The Great Gatsby! It’s finally happening. And I know this is fashion sacrilege, but boy could I give a hoot. Mostly because I am—please don’t hurt me—not a fan of Baz Luhrmann’s films. I do, however, love the story and Miuccia Prada, so if it gets great reviews I might see it.
Yet whether you’re a Baz fanatic, an F. Scott Fitzgerald disciple, or none of the above, it’s difficult not to imagine this film having a tremendous effect on what we’ll see on the Spring 2014 runways. After all, designers love a Roaring Twenties reference.
However, I think the impact may turn out to be minimal, and here’s why. When a television show like Downton Abbey or Mad Men captures the fashion zeitgeist, it’s seemingly out of nowhere—a surprise to most of us. I remember hearing about Mad Men, and being excited to watch it, but really having very little idea of what I was getting into. Or that I’d immediately be interested in wiggle dresses and pencil skirts.
With film, it’s different. Stills, clips, and costume sketches from the Great Gatsby have been trickling out for over two years. It’s not news. We know the story. And designers, including Ralph Lauren, Gucci and many more began exploring the Roaring Twenties just as news of the Great Gatsby surfaced–back in September of 2011 for spring 2012 collections. Which means that the reference is, dare we say it, a little old now.
There’s precedence for this pattern. When Sofia Coppola’s Marie Antoinette was released in 2006, Madame Deficit-inspired looks had been popping up on the runways for more than two years. A lot of that had to do with hype leading up to the film, and Coppola’s close ties to Marc Jacobs and (at the time) John Galliano. Back then, fashion journalist Sarah Mower suggested to me that a Dior couture show was inspired by Coppola’s vision of Marie Antoinette long before the film actually hit theaters.
Of course, I could be totally wrong, and designers could turn out plenty of Daisy Buchanan-inspired collections come fall. After all, Brooks Brothers and Tiffany’s are currently capitalizing on their involvement with the film with special collections in store now. And that’s the great thing about fashion. Just when you think it’s endlessly predictable, it moves in a completely different–if not always entirely new–direction.