Miuccia Prada Bianchi, the fashion dynamo behind luxury brands Prada and Miu Miu, is known in fashion circles as the queen of classic cool, one that knows how to look her best without ever trying too hard – it seems only fitting then, that Prada was the designer chosen to collaborate with director Baz Luhrmann to create the costumes for his upcoming adaptation of The Great Gatsby. Miuccia Prada worked closely with Catherine Martin, the costume designer for The Great Gatsby, who is also Baz Luhrmann’s wife. Together, they created a collection of more than 40 bespoke pieces for the cast of the film, including fringed cocktail dresses and sequined evening gowns. Luhrmann and Prada have a long-running professional relationship, and are united by a keen interest in modernising the classic fashions of bygone eras. Prada also worked on the costumes for Luhrmann’s acclaimed 1996 film adaptation of the Shakespearean tragedy Romeo & Juliet.
“Baz and Miuccia have always connected on their shared fascination with finding modern ways of releasing classic and historical references from the shackles of the past” says Catherine Martin. She describes their shared vision for the movie as giving the audience the same experience as the story’s narrator; “In the same way Nick Carraway reflects on a world that he is within and without, we have tried to create an environment that the audience will be subconsciously familiar with, yet separated from”.
The film isn’t scheduled for release until May, but fashionistas can’t wait to get a look at the wardrobe – that’s why Prada has just released a sneak peek of the sketches for the Great Gatsby’s costumes.
The “Roaring Twenties” (also known as the Jazz Age or the Golden Age) was a prosperous decade for many people in cities like London, Paris and New York, largely due to the economic boom following World War 1. This was reflected in the vibrant music, energetic dance and glamorous fashions of the era. Miuccia Prada and Catherine Martin worked to recreate that decadence in these costumes – a combination of the wealthy “Ivy League” look popular on Long Island (the setting of the story) during the 20’s, and the sophisticated European flair that was influencing America’s east coast fashions at the time.
The sketches released by Miuccia Prada include some classic “flapper” pieces, like an orange organza dress with sequins and an octane blue, knee-length dress created with tulle with a silk cady lining. Prada dres inspiration for these creations from her Fall/ Winter 2011 runway collection. The sketch undoubtedly generating the most buzz among fashionistas and movie buffs alike is that of a gorgeous Radzmire gown, embellished with pearls, semi-precious stones and sequined fringes. It’s just a small taste of what we can expect – the story’s extravagant ball and party scenes will be dominated by elegant Miuccia Prada creations.
WORDS BY: Nicky Warner. A fashion blogger and film-lover who can’t wait to see the latest adaptation of The Great Gatsby; she’ll be wearing a fabulous fringed flapper dress under her best wool coat when she sets out to see this much-anticipated movie.