The Savvy Sage of Sewing Stimulation

The Great Gatsby

This is a movie that is just rife with style, drama and lots and lots of money!  What a fun period to do a movie about.  Then you add a good plot and great characters, and it’s irresistible.  Every version seems to put their own spin on it except the first one….1929 was the original version with Warner Baxter:

And then the 1949 version with Allan Ladd (somehow “Shane” just doesn’t make it as Jay Gatsby for me), but supposed to be the most authentic, even though it’s deep Film Noir feel.

Then the 70’s edition:

Hubba, hubba – now that’s a hunk!!!!  (Obviously this is the version for my generation!)

And finally the current version:

But the costumes are what’s fun to see here.  The 1920’s were filled with gorgeously beaded and detailed garments, but this is Miuccia Prada’s  and Catherine Martin’s interpretation of that, not so much a historical accuracy as much as reflection of the 1920’s.

And I think they did a good job.   And as much as I hate toying with historical accuracy (don’t get me started on JFK), in costumes (set decorations, music) all lend themselves to interpretations, and all the past versions have done it – not that everyone’s doing it makes it OK, it hopefully just makes it so that folks can relate better.

And although I’ve heard some of the soundtrack and I’m not sure rapping translates well to this subject (I would much rather have heard something like this from Ian Richardson’s version of Richard III), but I suppose this goes along with the theme that they didn’t seem to be or wanted to be constricted by historical accuracy here.

Basically the flapper 1920 style was just coming out of the Edwardian era of style which had just come out of the Victorian era of style.

Victorian

Edwardian

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The point is that although women were beginning to wear looser, lesser constructed and less structured garments, nothing like the deep plunging neckline of the 2013 Gatsby was even remotely considered stylish…..it was more like:

For the day this sort of thing was terribly riské and almost indecent.   So that Prada & Martin would choose to update the look, really stands to reason.  Or else they would loose the whole idea of the shocking value of the style….in reality, no, there were no plunging necklines, but the plunging necklines that we see in today’s version, is an example of how shocking the style was back then.  I appreciate that, but there’s more to this…..

What they did have that we don’t even have anything close to is the detailed work involved in these gowns and Prada & Martin did themselves well here.

Beading is what we thinking of as being excruciatingly hard and time-consuming to do, but there’s also working with these really super fine fabrics that requires a practiced hand and skill.

 

This IS a statement necklace (again with current version of the 20’s style), but all the beautiful work in the dress reflects the style just as much as the bling.  Think about cutting out this dress (above) and how much fabric it would take and the workmanship to handle all this fabric so that it flows and moves effortlessly.

And the hats – or fascinators – are just as much fun.

But above all my fav thing about this time, was the stylized way shapes, lines and every day items were designed, mostly manifested in a Bauhaus-ish sort of way.

After all that ornamentation, here were the clean lines and style – that too was all part of the 1920’s, and for that part, I think the gals did a great job.

The costumes for this movie are to die for and if you’re around New York, some are on exhibit at the Prada store on Broadway starting tomorrow (Friday).  And if you are not familiar with couture type clothing, this will be an excellent treat to see these pieces up close.  I guarantee you, you will walk away changed, and probably with a gazillion ideas cooking in your head!

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And although I’ve heard some of the soundtrack and I’m not sure rapping translates well to this version (I would much rather have heard something like this from Ian Richardson’s version of Richard III), but I suppose this goes along with the theme that they didn’t seem to be or wanted to be constricted by historical accuracy here.

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