As you may know, the clothes for Baz Luhrmann’s much-hyped Great Gatsby adaptation were made in a collaboration between Miuccia Prada and Catherine Martin, Luhrmann’s wife and costume designer of choice. And while some folks will probably get up in arms about their historical accuracy (or lack thereof), both Martin and Prada don’t care about boring subjects like reality.
The two women agreed upon the need to evoke the Twenties, specifically, without getting mired in what Martin calls “historical pedantry.” She maintains that rigid adherence to historical minutia can impede the modern audience’s appreciation of a story. That said, Martin was quick to defend whatever license was taken. “The reality is that from 1920, I could find a photo or a fashion illustration that would support almost any choice that we’ve made in the film. But we are not making a documentary. We are trying to express a story in a way in which Fitzgerald’s visceral modernity is able to transgress the plane of the screen.”
Unfettered opulence was another source of inspiration, Prada adds: “[I]t became about money, because [Luhrmann] wanted to show her as the most beautiful and rich woman on earth.” (In other words, the normal Prada customer.) Anyway, screw realism! This movie is about fantastically wealthy people draped in as many furs, diamonds, sparkles, pearls, and feathers as possible. Watching it should feel like we’re mainlining Champagne and rolling in steak tartare. Bring it on.