Baz Luhrmann's highly-anticipated adaption of "The Great Gatsby" opens Friday and many fans are already getting into the spirit — thanks to the movie's glamorous couture.
Among the trends sparked by the film starring Leonardo DiCaprio and Carey Mulligan are decadent jewels, glittering drop waist dresses made for dancing, bold lips, and crisp suits for the gents. And experts say the demand for the "Roaring '20s" style started long before Hollywood caught on.
PHOTOS: The 'Gatsby' Premiere Brings Glitz, Glam, and...Uggs?
“The 1920s look has been emerging for a few seasons now,” says Jane Monnington Boddy, director of women’s trend forecasting at Stylesight. “We have been talking about this since fall/winter 2011 when Vera Wang showed a simple version of this look. Since then it’s been taken on by several designers, such as Thom Browne for spring/summer 2011 and Louis Vuitton for fall/winter 2012.”
“As it evolved season-by-season, it’s become bolder and more daring, evolving from just the straight lines to refined embellishment,” she adds.
Jaimie Hilfiger, a model and fashion expert who credits designers like Sue Wong for helping to spark the romantic vintage look, believes it will continue to resonate with everyone, even after the film’s premiere.
“The ‘20s look works well for both men and women because it’s a timeless, classic style that isn’t trendy,” says Hilfiger. “The look is clean, polished and appropriate for both day and evening. The look makes a man appear handsome and a woman glamorous. Women are usually attracted to intricate details that allow her to stand out from the crowd. Wearing something from the time of Gatsby definitely stands out. Details like the lacework and beading are always in fashion.”
Want to channel your inner Jay Gatsby or Daisy Buchanan without looking like a movie extra? We reached out to several stylists, including those involved with the film, to learn how to get this timeless look:
Finding an art deco dress is now easier than ever. Sue Wong, a fashion designer who specializes in ‘20s-inspired gowns, notes there are more dresses available because the loose style from the era have been favored by women who want to appear like Hollywood stars without squeezing into too-tight couture.
And as long as your dress sparkles, it’s easy to give it a vintage feel. “You can always accessorize with other stones or go with metallics that pick up the art deco motifs of your outfit, whether it’s gold, silver or platinum,” she says.
Chelsey Davidson, a ModStylist at online retailer ModCloth, which features a collection dedicated to the ‘20s, advises to look for dresses that have a “drop waist,” which means that the waistline “drops” at the hips, giving it a looser feel. Above all, don’t forget the added glam. “Epaulets, rhinestones and sequins were highly used during this time period to add glitz to an evening outfit,” she says.
Deirdre Clemente, a professor of history at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas who served as a historical consultant for the movie, agrees it's now easier than ever to dress like Daisy. “An embellished belt can be worn at the waist or on the hips (of your dress) to create the illusion of a dropped waist,” she explains. “Take a jersey dress and pair it with a textured metallic belt for an easy and cliché-free flapper silhouette.”
The well-polished look of Jay Gatsby can make any man look dapper. Brooks Brothers made all the men’s costumes for the film and the retailer has a line dedicated to Mr. Gatsby.
"In the Brooks Brothers' collection, the look of the era is made modern thanks to the slim cut of the garments, which is one part Gatsby and one part Don Draper,” explains Clemente. “Hard working, retro-centric pieces such as Gatsby’s spectator shoes, Nick’s shawl collar cardigan and repp ties in collegiate burgundy or yellow gold stripes are worth every penny.”
But before you step out of the house in all preppy wear, take it down a notch by only incorporating several pieces. That means you can live without the boater straw hat and lacquered cane. “These items will make you look like you’re a member of a barbershop quartet,” Clemente warns.
Long before the lob, the bob first gained popularity during the ‘20s when it was a favorite look among silent screen actresses. In “The Great Gatsby,” Carey Mulligan sports the iconic hairstyle as Daisy, which, according to celebrity stylist Clyde Elezi of The Drawing Room in New York City, can be copied in five simple steps.
