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It took a while for this to come out on DVD. Adapted by Francis Ford Coppola, Directed by Jack Clayton, “The Great Gatsby” is a fashion lovers movie for sure.  Theoni V. Aldredge does a fine job representing the 20’s, but you can tell it’s seen through a 70’s lens.  The appeal is more about the 1%ers atmosphere of entitled luxury, luxuriating in it, and not giving a f**k how the other half (or 99%) lives.  THE fashion moment is when Gatsby tells Daisy and Nick he has a man in London buy him new clothes every season.  He showers them with shirts in every color under the rainbow.  If that’s not clothes porn, I don’t know what is.

Theoni used A LOT of Ralph Lauren.  So much so that Lauren really rode this horse to his credit.  Many people mistake him as the Costume Designer.  The credits are not clear in this regard. They state, Men’s Wardrobe: Ralph Lauren.  Women’s Wardrobe Executed by: Barbara Matera, Ltd.  I’m guessing they were the two brands Theoni used.  They don’t even have a Costume Designer credit listed in the film credits, but Theoni V. Aldredge is listed on IMDB.  Women’s Hats Executed by Woody Shelp.  Jewelry: Cartier.  I love that Jewelry gets its own credit.

You gotta admit, Daisy's wedding ring is a stunner.

I’ve seen this many times on VHS, but years ago, and on this viewing, I’m totally distracted at how sweaty the men are.  Clayton is either making a point of being 1) realistic, summer no AC, or 2) men are pigs.  They’re ruled by their impulses like animals.  It makes them violent/overly sexual/aggressive, or 3) All the love triangles make everything awkward and uncomfortable.  Not sure, but I want to throw all of them in the shower.  All the women are soft and dry even when complaining about the heat.

No, it's not the model for Ralph Lauren's Polo, it's Tom on his pony. Lauren must've been thinking this is kismet. It coincidentally mirrors his own life (without the crime/murder.) Ralph Lifshitz (I'm not kidding), nice Jewish boy, changes his name to Ralph Lauren, co-ops the WASP aesthetic in every conceivable retail avenue and becomes a kajillionaire. James Gatz (possibly nice Jewish boy) reinvents himself into Jay Gatsby, does some shady things after the war and gets rich quick. Lauren always seems to be channeling The Great Gatsby in every collection.

Who better to tell the WASPs how to dress than an outsider driven to be accepted by them?

Nick enters the world of the idle rich, old money.

Daisy wears delicate chiffons and silks as if her fragile nature couldn't tolerate anything heavier.

Ivy League shall collar sweater.

Daisy's dress in a wider shot.

The first glimpse of Gatsby, as he stares out to Daisy's house. He is new money.

Betcha didn't see this coming. I just like the layering and bandana.

Jordan and Nick in their tennis togs. Love it! I wish they offered a better shot though.

Daisy is always cocooned in fabric, she lives in a bubble, could never survive outside of it. I'm sucker for ombre (color gradation) anything.

Jordan in her backswing. I love 20's golf clothes for women. There's no reason we should be denied looking this good on the course. Just make it in sweat-wicking, UV fabrics, thank you.

Gatsby is gangsta. Or a gangster? Who knows?

Love the graphic design on her dress, and that the cape is attached. Jordan played by Lois Chiles. She, like her name, is both bland but spicy. JK. Her last name rhymes with "files." Flat delivery, husky, sexy voice, bewitching face.

Gatsby arranges to surprise Daisy at Nick's. He furnishes the silver tea service as a token of his new wealth. Doesn't he look great? I'm not wild about the wide mustard tie, but his hair, the cream suit, the pocket watch chain. Love it.

He's finally cornered her. But who is the caught one? Gatsby has been waiting for this day for years. To finally show the girl who left him because he was poor, that he made something of himself. Instead of spitefully rubbing it in her shallow face, he is still the lovesick boy she left. He will do anything for her and is blinded to any of her faults.

Clayton’s directing is very 70’s.  I like framing, but subtle framing.  He literally frames people with a window frame around them.  Why don’t you hit me over the head with a hammer?  He pans, then zooms into some random object to act as a transition, and sometimes in the middle of action.  That’s bothersome when there’s no rhyme or reason for it.

See what I mean?

And sparkly eyes. So 70's!

The eye sparkle.  Why?  Is Clayton suggesting Daisy is starry-eyed, not realistic to her situation, or that she’s like a fine doll, or a jewel, merely a pretty possession for these men to fight over?  Not sure, but again, it’s a little directing overkill.

