When film director Baz Luhrmann takes on a project, (Moulin Rouge, Romeo+Juliet), there’s usually a modernizing charge to the production. Lest the audience be left without a compass of stylistic familiarity, his method seems to say, the relevance to historical subject matter might be lost.
His new version of The Great Gatsby, to be released May 10th, follows the same imperative: Along with hip-hop music by J-Zee, and digitally enhanced special effects by Barry St. John, the new movie features costumes by luxury fashion designer Muccia Prada. And while Luhrmann’s wife, partner, production designer and costume designer Catherine Martin was technically in charge of the overall feel, it was by working with Prada, and mining and tweaking her 2011-2012 Fall collection that over 40 ensembles for women in the cast were created. (Men’s costumes, in a mutually-serving arrangement, were taken care of Brooks Brothers). But for ditsy Daisy Buchanan, (actress Carey Mulligan), waists were dropped, furs fluffed, and silhouettes slimmed, but always with Prada’s hauteur shimmering through.
So while the beaded, embroidered, fringed and feathered flapper’s looks are informed by Fitzgerald’s 1920s period story, if the previews and press are any indication, we will have a deeply engraved invitation to feel the contemporaneity of Gatbsy’s crib and Daisy’s threads.