Costume designer Catherine Martin’s gloriously lush work on films like Moulin Rouge and Romeo + Juliet not only won the Australian numerous filmic accolades, they firmly established her as a visionary in the world of art and fashion. With her latest film, The Great Gatsby, the 21st-century Edith Head has collaborated once again with her director husband Baz Luhrmann, as well as Tiffany’s, Brooks Brothers and Prada (another repeat partner), to reimagine in a modern manner the decadence and sophistication of the 1920s so lavishly depicted by F. Scott Fitzgerald. Here is but a small sampling of Martin’s work in the film, which hits theaters May 10.
Daisy Buchanan’s Robe de Style Dress: “Daisy [Carey Mulligan] is lounging on a couch when her cousin Nick Carraway [Tobey Maguire] drops by. She needs to exude a febrile energy amid a luxurious white room. I created a delicate dress of cream lace, with handsewn cream organza petals and a slightly metallic embroidered edge on each. In the 1920s, the shapes were varied; it was all about the application of decoration.”
Jay Gatsby’s Pink Suit: “Remember, Gatsby [Leonardo DiCaprio] is a romantic. Brooks Brothers had been making pink shirts for more than 100 years, and while working with their archivists, we discovered a pink seersucker suit it sold in 1922. I worked with the brand to do an authentic re-creation, customizing the fabric. Wearing it, Gatsby’s still physically powerful; he just expresses it in a different way.”
Tom Buchanan’s Blue Suit: “Buchanan [Joel Edgerton] and Gatsby are within the same financial stratosphere, but their backgrounds are different. Gatsby is self-made and so a bit flamboyant. Tom is attached to Victorianism, the old establishment—which we channel with a blue pinstripe suit, also by Brooks Brothers, which he fills with a kind of gusto that’s practically bursting out of his clothes.”
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