Warner Bros. have released two official images from director Baz Luhrmann’s upcoming adaptation of The Great Gatsby. Not much to see as yet, but it is difficult not to be drawn in by the promise of costume luxury.
Several on-set pics for The Great Gatsby have already appeared on the internet, but we shall ignore those as seeing Catherine Martin’s costumes out of context makes it difficult to judge her intentions. Plus, who wants to agitate Warner Bros. at Christmas? Not us. What we can make out from these official images is that opulence is a key factor in selling the film. It has already been reported that Tiffany & Co. are making jewellery for Carey Mulligan’s character Daisy Buchanan (and Miuccia Prada the dresses), so subtlety is not likely on the cards. Although, when is it ever for Luhrmann?
The Great Gatsby is set during the early 1920s, predominantly in an upscale area of New York. It revolves around money, but not every character in the story is wildly rich. Jay Gatsby (Leonardo DiCaprio) is, although this is not necessarily obvious by his attire. Here Gatsby wears a lightweight sweater, as opposed to the heavy cable knit of a pullover, in rich cream that compliments his tanned skin. Knitwear took off for the first time in the twenties with Fair-Isle and diamond prints proving most popular. For all his wealth, Gatsby is somewhat embarrassed by his position so it makes sense that his clothes, while lavish, would be dialled down to fit his introspective personality. In the first photo he wears a tuxedo lounge jacket, not tails, with white stiff turndown collar, black bow tie and high cut waistcoat. Notice no flower in his buttonhole and no handkerchief either.
In the second photo Daisy wears a long silk scarf around her head in a black and white plaid pattern with occasional red flowers. Scarves and sashes were fashionable throughout the twenties as they complimented the ‘no body’ silhouette drawing attention away from the waist. Many were worn around the hips and left loose enough to imply little feminine definition. Daisy is someone who would definitely be ‘on trend’ during this era, not as wayward as her husband Tom’s mistress Myrtle (Isla Fisher), but enough to imply aspirations of status. In the first image we see either a fur stole or coat, essential for evening wear, and more headwear, this time studded in pearls to compliment her bracelet.
Nick Carraway (Tobey Maguire) and Tom Buchanan (Joel Edgerton) also appear in the first shot, with Tom’s inclusion most interesting as the white flower in his buttonhole draws attention to the sober seriousness of Gatsby. Some of the on-set pics that we are not going to talk about show Myrtle in an enjoyably OTT red and brown geometric print flapper costume; Daisy in a lilac drop waist dress, its hem covered in matching petals; Nick in a green shawl neck cardigan and brown linen trousers; and Gatsby in a handsome, probably signature, cream single breasted suit, spot on with sloping shoulders and close fitting buttons. All in all, consider our appetite whetted.
The Great Gatsby is due for release on 25th December 2012. UPDATE (07/08/12): Release date has been pushed back to summer 2013.
© 2011 – 2012, Chris Laverty.