Teaching fashion history this spring has been absolutely amazing. There have been so many wonderful places to take my students. It just so happens that the same week I covered the 1920s, Brooks Brothers also has the costumes from The Great Gatsby on display. A stone’s throw from campus, we ventured over to take a look at the Fifth Avenue store.
The miniature exhibition was courtesy of Warner Brothers, and completely fascinating. Brooks Brothers allowed costume designer, Catherine Martin, to access their archives. Martin designed the historically accurate menswear after carefully studying everything in the archives relating to the 1920s. There was a short video playing in which Martin talks about the importance of consulting primary sources to make costumes authentic. Dancing images of old advertisements, swatch cards, and illustrations filled the background as she spoke.
The tuxedos and suits were so elegant. Yet it was difficult for me to focus solely on the menswear, because the women’s costumes made by Prada were also on display. Just look at the glitzy, embellished fabric.
Prada gown illustrated by Steven Stipelman. Image courtesy of WWD.
There has been such a buzz about this film for good reason. Leonardo DiCaprio always carefully selects his roles, so I’m sure he won’t disappoint us with the remake of this film. The costumes are magnificent. And, perhaps the best part, WWD covered this topic and included gorgeous illustrations instead of photographs.
Prada gowns and Brooks Brothers tuxedos illustrated by Steven Stipelman. Image courtesy of WWD.
Fashion illustrations have been abandoned with the advent of digital photography and CAD programs. It’s so nice to see illustrations making a comeback, because they add such a rich dimension to the mix. It furthers the relationship between fashion and art.
Bottles of Moet champagne complemented the display. The whole environment just felt so opulent.
Brooks Brothers is also offering a limited edition line of menswear based on the film. Everything from straw boaters, to oxfords, to full tuxedos are available for purchase. I’m hoping that this creates a new trend of men dressing up! It’s so attractive. All of Brooks Brothers clothing is produced in America. In fact, most of it is made right in New York.
Who wouldn’t like to be greeted by a man wearing something like this?
All images courtesy of Brooks Brothers and Warner Brothers Studios unless otherwise stated.