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The Great Gatsby: Luxury, Glamour and Miuccia Prada

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Art deco fever is starting to set in as the release of celluloid version of F. Scott Fitzgerald's jazz age tale The Great Gatsby is imminent. Thanks to lashings of high-octane glitz and glamour, vast production values and a stellar cast under the direction of the incomparable Baz Luhrmann, it has become one of the most anticipated films of the summer.

At The Glass Pineapple we’re particularly excited about the glorious array of costumes, many of which are the product of the joint minds of costume designer Catherine Martin and Miuccia Prada – a collaboration that came about when Prada and Miu Miu designs were inadvertently used in a screen test.

Martin and Prada worked together to create over 40 looks for the film's two party scenes, all of which were inspired by the Prada and Miu Miu archives. The sparkles were provided by Tiffany and Martin worked with Brookes Brothers (a favourite of Fitzgerald's) to come up with the male looks.

The costumes have been designed to evoke the prolific Twenties spirit without the confines of historical literality. As Martin said "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." Interestingly, the original Prada and Miu Miu pieces that inspired the costumes were not designed with the 1920s in mind, so it would seem that art deco style has inadvertently transcended an entire century!

Despite the obvious extravagance of the collection, for Miuccia Prada the costumes were not about luxury: "when I read [the book], it was psychological. It was not about glamour for me. It was a real [study of] personality, very internalised. It was meant to be about light. It became about money, because Luhrmann wanted to show her as the most beautiful and rich woman on earth.”


(Images courtesy of vogue.co.uk)

Prada recently released these four costume sketches that offer a tantalising teaser of the flapper-girl vibe and the extravagance of the Twenties, with Swarovski crystal and pearl embroidery, sequins, exquisite furs, velvets and tasselled hemlines. The inspiration behind several of these pieces seems rooted in Prada's recent collections, in particular the orange sequin scaled dress, which bears a striking resemblance to a lemon scaled dress from the label’s AW11 show.

(Images courtesy of vogue.co.uk)

We also noticed a rehash of the classic Prada "chandelier" dress from the SS10 collection. The intricate design has hundreds of hanging crystal droplets, connected by a series of tiny hoops. It is a kind of decadent luxury ideal for ‘golden girl’ Daisy Buchannan, the object of desire Gatsby’s desire. 

(Images courtesy of vogue.co.uk)

It’s entirely possible that Gatsby style will be one of the major fashion inspirations over the coming months so get those drop waist dresses and sequin embellishments ready for garden parties, dancing and a deliciously decadent summer.

The Great Gatsby will be released in the UK on 16th May. 

Words by Nikki McMullen (She Wore Ribbon), edited by GP.

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