and sets the tone for the lavish party scenes and extravagant dancing frocks.

Costume Designer, Catherine Martin, is at the helm of this revamped classic. After working on films like Moulin Rouge, and Romeo and Juliet, it is evident that her influence will make this one of the most stylish movies to date.

The best way to describe the 1920s fashion is lavish and decadent. The dresses are loose enough to to dance with vigour, the sequins are shiny enough to catch the party lights, and everyman owns leisure suits of style. With art deco influences, the retro look incorporates neat hair, tie pins, swish suits, glamorous dresses, and furs. Carey Mulligan is the perfect Daisy, wearing a beautiful array of flapper dresses made out of rich fabrics, adorned with ornate embellishments, barrettes, and sparkling headpieces that does the era justice.

What I am most excited about are the fabulous wardrobes to be donned by DiCaprio and Maguire. Looking dapper in pastel linen suits, snazzy bowties, double-breasted blazers, and slicked-side parted hair, the pair are set to draw in a large female fan base.

Fashion houses have also dipped their toes into the look this season, just in time for the release of the film in December. Gucci’s 90th anniversary collection featured deco dresses with a disco twist; whilst Ralph Lauren also returned to the 1920s for his women’s collection.

At its core, The Great Gatsby is a story of decadence, revelry, love and hopelessness. It’s safe to say that this film will be a showstopper; not only because of its fashion, but also it’s creative direction, giving a nod towards a time of liberation, frivolity, and liquor.


by Hemisha Bhardwa