Wednesday, May 01, 2013

Great Gatsby Exhibition Opening at Prada

The Twenties Come Roaring Back

All photos Lieba Nesis

The event exhibiting the costumes from the Great Gatsby which Miuccia Prada and Catherine Martin collaborated on was held last night at 575 Broadway, the epicenter of Prada New York. Academy and Tony winning costume designer and art director Catherine Martin collaborated with Miuccia Prada to create gowns, dresses, hats, shoes, and jewelry. The effect of the costumes and jewelry was modern rooted in tradition. The costumes were displayed in a museumlike exhibit throughout the grand space. There were photographs of the Great Gatsby transpersed through the store and the arena was transformed into a "Gatsbyesque" fantasy.

Miuccia Prada

The festivities which began at six did not really get started until around seven thirty with hundreds maybe even a thousand people streaming in. The crowd was incredible-luminaries from both the fashion and entertainment world were crammed into this generous room. Many of the women were clad in Prada costumes evoking classical elegance with their period headbands, glittered jewelry, and fringe dresses. Katy Perry, Carey Mulligan, Isla Fisher, Toby Maguire, Maggie Gyllenhal, and Florence Welch, were representing both the fashion and entertainment arena while Miuccia Prada, Baz Luhrmann, Grace Coddington, Pat McGrath, Ann Duong, and Stefano Tonchi joined them in this multifaceted celebration.

Baz Luhrmann

The Gatsby exhibit will be on display from May 1-12 at the Prada Store downtown and will then travel to Tokyo and Shanghai.  The exhibition includes mannequins displaying looks for each character coupled with video content drawn from the film.  Additionally, a two hundred foot mural depicting a montage drawn from the spectacular party scenes showing Gatsby's Long Island mansion will be on site.  Martin was initially unenthused by the thought of remaking Gatsby however, when she reread the book she began to empathize with Daisy and her untenable situation.  Martin explains that most of the costumes from the earlier years were when dresses were very long flowing, silk and chiffon, ultra feminine. The flapper era does not appear in the story until much later. 

Guests wearing Prada

The movie's sartorial code included strict guidelines presented by Catherine Martin in reference to the detail on fabrics, colors, and material that had to be period accurate. While working on the costumes Miuccia Prada become cognizant that many of the pieces she designed for Prada and Miu Miu over the years had a very twenties essence. The combined brainstorming of these two artistic icons, Martin and Prada, created dresses realized in iridescent metallic lame', sequins, silk taffeta, dyed fur, and velvet. The set photographer for the movie Justin Ridler said, "the costumes reflect a contemporization of the twenties. It's mirroring what happened in the 1920's to what happens now- it is genius." Stefano Tonchi, the editor of W magazine, reiterated this sentiment by stating, "Baz Luhrmann is an absolute magician. The movie should really be a musical it just makes me want to dance. The movie is very cool and very modern the costumes are not really costumes at all but real things that women can wear."

Katy Perry

Katy Perry wearing Prada said, "I love Prada and I am getting ready to wear a very punk rock look to the Costume Institute Gala, an outfit I planned over a month ago." This exhibition is undoubtedly a precursor of the revivalist trend toward classical, eclectic clothing. Trend consultant Rita Nazouki stated, "this movie and the way Prada has given a modern approach will translate into the streets. We will see women wearing mens' suits and the whole androgyny feel back in vogue. This is a fresh new style and I think we are ready for it." As the crowd began to dissipate, I was left with all these dressed mannequins in this splendid room. I began to visualize what it must have been like in the "roaring twenties" when characters like Jay Gatsby and Daisy Buchanan existed, and then a fire truck screamed by reminding me that I was in the Soho district in the year 2013 where the only thing roaring were the vehicles in New York.

- Lieba Nesis

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