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Great Gatsby Costumes: A look at Catherine Martin's Oscar-nominated Costume Designs

1/21/2014 Update: Since Great Gatsby was nominated for both its' gorgeous production and costume design - both from director Baz Luhrman's partner in crime and life, Catherine Martin - I thought I'd revisit my posts on the subjects. See the full list of Academy Award nominees. The following was originally published as 'Gatsby Costume Galleries' on April 24, 2013. I'll repost my look at the production design later today. Hope you enjoy!

I'm not the only one who has gone a little nuts over the upcoming Great Gatsby movie. VOGUE has tons of Gatsby costume goodies of which, which thanks to the internet even a non-Fashionista like me can get a good look.

Mia Farrow's wardrobe was designed by Theoni V. Aldredge
The costume sketches come from a piece in British VOGUE earlier this year; many - not all - of the costumes were designed by and/or adapted from Prada designs;in collaboration with Catherine Martin as costume designer. More recently the editors take a look back at  Daisy's fashions from the 1974 film starring Mia Farrow as Daisy in their Dress the Part Piece. The editors show you how to get the look. It may not have been a great movie but it set a very high fashion bar.

Carey in Chanel Haute Couture chiffon
feather and tulle dress inspired by Gatsby.

But best of all is this, what I can only call, fabulous article in this month's Vogue.  It's fabulous not merely because the piece is linked to a splendiferous photo gallery of Carey dressed in Gatsby-inspired gowns from top designers like Alexander McQueen, Nina Ricci and Dior; the article talks about the clothes but quite a bit more. The focus is really on Luhrmann and Carey's vision for Daisy and is chock full of insight and tidbits. Including Carey Mulligan's adorable audition story - she kissed Leo - and this, touching on Leonardo's truly charming acting technique.
"During filming, she and DiCaprio exchanged in-character notes after DiCaprio made Mulligan a gift of a protein bar she’d been coveting. “So he got one for me and wrote me this little note: ‘Darling Daisy . . .’ and signed it ‘Jay.’ He’d drawn a little daisy on the front of it. . . .” she recalls."

He had me at drawing the little daisy on the front of it! I confess I would eat a protein bar if Leonardo DiCaprio bought it for me.

Catherine Martin, The Great Gatsby costume designer, production designer, and wife of director Baz Luhrman  talks about her husband's vision for the iconic F. Scott Fitzgerald work:

Baz really felt very strongly that the book’s nature was quintessentially modern, that the twenties was the time when everybody came to grips with the twentieth century,” says Martin. “It was out of the late-Edwardian summer; you have this incredibly dynamic shift where you have people earning a few dollars a week before the war suddenly getting $100 a week; you have women in the workforce in America for the first time. If you think about it in terms of the neckline on dresses—strapless, one-shouldered, V-neck—whatever necklines you want to talk about they had in the 1920s. They had every silhouette of dress, from Erté, long and languid; the beginning of the bias cut; the robe de style, which was much more like the Dior New Look, with a slim bodice and a big skirt; the shift dress; the jersey dress; the shirt-maker dress—all those styles were invented in that period, or else they were synthesized and made modern.”  

Along that modern line Luhrmann sees Daisy and Gatsby as Liz and Dick!

“I liken Gatsby and Daisy’s relationship to one of those chemically dangerous relationships you see between celebrities like Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton,” says Luhrmann. “Gatsby is hounded by his own celebrity. Remember that celebrity gossip and newspapers are a new invention. Celebrity was just being born in the twenties, and Fitzgerald was fascinated with it.”
No wonder Carey Mulligan likens Daisy to a Kardashian!
"She feels like she’s living in a movie of her own life. She’s constantly on show, performing all the time. Nothing bad can happen in a dream. You can’t die in a dream. She’s in her own TV show. She’s like a Kardashian."
I don't read a lot of celebrity profiles, and I rarely read Vogue - except when I'm cruising for things like this - but I really enjoyed this one. I suppose because it's not a gossipy fluff piece, instead it focuses on the acting and craft element. Check it out in its' entirety at VOGUE

For more Great Gatsby posts