Today is the first of May and a lovely spring day, but that is not the only reason to celebrate. Tonight is also the world premiere of Baz Luhrmann’s much-anticipated film, The Great Gatsby.
Anyone in my high school American Lit class must be rolling their eyes reading this. I opted to read F. Scott Fitzgerald’s novel early in the school year… and I never let it go. I compared and contrasted scenes, characters and plot developments to every other book we read for the rest of the year (I mean, that’s talent, right?!).
I was almost skeptical when I first heard about the second cinematic adaptation. Fitzgerald’s words held such a special place in my memory, I was worried to see it butchered on film like On The Road was just a year ago (mainly the fault of K.Stew? #sorryimnotsorry).
But Luhrmann has a lot going for him. His modernized Romeo + Juliet was genius and proved this style may win me over yet again. And who could complain about watching Leonardo DiCaprio transform into the great Jay Gatsby himself?
Then, there is the music to consider. The spectacular trailers — yes there are multiple — have featured music from Jay Z, Florence and the Machine, Lana del Rey and other contemporary artists. I am so interested to see how this modern soundtrack will fit in with the classic tale!
As “No Church in the Wild” pumps throughout a trailer, we are reminded of just one piece of Jay Z’s involvement as one of the soundtrack’s executive producers. According to Hip Hop Wired, Luhrmann said in a press statement:
“[Fitzgerald] coined the phrase ‘the Jazz Age.’ So, the question for me in approaching Gatsby was how to elicit from our audience the same level of excitement and pop-cultural immediacy toward the world that Fitzgerald did for his audience? And in our age, the energy of jazz is caught in the energy of hip-hop.”
Most importantly: the fashion! Guests at Gatsby’s extravagant parties are not merely extras on this set. Each one was tailored with their unique character and story. Costumes are always an important aspect of period pieces, but even more so when every extra has a character and the film is set in an age whose attire has already been replicated at countless themed parties. Catherine Martin, who won an Oscar for the Moulin Rouge costume design, wanted each outfit to evoke a sense of the Roaring Twenties through a modern lens, all while steering clear of a tacky Halloween costume feel.
Brooks Brothers, who actually sold to Fitzgerald back in the day, provided more than 1,000 costumes for the male actors, according to Anna Dello Russo’s site. Martin also teamed up with Italian designer Miuccia Prada for the ladies’ costumes. Along with the chandelier dress Daisy (played by Carey Mulligan) wears, Prada supplied 40 background dresses.
We can’t possibly discuss Gatsby fashion without mentioning Tiffany & Co. The famous luxury jeweler provided all the pearls, diamonds and sparkly beauties for the film. In April, Tiffany’s unveiled their Gatsby-inspired window displays on Fifth Avenue in New York City. As if I needed more excuses to get excited for the film!
Just like during my American Lit course, I am not going to let The Great Gatsby pass on by. The film hits theaters in Cleveland May 10, and I will definitely hop back here to express my opinions. In honor of the decadent parties and gorgeous fashion, I will be hosting a Gatsby party on my roof-top deck. Stay tuned in the upcoming weeks for a party inspiration board and, of course, pictures from the event itself!
Here’s to a successful premiere and only a week more of waiting! xo