Daisy Buchanan’s Bob
What you’ll need: Curling Iron (1/2-3/4 inch thick) and boar bristle paddle brush
1. Section hair into horizontal partings, starting in the back of the neck.
2. Take sub-sections close in size to the curling iron and curl every section in the same direction.
3. Continue doing this until you have reached the top of the head.
4. Once you've made it to the top of the head, and you have your part in place, curl up to that parting.
5. Take a flat paddle-brush and brush out the curls. Style as desired.
Stylists agree that a feathery headband can be too costumey for daily wear, but fortunately, there are some stylish alternatives. Look for a scarf in an art-deco print or a solid hue that can be tied around your bob. If you can’t find the perfect scarf, look for a barrette featuring a jewel or two that matches your accessories and place it to the side. If you actually prefer a headband, which can help keep your bob in place, look for one that features gemstones.
(Tiffany & Co.)
It's easy to associate flappers with pearls, but consider opting for more decadent jewels, such as diamonds, sapphires and black onyx, as seen in "The Great Gatsby."
Oscar-winning costume designer Catherine Martin, who collaborated with Tiffany & Co. to design the jewelry for the film has one must-have piece in mind. “Gatsby’s signet ring with the Daisy symbol is our nod to his obsessive love for Daisy,” she explains. “It is a very integral symbol in the film because it has been reproduced in his house. Everywhere you look in his mansion, he has applied a daisy decoration. The daisy, traditionally a symbol of purity, is meant to signal to the audience his pure, obsessive and overwhelmingly powerful love he has for Daisy.”
There’s one accessory that can easily be thrown on to add classic glamour to any wardrobe. Sacha Krasney, Founder and Editor in Chief of Be U Weddings, has noticed that “The Great Gatsby” is a popular theme for this year’s spring and summer ceremonies.
“Fur wraps and accessories were a huge deal at the time and are an easy way to instantly make your outfit vintage and chic,” she says. Don’t want to break a sweat by wearing fur (or a faux version) during steamy summer night? Krasney says you can opt for feather accessories instead. “We are seeing feathers being included in a great deal of fashion these days and it completely hits the mark for Gatsby-inspired gear," says Krasney.
With silver screen stars paving the way for beauty trends during the ‘20s, cosmetics played a major role in adding glamour to any look.
Beverly Hills-based beauty expert Anastasia Soare reveals that '20s makeup is all about playing up the features that frame your face. “Egyptian influences were huge in this time period,” explains Soare. “Eyes are smoky, sultry and rimmed in deep colors with a peach nude tone to give that bedroom eye some pop. Add a fevered dewy cheek with cream sheer blush.” Soare also advises going for full lips with a rich, matte hue. Also, forget pencil-thin eyebrows and instead, make sure they are perfectly groomed to suit your face.
The best way to wear the extravagant couture of “The Great Gatsby” is to pay attention to detail. Stylist Jocelyn Sanchez at Stitch Fix suggests taking subtle inspiration from popular elements of the ‘20s, using them to enhance your personal style. “Shift dresses and drop waists were all the rage and are making quite the comeback, but casual versions in jersey or cotton are a great way to incorporate this look for spring,” she explains. “Fringe is another common element-pairing a fringe top with skinny jeans takes the look into 2013. Graphic geometric prints emulate the art deco style period and are a great way to add a focal point to a look.”
Save Big Bucks
Who says you need to empty out your wallet just to look as decadent as Daisy? Stylist Angela Walker of Legsavvy.com says there are some simple tips to keep in mind for those on a budget. “If your dress has a belt, take it off,” she says. “If you have a straight line dress, particularly one that is above the knee, that would be an ideal start to achieve the flapper look. Building on that foundation, add a pair of glittery knee high hosiery or even fishnet stockings. Then pile on as many long strands of pearls or beaded necklaces that hang down below the bust. Then you’re there!”