The Collegiate Style: Brooks Brothers’ ‘Gatsby’


Gatsby: The man in the cool, beautiful suits.

Finally the release date is here, and what an exciting epic film this is going to be. Not to mention the soundtrack!

Universal Music on Thursday released the track list for the movie, which will feature Beyonce, Lana Del Rey, and Florence + the Machine, as well as a new song, “100$ Bill,” by rapper Jay-Z, who is executive producer of the soundtrack. Australian Grammy-winner Gotye and former White Stripes rocker Jack White will also contribute.

DiCaprio has achieved yet another milestone in his career showcasing excellence and doing Robert Redford honors in this historic and visually satisfying film, The Great Gatsby. Trading his usual baseball cap and jeans for a  supersartorial wardrobe of tuxedos, waistcoats and bow ties, he prepares to bring the character of party-loving millionaire Jay Gatsby to life May 10th, 2013 when it hits the silver screen.

In a role first made famous by Redford in 1974 of the classic F. Scott Fitzgerald novel, DiCaprio takes over the lead in Baz Luhrmann’s $125 million version with ease. He and costars Tobey Maguire (Nick Carraway) and Joel Edgerton (Tom Buchanan) were outfitted by Brooks Brothers in authentic re-creations of Twenties wardrobes. Redford was dressed by Ralph Lauren in the earlier version.

Robert Redford

As the official men’s clothier to the film, Brooks Bros. worked closely with Academy Award-winning costume and production designer Catherine Martin (Luhrmann’s wife), Warner Bros. and Bazmark to produce more than 500 day and evening ensembles — some 1,700 pieces, including neckwear, accessories and shoes —  for the cast and extras.

For the menswear, Martin worked closely with Brooks Bros.’ archivist, designers and merchants to research the outfits popular during that time and create designs that blend the textured patterns and fabrics that defined the Roaring Twenties with the storytelling needs of the film.

Martin pointed out that Fitzgerald in fact was a Brooks Bros. customer, so the association was a natural one.

“It was this most basic and fundamental connection that has made our collaboration so authentic,” she said. “Brooks Brothers is mentioned several times in Fitzgerald’s writings as a representation of the ultimate gentleman’s purveyor of fine clothing to the American man of distinction.”

Brooks Bros Archives

A Brooks Bros. spokesman said Martin researched hundreds of photos, original advertisements, catalogue pages and actual product from the period. This included extensive fabric research to achieve the appropriate weights, textures and colors that would translate onto the screen and reflect the era. Fittings were held in New York and Australia, where the movie was filmed, and the wardrobe was produced in Brooks Bros.’ factories, including the suit plant in Massachusetts and the Garland shirt factory in North Carolina. The retailer also employed custom tailor Martin Greenfield of Brooklyn, N.Y., to work on the project.

Martin added that the nation’s oldest retailer “has also defined the collegiate style — the preppy look — which was so close to F. Scott Fitzgerald’s Princeton heart. The same look was described in ‘The Great Gatsby’ by narrator Nick Carraway as his look of choice the first time he visits Gatsby’s mansion for one of his neighbor’s extraordinary parties: ‘Dressed up in white flannels I went over to his lawn a little after seven, and wandered around rather ill at-ease among swirls and eddies of people I didn’t know — though here and there was a face I had noticed on the commuting train.’ For all these reasons, Brooks Brothers seemed the obvious partner to work on the creation of the men’s wardrobe.”

Brooks Bros. chief executive officer Claudio Del Vecchio complimented Martin on her ability to “bring F. Scott Fitzgerald’s world to life. She truly has defined the men’s wear of the Roaring Twenties with her creativity, attention to details and passion for the era.”

Brooks Bros. works on many other film and television productions including “Mad Men,” “Glee,” “Law & Order” and “White Collar.”

Baz and Catherine

Elle magazine in France – Gatsby Editorial

Tobey Maguire’s Gatsby character

The great Robert Redford

Robert Redford

Leonardo on set



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