Miuccia Prada Opens Up About Gatsby Costume Designs

BATD ON May 01, 2013 AT 1:24 pm


Carey Mulligan in costume as Daisy Buchanan

The hype for ‘The Great Gatsby’ has been built up since Baz Luhrmann first announced that he was going to take on the daunting task of translating one of America’s greatest pieces of literature to film. With an all-star cast that includes Leonardo DiCaprio, Carey Mulligan and Toby Macguire and a soundtrack that features Lana Del Rey, Jack White, the xx, Beyonce, and Florence + the Machine, it became obvious that Luhrmann was going all out with the film adaption.

Enough talent is already on board to make ‘The Great Gatsby’ one of the most talked about films of the year but adding to the lineup of famous faces on the Gatsby train is Italian designer Miuccia Prada. Prada collaborated with costume designer Catherine Martin to adapt over 40 dresses from her Prada and Miu Miu lines to appear in the film, including the famous chandelier dress worn by Carey Mulligan as Daisy Buchanan.


Prada’s chandelier dress worn in ‘The Great Gatsby.’

On Prada’s designing process she says:

“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.”

Several Prada and Miu Miu dresses were worn during a test scene and after realizing they worked really well with the film’s visual concept, Prada and Martin worked together to design a wardrobe that evoked the Twenties while still adapting to the modern take that Luhrmann projected on the film.

Martin said, ”The reality is that from 1920, I could find a photo or a fashion illustration that would support almost any choice that we’ve made in the film. But we are not making a documentary. 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.”

Although many of Prada’s pieces were easily adapted to fit the twenties era, she says it actually surprised her since none of the dresses from her collections had been designed with that era in mind.

“That’s what was interesting,” said Prada. “The point of view can transform things so much. Yes, probably a few [dresses] had that kind of edge, but almost none were meant to be Twenties when I did them. I was really fascinated by that.”

The Great Gatsby’ will hit theaters on 16 May in the UK. A moving exhibition of the costumes designed by Prada and Martin will be on display in New York from 1 May to 12 May in New York at the Prada New York Epicenter before moving on to Tokyo and Shanghai in June and July. 


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