NEWS // Gatsby Sparkles Down to the Details

Image of Nick (Tobey Maguire), Gatsby (Leonardo DiCaprio), Daisy (Carey Mulligan), and Tom (Joel Edgerton) in the 2013 film The Great Gatsby

Originally published in the A&E section of Taylor University’s student newspaper, The Echo, on May 10, 2013 (also the release date of the film The Great Gatsby.) This article connected a national event (a major film release) with a local event, the university’s first campus dance. Although I interviewed several members of the dance committee to learn more about the event, this article showed a stronger focus without their quotes. This published piece was a lesson in editing my writing and making connections between major events and my audience. Skills used: News writing, research, interviewing, editing. Image courtesy of TheGreatGatsby.warnerbros.com.

The most recent adaptation of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s “The Great Gatsby” danced its way into theaters today, with the glitter and fanfare necessary to announce such an arrival.

With Leonardo DiCaprio as the titular hero, Carey Mulligan as his lost love Daisy and Tobey Maguire as narrator Nick, the film has already garnered attention for creating yet another interpretation of the literary staple.

The film is getting buzz for more than its history, though. It boasts a  $125 million budget, reported Forbes.com, which may not come as a surprise after seeing the trailers. Director Baz Luhrmann (of “Moulin Rouge!” and “Romeo + Juliet” fame) makes the story of extravagance and wealth go all the way down to the details, even to costumes and the soundtrack.

Luhrmann’s wife and film costume designer Catherine Martin collaborated with Miuccia Prada, Tiffany & Co. and Brooks Brothers to create the film’s wardrobe. Martin won two Oscars for art direction and costume design for “Moulin Rouge!,” according to BrooksBrothers.com.

Miuccia Prada created dresses for Mulligan’s character and Tiffany designed a $200,000 headpiece for her to wear, Forbes said. Tiffany created other jewelry for the film including a daisy-shaped brooch, a drooping strand of pearls and a diamond and platinum pair of chandelier earrings. The pieces are part of Tiffany’s Jazz Age collection, with price tags starting at $135 for onyx and silver earrings and rising to $875,000 for a 5.25-carat diamond ring.

Brooks Brothers recently released The Great Gatsby Collection. Along with suits, shirts and ties, the collection includes cuff links, a cane and a straw hat DiCaprio sports in the film.

Author Fitzgerald frequently wore Brooks Brothers and refers to the clothier in his works, according to Entertainment Weekly’s website, EW.com. The company was also used to create accurate period costumes—500 of them, to be exact.

“We drew and designed all of the male costumes and . . . worked with (Brooks Brothers) to develop the samples,” Martin told EW.  “They were sort of our manufacturing arm and also provided a lot of the background archival research.”

In addition to the visual flash of the film’s wardrobe, Luhrmann treats viewers to an auditory feast with a soundtrack produced by Jay-Z. The album dropped in stores Tuesday and features artists including Lana Del Rey, Florence + the Machine, U2, Fergie, The xx and Jay’s wife, Beyoncé. A combination of covers and original songs, the album mixes modern hip-hop with 1920s swing and jazz. The mix of established and up-and-coming artists reflects the age of transition in which the film is set.

“We–our audience–are living in the ‘hip-hop age’ and want our viewers to feel the impact of modern-day music the way Fitzgerald did for the readers of his novel at the time of its publication,” Luhrmann told Forbes.

“The Great Gatsby” will show as late as 10:15 p.m. tonight in Marion so students can grab an opening night viewing after attending Taylor Student Organization’s “Gatsby: A Roaring Celebration.” Check out Tiffany’s, Prada’s and Brooks Brothers’ Gatsby-inspired fashion lines for inspiration when dressing for tonight’s first campus-sponsored dance.