Are You Ready for Gatsby Overload?
Baz Luhrmann's 3D Great Gatsby is now less than a month away, and Gatsby fever is building. But will any of this catch on? The Brooks Brothers and Tiffany collections are pretty high brow, and the soundtrack has its flaws. Let's (over)analyze.
Baz Luhrmann's 3D Great Gatsby is now less than a month away, and Gatsby fever is building. Tuesday night the director introduced 3D footage of the film at CinemaCon in Las Vegas, where it was met with praise from many observers including Carolyn Giardina of The Hollywood Reporter, who said the preview had "striking, bold imagery and emotive close ups." So at least we know now that Gatsby will be, quite literally, in your face when Warner Bros. brings it to theaters May 10. But several other companies are also hoping that this adaptation will be, well, on your body and in your ears.
Brooks Brothers, for instance, made all the men's costumes from designer Catherine Martin's designs, and now they want you guys to buy suits from their Gatsby Collection. Meanwhile, Tiffany & Co. also worked with Martin for their Gatsby-inspired jewelry collection, which includes items that are considerably more pricey. And then, of course, there's the soundtrack, produced by Jay-Z, which imagines all the cool kids bopping their heads to Jazz Age beats and Fergie vocals.
But will any of this catch on? The Brooks and Tiffany collections are pretty high brow, and the soundtrack has its flaws. Let's (over)analyze.
The Gatsby Brooks Brothers Collection
What? Finely tailored menswear for your inner dandy.
Why? Clothing collections for films and TV shows aren't unusual. (See: Spring Breakers and Anna Karenina.) The Gatsby clothing line, seems to be banking on '20s style catching on because of the film—you know, the same way '60s style caught on because of Mad Men. Note the early trend stories. Banana Republic has had what Entertainment Weekly deems "success" with its Mad Men collection, so much so that they're on their third go around. Brooks Brothers also has the claim that, you know, they made the suits for the film.
The Downside: This Gatsby clothing ain't cheap. That "burgundy stripe regatta blazer" (the second photo above) comes in at around $798. That's not unreasonable for Brooks Brothers shoppers, but it might be a bit much for someone who just wants to jump onto the '20s trend. Which brings us to...
What it is? What you might expect: Gorgeous, deco-inspired pieces with diamonds, pearls and other stones. Sparkling GIF courtesy of the Tiffany Facebook app.
Why? We've got a similar case to Brooks Brothers, but perhaps even more directly. Tiffany worked with Luhrmann and Martin to design jewelry for the film. Note how Carey Mulligan, as Daisy, wears this exact headband in the film:
The Downside: Did we mention $200K?
What? It's a Jay-Z produced mix of covers and original songs, many of which combine 20s-style jazz with modern pop styles. Some of it is oddly intriguing, like Emeli Sandé and The Bryan Ferry Orchestra's cover of "Crazy in Love." Some if it is remarkably unbearable. For example, will.i.am's "Bang Bang":
Why? Well, Luhrmann has explained creative reasons for this. At CinemaCon he said involving Jay-Z created a parallel between his film and F. Scott Fitzgerald who was "was criticized for putting pop culture in his books." Say what you will about that theory, but Luhrmann's had success with his anachronistic soundtracks in the past. The Romeo + Juliet soundtrack featured Butthole Surfers and Radiohead and peaked at number two on the Billboard charts. Moulin Rouge!—which was a musical, after all—peaked at number three.
The Downside: Some of it is, well, not so good. (Cough, cough Fergie.)