The Great Gatsby (1974). Directed by Jack Clayton. Starring Robert Redford and Mia Farrow.
One look at Robert Redford in Jack Clayton’s 1974 classic The Great Gatsby is enough to know this film speaks serious fashion and style. Heralded at the time for its elaborate depiction of jazz-age elegance, the film’s lustrous and detailed costumes garnered both an Academy Award, and paved the way for a new interest in nostalgia, and luxury American style.
The Ralph Lauren Connection
Ralph Lauren is the pioneer of Americana in the world of high fashion. Developing his brand in 1967, Lauren looks to classic American styles from the past, and reinvents them as modern and wearable pieces.
Ralph Lauren’s styling of the film’s men brought his nostalgic sensibilities to the forefront, creating captivating looks that were relevant to the period, as well as the modern man.
Check for the khaki trousers, knit sweater vests, crisp button ups, silk ties, rugby shirts, and period suits in Lauren’s timeless menswear looks.
Redford appeared as Gatsby on the cover of GQ, and Lauren began his fast track to fame. This annoyed then legendary costume designer, Theoni V. Aldredge to the point that she had Lauren’s name revoked from the credits.
Aldredge received an Academy Award for her costume designs that year, however, it is Ralph Lauren’s distinct take on 1920’s menswear that is still the highlight of Gatsby.
Shades of Summer
Set in the high summer of 1922 along the stylish shores of Long Island, the story of the rich and fabulous living in the elaborate summer estates is vividly recreated in shades of summer.
Summer fashions of the period are realized in breezy tones of pink, pale yellow, light blue, khaki, off whites, and pastel shades, bringing back the nostalgia for a lighter, more casual period of refinement and luxury.
Look to the famous scene where Gatsby tosses his collection of beautiful silk shirts into the air for a showcase of summer style, and refined masculinity.
‘These are the most beautiful shirts I’ve ever seen!’ shouts Mia Farrow, in near tears, at the finesse of his shirts. Call her shallow, but we can’t blame her reaction. It’s an American summer at its very finest.
Dress the Part
The fashions showcased in The Great Gatsby are a graduation from the American Ivy League styles of dark khakis and tweed to a refined state of luxurious and sophisticated American menswear.
A revival of nostalgia for classic American fashion was spawned by the film, and has since stayed a strong go-to style for men with a knack for masculine refinement.
Light chinos, deck shoes, a great leather belt, a crisp button-up in a fresh summer tone, and a silk tie, are an easy go-to look that is comfortable, and has that distinct Gatsby dapperness.
Play it a bit more formal and vie for a suit in pale blue, pink, lemon, or lavender, and be sure to have heads turning at the party. In this case, fit is of the utmost importance, as you don’t need to look like you’re heading to a 70s prom. Keep it refined, masculine, and sophisticated.
Style icon Andre 3000 cites The Great Gatsby as one of his biggest style influences, taking vintage styles and mixing them with his hip-hop edge, to reinvent gentlemanly refinement for the 21st Century. The pastel shades of the film are given a bright punch, but the cuts kept classic, and the fit tailored to perfection, for the perfect balance of dapper elegance and modern moxie.
The Great Gatsby is a showcase of American menswear with a leisurely elegance, and luxurious cool that is still relevant to fashion today.
- See styles from a young Ralph Lauren, who uses his nostalgic sensibilities to create timeless classics on the screen in the styling of the men for the film.
- Pale summer shades graduate American Ivy League style to a new level of laid back luxury.
- Bring nostalgia and luxury to your everyday with the refined styling of classic elements; fusing vintage styles with modern sensibilities for your own Gatsby edge.
What’s your favorite look from the film? Got Gatsby style suggestions? Let us know your feedback in the comment section below!
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