Gatsby has waited years to show off his wealth to Daisy.

He can’t help himself.

Get ready...

And there they go!

I still don't know why Daisy is impressed. She's rich, bitch! So what?

And sommore. You notice Redford rarely smiles in movies? I think because he's so handsome, he's always trying to be serious, taken seriously. Too smiley makes him Tab Hunter.

Why is she crying? She regrets not waiting for him, and that everything would've been OK since he turned out rich? Shrugs. It's an odd reaction.

And I have officially shot my wad- on English shirts.

Ties have always been seen as a somewhat Freudian phallic symbol. The use the tie collar bars to suggest an erection is a subtle reinforcement of the man's animal nature.

I just like this shot. Her character is so independent and fun.

Gatsby made his American dream come true. He's finally made it in his eyes. The money, the house, the girl. Doesn't matter that it's dirty money, material things don't make you happy, and the girl is a vapid, histrionic twit. He's blinded by his own ambition and obsession. This is new money trying to become old money.

Clayton paints their scenes as innocent, true love. Soft light, out in the open, almost chaste.

While Tom's infidelity is in a dark, grubby hotel, wantonly sexual, hidden away shamefully.

I just like this shot, too.

Love this rain cape! With the gloves, rad. It's during a transition, sorry it's not clear, but this is the best view.

Daisy, cocooned again.

The back of Jordan's dress.

Daisy sheds her cocoon coat and shortly afterwards runs off with Gatsby. This decadent party is filled with Senators and lawmakers, and the booze is free-flowing, during prohibition. It shows the utter hypocrisy, and above-the-law attitude of the rich.

Everything is dramatic about Gatsby. Even his tux, with the pleated shirt and the quilted vest. Gatsby's thinks Daisy didn't enjoy herself, he vows to "fix" everything, and make it like before. Nick tells him he can't repeat the past. "Of course you can," he replies. It's clear that Daisy did enjoy herself and later Gatsby mistakenly accuses Tom of suggesting they all go to town when Daisy did. It's a subtle way to suggest that Gatsby's perception of things is skewed to the way he wants it to be, not the reality of what happened.

I think this is the one time Daisy and Gatsby are truly being themselves. They're alone. No one around to act a certain way. Stripped of artifice, he has on his military uniform and she dances with him sincerely, like she did before he left to fight in the war. If Gatsby came back to haunt his house, I'm sure he'd be dancing this dance for eternity.

Nick in another shawl collar sweater.

It's a perfect day for Gatsby, but perfection never lasts.

Love his scarf tucked in just so.

This foreshadows Gatsby's demise.

Like a strange reverse proposal, Gatsby gives Daisy a ring, she can't wear it because she's married, so she kneels, puts it on his finger.

A very young and doe-eyed Patsy Kensit.

Gatsby in a pink suit. Even Tom takes notice and derides him for it.

Personally, I love it. What balls to wear a pink suit (for a straight guy.) It's emblematic of ostentatious new money.

Another cocoon covering.

Jordan's dress, perfect for summer.

I love Nick's super high crewneck and slim fit sweater.

A beautiful tiered dress.

“Rich girls don’t marry poor boys Jay Gatsby.”  The class divide.  During the end titles, the song, “Ain’t we got fun,” there’s a line, “…The rich get richer, the poor get laid off.”  When Fitzgerald wrote this he believed America was in decline because of the great class divide.

Nick and Gatsby's father take his body to be buried through the Valley of Ashes. The industrial dumping ground that you have to drive through to move from West Egg to East Egg symbolizes the enormous gulf between rich and poor during this time. The ashes are the result of the pursuit of money at all costs with no regard for others. Wilson lived here with Myrtle, one of the poor trying to eke out a living, and when pushed to his limits, acts out violently towards the rich Gatsby.

West and East Egg also represent the West (West of Appalachia) and East of America. Gatsby and Nick are from the west.  They never quite fit in with the old established money set of the east. But Gatsby loved it so much his father buries him there.

We all are forced to read this book in high school.  But you know, it still holds up.  It’s an easy read, not too dense, and paints a vivid picture of the times that are oddly prescient to today’s hedge fund managers 1%ers vs. the rest of us 99%ers.  Occupy East Egg!

Baz Luhrman is directing the newest adaptation with Leo DiCaprio and Carey Mulligan as Gatsby and Daisy.  I’m sure the clothes will be to die for, but I hope he delves deeper and gives us the full Greek tragedy.

A refresher: http://www.sparknotes.com/lit/gatsby/themes.html