Tuesday, 28 May 2013

Glamorous Gatsby

On a recent night out with some friends, I became aware of at least three couples, and few distinguished, well-groomed gentlemen sporting late 20s style outfits. Sipping their liquor, it became apparent that these wonderfully vintage visions were part of the biggest style influence to hit cinemas this year: Gatsby fever. Everyone and their granny seem to be swooning over Di Caprio's dashing good looks, and the spectacular cinematography for Baz Luhrmann's screen adaptation of the F. Scott Fitzgerald classic, 'The Great Gatsby'. As a serious fan of a sharp, well dressed man, I'm not one to turn down ogling Di Caprio through a pair of 3-D glasses for near three hours, yet I was intrigued when hearing that Brooks Brothers would be working with costume designer Catherine Martin on the male costumes for the film. Brooks Brothers remains the oldest menswear chain in the United States, established in 1820 as a family run business. Not only did it act as Fitzgerald’s label of choice, but also was considered as the staple brand for the 1920's gent. As expected, the film welcomes all items quintessentially 20s, from straw boaters and colourful suspenders to casual leather riding boots, and my favorite, the trusty pocket watch. Brooks Brothers provided over 500 specially designed suits to ensure all of Gatsby’s party goers were decked-out in 20s style, re-inventing classic pieces from their archives. While most modern men wouldn't be caught dead in a pink three piece suit, the sartorialist aspect of the movie seems to have inspired a variety of design houses.

Ah, the infamous pink suit. As Tom famously quotes, "An Oxford man! Like hell he is! He wears a pink suit", Gatsby's three piece was re-created in light salmon linen. I probably shouldn't love this as much as I do, but despite my own personal fear of colours, I really really do. That ridiculously kitsch tie and the soft pastel shade paired with two-tone brogues appeals to me in a way that seems very wrong, but so very right. However, many the modern man would probably run miles at the sight of such a colour. Yet similar fitted suits are appearing everywhere. On inspection of the Spring/Summer issue of Area Homme+ for example, an editorial featuring Ralph Lauren Purple Label's new collection really caught my eye. For example, the tailored trousers on the left are very reminiscent of Gatsby's white suit, a seersucker style.  I love the contrast of the monochrome suit, and look, two-tone brogues! Very gatsby-esque. Oh, I had to include the second page purely to justify the pink suit. It seems like Ralph Lauren has been taking tips....

The Great Gatsby also welcomes dark neutral tones and the return of the collar bar! I have a feeling this will catch on, just as womens accessory designers have gone mad for collar tips and pins. Unlike tie bars which are more reminiscent of 'Mad Men' and 60's business suits, collar bars could start a new trend. This one seems like it could easily be backed by the High Street on replica versions. Personally, I'm tempted to try one out on a simple white shirt, to toughen up a gentler collar. The wide brimmed fedora on the other hand is another look I've been seeing again and again, as well as darker tweeds as seen on Tobey Maguire. I'm using Corneliani's Autumn/Winter collection back from 2011/12 as inspiration for this one - they nailed the use of darker tones with great selection of fabrics. 

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